14 March 2011 by Kate Turkington

Walk with bushmen in the Kalahari Desert

Put on your walking shoes and follow in the tracks of the Kalahari San or Bushmen.

The place? The great Kalahari Desert in the Northern Cape. The time? Early in the morning when it’s still relatively cool, or late afternoon when the sun begins to lose some of its fierce heat.

Go on a guided trail at the Kalahari Trails Nature Reserve, led by Professor Anne Rasa, a renowned animal behaviourist and zoologist who was a pupil of the legendary Khomani tracker ‘Vetpiet’ Kleinman.

Walk in the early morning light just 35km from the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, the first trans-border park in Africa, which stretches between South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. No insect, no plant, no bird, no spoor escapes Anne’s experienced eye. She is the ultimate interpreter of desert life. www.kalahari-trails.co.za

When you go to !Xaus Lodge (Kaus) in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, you’ll be led through the red sand dunes by bushmen from the San and Mier communities. You’ll chew roots, dig tubers to get more moisture, learn how to make bird traps and follow spoor, and discover age-old medicinal remedies from the desert plants.

Make fire the Bushmen way by twirling one stick into another so that you can defend yourself against a big black-maned lion if needs be. It’s easy - just wave burning grass above your head!.

As night falls and stars pulse and glitter, you may well hear the lions roar.

Ssh! When the roaring subsides, listen to the silence - and to the stars sing.


Category: Adventure

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