African spirituality celebrated in park

2016-09-07 06:00

WHILE the South African National Parks (SANParks) are most renowned for the protection of the biodiversity of flora and fauna in the 22 parks, the primary mandate is less known.

This is the protection and promotion of South Africa’s cultural heritage.

Several of the parks under SANParks’ management have significant spiritual, cultural and historical status, with many boasting archaeological and heritage sites.

As part of executing its mandate, SANParks will roll out a series of annual cultural and spiritual experiences that celebrate the richness and diversity of South Africa’s cultural heritage.

The inaugural of these experiences is the Weekend of African Spirituality, to be hosted in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park in September Z a month dedicated to tourism and heritage in South Africa.

A celebration of South Africa’s living heritage and indigenous knowledge systems, the event involves an exploration of ancient African traditions and spiritual beliefs.

Participants will, under the guidance of traditional healers, experience spiritual invoca­tion, divination, visits to sacred caves, traditional drumming and interpretive medicinal plant trail walks.

This weekend of cultural immersion promises to be an authentic once-in-a-lifetime experience that will broaden perspectives and create a deeper appreciation of and respect for African spirituality.

This event will be hosted at the Basotho Cultural Village in Golden Gate from 16 to 18 September and comes as part of the annual South African National Parks week, which allows free access to national parks for all South Africans.

  • The Wild Card is SANParks’ loyalty programme that allows access into more than 80 parks and reserves in Southern Africa.

The conservation partner parks are Msinsi resorts and game reserves, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Cape Nature and Big Game Parks of Swaziland.

The programme is one of the largest conservation networks and a unified approach to conservation-based eco-tourism.

Membership is valid for 365 days from date of purchase, with the added benefits of a quarterly Wild Magazine and a monthly e-newsletter.

Other benefits are the Wild Events, part of the Wild Card programme, such as the Weekend of African Spirituality.

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