Meet the Bushman hunters, Part 1 - Solo Africa Overland, Episode 15
[Music] Good morning. I have left the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park and I'm heading South This is the road that takes you to back to Upington I have come to see the Bushmen that live here in the northern part of South Africa I'm very interested about their culture. I read few books about them and uh, I couldn't miss the opportunity to, to visit them So I'm going to join one of them while we walk through the land they still have here, in northern South Africa They were kicked out of their ancestral land when the Kgalagadi National Park was created and they went to live to some farms of people that saw what happened and they decided to give them a place to live.
Recently, like 20, 25 years ago, um the South African Government thought that they needed to get some land back and the Government bought some farms in this area and gave them to them so they could establish on those lands So now I'm going to visit one of these little towns where they live and I'm going to... see how they keep their, um... ancestral traditions, if it's still possible to keep them or if they already have had too much contact with uh... modernity and the Western civilization and they don't want to live like that anymore So I'm going to walk with one of them and, let's see what he has to explain Game farm is 6,000 Hectare So all the animals is giraffes, eland, blue wildebeest red hartebeest, oryx, springbok and then small antilopes There's no like, predators Okay Like lions, cheetahs...
Okay... so it's like the park but without the cats Yeah, without the cats, you see If I call you Bushman you will..., you will look at me? Yeah, because it's my name Because it's your... Yeah, that's right...
Yeah, my culture. It's your culture. Yeah, I like my culture So what if I..., they call you San? I will look grim to you Ah! So you don't like it, huh? No Okay. Good to know. For those of you calling them San because you think it's polite, they would like to be called Bushman because they are Bushman.
So now you can look on the direction of the track what direction the track goes Uh-huh So, if you can see this here You see this mark here. Yes there you see these tips, you see? so it was going that side Now you can see what animal is it, so... So this one is a Springbok Uh-huh You see, it's not big, it's not heavy, you see you see, so you can also see the difference between the female and the male Uh-huh. How do you know? The female, will be smaller, see? and the male will give you these marks, open on the back side, because is heavy too little bit bigger than the female So you know this is a male This one is a male, this one is a female and it was walking from there... Yeah, from that side On that direction On that direction, it's going, you see? And you always have to put the sun in front of you Yeah, always you must look to see the sun Okay You see, the sun is on that side and the track will be in the middle All right And they went that side And was it an older track, you see, from yesterday, must look like this one Ah! You see, that's a yesterday's track So that means this is a fresh track Yeah, you see it is a fresh track this one Ah! Yeah Cape Fox.
Cape Fox. Yeah, the Cape Fox. So you can nicely look here, there comes the track Yes The Cape Fox was coming on that direction, here. It was coming here,
Uh-huh, OK He wants to leave some droppings here, see? and the dropping's there Okay Yeah, so that's the Cape Fox So you know it's a Cape Fox, because of what? Because the Cape Fox is not so big It's this high, you see? Yeah So, the Bat-eared Fox is this high Okay A little bit higher. It's a Cape Fox. Okay Nice track Okay, so you look from here Mhm See? He comes that side and here he was still, See? Mhm To listen the vehicles nicely and then he was in a rush Now, you can see, he's this high, here Mhm Yeah So that's gonna be your... your Bat-eared Fox Bat-eared Fox Yeah, Bat-eared Fox... you see, it's bigger that the Cape Fox
It's bigger than the Cape Fox Because you see also... his... size is a bit higher Uh-huh You see, because it's very hard here, see... so you can see its track nicely Mhm Clear... so all this that you see here is Night Mouse They're small mice, Yeah Also seen in the night, not during the day. During the day will stay in its burrows So those are mice? It's a mouse, this one, you see? Uh-huh Oh! This one here, that comes through here and goes around? Goes around, you see.
