In 2020, guests at Shamwari Private Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth will be able to enjoy insights into the ancient skills and wisdom of San hunter-gatherers during guided bush-walks.
Pairs of renowned Ju/’hoansi trackers from Nyae Nyae in remote north-eastern Namibia will be teaming up Shamwari guides to offer something really special. The Ju/’hoanis are the last of the San people in Southern Africa who still command the full suite of hunter-gatherer skills.
They track and hunt with bow and poisoned arrow, and the fittest amongst them engage in persistence hunting – pursuing an animal until it drops from exhaustion. They have the extraordinary ability – passed from generation to generation for tens of thousands of years – to track wildlife across almost any terrain, interpreting the animal behaviour intimately as they go.
Only a handful of trackers across the Kalahari Basin have been accredited as Indigenous Masters, the highest possible level of accomplishment. In January, two of the very best, Master Trackers /ui-Kxunta and /ui-G/aqo, will join with Shamwari’s own skilled rangers on the first trail, limited to a maximum of six guests on each excursion.
Other ace trackers such as Dam Debe – who played a cameo part as a child in The Gods must be Crazy – will make their appearance on later trails. While tracking is their extraordinary forte, the trackers will also offer demonstrations of their fire-lighting skills with fire-sticks and bow-and-arrow performances (sans poisoned tips). Guests will be invited to try their hand at tracking, archery and rock art interpretations, and be able to listen to fireside stories of the old ways in distant times.
Joe Cloete, CEO of Shamwari Private Game Reserve says, “We can imagine no better way to experience the African wilderness than on foot with these custodians of ancient wisdom and unsurpassed skills of tracking and bushcraft.
“Only a handful of bookings are available (SUBS NOTE: dates below) This is a rare opportunity and one to be seized upon and treasured: tracking in the bush with custodians of millennia-old skills, combined with unsurpassed luxury at an Explorer Bush Camp,” says Cloete.