Southern Africa 2004 - The people
   
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Off the beaten track in Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe, one of course experience people and societies quite different from the western style of living in Europe. Why do they, for example, build round huts in Botswana and square huts in Namibia? In this page some impressions of the local culture are shown. In general, one should be careful photographing people, and always ask permission first. Therefore, I seldom take photos of natives in Africa, explaining the few images of local people shown here.

In this region, there are a lot of different tribes, and traditional culture may vary from place to place. With an area of 582.000 sq km (about the same size as France) and a population of less than 2 million people, Botswana has a lot of wilderness. The Kalahari Desert covers about 75% of the country, including the entire central and southwestern regions. The Kalahari is a semi-arid expanse of wind-blown sand deposits and long sand valley and ridges stabilized by scrubby trees and bushes. The most interesting culture is probably the San or Bushmen people, although only about 55.000 remains. Due to intermarriage with other Bantu peoples, the San people are not as small and slim as they used to be.

Okavango tribe. This road-side woman looked a bit grumpy

 

A kid in the Khwai Village, Botswana

Carrying rice, Namibia

 

Botswanian women in Maun

In the Okavango region

 

Our San guide in the Tsodilo Hills

 

The Tsodilo Hills, an area considered holy to the San people

 

Tsodilo: Mountain of the Gods

Rising majestically from the surronding Kalahari, Tsodilo is Botswana's highest peak (1395 meters above sea level). These lonely quartzite rocks rise abruptly from a rippled, ocean-like expanse of desert, and are imbued with myth, legend and spiritual importance for the San people. Tsodilo is one of Africa's premier rock art sites and Botswana's first World Heritage Site. Over 4500 images have been painted at 400 sites, and most of these date between 850 and 1100 AD. Consisting of red and white images, and rock engravings, they portray wild and domestic animals, geometric patterns and humans. We spent half a day in Tsodilo Hills, and walked the rhino trail with two local guides and passed several distinct rock paintings. The two hour walk over the crest of the Female Hill (Tsodilo consists of three hills: Male, Female and Child Hill), was very interesting. Although there was no wildlife to be seen in the hills, except for some vervet monkeys and an unclassified snake, it was OK to walk instead of sitting in a car, like we did during much of the safari.

 

 

This must be giraffe's?

Cliffs in the Tsodilo Hills

 

Tsodilo Hils rock paintings

Tsodilo Hils rock paintings

 

Tsodilo Hils rock paintings

Tsodilo Hils rock paintings

 

Tsodilo Hils rock paintings

Tsodilo Hils rock paintings

 

Tsodilo Hils rock paintings

Tsodilo Hils rock paintings

 

Guma Lagoon Camp, Okavango

The tourists relaxing at Guma Lagoon, Okawango

 

Botswanian house

Namibian countryside

 

Mopipi, would you like to live here?

The poler relaxing after lunch in the Okavango Delta

 

Local bridge in Moremi

The future of the telephone kiosks...

 

Entertainment in Zimbabwe, at the Boma restaurant in Victoria Falls City

Dressed up at the Boma restaurant