Monday, July 25, 2011

Life in Botswana: Safari, July 1989

More excerpts from my parent's journal, Life in Botswana.

With our Canadian friends we went on an overnight into the bush, to a site where there was a bushman camp. The program was organized by a tour guide who set up tents and prepared meals. The bushman camp had two groups, about 100 yards apart, and, in addition to walking around the huts and peering in, we saw demonstrations of how the bushman found food and prepared it, and other things. We gave some old clothing which we had brought and gave them a small amount of money during the dance they did that night around our campfire. Interesting experience. 

The night was cold, and we all froze! The next morning we saw two elders trudge into camp with their bags over their shoulders. They had been gone five days to listen to the Government's proposal to bring them in out of the cold by giving them cattle, a borehole (well), and a school for the children. The bushmen were leery, because a school fire nearby had killed some kids. The Government policy is to encourage the bushmen to accept civilization, but most of them refuse. 

As farms expand, the bushman are pushed farther out into the desert. The Government helped many of the bushmen during the six-year drought we had, which ended in 1988, and with the rains the desert bloomed, wild animals came back and multiplied, and the bushman followed them, bumping up against cattle and farms. Now, they were faced with making an important social decision, which no one can advise them about. Our bet is that they would decide to move on to a new site, maybe 30 miles away. They customarily move every several years because of crop and wildlife reductions.


  1. hi Sarah, the first photo made me cry, and the rest amazed me with their artistic/journalistic quality. thanks.

  2. So glad I had a chance to stop by today. This is such a wonderful story. The photos are remarkable!