Tracking School Namibia

The School of the Land – First Tracking School of the Ju/’hoansi People

A school that keeps alive our culture for the generations yet to come.

We offer deep learning experiences around the ancient skills of tracking and reading the landscape.

Our knowledge is shared on field trips and immersions with international tracking enthusiasts.

Through our field programs you can connect to a life way close to the earth, on that all humans share as a common heritage. Hunting and gathering is at the root of all of today’s manifold cultures, and we feel that it is worth being preserved now and into the future.

We are happy to share our internationally recognized expertise with you right here,  in the Kalahari in North-East Namibia, where we and our families are at home.

An ancient life way

Our people have been living in Southern Africa for more than one hundred thousand years. Our culture is one of the oldest on earth.

For such a long time, the grand sandy plains of the Kalahari have been our home.

Until just a few decades ago we were still living as hunter-gatherers, roaming freely across this vast landscape.

Despite many profound social and political changes affecting our way of life, we have been able to preserve our knowledge of how to live in the bush, even into today’s times. 

That might be why many of us prefer being called “Bushmen”, and San (= “the once living without cattle”) is ok with us, too – or if you are more adventurous you can call us by our own name “Ju/’hoansi” (= “the First People”).

A visionary project

In the area of the Nyae Nyae Conservancy in Northern Namibia a group of internationally acclaimed „Master Trackers“ has recently founded our own unique tracking school project.

Our Master Trackers /Ui /Kunta and #Oma Daqm have visited Europe several times to participate in international Tracking Conferences and among other things to interpret tracks of early humans in some Stone Age caves in France together with archeologists.

The income generated by your participation in our unique immersion programs finances training for the native Ju/’hoansi children and youth.

In this way the precious knowledge of how to hunt and gather can be kept alive within our own culture, and passed on to the future.

The Documentary

This documentary was filmed by our friends from SuperPlusFilms during a four week immersion in the first months of 2020. In it you can also see our friends in the Living Hunters Museum as well as in another community project near Tsumkwe, run by !Amashe /Naishi and his family.

We hope you enjoy watching it and we are happy when you share it with your friends and communities!

The Tracking School Location

The Ju/’hoansi Tracking school is located approximately eight miles (15km) north of the town Tsumkwe, close by a water hole called Klein Dobe, in the middle of the Kalahari.

Approximately eleven miles (20km) north of it lies the Khaudum National Park, which is a refuge for many giraffes, elephants, eland antelopes, lions and other species who enjoy the protection from being hunted, that the park offers, and can thus be observed easily.

An abundance of wildlife – and tracks!

Our place close to a water hole promises rich wildlife, too, especially throughout the dry season, as many different species come to that place to drink water. These attract predators too. When you visit us, you have a chance to see with your own eyes elephants, roan antelope, kudus, springbok, duiker, steenbok, blue wildebeest, kori bustard, ostrich and many many more.

Together we can follow the tracks and signs of many mammals, as well as all kinds of different birds, amphibians, reptiles and even insects!

At our place in Klein Dobe we can explore the first tracks as soon as the light comes up in the morning, right when you are crawling out of your tent.

Sometimes we can hear the lion´s roar in the middle of the night. Regularly we will spot the tracks of leopard, caracal, African wildcat, wild dogs, cheetah, spotted hyaena, aardwolf, porcupine, honey badger, different mongoose, warthog and others.

How to get started

When you visit us, we will meet you at the petrol station in Tsumkwe and will guide you to our place. You will need a 4×4 vehicle to get around, because the roads are deep, sandy tracks in the wilderness.

Many people who are traveling in Namibia rent a 4×4 pick-up truck with a freezer/fridge and even solar panels. Here is a car rental site where you can get cars that you will be allowed to drive on these roads. 

Basic travel equipment for the Kalahari

Please bring your own tent, mattress and sleeping bag, as well as a chair to sit on, kitchen stuff and your own food. You can buy basic food in Tsumkwe, like flour, tea, maize meal, coke and sweets etc. If you want to have the choices of a bigger supermarket you need to go to Grootfontein or even bring your food from Windhoek.

