Thursday, March 6, 2008

On the Road to Botswana (March 5-6, 2008)

We spent most of the last two days traveling from Etosha National Park in Namibia to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Along the way, we stayed one night in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, and one night in the Kalahari desert in Botswana.

In the desert, a group of local bushmen (and women) from the San tribe led us on a desert walk and showed us the roots and local vegetation that their people consume. It was fascinating to see them pull a root from the ground, and grate it with a stick to produce liquid! They also showed us how they build fire and what plants they use to dye animal skins for clothing.

A Himba woman selling crafts on the roadside in Namibia. The Himba are an ethnic group of about 20,000 to 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, and the women are known for covering themselves in a mixture of butter fat, ochre and herbs (as protection from the sun) that gives their skin this reddish color.

The San bushman who led our walk. The San are indigenous people of the Kalahari Desert, and are traditionally hunter-gatherers.

Young and old

Babies safely strapped in for the walk

A cute little girl


Jon said...

i love the himba! i saw the most amazingly beautiful himba woman in a supermarket in opuwo. she had intensely blue eyes and she was wearing traditional clothing and walking around this fantastically modern supermarket (i forget the name of the chain there in namibia, i think it's "OK supermarkets" or something like that). but anyhow the contrast of her walking around this very modern supermarket, with her traditional dress and amazingly blue eyes, is a fond memory of mine from northern namibia. keep on rockin frances!

Mark Richardson said...

I'm jealous. If you only knew how many people have told me over the past two weeks ("I wish I was doing what Frances is doing!"). And you're doing it. It must be very interesting there.