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Bespoke Namibia – Hunting with the San

£1,895.00

8 days
Namibia
Hard
Desert travel skills, Tracking
6

The aim of the course is for you to ‘go bush’ with as little western cushioning as possible, to walk, track, trap and hunt every day – learning expedition skills, field-craft and gaining the knowledge to travel safely in the veldt. You will be spending everyday exploring, walking and living in the bush with the masters of this environment – the Bushmen.

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Description

Bespoke Namibia – Hunting with the San

Expedition Dates: 7th-15th September 2018

  • Depart London on the Fri 7th to arrive in Windhoek the following afternoon on the Sat 8th
  • Departing Windhoek on the afternoon of Saturday the 15th, to arrive in London on the morning of Sunday the 16th)

 

Duration: 8 Days (in country)

Group Size: 6 Max (+ 2 Leaders / Medics)

 

Accommodation:

  • 3 nights in lodges
  • 4 nights camping

 

Climate: The Kalahari is hot and dry

  • Day-time temperature approximately: 27-35° C
  • Night-time temperature approximately: 5-12° C

 

Agreed Price (exc. Flights):

  • Deposit: £500
  • Balance: £1,895
  • Total Cost: £2,395

 

Consistent with the ethos of Wild Human, this expedition aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills required to plan and undertake your own adventures in a Desert Savanna environment. This is a hands-on experience and you will be expected to participate in all practical activities relating to desert travel and living. This means collecting firewood, helping with cooking, looking after your own sleeping arrangements, using cutting tools etc. The Wild Human team will teach you the practical routines and desert bushcraft to feel comfortable and at ease in this ‘extreme’ environment and the Bushman trackers will impart a myriad of techniques used to sustain life, from tracking spoor to hunting with poison arrows. This expedition is not simply to sample the culture or environment as a passing tourist, but to become absorbed by the spirit of the place itself, as you follow some of the last hunter- gather peoples, in what remains of this vast ancient desert.

From the outset it’s important that you understand that the expedition is NOT a cultural tour –  This is a practical desert experience in a remote location where you will be required to help with the tasks required to live and travel in such a place.

Highlights

Inclusions

General Information

We will aim to cover the following:

Emergency Field Communications: Satellite phone numbers to be released at a later date

Personal Communications: If you have an international roaming agreement for your mobile phone, we have no objections to you using it on expedition, it is unlikely you will receive a signal in the bush.

Recommended vaccinations for Namibia: It is worth seeking medical advice at least a month and a half before travelling to Namibia, as some of the recommended immunisations require a course of injections, and some should not be given at the same time. If you suffer from any allergies, be sure to inform the medical staff before having any vaccinations.

All travellers should ensure that they have completed their British vaccination schedule and boosters – see www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk

Medical support network: Expedition first-aid will be provided by the Wild Human team, who have been trained as Wilderness Emergency Medical Technicians and hold the ‘Advanced Medicine for Remote Foreign Travel’ by Wilderness Medical Training. They also hold HSE recognised first aid certificates.

Through out the expedition we will have a reliable communications system and will be in reasonable proximity to medical care, never being more than six hours drive from Grootfontein’s private hospital.

Insurance:
You must have robust medical travel insurance something like –http://www.voyagerinsurance.com/high-risk-voyager/ 

Travel documents and visas: You will require a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your intended departure date, to be granted entry into Namibia.

Nationals from all EU countries, USA and New Zealand do not need to arrange visas in advance to visit Namibia. You will be granted an initial 90 days visa stamp on entry to Namibia, free of charge.

Please note:
It is advisable to make copies of the relevant pages of your passport, your flight tickets, and your travel insurance policy in case the originals get lost.Keep one set of copies with you, one set in your luggage and leave one set with a friend or family member at home. If possible, scan these documents, and email them to yourself, using an email address with sufficient memory storage (visit www.gmail.com for a free, large storage email account).

Personal Preparation

Physical Conditioning: Pre-expedition physical conditioning cannot lessen the body’s need for water, but the amount of electrolytes lost and the efficiency of the sweating apparatus can be optimised. Prior to the trip we recommend that you begin a light aerobic fitness-training regime, working out at least three times a week. This will greatly improve your enjoyment of the course. If you are in any doubt about your ability to cope with a cardiovascular workout program, please consult your GP.

Personal Equipment:

Rip-stop cotton is ideal due to its evaporative ability, and long- sleeve shirts and trousers made from this material are excellent for desert conditions. Light earth-tone colours should be chosen, to help blend in with the environment, and to provide a degree of solar reflection. A fleece pile jacket or wool sweater is recommended for evenings and a raincoat is advisable.

A rule of thumb is “expose as little skin as possible.” The skin must be protected from heat, ultraviolet rays, insects, and water loss. A hat is an absolute necessity, and should be broad brimmed, to protect the neck and face. A bandana (or buff) soaked in water and placed between the head and the hat, can be useful as it can act as a solar air conditioner.

