, Twyfelfontein (meaning "doubtful fountain"), is a massive, open air art gallery. With over 2,000 rock engravings, Twyfelfontein represent one of the largest and most important rock art concentrations in Africa. In June 2007 this striking natural red-rock gallery of tumbled boulders, smooth surfaces and history etched in stone was awarded World Heritage Site status, making it Namibia’s first and only UNESCO World Heritage Site to date.
The engravings are estimated to be up to 6,000 years old, and it is believed by many that their creators were San medicine people or shamans, who created their engravings as a means of recording the shaman’s experience among the spirits while in a trance. Among the most celebrated of the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein are a giant giraffe, a "lion man" with a hand at the end of its tail, and a dancing kudu.
35 percent of the revenue received from tourism through entrance fees at the Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site is shared with members of the local community to help them meet their basic needs. As a result, not only do tourists to the area benefit from local insight; local people are also made aware of the importance of preserving their cultural heritage for long-term benefit.
Such culture heritage preservation can be found at the nearby Living Museum of the Damara. This traditional Damara project is the only one of its kind, and the possibility to experience the traditional Damara culture in this form exists nowhere else in Namibia or in the world. Here the visitors have the unique opportunity to get to know the fascinating traditional culture of the Damara, thus contributing to the preservation of the culture as well as to a regular income for the Damara community that built the museum.
Learn more about Namibia’s unique cultures here.