Windhoek – Ghanzi, Botswana
We begin the day meeting the guides before making our way to Botswana border post and the Kalahari Desert. After completing border formalities we will begin to spot villagers, cattle, donkeys and sheep along the roadsides. We arrive at our lodging in Ghanzi in the evening and we are treated to an experience of traditional tribal dancing performed by the local San community.
Botswana has been independent since the year 1966 and contains three of the world’s most abundant diamond mines which have made the country rather wealthy. Botswana is presently 40 years old and is known as the African success story.
Politically stable with high economic standards and the good sense to invest in education and healthcare as well as devoid of the racial issues that have afflicted most other African countries, Botswana has the greatest economy in sub-Saharan Africa. The government uses a strategy of high income and low impact tourism, where the amount of tourists entering any area of the country is decreased by charging much more than adjacent countries, thus making it more restricting to the budgeting traveller.
Previously known as Bushmen, the San are indigenous to Southern Africa and have resided here for over 30,000 years. It is fascinating to learn about the conditions of Africa in the past and how the San managed to survive in the desert surroundings, living in peace with nature. There is a belief that the word ‘San’ meant ‘wild people who cannot farm’, but historically, they did not have a word for themselves. Now, however, they call themselves ‘Ncoakhoe’ meaning ‘red people’, but the term ‘San’ remains chief. They were roaming people, largely hunter gatherers travelling to where food and water could be found. There are only approximately 55,000 San left of which almost 60% reside in Botswana, whilst the remainder dwell in Namibia and northern South Africa.
Countless examples of their dramatic and extraordinary cave paintings can be seen peppered around Southern Africa – an indication of the truly nomadic San tracking their movements historically. Unfortunately, in the present their traditional lifestyle has been battered by colonial influence and they can now be located in the ‘squalid alcohol plagued settlements’ or on farms and cattle posts.
Accommodation: Two Per Room: Ghanzi Trail Blazers or Dqae Qare San Lodge
Facilities: En-suites Per Room, Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Windhoek to Ghanzi ±520 km
Included Highlight: San Tribal dance in evening
Border Post: Namibia: Buitepos, Tel: +264 62 560401, Open: 07h00-24h00, Botswana: Mamanu, Tel: +267 (0) 659 2013/2064, Open: 07h00-24h00