Grassland Bushman Lodge is west of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Neeltjie, the owner, speaks fluent Naro and took us to meet a San group in a small temporary settlement and we were invited to watch as they played traditional games and dancing, and also to follow them around whilst they gathered food and explained how they use certain plants, then made a fire and cooked various items of bush food for us. We were extremely lucky to have what seemed like the whole community with us, the kids were not at school and joined in enthusiastically. They were gathering some food ‘for real’, not just for show, in fact it got quite late but we couldn’t make for home until they’d found a particular plant they wanted that day!
I am VERY wary of so-called ‘cultural experiences’, and usually find even the idea of them excruciatingly embarrassing. This was something totally natural and you didn’t feel that you were intruding, on the contrary they were so happy to be able to show guests their traditional ways, and got terribly offended if we didn’t take photos. It was also good to hear that it’s a good day’s entertainment for them too, they did it with such good humour and obvious enjoyment.
Unfortunately I didn’t take advantage of the experience to take better photographs, I am not comfortable taking ‘people pictures’, but I am happy to have a few photos to remember the day.