Having inhabited southern Africa for some 25,000 years, the Bushmen, or San, are the oldest ethnic group in Namibia. Today there are about 30,000 Bushmen in Namibia, but only 2,000 of them still live a traditional life as hunters and gatherers. The women collect fruits, berries and wild onions and the men hunt. The Bushmen have a deep understanding of nature and ecology—they know hundreds of plant species and are superb trackers.
Visitors are immersed in a hands-on cultural experience that shows how the Ju/’hoansi band of the San lived and how they rely on the bush for food and medicine. The guides demonstrate ancient skills such as fire-starting, rope-making, honey-gathering, setting traps for birds and antelopes, and other skills such as the springhare probe. Often a demonstration becomes a real hunt. The community eagerly awaits the return of the hunters to see what they bring back. Everyone then participates in traditional games and the giraffe or elephant dances.
This basic but comfortable camp sits atop a dune under Zambezi teak trees. It accommodates guests in twin safari tents, each with an adjoining thatch-and-pole bathroom. The camp was built with the help of the San community as part of a project designed to help them support themselves through tourism as well as agriculture. The next step is to operate a school at the village and to involve the tribe more and more in managing the game in the area.
Photography by: Jofie Lamprecht