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Special Bushmen Cultural Experience
Get a close look at the rapidly disappearing culture of the last hunter/gatherers. Stay in either a renovated farmhouse or real grass huts. Go on a walk through the veld with a small clan of San as they show you how they gather food, start fire with sticks, and get water from underground roots. You can also be mesmorized by the healing trance dance and the San's eerie bird-like songs.
Our basic bushmen experince is the:
add on Bushmen Cultural Experience
Starting in Maun in the morning, you'll drive to Ghanzi with stop at Lake Ngami if it as water in it. Lake Ngami was the destination of Livingstone on his first trip into the interior of Africa and is home to thousands of birds wintering in Botswana. The next stop is D'kar, small village on the road just before reaching Ghanzi. Here you'll visit the Bushmen Museum and the Kuru Art Project. You'll them push on to your camp. In the evening around the fire, you'll be treated to a dance exposition.
In the morning, you'll be shown around the veld (bush) by a group of Bushmen to show you how they used to survive in this dry harsh landscape. In the afternoon you'll head in to Ghanzi, an interesting town with an amazing mix of cultures, from big burly Afrikaner farmers, to the even bigger Herero women in their full length dresses and hats, to the small Bushmen, throw in a few ex-patriot development workers and you've got Ghanzi's society. In town you'll get a afternoon ostrich eggshell bead making demonstration by the Bushman women who make the jewelry sold in Cecilia's store. After the demonstration, you'll get a chance to shop Gantsi craft and see the small museum in the back of the store.
The next morning you'll drive back to Maun to continue your Botswana adventure.
You either stay at Dqće Qare, a 18,500 acre farm owned and operated by the D'Kar Trust, a local San Bushmen Trust; or Trailblazers, or Kalahari Sunset Safaris, two small commercially run cultural camps.
Dqće Qare is a CBNRM (community based natural resource management) effort where Peter acted as fill-in manager when the regular manager was away on leave.
Trailblazers, another camp we use, located just 10 km south of Ghanzi, is owned by Julian Butler, an old friend of Pete's from his Peace Corps days. One of the men who conducts the bushwalk is Xanate (pronounced Khan-ya-tae), whom Peter has adopted as a surrogate grandfather. Best guess would put Xanate in his 70's, but because he was not born in a hospital and he does not traditionally tell "time" as we do, there is no way to confirm his age. We do know that up until forty years ago, he really lived the hunter/gatherer lifestyle shown on documentaries. Xanate's one of the last of his kind. The world will be a smaller place when he leaves it. Peter was honored to be able to take him hunting. (San bushman generally do not get much opportunity to hunt these days because of government regulations and the cost of licenses.)
Shorty, Xanate, and Peter, "The happy hunters"
We also send guests to Kalahari Sunset Safaris. Kalahari Sunset Safaris is owned and operated by another friend of ours, Andrea Hardbattle. Andrea is the daughter of an English farmer who came to Ghanzi in the 20's and a Nharo bushman woman. Andrea, while raised in Ghanzi, was schooled in England. With her special understanding of both the bushman culture and the western world, she provides especially interesting insights to visitors. Kalahari Sunset Safaris takes place on Andrea's Buitsivango Farm, located about 50 km south of Ghanzi.
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