- Northern Cape
- Richtersveld Cultural & Botanical Landscape
Richtersveld Cultural & Botanical Landscape, Northern Cape
The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape covers an area of spectacular rugged mountains and desert. It is situated in Northern Namaqualand in the Northern Cape Province and is owned and managed by a community of people called Nama who live a semi-nomadic pastoral lifestyle. The Richtersveld has been identified as the only “Biodiversity Hotspot” on the planet and covers 160 000 hectares of land. It borders the town of Kuboes in the north and to the south Eksteenfontein.
In 2002 the Richtersveld Community conservancy was established to manage this area and protect it and in 2007 it was declared the eighth South African site of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
The Nama Community
The Nama people, who are descendent of the Khoi-Koi people, construct transportable rush-mat houses (domes) called “haru om” and collect plants (on their seasonal migration) for medicinal and other use. They continue to have a strong oral tradition regarding the land and its use. The Nama people’s way of life is part of the protected system of the area but the main focus is on maintaining the traditional transportable rush-mat houses and the grazing areas.
The more prolific plants in the Richtersveld are the succulents and there are over 350 endemic plants growing in this region including 33 plants that are not found anywhere else in the world. Being a World Heritage Site has now given the area the protection it needs to nurture the plants that have in the past been plundered by cultivation, mining and indiscriminate picking. The Baster Quiver Tree is found in this region and is one of the most endangered plants that now has a chance of surviving.
- Cave exploring
- Donkey cart rides
- Nama’s traditional dance shows.
- Rock engraving sight seeing
- Rooiberg Mountain hiking
- Textile Group Home craft
- Town tour hiking trail
Visitors need to take all supplies and also remove all their own refuse as part of the conservation initiative.
- 2 Guest houses just outside the World Heritage Site
- Campsite, inside the Heritage site
- Overnight accommodation in rush mat huts with local food included.
- Overnight hut for 8 at Basterfontein
- Rooiberg has more conventional accommodation
Contact detailsEksteen Information Centre Tel: +27 27 831 2013
Tel: +27 27 851 7108
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