Sacred Waters

Declared National Heritage site February 2014

fundudziThe first sacred site to be declared a National Heritage Site, Lake Fundudzi holds significant intangible heritage value and is closely associated with the living heritage of the VhaVenda people. The site is also scientifically significant with its relatively unaltered natural environment due to its sacredness. Situated in the northeast of Limpopo in the Soutpansberg, Lake Fundudzi is viewed as the only natural inland lake in Southern Africa. Three rivers, the Mutale (or Mavhidzelele), Godoni (or Tshidumbi or Govha), and Muiladi, flow into the lake. The lake is geologically unique in that it is one of few lakes to be formed due to a landslide. Scientifically, the sediments of the lake are important as they may hold a wealth of information about the geological history of the area.

Lake Fundudzi is a revered sacred site for the VhaVenda people, especially the Vhatavhatsindi (“People of the Pool”) and is the focus point of folklore, myths and ceremonial rituals. The Lake is home to the Vhatavhatsindi ancestors, the python God of Fertility and the White Crocodile, who all watch over the Vhatavhatsindi. It is the White Crocodile that protects the ancestral spirits of the Lake. Please see article by Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage Unit for more on this site: