Tsodilo Hills, one of the world’s premier rock paintings site and World Heritage Site is now benefiting the Basarwa community living next to it.
Heritage tourism is one of the underrated tourism sectors in Botswana with authorities channeling their energies towards wildlife tourism in Chobe and Ngamiland areas.
In 2010, Debswana Diamond Company through their Diamond Trust, took a bold step and donated P10 million for the development of Tsodilo Hill Eco Tourism project. In 2013 the Minister of Wildlife, Environment and Tourism Tshekedi Khama officially opened the project which included a campsite and craft centre which would help the community to generate funds for them.
Tsodilo Hills which has been a national monument since 1927 and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 has been under the management of Tsodilo Community Development Trust. The Trust was formed in 1997.
Reporting on their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) last week, Debswana Managing Director Balisi Bonyongo revealed that Tsodilo Community Trust has managed to generate over P400, 000 between July 2013 and Oct 2014. Bonyongo said that the community will be able to create employment for the local community especially at the craft centre and campsite.
Studies have shown that cultural heritage travelers stay longer and spend more money than other kinds of travelers.Tsodilo Hills have over 4,500 paintings and is regarded as a sacred, mystical place where ancestral spirits dwell by the local community living next to it and use it to ask for rain or healing. There are three hills being the male, female and the child.