Building Local Capacity in Specialist Tourist Guiding to Rock Art Sites

Building local capacity in specialist tourist guiding to rock art sites, including developing guide knowledge of the significance of the rock art, low-impact approaches to visitation at sites, and providing participants with legal certification as rock art tour guides in South Africa. This component also seeks to establish networks between rock art managers and tourist guides.

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Work Completed
In August 2005 a three-week accredited course in rock art tourist guiding was hosted by the Clanwilliam Living Landscape Project and CapeNature in the Cederberg Wilderness Area in South Africa. Nineteen participants, many of whom worked at national parks and in heritage tourism, came from South Africa, as well as from neighboring Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania; several were representatives of the San community. Participants learned about the past inhabitants of the Cederberg, traditional San belief systems, and how to identify major plant families, animals and their tracks, and geological features—all are essential to guiding to rock art sites. The knowledge level of course participants was evaluated by the Cape Peninsula University of Technology through regular quizzes, written examination, practical demonstrations in the field, and evaluation of communication skills. Most participants received South African national certifications for tourist guiding to rock art sites.

In August 2006 another three-week rock art tourist guiding course was held at Mapungubwe National Park for 20 participants from various national and private parks, universities, and tourist lodges in South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique. Participants learned about the significance of rock art of the Limpopo area and the regional landscape, as well as about guiding and interpretation skills. Many participants received a South African national certification in tourist guiding for rock art by passing an examination by a national examiner.

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In March and April 2011 a three-week course on rock art tourist guiding was hosted again by the Clanwillian Living Landscape Project in South Africa. The course was attended by 17 participants from Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa. The content was similar to that of the 2005 course held in Clanwilliam. Most participants received South African national certifications for tourist guiding to rock art sites in the Cederberg region.

Last updated: August 2019