Caprivian Heritage Centre opened
The partners merged dreams at the Centre, which records and preserves the traditional culture and history of the Eastern Zambezi region. Members of MET, WWF, IRDNC, MCA and the Gondwana Collection, and traditional authorities gathered under a newly-built roof of thatch to officially open the Centre. Funded by the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and the Gondwana Collection, the Heritage Centre showcases the history and traditions of Caprivian groups on information panels and with demonstrations of traditional song and dance, skills and crafts. The comprehensive information chronicled at the site was meticulously assembled by Antje Otto for the Gondwana Collection from knowledge gleaned from decades of extensive research in the area.
It covers subjects as diverse as pottery, tribal authorities and social structure, agriculture, musical instruments and traditional healers. The Heritage Centre, built out of reeds and grass from the area, encircles the baobab that was once used to spot poachers attempting to cross the Kwando River. Times have changed with the innovative conservancy system which empowers communities to sustainably manage their wildlife and resources, and with the establishment of the Bwabwata National Park where humans and animals coexist in multi-use areas. A short walking trail runs along the river from Namushasha River Lodge to the Heritage Centre where information boards will enlighten guests about the fauna and flora of the Zambezi region’s wetland system. Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) assistant director, Beaven Munali, conveyed his sentiments of how the Centre adds value to the region where culture as well as wildlife are tourist attractions. Twenty kilometres from Kongola, on the Namushasha River Lodge turn-off, it is an easy and accessible place to pause for a taste of Caprivian culture in an attractive river setting.