!Khwa ttu – meaning ‘waterhole’ in the ancient /Xam Bushmen language – situated an hour from Cape Town’s CBD on the West Coast’s R27 main route, is currently undergoing an exciting expansion and in September the !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre will open its doors to the public.
This new !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre will house interactive displays and presentations that depict the lives of the San and added to the existing restaurant, gallery, gift shop and guided tours on offer at !Khwa ttu promises visitors of all ages an unforgettable and enriching day out – a must do Cape Town activity.
What to expect at the new San Heritage Centre
San guides will tell the unfiltered stories of their people – coupled with audio and film to really bring the stories to life and immerse visitors in the ways of the San. Live talks and interactive demonstrations will also be offered.
“The !Khwa ttu San Heritage Centre is a great deal more than a collection of artefacts and historical photos. It’s a pioneering initiative that embraces the principle of community curation, led by a team of academics and San consultants from across Southern Africa. Our exhibitions, San-led trails, and guided experiences are designed to engage the body and senses as much as the mind,” explains Michael Daiber, General Manager of !Khwa ttu. “They demonstrate the skills and knowledge of the San people, while also telling the archaeological story of the origins of the modern mind on the Southern African coastline.”
The Heritage Centre, when complete, will incorporate several of the old farm buildings and an innovative new architect designed building that follows the natural contours of the land, with a curved, planted roof. In keeping with the ‘tread lightly’ San way of life the centre incorporates sustainable measures for lighting, heating and cooling.
!Khwa ttu scoops top award for responsible tourism
Tellingly, and unsurprisingly, the centre recently won the TO DO! 2018 award – one of the most coveted awards in socially responsible tourism. The TO DO awards honour tourism-related projects and measures which respect the interests of the local population.
“In 1998, the Working Group for Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa (WIMSA) agreed that the San needed assistance in training their own people to deal with tourism and how to showcase the San culture to the world. In 1999 the farmland was purchased to create this dream. The original buildings on the farm were converted and the agricultural land was restored into a nature reserve,” explains Daiber.
!Khwa ttu is run as a non-profit company and the centre celebrates the San culture and spirit – both the past and present – by educating the general public about the world of the San, providing training to the San, restoring and protecting the cultural heritage of the San, and promoting the long-term financial sustainability of San development in southern Africa. Hence the !Khwa ttu ethos of ‘San Spirit Shared’.
What a day out at !Khwa ttu offers
Visitors to !Khwa ttu can enjoy the current facilities and offerings which include the restaurant, the gallery, a gift shop, the Dream Museum, San guided nature walk, mountain bike trails, hikes, trail runs, and accommodation – and of course, once completed, the new San Heritage Centre.
Minister of Economic Opportunities, Alan Winde, says that !Khwa ttu is a truly unique heritage offering for visitors to the Western Cape and its expansion is exciting news. “The new San Heritage Centre looks set to become an important tool in preserving our history and sharing our stories.”
!Khwa ttu is only 70km from Cape Town located on the West Coast Way Culture Route and is open 7 days a week from 9 am to 5 pm. For more information and online bookings visit https://www.khwattu.org/ Make a booking by calling 022 492 2998 and follow !Khwa ttu on social media on twitter, facebook and instagram @KhwattuSan.
Facilities available at !Khwa ttu San Culture and Education Centre:
• Accommodation • Child-Friendly • Pet-Friendly • Bar • Restaurant (Breakfast / Lunch) • Fireplace • Wheelchair Accessibility (Restaurant) • Trip Advisor • Conference Facilities • Wedding and Function Venue • Shop • Tractor Rides • San Guided Experiences • Mountain Biking Trails • Mountain Bike & Helmet -hiring
Find !Khwa ttu San on the West Coast Way Culture Route
Open 7 days a week| Free entry
R150/person for a 1,5hr San Guided Experience. (Group bookings essential)
Distance from Cape Town: 74km
Where: Grootwater Farm, R27
Coordinates: 33°21’44.55” S 18°16’14.12” E
Contact: (c) +27 (0)22 492 2998 |[email protected] | www.khwattu.org
West Coast Way is a unique collection of themed routes that can be enjoyed by locals and visitors when they do an adventure-filled Cape West Coast self-drive trip for a day trip or a West Coast Holiday. The new West Coast Way “basket” of free routes on offer include the West Coast Way Trcator Route, the West Coast Way Berg Route, the West Coast Way Foodie Route, the West Coast Way Cultural Route – as well as the newly launched West Coast Way Wild Route, all of which are designed to showcase the many attractions and activities that are already on offer on the Cape West Coast and inland areas – but may be unknown to many.
For more information on West Coast Way, the other routes on offer, and the list of 101 Things to Do on the West Coast visit www.westcoastway.co.za or call West Coast Way on 0861 321 777. Connect with West Coast Way on Facebook and Twitter at WestCoastWaySA.