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The Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre

The Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre

Since the mid 1990s the farm of Wildebeest Kuil, which lies approximately 16 kilometres away from Kimberly on the R31 road to Barkly West, has been owned by the !Xun and Khwe communities. The two San people groups had been caught up in political turmoil during the 1960s and 1970s and then later again in Namibia. When Namibia gained its independence in 1990 more than 4000 San people were flown out of Namibia and relocated to a tent town at Schmidtsdrift, which is west of Kimberley. This land was then awarded to its rightful owners, the Tswana people during a land claim and the !Xun and Khwe people had to move again. After obtaining the Wildebeest Kuil farm and its adjoining farms, the !Xun and Khwe people were moved from the tent town to a new housing scheme at Platfontein on the outskirts of Kimberley in 2003 to 2005.

This is important as they, researchers and other stakeholders joined together to conserve the more than 400 rock engravings which are spread over a small sacred hill on the farm. (It is interesting to note that when Wildebeest Kuil was first documented in 1968, 178 individual engravings were recorded. Since then a detailed survey has revealed over 700 markings including smoothed surfaces, of which more than 400 are engravings) Community custodians and tour guides will ensure that your visit is special. The Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art experience begins at the visitors centre, where there are displays, and an auditorium with a twenty minute introductory film. An 800 metre pathway weaves up and over the hill, with a number of information boards en route, visitors can also listen to a recorded audio commentary as they walk. The site is a declared Provincial Heritage Site and is managed by the Northern Cape Rock Art Trust in association with the McGregor Museum of which it is a satellite museum.

There is a craft shop at the site called the Naoh Djao shop which means "hard work" in the !Xun and Khwe language. The shop does not only sell refreshments but it is also the main outlet for !Xun and Khwe craftwork, other community-made souvenirs. The Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre is open from Monday to Friday from 09:00 to 16:00 and on weekends and public holidays from 10:00 to 16:00. Special school and tour visits could be scheduled outside normal opening hours, by prior arrangement.

For more information please contact:
Tel: +27-53-8337069
Mob: +27-82-2224777

Directions from Kimberly
Take the Barkly West road out of Kimberley, just after the turn to Homevale on your right, the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre is immediately on your left.

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