Northern Cape DestinationsKhuboes, Namakwa
It is hot in Khuboes. And nothing prepares one for the midday desert heat on the eastern perimeter of the Richtersveld, near the Ai Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
Khuboes is one of several communities in the Richtersveld World Heritage Site. The others are Eksteenfontein, Lekkersing, Sanddrift, Port Nolloth and Alexander Bay. But it is Eksteenfontein and Khuboes that border on the main part of the conservancy.
These communities were amongst the poorest and most neglected in South Africa, with high unemployment. Today they are involved in sustainable tourism - providing accommodation, donkey cart rides, guided tours into the area to learn about the local plants and their uses, and various art projects, as a means of make a living.
The Richtersveld is breathtaking, its landscape a sweeping vista of rugged kloofs, high mountains, harshness and unpredictability. This is the heart of the Succulent Karoo; a hotspot of biodiversity with 4 849 succulent plants, 40 per cent of which are found nowhere else.
Way back when, before visitors from all over the world began visiting the Richtersveld to experience its succulent plants and beauty, all that stood in Khuboes was a Rhenish Missionary Church. Nama nomads visited from miles around to attend church, and to enrol their children in the local missionary school.
Eventually the Nama people settled in Khuboes.
Today there is a revival of the culture of the local Nama people in Khuboes. It is the only school in the world to teach the Nama language and the students learn the traditional Nama Stap, and Nama poems and stories.
The people of Khuboes will explain about Hurries or Malmokkies, the mist that comes off the sea to occasionally interrupt the harsh heat, or take you to visit Cornellskop, a few kilometres from Khuboes. Close by Wondergat, a limestone sinkhole, is home of the mythical hero Heitsi Eibib.