ǂKhomani Cultural Landscape
Vinkie van der Westhuizen
Vinkie’s Kalahari Experience
The word Kalahari means ‘the great thirst’. Kgalagadi, as it is commonly known these days, means ‘a waterless place’. Not everyone can survive here. This is a place for people who can handle the unforgiving heat, the barrenness, and the extremes. And yet, the ǂKhomani San Bushmen have lived here for thousands of years. They are an ancient tribe of trackers, tracers, hunters and gatherers – arguably the oldest race of humans still around.
Vinkie van der Westhuizen is trying to keep their culture and traditions alive. Long ago she decided that the best thing she can do to help the remaining ǂKhomani San is to create a business that can help the people, and bring in some money while preserving their culture.
Vinkies Kalahari Experience gives tourists a tiny glimpse into the life of the nomadic ǂKhomani San Hunter Gatherers and how they survived in this harsh landscape. Her work brings job opportunities to those who still choose to embrace their Bushman heritage as she takes tourists on a journey through San culture. Along with a traditional tracker she teaches tourists about surviving in the bush, finding food and water and hunting with a bow and arrow. With local women you can learn about craft making, traditional foods and bushcraft.
Vinkie and her team, !Xopan the tracker and Katryntjie the meerkat, are preserving the ǂKhomani San cultural heritage, one experience at a time.