Please also bring big containers for water. There is no fresh water at Klein Dobe, so you need to provide yourself with water. The next well with fresh water directly from the deep depth of the Kalahari is at //Xa/oba, a village 2,7 miles (5 km) away.

Please inform yourself before the trip about everything you may need here, like a proper first aid kit, electrolytes, sun cream, mosquito repellent etc. In case of any medical emergency, there is a small clinic in Tsumkwe. The next hospital is in Grootfontein.

Camping costs

You can stay at our beautiful camping site in Klein Dobe for 30 N$ / pers / night.

We only accept Namdollar (N$) in cash. There is a cash machine at the petrol station in Tsumkwe.

Program

Track & sign

We spend a couple of hours together, checking out the tracks and signs around the campsite.

The early morning hours are the best for this activity, when the tracks and signs from the night are still fresh and sharp.

We can do this again and again every morning for weeks, as there are new tracks every day.

Sometimes we also go by car to other places close by.

250$ per person

Contact us

Some basic but important things to keep in mind when you plan to visit us:

  • We are living in one of the remotest areas of Namibia, sometimes electricity or mobile reception can be a challenge – please allow at least for a few days before you hear back from us.
  • Our programs can only happen when the weather conditions allow for it (not during pouring rain or during the hottest hours of the day). Any reservations are therefore loose arrangements with no guarantee, as we can eventually only know day by day or sometimes hour by hour.
  • That is why we really recommend to come at least for several days or one week, so it is easier for us to make sure, that your desired learning adventures can be fitted into the lively rhythm of our ecosystem (and social ecosystem) and you can enjoy all of it, as well as have some time to digest and relax during the hours or days when programs cannot run.
  • Payment is possible only right at the beginning or after programs, not in advance.

Do you have any questions? You are welcome to send us a message below.

We are very much looking forward to seeing you here! 

COVID-19 WARNING!

PLEASE CONSIDER THIS NOTE from Louis Liebenberg before making any plans to visit the Tracking School:

“Now is not a good time to go to Nyae Nyae. We have no idea when it will be safe for international travellers to visit due to Covid-19. It could take as long as two to three years to get Covid under control in southern Africa.

Please consider the following factors:

Many of the master trackers and potential master trackers have had Tuberculosis and are therefore immune compromised. 

If an immune compromised person is infected with Covid, he may be infectious for many months and could over a period of time infect everyone else in a village. Mutations are more likely to develop into new variants of Covid in immunocompromised persons. If an immunocompromised individual in the Nyae Nyae community is infected with Covid, there is therefore a risk that it could result in a new variant of Covid which could have devastating consequences.

Some vaccines, such as the AstraZeneca vaccine, are not effective against the South African variant of Covid. Visitors from Europe who have been vaccinated may not be protected against the South African variant, and may therefore pose a risk of infecting the master trackers. Even those vaccines that protect the individual from getting ill may not stop others being infected – someone who has been vaccinated can still infect others. There is not enough data at present to know whether a vaccine will stop someone who has been vaccinated from infecting other people.

There is some concern that South Africa may face a third wave of Covid in May/June/July, so it is too early to say when it will be safe to visit Nyae Nyae, especially if new variants emerge in future.

The devastating new wave of Covid in India shows just how dangerous the situation still is in developing countries. The same can happen in Africa. See the article in the Guardian at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/apr/22/india-hits-global-record-of-315000-new-daily-cases-as-covid-wave-worsens

At present we are providing remote support to the master trackers by sending them money.” 

We would really be more than happy to receive any donations, as they will ensure the survival of the project and our community during a time with literally no income through visitors.

As there is no sophisticated administrative structure for our endeavour existing, we can only accept donations that are transferred straight to our bank account.

You can transfer the money to:

Name: /Ui Kxunta
Account Number: 62266080648
Bank: First National Bank of Namibia LTD
C/O Fidel Castro & Independence Ave Box 195, Windhoek
Bank-Code: FIRNNANXXXX
Reference: Donation for Tracking School Community

If you also send us an email or Whatsapp-Message, we are happy to let you know, when the money has arrived safely and send you a personal thank you message.

3 + 2 = ?

© Copyright - Trackerschool Namibia | Impressum  |