  • 3-season sleeping bag  – the weather will be about 30C during the day, dropping as low as 5C at night.
  • Rucksack – 60-70 lt. should be fine. Just make sure it is comfortable to walk with.
  • Cut-down cheap foam mat (if using with a thermarest, then just a yoga mat will do, to protect from thorns).
  • Thermarest (optional for comfort – a ¾ length would be best)
  • Head torch and spare batteries
  • Pee bottle (if there are scary things outside at night…we’ll buy some wide mouth coke bottles en-route)
  • Toothbrush and small paste
  • Small pack of wet-wipes
  • Small med kit and personal medication (I can send a suggested contents list if you’d like)
  • NB – there is no need for anti-malarial tablets; it is way too dry where we are going. You’ll see some crazy spiders (Camels and Kalahari-Ferraris) and other stuff, but no bugs.
  • Leather hiking boots, preferably over ankle… think snakes
  • Wool socks x 3 – ideally loop stitch merino
  • Cotton cargo trousers (no zip-offs… they rub) light colour… think thorns and snakes
  • Tough cotton shirt light colour… think thorns
  • Wide brim hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen – P20 works well
  • A large mug (can double as a bowl)
  • Knife / fork / spoon
  • Swiss army knife – for cutting biltong
  • Loud whistle – for geographical embarrassment
  • Compass – for geographical embarrassment
  • 4-liter water bladder (MSR and Ortleib are good)
  • 2 x 1-liter water bottles (At a push can be coke bottle bought in-country)
  • Foil survival blanket
  • 10 mt. Paracord, or similar light cord – for making a solar shelter from the blanket.

 

Optional Extras

  • Camera / phone / battery pack
  • Binoculars
  • Kindle
  • Sheath knife – hopefully we’ll dismantle and eat a small antelope, warthog, porcupine or something similar
  • Folding saw
  • Solar umbrella – Golite used to make a chrome-dome
  • UV torch (key-ring size) for spotting scorpions at night

 

In town –

  • Swimmers and Towel – there is a pool at both Roy’s and Chameleon.
  • Shorts – not for the bush
  • Sandals, light shoes – not for the bush
  • Civvies – travel clothes
  • Wash kit
  • Cash for beers / curios

Background:

San (Bushmen) – Southern Africa’s earliest inhabitants were the San, a nomadic people organized in extended family groups who could adapt to even the severest terrain. San communities later came under pressure from Nama groups. The Nama were a tribal people who raised livestock rather than hunted, and who were among the first pottery makers in the archaeological record books. They came from the south, gradually displacing the San, and remained in control of Southern Namibia until around 1500 AD. Descendants of the Nama and San people still live in the country, but few have retained their original lifestyles. The Bushmen make up only 3% of Namibia’s population.

LocationThe Nyae Nyae Conservancy, established officially in February 1998, was the first in Namibia. At 9,003 square kilometers; the Conservancy has 752 members and is overseen by a conservancy committee. The Conservancy’s founding has given the Ju|’hoansi greater control over what happens in their area. It has also served to instil in them new confidence and to encourage new investment and entrepreneurial activities.

The Physical Environment

Geography – The Namibian landscape consists primarily of central highlands, of which the highest point is the Brandberg Mountain at 2,606 meters. The central plateau runs from north to south, bordered by the Namib Desert and its coastal plains to the west, the Orange River to the south, and the Kalahari Desert to the east.The average altitude of the NW Kalahari desert is 1,000 meters above sea level.

Climate – Predominately a desert region, Namibia has clear and windy weather. The area we will be visiting has a dry season from April to late October.

Flora – The North Eastern area that we shall visit is predominately tree dotted bush- land, grassland and semi-arid scrub savannah.

Fauna – We will not be visiting any game parks, and the whole course will be conducted in unprotected bush-land or unfenced farmland. These areas are home to numerous antelopes, carnivores and reptiles.

Accommodation:

The first night of the expedition will be spent at the Out of Africa guesthouse in Otjiwarongo . Allowing time to recuperate from the flight, cover the initial safety briefs, have a beer, eat and relax.

The next four nights will be spent under the stars in lightweight tents camping in the bush.

Night six will be in rooms at Roy’s Rest Camp.

The final night will be in Chameleon, a relaxing guesthouse in Windhoek, with an evening meal at the famous Joe’s Beer-house.

Meals:

All of the food on the expedition will be cooked outdoors over an open fire, as the favorite way of preparing meals in Namibia is on the braai (barbecue).

Namibians are not particularly adventurous when it comes to their food; meat is pretty much the standard, however there is a post-colonial German influence on the food available. Vegetables are not popular amongst the majority of Namibians, and are viewed as the poison of the cultural imperialists. Vegetarians can be catered for, but please bare in mind that the choice of vegetables will be limited. Tinned fish will be made available as an alternative to meat.

Spending money: The Namibian dollar (N$) is only available in Namibia – you will not be able to order any Namibian currency from a UK burro-de-change. However, the Namibian dollar is interchangeable with the South African Rand at a rate of 1:1, so if you want have some cash in your pocket when you arrive, you can change some of your money into South African Rand before leaving the UK. The exchange rate is roughly £1 = N $18, for current exchange rates visit www.xe.com

It is best to withdraw your cash in small denominations, for making purchases in villages.

Time difference and jet lag: Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) + 1 Hour Namibia is only one hour ahead of the UK, so jetlag is not a problem.

Water:

You are advised to filter and treat all surface water collected away from these areas with iodine or a good micro filter.

Alcoholic Drinks:

You will be expected to pay for your own alcoholic beverages. You are asked not to drink alcohol whilst we are in Bushmanland.

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