The 16th of December, 2011 marks the 10th anniversary of the majestic Tsodilo Hills as a World Heritage site. Tsodilo Hills were listed as a World Heritage Site on 16th December 2001.
“The listing of Tsodilo Hills has brought hope for community development and sustainable management of the site,” said Phoromo Gaogakwe, Director National Museum and Monuments.
Addressing the media, Gaogakwe said, to be listed, Tsodilo Hills fulfilled three of the criteria of the World Heritage Centre, which include the human creative artistic skill and ability represented by the rock art, the continuity and ancient past of successive human settlement on these Kalahari inselbergs or hills going back to 100 000 years to the recent times. In addition, the criterion acknowledged the belief system of the people of Tsodilo as shown in the affinity and strong relationship.
“The celebration is a time of reflection on achievements and challenges on the integrated management plan, thus it is a time to track progress on the community project.”
According to Gaogakwe, the project has been funded by Diamond Trust to the tune of P10 million.
“The project facilities completed so far include the gate house, water reticulation for the village, community campsite and curio shop and they are benefiting the community,” he said.
Tsodilo is rich in archeological findings, three rock shelters, white painting shelter, depression rock shelter and rhino cave have been excavated. Tsodillo has a cultural heritage in it; it is one of Africa’s premier rock art sites.
Over 4500 images have been painted at 400 sites. It consists of red and white images, as well as rock paintings which portray wild animals and domestic animals.
Gaogakwe said over 14 000 people per annum visit the site, as such through these heritage sites they will diversify tourism.
“It is our plan to at least list the site with UNESCO’s World Heritage Site every 2 years and we want to see seven sites listed with World Heritage Centre by 2022,” said Gaogakwe.
The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Onkokame Mokaila, is expected to grace the occasion.