And the other one is the Cape..., the, the Bat-eared Fox Bat-eared Fox, this one here The Bat-eared Fox. So this the one is what you see here. It was coming from that side, you see? after here she turn here, so was looking for seed pods here here you see his nails Uh-huh So, it's that, uh? Yeah, here he comes. So is in that direction you see? So his nails show the direction he was in there Ah! The nails show the direction it's walking to Where he was going to Because it drags the nails when it's walking Yes It's old Yeah, it's old, the beetles go inside there How do you know it's old? Because you can see the spider eggs also inside there Ah! There's a... It's not deep, you see? OK. It's not deep, you see? It's old, it only was *** ants and beetles.
So you know when the burrow belongs to a snake because you see the track going into the hole? Yeah. OK. In and out OK. In and out? Yeah, in and out Ok. So this is what you have to look at if you see a hole on the ground and you want to know if it belongs to a snake you have to look for the track.
It's a small steenbok Yes, a small steenbok and it was going that direction Now about... there's a story about how the Steenbok is you see, You have a nice story So the first is.... the big ears The big ears is there to here 70 m away Uh-huh You see, and why it has the brown color? To camouflage. And the white also. To camouflage there
Of the cheetah or the lion To camouflage, huh? To camouflage, you see You see... so, what the Steenbok is do, when a predator is hunting, he will run and he will stay, and listen and then he feel like about it marking the territory, he'll mark over here Then he first dig, then leave his droppings, then he close again Uh-huh So when the predators come he will dig some smell You see, there's no smelling around So he marks his territory You see So when one die, the female die, the male will stay only on his own, like alone Uh-huh Because, he's not an animal will drink every water His water is like, the small leaves, you see, this is water, the small grasses See, so it's not the animal that come every day to water. He can survive without water Uh-huh Yeah that's the **** And that's a Steenbok, huh? The Steenbok The shoe track... Yeah It's from yesterday because there's the animal track on top of it, so you... this way you can
know how fresh it is, right? Yeah, then you can know. If you have like that track, here the vehicle yeah You see. When one like that is fresh, you see. so that track is fresh from the vehicle Yeah And now you look a old track from here, you see here, is a old track Uh-huh Yeah, so you will see also here. These animals over like that Okay, cause the animal tracks are on top of the wheel tracks Yes Okay Which one is the Eland? This one here The big one, huh? Yeah, the big one it's the Eland.
Yeah. So it was passing that direction, you see It's going on that direction That direction So it's a old track. It's two days old Two days old? Yes. That track How do you know it is two days old? Because, you can see if you look here You see, all the animals is pass his track, you see, passing here also So it's two days old Okay Yeah And what are those? Excuse me? What are those? From the Eland Oh! Those are from the Eland, too Yeah. From the Eland. Old Eland droppings, huh? Yeah. Old Eland droppings
Can you see here? So here the Eland was sleeping Oh! It was sleeping here Yeah This is the shape of the leg? It's his leg, see? This part of his leg This is the... this is the front part Yeah, the front part. There's the back legs. This is...the shape Yeah Here it passed, it was going that direction And it slept here Yes, it slept I can't go and hunt here You need the permit. You need the permit. From whom? From the CKA. Community
Yeah. So they'll give you a permit and then you can come and hunt. Traditionally. With bow and arrow With bow and arrow How often do you do that? In the park, is now nicely easy for us to go and hunt Yeah, because there's a concession that only belongs to you Yes, you see And then you can go and hunt in there yeah You don't need... You don't need the permission from anyone? No Just from the community? Yeah. What you do, you go to the park, give them your permit, you see and then you tell them what you want...
Uh-huh to hunt You want to hunt one Oryx... Uh-huh But you cannot bring the meat out You can't? You can't So if you hunt it in the park... Yeah, you eat it there You eat it there. Yeah But then, what'd you do? You need to bring your families there, to eat it Yes you must eat it Ah! They don't come back They don't come back And that thing is called Three Sisters Yeah And it's on the Namibian side No, is in South Africa side Oh! It's going to Namibia but it's in South Africa Yeah It is a permanent waterhole...
