BUSHMANLAND

“Bushmanland” refers to Namibia’s north-eastern region (Omaheke and Otjozonjupa Regions) of the Kalahari Desert, which has been the natural environment for the San (Bushmen) for thousands of years. It is also one of the few real wilderness areas left in southern Africa. The landscape, predominantly made up of red, loose, sand includes wide open grasslands, great white pans, dry riverbeds and dense woodlands, sometimes interspersed with some of the largest baobab trees found anywhere in the world. Towards Botswana the bush becomes thick and impenetrable with large stands of teak, mopane, leadwood, acacia and silver leaf supporting a dense ground cover of shrubs and thickets.

The San (Bushman)

The name 'San' comes from the Khoi word sonqua, meaning 'those without cattle'. The name ‘bushman’, or in Dutch, Boschjesmans, was first used as early as 1652 by Dutch settlers to describe the hunter-gatherers they met when they first arrived at the Cape. Genetic evidence suggests they are one of the oldest, if not the oldest, peoples in the world, going back to perhaps 60,000 years. They have genetic traces that no one else in the world has, that put them at the root of the human tree - we are related to them, but they are not as closely related to us. They have unique markers that we don’t have! The San refer to the Kalahari Desert as “Kgalakgadi”, meaning big, dry place, but at the same time also refer to it as “the soul of the world”. Over thousands of years they have adapted to this desert and have learned, through experience, to survive where only the hardiest of desert animals can live.