Development of a new cultural site in KNP
Kruger National Park is world renowned for its wildlife and diversity but the restoring of its cultural and heritage legacy is also an important attribution.
KNP’s People and Conservation department identified a grave of a former traditional captain, Chief Nyongane Shikuvati Mkhabela, to be developed in a new cultural site. Chief Nyongane was a respectable and righteous leader who resided in the vicinity of the Albasini road near the Mestel Dam where he and his descendants lived even before the Park was established on 31 May 1926.
Chief Nyongane was a livestock breeder and farmer and his cows produced milk for the oldest camp’s restaurant in KNP, Pretoriuskop. He was also a reputable councillor and advisor for the first game wardens like James Stevenson-Hamilton and Harry Wolhuter.
The SANParks Honorary Rangers of the Highveld region tendered for the development of the site which will be done in phases.
According to tradition the grave is scattered with special meaningful artefacts like a red-enamel teapot, torch, spade and other personal belongings. The grave had to be covered first to protect the artefacts from possible vandalism where after a road was graded from the main road to the site. The grave cover was specially designed to still observe the artefacts without touching it.
The next phase will be to build a rock and slate wall around the grave with interpretation boards to be installed to honour Chief Nyongane as a dignified leader to create a historical cultural landmark.