Yeah, permanent waterhole And you say that people have died in that waterhole, so you don't want to get near it No, no Look, you see here? All the burrows here Yeah So this one is your... Aardvark This is an Aardvark that has done all these burrows? He did all these burrows... so he was feed on ants You see, he was feed on ants here Yeah, many... many holes, huh? Yes, he was feed on ants here So this is what they do when they... they're coming for the ants? Yeah, what they do They dig there, then they will come back and dig here and eat here dig there, then it dig there, then it dig there and eat until is full Yeah Before... before the sun comes up he will come back to his burrows
Because they're nocturnal animals, huh? Nocturnal animal During the day you did not saw him The Duiker, huh? Yeah, the Common Duiker Yeah, very small Yeah, very small, you see? It's very old It is old? Yeah, it's old It's like coffee! Yeah. You see? He stay in this territory here Uh-huh Yes, they look like a coffee bean Yeah, they look like a coffee bean, you see? Yeah it's also hard... Yeah Like a coffee bean Yes Lowland Bushman Grass That's the name of this grass? Yeah, the name of this grass. Lowland Bushman grass Mhm You see? So this grass, like April, May... Yeah You see, they will become a truffle You see, a truffle. Do like this The Kalahari truffle Ah! You see, a crack, you see, give you a crack like this...
Yeah You know there's a truffle there So what is that? You eat it? You eat it, you see Uh-huh That truffle, what the people dig there in Australia, also with the, with the pigs You see Ah! So it's... it's a real truffle. The..., the expensive one, huh? Yeah, you see. This one is a Kalahari truffle for us Ah! And you eat it You eat it. You clean it with water and then you can cook it I feel it inside of me Yeah I... i proud of it, you see? I'm a Bushman
Yeah I know how to take a track Yeah You see? And I know how to see, how old is that track and what direction that track go Yeah and how to make a hard stick, you see? How make a bow and arrow Yeah And I can use it, to get food for my family Yeah To support But some Bushmen don't know how to do those things Yeah they didn't... They lost it Lost it These years everything changed When a child grow up Yeah He will see a phone in his face Yeah You see, when he is Ahhh!... mom give him a phone Right You see, first things.... mom show how do... to Facebook Mom show how do Google Yeah Here is your phone Nature Yeah See? Nature I'm every day here to do this So basically you live the traditional life Yeah, I... I live it M-huh So there's no other thing that I can do, is only this My culture Yeah. M-huh If you didn't have a life, what you gonna do with your own self? Right. Exactly
You have to keep the essence of your culture... Yes to keep your culture alive Yes Also helping the small children... yeah to grow up with the culture Yeah You see So do you teach them? I teach them everything. My secrets, you see. And learning what you must use for that and that M-huh That's why you learn everything. You tell them your story Yep How is it called? Dcãa Uh-huh The dcãa grass Now, during the year this grass will stay... green
M-hm Winter, summer... green You see. It's only the middle side that will die. Not properly die. It grows Uh-huh It grows.
Yeah So, all the animals are going for it... you see Because, cows will go for this grass, horses, sheeps... all these animals will go Oh! So all the animals are looking for this type of grass This type of grass Because it stays green all year round All year. Too many protein inside Ah! Yeah, a lot of protein inside A lot of protein? Yeah, a lot of protein here Yeah That's one is your plant. If you can see, if you go closer you can look this These **** is in the back side So... Why the Kori Bustard gets the name of Kori Bustard? That bush have a glue M-hm You see, when it get his flowers then he get the glue M-hm You see, what us do is collect too many of this glue put it together in one place... then, so now he can walk in that side
M-hm He go inside there and he must turn Anytime, when he's done he cannot come back because he cannot come out, you see Ah! That will hold him there All right. So let me see if I, if I get it right You get all the glue from this, this bush here you put it all together inside Yeah And then when the Kori Bustard... Come and then he will stay in the glue Okay, it will get stuck in the glue and cannot come out Yeah, he'll get stuck and he cannot come out And then you come and get it I get it All right And then I have too many meat Yeah, because it's a big bird huh? It's a big bird. He's come to 18 kg
