The drive through Botswana to our camp at Dqae-Qare took us past remote villages, donkeys, and bright yellow flowers. Our camp is in the Kalahari on a game reserve owned by the Ncoakhoe people from the village of D’Kar. The camp site has many trees and shade to sit and enjoy the setting sun. Met with a few of the Ncoakhoe women for a bush walk into the veld. The Ncoakhoe are proud of their traditions and are willing to share their knowledge about the bush and their lives with visitors. They showed us plants they use in their daily lives for food, medicine, and moisture. The camel acacia bears pods which are food to the kudos and the giraffe. The Bushmen also use the pods as rattles for their babies. The earth is red from the high content of iron oxide and the tall golden grass is dotted with bushes and trees; very dramatic against the blue sky and white fluffy clouds. The air is hot but there is a light breeze. The San Bushmen can be traced back 40,000 years. They are the oldest hunters and gatherers known to any civilization. Today there are only about 100,000 San people left in Africa and half of them live in Botswana.
Our first night in camp brought a huge lightening storm moving over the Kalahari, an experience I wanted to be a part of. I stood in the rain and watched the bolts of jagged lightening give light to different areas. An amazing scene. The darkness and a flash of light through the bushes and trees giving for an instant a clue to a remarkable land. The rain let up and our group walked down a path to the village center where the Bushmen entertained us with their dancing, clapping and singing to represent their life in the desert, the animals, and their beliefs.
We visited their craft shop after the dancing and found a small gallery displaying paintings, woven articles, and the famous Botswana coiled baskets. This is one source of income for the tribe. The camp is located about 23km south of Maun on the road to Ghanzi.
P.O. Box 219, Gantsi, Botswana