Ancestral adventure in Namibia
October 21st to November 3rd 2020
Deep in the Kalahari desert we will learn directly from the descendants of the First People, the Ju/Hoansi San bushmen. The oldest sustained and continuous culture on earth, these nomadic hunter-gatherers have lived here for over 100,000 years. Here you will really experience The Old Way.
Though the modern world has inevitably weaved its influence to this remote corner of the world, and this San community are no longer nomadic, they still maintain many of their cultural practices and skills. Bow hunting with arrows using poisoned tips from beetle larvae still forms an important part of their sustenance, along with foraging plant materials from the bush.
Based at a remote Ju/Hoansi village we will be spending our days soaking up and and participating in their village culture, whilst trying to understand the life-ways and modern challenges they face.
Make a hand drill friction fire using wood from the from the mangeti bush. Gather roots and find water in desert plants, craft ostrich shell jewellery in the joyful company of the women and children. Break into small groups and head off into the bush to track and trail the stories of leopard, kudu and cheetah in the sand. We will have the rare opportunity to go tracking and bow-hunting with the men, and to dance, play games and sing polyrhythmic songs to honour the animals with the whole village.
We are privileged to have Louis Liebenberg, the esteemed South African anthropologist as our guide. Louis has been visiting and working with the Bushmen for over 30 years, knows these communities as well as anyone and is a highly skilled tracker himself having learnt much from the Bushman themselves.
We are equally lucky to have Jon Young joining us and sharing his company and insights into the deeper cultural elements of these people. Not to mention his skills as a renowned tracker, naturalist, storyteller and nature connection facilitator and cultural engineer.
/Ui and #Oma, our local guides, can read the tracks and signs of the sand like we can read a newspaper. These two bushmen who are masters of their craft, have been certified by Cybertracker as Master Trackers and are the latest in their ancestral line to practice this truly ancient art.
It’s hard to put into words what an incredible opportunity it is to experience the kalahari with these two trackers and storytellers and especially this remote San bushmen community, surrounded by the rich ecosystems of southern Africa.