The Bushmen of the Kgalagadi

History, People and Legend: The Bushmen of the Kgalagadi

The vast, Kalahari has long been the home of the Kgalagadi Bushmen. Mysterious to those of us used to our modern, technology packed lifestyles, these peaceful and proud hunter-gatherers have stepped forward to once again take charge of the land that was theirs before mankind even ventured out of Africa, no longer forgotten and dismissed as they were throughout so much of history.

Calling the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park their home, this ancient stretch of land is echoingly empty, filled only by the burning sun and dust, silent with the long history of this parched land where springbok and wildebeest play. The San people have called this landscape home for thousands of years, living in an intimate coexistence with the land and now also her tourists.

Things haven’t always been smooth for these hunter-gatherers, however. It was only in 2002 that the Khomani and Meir San were able to reach agreement with the South African Government to recognise this ancient land as their own. Previously, the indigenous San people have struggled with sticky issues of colonisation and the modern urban landscape. However, this stretch of land is now their own, with the local community taking ownership of the tourism facilities in the area. Visitors to the area can now accompany the San people as they track animals through the desert, and learn more about their ancient and proud culture, sharing stories and myth as you watch them craft their traditional wares. Learn about their cultural practices and beliefs as you participate in their daily life and routines.

The modern Kalagadi bushmen don’t want to be seen as relics of the past, or romanticised playthings for more ‘modern’ people. Here you will come face to face with a culture that honors and treasures its past and traditions while planning for the future, showcasing a harmonious relationship with the land that has been forgotten around the world.

Let Phofu Kalahari Lodge team help you embrace the past and explore the present with the Bushmen of the Kgalagadi, and learn more about yourself in the process.