Heading out on foot with a local San bushman as your guide is a fantastic way to learn more about the culture and lifestyle of one of the oldest races on the planet.
© Go on a bush walk with San trackers at Haina Camp
Discover the World of the San Bushmen
Walking through the Kalahari landscape with one of the local San Bushmen provides a unique insight and perspective into the culture and expansive knowledge and understanding these indigenous people have of the land. Aside from the enchanting 'clicking' language of your guide, the first aspect one will usually notice is the wonderfully characterful face your host and his friends, who are all members of the local San or Basarwa tribe, a group of people who have lived and survived in this part of the world for many centuries.
Walking through the bush with your guide will allow you to see and experience the environment and landscape surrounding you. Look with new eyes as he points out different plants and explains their different qualities and uses. Some of the plants hold a lot of water, which can be squeezed out and drunk if one is in need of water, others have strong medicinal qualities while others are delicious to eat.
Further along your walk you might see a sheath of grass standing up a certain way, and learn that this indicates that a something special is hidden a little way below the surface. Dropping down onto his hands and knees your guide begins to dig through the dry soft earth and sure enough a large root like plant is uncovered that has special medicinal or culinary qualities.
Learn How to Make Fire
An important skill for any bushman is the ability to make fire, and your host will most likely be happy to show you're the tools and skills needed to make a small pile of sticks into a large, welcoming fire. The San people are talented hunter, often chasing their prey through the bush for hours and hours until the animal stops due to exhaustion and the San hunter is able to aim a well-placed poison arrow into the animal.
How They Create Their Beautiful Bead-Work
Making bows and arrows is thus a vital survival skill and one the hunters of the tribe do with skilful speed. While the men traditionally take on the role of the hunters, the women of the tribe are happy to also show you how they prepare the families food and create the beautiful hand crafted jewellery they adorn themselves with.
Spending time with the San people provides wonderful insight into their hunting and gathering lives, from the way they hunt game animals for sustenance to the trees they climb to collect fruit. A unique experience is to watch the tribes Shaman (priest) chanting as he goes into a trance to speak to the spirits around him.