Tailor-Made Holiday

Namibia - Walking with the Bushmen

8 days

from £2,995pp (excluding flights)

Walking with the Bushmen of Namibia is one of the most profound cultural experiences Africa has to offer. The Ju/’Hoansi San’s knowledge of the flora and fauna of this remote corner of Namibia is extraordinary and to join them on a hunting foray is to gain an insight into a way of life that is fast disappearing.

  • Join local bushman on a hunting expedition in the Nyae Nyae conservancy
  • Witness an ancient ritual as a special guest at a bushman healing dance
  • Visit Khaudum National Park, home to elephant, wild dog, lion, roan antelope, oryx and wildebeest
  • Stay at the exclusive new Xaudum Lodge, a five star property giving access to Namibia’s most wild and remote national park

to whom will this holiday appeal?

This is not a trip for the faint hearted and is best suited to travellers who have been to Africa before and are now looking for something beyond the ordinary. Expect long days spent travelling on rugged tracks and you will need to have a moderate level of fitness in order to keep up with the Bushmen on their hunting foray. Accommodation is mixed, staying at a luxury five-star lodge in Khaudum followed by luxury, supported camping with the Bushmen. While aspects of this holiday may prove challenging the rewards are an authentic, insightful and exciting experience in a part of Namibia, often overlooked.

The oldest tribe in the world

The Bushmen are the world’s oldest tribe and are permitted by the Namibian government to live a traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle in the Nyae Nyae conservancy, south of Khaudum National Park. This trip gives adventurous travellers the opportunity to spend time with the Bushmen over a period of three days, guided by an English speaking Ju/’Hoansi whom will act as interpreter and translator throughout this fascinating experience.

Bushman hunting experience

You will be invited to join the Bushmen community – men, women and children, as they relax and play games during the afternoon. The next day you will join a hunting party – usually a group of three or four men, dressed in traditional loincloth (shona) and armed with  bow and arrows (with poisonous tips). Using age-old tracking skills the Bushmen will go in search of antelope, guinea fowl, spring hare or porcupine. As you follow behind your English speaking guide will explain the way in which the Bushmen interpret spoor along the way. 

Healing dance

For one of your evenings in Nyae Nyae (while staying at Little Hunter’s Camp) you will be invited to a Bushman healing dance. This is a rare opportunity to witness a ritual that has been performed unchanged for millennia. The healing dance is attended by all of the village and with the help of intense singing and clapping from the women, the healers (usually older men) go into a trance and lay healing hands on their fellow villagers. This is a genuine and authentic encounter, giving a privileged and intimate insight into the Bushman's beliefs and values.

Khaudum National Park

Staying at the new luxury Xaudum Lodge, you will have access to Namibia’s most remote wilderness, Khaudum National Park. This is not a park for first timers to Africa but more for travellers that appreciate the privilege of taking safaris across untamed landscapes without other safari vehicles in sight. Wildlife here includes lion, wild dog, roan antelope, tsessebe, oryx and wildebeest, all of which can be seen when on game drives. The big draw card though is elephant, of which there are somewhere between 2,000 – 3,000 present in Khaudum. The park comprises of approx. 20 waterholes all of which have well established, raised platforms from which one can view and photograph the wildlife.

cost and dates

The cost shown is based on low season and four people travelling together. Steppes has set aside the following dates for this itinerary however please enquire if you are keen to have the Bushman and Khaudum experience as a couple or at a different time of the year:

26th May - 2nd June
02nd June - 09th June
28th July - 04th August
04th August - 11th August

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 2995 £ 1100
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation and meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Voyage gratuities
  • All transfers

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Frankfurt

Fly Frankfurt to Windhoek overnight

Day 2

Fly Windhoek Eros Airport to Rundu

Drive from Rundu to Khaudum National Park and Nyae Nyae Conservancy (Road Journey)


On arrival in Rundu, meet your driver for the transfer to Khaudum, a journey that will take approx 3 hours 30 minutes.


In a country that does wild and remote like no other, Khaudum National Park is one of Namibia’s wildest corners. Known as the Northern Kalahari Sandveld, Khaudum National Park is located in the south-eastern corner of Namibia’s Kavango region.

The area around the park is sparsely poplulated. The Kavango people, mainly belonging to the Gciriku tribe live west and north of the park while the San people, also known as bushmen are the main residents south of Khaudum, where the Nyae-Nyae conservancy has been established to help the San people benefit from the wildlife they live alongside.

By Namibia standards the park is small at approx 3 841 km² but this still provides ample room for the mammals and birds that call Khaudum home. With 12 official waterholes and 2 small natural springs Khaudum Park has excellent game viewing although the wildlife here is properly wild and less habituated than its eastern neighbours in Etosha. Do not expect to see the Big 5 on a game drive in Khaudum but you will see a variety of African game in a wild and pristine Kalahari environment. The park is reknowned for its rare roan antelope and tsesebee, especially in the northern part of the park. The endangered African wild dog has also been seen in Khaudum although given its enormous range, sightings are by no means guaranteed. Large populations of elephants occupy the park during the dry season with over 3000 animals counted during the most recent full-moon game count. Other wildlife includes giraffe, eland, red hartebeest, kudu, gemsbok, steenbok, duiker, bat-eared fox, hyena, lion and leopard. The Nyae-Nyae area in the south of Khaudum Park has been set aside as a conservancy to allow the local Bushmen population to live a traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyle.


