Though the traditional Kalahari bushmen, or ‘San’, lifestyle is quickly diminishing there are still areas where the ancient culture of these folk prospers. A fantastic way in which to experience this is by means of a guided trail wherein you are led by Bushmen trackers who enjoy sharing their tales, knowledge of the region and remarkable skills.
Exiting your vehicle and heading out on an exploration on foot immediately alters your perspective of Africa. Taking it further by actually tracing the footsteps of the people who call this wilderness home is most certainly one of the richest and most magnificent experiences you could have. Spend time respectfully interacting with the Kalahari Bushmen themselves, and allow them to demonstrate their expertise for you.
Your guides will typically demonstrate how the San people chew roots as a substitute for water, as well as how these folk defend themselves against predators such as lions by holding burning grass above their heads. In the night time, you will have the chance to relax beneath a sparkling blanket of stars and perhaps hear the roar of a black-maned Kalahari lion.
Those who are lucky enough to have the rare pleasure of tracking an animal with the Kalahari San Bushmen hunters can observe first-hand how the Bushmen can sprint for hours whilst rhythmically beating a short stick upon their bare thighs. Their understanding of the animals allows them to foresee its movements, and continue to follow footprints over rocky terrain even when they cease to be visible. The San can endure so many hours of these chases that they often exhaust their prey to a point where one simple spear can easily finish the job.
Small in stature and with distinctive narrowed eyes with open and welcoming faces, the Kalahari Bushmen have made an art of turning the desert into their home. A short time spent alongside young hunters or the women of the tribes will prove to be a true eye-opener, supplying incredible insight into the lifestyle and wisdom of Africa’s most ancient folk. Spend time in this region visiting local craft markets and seeing the locals crafting their pieces, learning about medicinal plants, or following wildcats, jackals or aardvark.
With beautiful scenery expertly described to you by friendly and knowledgeable authentic guides, walking with the Bushmen through the Kalahari can be an unforgettable experience. They can also lead you through surrounding areas and give you the rare opportunity to experience this culture like no other in being part of traditional ceremonies that, to this day, are still a part of the nomads’ life. This is most definitely one of the finest ways to explore the gorgeous landscapes of the region.