AFRO FOODZ: Environment forms the ingredient.

Richtersveld Community Development


AFRO FOODZ has taken the initiative to create an alternative, sustainable source of income for the Richtersveld Community.

The Richtersveld

The spectacular Richtersveld lies in the most north-western part of South Africa, next to the mighty Orange river, and bordering Namibia. It is part of the vast Karoo, a semi-desert ecoregion covering 400 thousand square kilometres. The climate is extreme, with temperatures up to 53°C in mid-summer and nights being cool with heavy dew. Its flora is unique with the largest diversity in succulent plants in the world. The Richtersveld is also home to the strikingly beautiful "Kokerboom".

The Richtersveld Community Conservancy & World Heritage Site

The historically disadvantaged people of the Richtersveld united, reclaimed title to their traditional land, and in 2002 set it aside as the Richtersveld Community Conservancy, or RCC. It is the last refuge of Nama people living what is known as the transhumance lifestyle: to migrate seasonally with their livestock from mountains to the river and so make sustainable use of the fragile succulent ecosystem. In recognition of this vanishing lifestyle, and of the rare botanical diversity it helps protect, the Conservancy has been declared the core of a new World Heritage Site in 2007.

Richtersveld Landscape

Repatriating Springbok in the Richtersveld

The Richtersveld is the natural habitat of the Springbok antelope. In the local Nama language, they call the Springbok antelope "//gûs". The "//" resembles one of the many distinct click sounds which are typical of the Nama language. The "û" is pronounced like the Afrikaans or Dutch "u", which does not exist as a sound in English, but is close to the "e" sound in the word "few".

In the Richtersveld, the number of Springbok antelope had diminished a long time ago, but in 1991 the Richtersveld National Park was founded and guaranteed the antelope's survival in the area. Now, the Richtersveld Community Conservancy, with its vast 1600 square kilometres adjacent to the National Park, has the opportunity to repatriate Springbok in the rugged plains where the antelope once roamed.

AFRO FOODZ has taken the initiative to support the community to repatriate Springbok in the Richtersveld Community Conservancy. Bringing back the Springbok, managing the herds in a sustainable way, and consuming or selling surplus numbers, will introduce an alternative, sustainable source of income for the community. Additionally, this will create much needed jobs in the area. The project was started in May 2011.

Nama Nomadic Pastoralists

People of the Richtersveld

Early archaeological evidence tells us that the San inhabited the Richtersveld area thousands of years ago. They hunted antelope and gathered berries and herbs. Arrowheads made of stone and plant resin have been found around Eksteenfontein. Next, the Khoekhoen or pastoral people moved to these regions from Botswana some 2 000 years ago. Like the San, they were hunter-gatherers. Today, the Nama speaking nomadic pastoralists in the Richtersveld are said to be descendants from these pastoralists and the San. They continue to move their livestock between stock posts with the changing of seasons.

Goats on Rock