We have a special and longstanding relationship with the Ju!hoasi Khoi San after bonding with them instantly in early 2004. This bond was so strong, that one of the elders, Kgumxo Tiqao, bestowed his own name on Rob, signifying his status as the elder’s “grandson”. This elder also performed the wedding ceremony of Rob and Charlotte in 2016.
As a result of this relationship, the Ju!hoasi Khoi San welcome our Golden Africa guests to their homeland in Xai Xai, Western Kalahari, to experience an authentic, deeply immersive and unique 3-night expedition. This experience is an unmissable chance to be truly immersed in thousands of years of soon-to-disappear history and culture of the oldest living bloodline on earth.
The Ju!hoasi Khoi San of the Western Kalahari are a people with a strong rooted culture and traditions dating back millennia, due to very minimal contact with western civilization. The current grandparent generation is THE VERY LAST of the great line of knowledge gathering and information that was raised the traditional way. For various reasons, a knowledge gap exists between the grandparent and parent generations, and the parent and child generations, that is so wide that the knowledge will almost certainly be lost forever; it is not a science, it is an art.
The immense library of information that the elders of the Ju!hoasi Khoi San carry with them defies belief. Their tracking skills, so honed after decades of experience, are second to none. The hunting skills of the men and the foraging skills of the women in the harsh environment of the Kalahari ensure their survival. We don’t know how long this indigenous knowledge will endure, which is why the opportunity for this anthropological experience with Golden Africa is unmissable.
Just Imagine Having This Experience, as Told by Rob Barber:
“After a day spent sharing in the daily activities of the Ju!hoasi bushmen, you’ve showered, shared a meal with them and rested a bit, a mystical sound begins, just off in the distance, but close enough to invite you to join.
As you walk over to the Ju!hoasi Khoi San camp, the stars are out, the fire glows an eerie orange, the women are clapping and chanting, the men are dancing, the babies are silent, almost asleep, and you’re day’s journey from the nearest signs of formal civilization.
Soon enough, one of the men falls into a trance. The women control his movement through their perfect beat and beautiful voice, and he controls his level of trance through his breathing. Never has something felt so alien, and never have you felt so involved in anything so ancient and sacred.”
You can experience this wonderful group of ancient people in their environment through an immersive and interactive journey with us in the Kalahari. These experiences are curated with the utmost respect for our indigenous hosts, with all activities designed — with their participation– to honour their land and their culture.
A portion of each safari booked with Golden Africa is contributed to the Golden Africa Trust for youth empowerment and education programmes for the Ju!hoasi Khoi San. We established the Golden Africa Trust to address the community’s most significant challenges and to integrate cultural appreciation, conservation, gender equality and to empower the communities that we work with in Botswana to prosper from their cultural and wilderness heritage.
The challenges the community face have become more prevalent since the traditional Khoi San nomadic way of life, along with their skilful hunting practices, have been negatively affected by the onslaught of external cultural influences. If no action to preserve is taken of these cultural practices and skills, then we will lose portions of the world’s oldest heritage, accumulated over thousands of years and multiple generations, and intimate understanding of unmapped land, sustainable resource-use strategies, and human coexistence with a harsh environment.
The key to saving this knowledge is to ensure that the youth learn both the knowledge of their unique heritage and the skills needed to thrive in a modern world, which can function as the tools utilized to create their fusion of cultural identity and socioeconomic success.
In knowing their history and ancestry, we hope the youth will be the future leaders and luminaries of this mission in action.