Twyfelfontein Adventure Tours
Under Namibian legislation, the site is protected under Section 54 of the National Heritage Act. In 2007, UNESCO approved Twyfelfontein as Namibia’s first World Heritage Site as one of the largest concentrations of rock petroglyphs in Africa. The organization recognized “a coherent, extensive and high-quality record of ritual practices relating to hunter-gather communities […] over at least two millennia”, and “links between ritual and economic practices in the apparent sacred association of the land adjacent to an aquifer” according to criterion V of the cultural selection criteria.
To achieve having the site listed by UNESCO, the government of Namibia defined a buffer zone of 91.9 km2 (35.5 sq mi) to protect the visual setting. In the 0.6 km2 (0.2 sq mi) core site, grazing is restricted and the establishment of tourism facilities is prohibited. Although Twyfelfontein is regarded as “generally intact”, the Twyfelfontein Country Lodge within the “Zeremonienplatz” (Place of Ceremonies) rock engraving site in the buffer zone is of concern to UNESCO, who stated, “This has severely compromised the integrity of the rock engravings in this area.” The hiking trail allowed visitors unsupervised access and is seen as running too close to many of the rock-art sites. Site management has, however, improved since applying for World Heritage status, particularly with regards to visitor management; unsupervised hiking is no longer allowed.