You will be staying at Xaudum Lodge, All inclusive

Day 3

Safari in Khaudum National Park
A safari in Khaudum National Park offers an authentic wildlife viewing experience, in a park that is far removed from the main tourist circuit. Khaudum is a transition park, sat between a wet eco-system and a dry eco-system, where unusually one can see rain-loving tsessabes rubbing horns alongside the hartebeest, renowned for preferring the drier plains. Drive alongside Zambian teak forests looking for birds and mammals seeking shelter from the sun or explore the vast open plains known as omurambas (dry river beds) where the wildebeest, roan and oryx graze. Khaudum is home to predators - lion, leopard and wild dog, all of which compete for food while the animal that can be seen most often is the elephant. Spend hours sat quietly on sheltered viewing platforms, overlooking one of the many waterholes in Khaudum, where elephants, antelope, predators and raptors are frequently seen.


You will be staying at Xaudum Lodge, All inclusive

Day 4

Safari from Khaudum National Park to Nyae Nyae conservancy
The journey from Xaudum Lodge to Nyae Nyae conservancy takes approximately six hours and is a fascinating safari, exploring the southern reaches of Khaudum National Park. Visit waterholes en route to see elephants slake giant thirsts and drive through giant Zambian teak forests. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Dorsland baobab - a gigantic, part-fallen boabab tree with names of Dorsland trekkers from 1891 carved into its ancient bark.


You will be staying at Little Hunter's Museum Elephant Song Camp, All inclusive

Day 5

Hunting foray with the Bushmen
Your companions on the hunting excursion will usually be a group of three or four men, dressed in traditional loincloth (shona) and armed with bow and arrows (with poisonous tips). Using age-old tracking skills the Bushmen will go in search of duikers, dik-dik, springbok, guinea fowl and spring hare. As the Bushmen move gracefully through the bush, your English speaking guide will explain the way in which they interpret tracks, spoor and scat along the way. There will be several opportunities to stop, drink water and catch breath - usually while the Bushmen enjoy a long, hard smoke! You may experience a hunt for porcupine which involves digging the animal out of its lair. To some, witnessing this event may be disturbing but the Bushmen have a respect for their quarry and will do their best to cause minimal stress to the animal leading up to its death and will only ever kill what they need. Be prepared for a full day in the bush today as it is impossible to tell just how quick the Bushmen will be successful in their hunt (if atall).


Bushman Healing Dance
Late in the evening you will be invited to attend a healing dance in the local village.This is a rare opportunity to witness a ritual that has been performed unchanged for millennia, bringing together men, women and children from the Bushman community. Centre stage are the healers - usually old men whom, with the help of intense singing and clapping from the women in the village, go into a trance and lay healing hands on their fellow villagers. The men dance to the rhythm of the clapping and as the tempo increases their bodies vibrate more and more fervently. This is a genuine and authentic encounter, giving a privileged and intimate insight into the Bushman's beliefs and values.


You will be staying at Little Hunter's Museum Elephant Song Camp, All inclusive

Day 6

Safari from Nyae Nyae conservancy to Khaudum National Park
The journey from Nyae Nyae conservancy to Xaudum Lodge takes approximately six hours and is a fascinating safari, exploring the southern reaches of Khaudum National Park. Visit waterholes en route to see elephants slake giant thirsts and drive through giant Zambian teak forests. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Dorsland baobab - a gigantic, part-fallen boabab tree with names of Dorsland trekkers from 1891 carved into its ancient bark.


You will be staying at Xaudum Lodge, All inclusive

Day 7

Drive from Khaudum National Park and Nyae Nyae Conservancy to Rundu (Road Journey)

Fly Rundu to Windhoek Eros Airport

Fly Windhoek to Frankfurt overnight

Day 8

Fly Frankfurt to London

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Xaudum Lodge

Xaudum Lodge

Located inside Khaudum National Park on a prehistoric sand dune overlooking its namesake the Xaudum Omuramba (or dry river bed), the lodge comprises of nine rooms - four doubles and five twins....

View Accommodation

Little Hunter's Museum Elephant Song Camp

Little Hunter's Museum Elephant Song Camp

Located in the Nyae Nyae conservancy, 25 kms north of the town of Tsumkwe, the Little Hunter's Museum comprises of a bushmen community offering genuine insight into the Ju/'Hoansi hunter-gatherer lifestyle....

View Accommodation

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Destination Experts

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Illona Cross, Travel Expert

"Illona was quite simply brilliant. She listened and carefully noted what we thought we wanted, made suggestions and came up with an itinerary which suited us down to the ground."

"Excellent personal service; well-informed local knowledge; dependable outcome; quality of experience."

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Jackie Devereux, Travel Expert

"Every part of our trip was the highlight and it is not possible for us to point out just one thing, event or place."

"However, we received a magnificent surprise of a helicopter ride between camps in Botswana which meant a flight over the delta and an opportunity to see the delta and how it is formed. It was a wonderful surprise organised by Jackie and we were both absolutely overjoyed with the opportunity. I do not believe that there was more that could have been done as we had a magnificent trip."

"Jackie was excellent- she listened and was very knowledgeable."

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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