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Nhoma Safari Camp

Nestled with the traditional area of the Ju|’hoan San Bushmen on the borders of the Nyae Nyae and Nna Jaqna conservancies, Nhoma Safari Camp is about fifty miles from Tsumkwe. The camp is vital to tourism’s symbiotic relationship to the region. Guests are invited to visit this area, and the local the community is thereby enabled to buy food and supplies that they are not able to gather from the bush in their traditional way.

Arno and Estelle Oosthuysen run the camp and are intimately involved in the many cultural activities on offer, from hunting with the Bushmen to veld food collection to crafting hunting equipment to traditional games and dances. Guests are encouraged to spend most of their time with the local hunters, three or four men whose job it is to hunt in the traditional way and provide meat for the village. Every hunt is guided by Arno, who also acts as an interpreter. Along the way, the native Bushmen educate you on the area’s various flora and fauna. The animals hunted by the Bushmen include porcupine, spring hare, kudu, and sometimes wildebeest.

Nhoma offers accommodation in ten tents built on wooden decks. Three of the tents have double beds with a corner bath in a bathroom partition. Two tents have a double and a single bed and corner bath in a bathroom partition. One tent has a double and a single bed and shower in the bathroom partition. And the remaining four tents have twin beds with showers. Each tent has a private veranda, solar lighting, and mosquito netting. In a wonderful touch, all the furniture was made by Arno with the help of the community. Throw rugs are on the floors, and cream and brown linens with San motifs cover the very comfortable beds.

In addition to accompanying the Bushmen on their hunts, guests are taught how to prepare hides, set traps for smaller animals, and craft arrows and quivers. In addition to hunting, there are other traditional activities in the village such as cooking, making crafts, and brewing medicines. In the evenings, guests can visit the local village and watch the locals do their traditional giraffe and elephant healing dances.

Legend has it that the "owners of medicine" (n|umkxaosi) use the dance to heat their n/um (the power to heal) and to reach a state of consciousness where they can communicate with their ancestors, asking them not to bring bad things onto the community. In this state, they can see things they can't normally see and are able to pull the arrows of sickness out of a sick person.

While involvement in the cultural goings-on is the premiere activity, visits to the unfenced and unspoiled Khaudum National Park are also a highlight. This is an extremely remote part of Namibia, and to this day few tourists traversed these lands. Visits here are by 4x4 vehicle only and are best between July and October. Khaudum was proclaimed in 1989 and encompasses nearly 1,500 square miles. Except for its border with Botswana, the park is not fenced, and game migrates freely into the neighbouring conservancies. Northeastern Namibia’s unique woodland savanna biome is the habitat for the endangered roan antelope. Wild dogs are also endangered and are usually only seen in September and October at waterholes. As the clay pans dry up toward the end of August, huge herds of elephants congregate at the waterholes (estimates are as high as 3,500).

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