page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68

Travel Namibia 27 ? Day 20: I was woken at the ' fi rst chicken', as the Bushmen would say. I've decided to pay the villagers to build me a hut and today we went out gathering grasses for my roof. After a long walk and three hours spent tearing up grass from its roots, my hands were bleeding. In contrast, N! amace's wife Beh effortlessly managed to gather a bundle twice the size of mine, in half the time, and with a baby on her hip. When we got back from the bush, just as I was thinking about boiling the kettle for a caffeine and sugar fi x, / Gao arrived. / Gao is a medicine man and hunter. Occasionally he goes into trance and asks the ancestors where the animals and best plants are to be found. Today / Gao told me how they train young medicine men. During their training they must not ' clean their plate' as / Gao put it ( they must go hungry). They learn to make their body soft, so it moves easily when they are dancing and, when they are ready, their teacher takes them to meet all the different families of ancestors in the spirit world. The apprentice then stays in a trance for four days with the teacher watching him. To the rest of us it appears he is sleeping, and he doesn't wake up or eat at all during the four days. / Gao says this is very dangerous - not because he spends all four days sleeping and will not wake up, even to drink - but because, while in the spirit world, he must hide in the grass and under the bark of trees so the ancestors won't fi nd him. It they do fi nd him, they might not allow him to return. Dinner was bread and jam given to us by some tourists who had visited the museum. The Bushmen are not allowed to hunt in the conservancy so we rarely have fresh meat. Trophy hunters however are allowed to kill game here and they pass on the meat to villagers. We were given some giraffe meat a few days ago which - to be honest - didn't taste great. We usually have one main meal a day of rice or pasta with a tin of meat bought from a local shop. We also eat a lot of nuts and ' monkey oranges' - huge hard oranges - that grow here in the bush. ¦ Find out more information about visiting the Living Museum of the Ju/' Hoansi at www. lcfn. info ? Day 40: I was lying in the shade with Erna on the verge of drifting into sleep when some Polish tourists arrived at the museum and opted for a walk around the village. Although I did contemplate running into my new house to hide, they actually turned out to be a very friendly bunch. It was odd because I had never really thought of the Polish as the globe- trotting type but it turns out I couldn't have been more mistaken or met a more well- travelled group of people. You would think that after spending so much time with the Bushmen, I would have let go of all my preconceptions. I guess some habits just die hard. The question came up of what I missed the most. And, despite thinking for several minutes, I couldn't come up with anything anymore. I have got used to this crazy life and doing without western comforts no longer bothers me. In fact, I love it. I realise that I am happier here than I have been just about anywhere. I can't put my fi nger on it or explain why, but when I am here, I don't dream about being anywhere else. Maybe it has something to do with the people and their forgiving nature, or the fact that you can take every day at a time, living today without having to worry about tomorrow. I don't know, but I was suddenly very glad that I didn't have to think about leaving for at least another month. Above: Morris's extended family. Below left: Teacher. Far Left: Boma, Morris and Erna's son

28 Travel Namibia For decades the Caprivi Strip in Namibia's far northeast was the domain of the South African army. The region's wildlife suffered as a result, but today the soldiers are long gone, wildlife populations are rapidly recovering and Caprivi's four national parks are emerging from obscurity. In a country renowned for its arid landscapes, Mamili, Bwabwatwa, Mudumu and Mahango National Parks offer something quite different, as Stephen Cunliffe discovered. Wet wild