Today is World Environment Day.
This year the theme is “Beat Plastic Pollution” and official commemorations are taking place in India.
The Prime Minister of the country, Narendra Modi, took to twitter and wrote:
“Greetings on #WorldEnvironmentDay. Together, let us ensure that our future generations live in a clean and green planet, in harmony with nature.”
Matobo Hills Lodge joins the global community in celebrating World Environment Day.
We understand the destructive impact of plastic on the environment.
Therefore, we actively encourage our guests to responsibly dispose of their non-biodegradable rubbish.
We remain committed to spreading awareness of responsible tourism.
Graffiti Ruining Historical Monuments
Matobo National Park is home to several caves such as Silozwane and Nswatugi.
These caves contain rock paintings which have been tainted by illicit markings made by tourists.
There have been instances of people scribbling on or scratching the walls thus defacing the rock art.
The increasing defacement of the art, which has a cultural and religious bearing, is a cause for much concern.
3 Reasons Why We Discourage Graffiti
Firstly, defacement of these rock paintings is illegal.
It diminishes the value of our natural landscapes which draw many to the heritage sites.
These sites are tangible and sacred proof of our development as humans and our interaction with the environment.
Again, leaving graffiti on rock art destroys its aesthetic value.
Graffiti ruins the experience for other tourists who travel to see the art and learn about the history of the painters.
Can The Markings Be Removed?
But, some types of graffiti can be removed following specific procedures and using specific chemicals, though not easily.
However and unfortunately –
Some, like scratches, are permanent and cause irreparable damage.
This is why, on this World Environment Day, we discourage scribbling graffiti on our historical monuments.
What You Also Need To Know On This World Environment Day
Since 2003, Matobo National Park has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This is due to its geographical, cultural, and historical significance.
The natural landscape, which was once home to the San people, contains some of the world’s most magnificent caves and rock paintings.
These rock paintings depict the way of living of the hunter-gatherer people and are between 1500 and 10000 years old.
Did you also know that Matobo National Park has one of the highest concentrations of such rock paintings?
In Southern Africa!
There are several different caves in the nature reserve and these include the Pomongwe and Inanke cave.
If you are boarded close to some caves, you will get to hike directly to them.
Otherwise, caves further from you will require a game drive and short hike.
The caves are also subjected to erosion due to temperature changes and contact with weather elements like water.
Though this tends to make the paintings hard to understand, they are still in a relatively good state.
Unlike vandalism –
Erosion does not pose a huge threat to the preservation of the rock art.
It is part of the natural connection between the paintings and the rocks.
Measures need to be put in place to discourage graffiti which poses a threat to the conservation efforts of concerned stakeholders.
When you visit us, one of the activities you can do is visiting the caves and learning about the rock art.
For more information on all the other activities in store for you, click HERE