18 kg? Yes Good. Is it tasty? It tastes like chicken, man! Chicken? Yes, everything tastes like chicken. Yeah! (Laugh) Especially birds Yeah! It's meat, man (Laugh) You see When the fl... when it blooms
Yeah Then it's when you get the, the glue The glue You see This one is an Aardvark This is an Aardvark? Yeah, and this last night Aardvark Uh-huh Yeah, you can see, his toes is 1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3, you see? Uh-huh 1, 2, 3. And here's his tail mark, also It's dragging the tail Yeah, dragging the tail OK, can you see here? It's also a mark here Yeah This one is your Springhare Uh-huh See? There's his back legs. There his tail mark So ...that's... those are the back legs? And this is, what? His tail Ah, the tail! The tail, you see. So it was jumping from here and jumped to there Ah, jumped! And there to there. So it's a small kangaroo Ah! It's also a night animal ... grass Yep So when you get that grass, us do, we do building houses You build a house with that? Build a... build a house with this grass
So when it's green, the animals will go for here It's a good grass but... it's like... it's like... it's like petrol, you see? Yeah When you give it a match in there...it goes Fuub! Right Yeah Starts a fire easily, huh? Yeah A Veld fire Veld fire Hunting an Eland Yeah So Eland is not like the other animals that have the strong heart to fight back Mhm The Eland is this one he has a small heart inside, you see? M-huh So when he feel tired he will stand and look you Yeah He's looking in your eyes, why you want to kill me? Yeah You see... and when he look you that moment you will see his teardrops will fall out Uh-huh he will cry Yeah You see, like a human being, crying Yeah You see. So how you feel in that moment
to kill this animal? Yes So that's why I cannot say I would like to kill an Eland I don't want to kill an Eland You don't want to kill the Eland because you feel sorry for the animal Yeah, sorry for the animal M-huh You see Yeah. And other animals, they don't look at you the same way Yeah, they don't look at you the same way, you see Mhm Like your oryx... will fight for, for life M-hmh. Is any... any of those animals dangerous for you? like... like they will come back to you when you... when you... use your arrow?
Yeah, like the oryx will come back the wildebeest... when the bull is alone Mhm Yeah, he'll attack you So it's... it's different, you see? Mhm The Springbok is... is... is good He'll also run away Ah! Yeah So, how... how close do you have to be from the animal in order to use your bow and arrow? You must look... you must be very close to him
and you look also like your win direction also, and your bow and arrow size M-hm You see Very close is like, what? How close? Like from here to that tree Yeah Yeah, that's very close So, if the animal is farther than that you cannot use it You cannot use your bow and arrow Yeah, you have to plan to come closer to him M-hm. But what you do to get closer to the animal? You must go... you must... like a cat M-hm Yeah, until you come closer to him M-hm Cuz you must look also at the wind direction, you see? so when you in that size he cannot smell you from that side, you see? Ah! You have to come from the other side, huh? Yeah, when you in that side and the wind blow from that side, if he's in that side so he will get quickly your...
your smell, you see? Okay Then he will run and when he's in that side he didn't get your smell Okay So, so then you can survive Okay Then you can come closer to him Okay And kill him there And when you, when you go to hunt to your... that concession that is just for Bushmen in the National Park... uh... here, there are no predators but there, there are lions and there are leopards Yeah Are you afraid of them? You must be afraid because you didn't know what he think at that moment when you come together M-hm You see So you must first talk to, to, to cat and... You talk to them? Yeah, I talk to cat What do you tell them? You must tell cat he must open your way for you where you go to... to that way Okay Hunting So... you tell them to move aside
because you have to go that way? Yeah And they hear you? And they... they... they do what you want? They do what you want They never came back to you? No And even with lions, huh? Yeah, lions also Interesting And you ever faced a big pride of lions? Yeah. I was faced lions. I was work in !Xaus lodge there, I was faced lions M-hm Yeah And? What happened? ... and I was come near a female M-hm And the female I was very close. There was no stopping time M-hm I was come like this side. I was on his head
M-hm Yeah You touched her head? I touched his head and it was only said: "No, man. I'm full". You see? And when I go back..., you see... You were lucky because she had... she was full
She was full. I was very lucky... and she have two cubs, you see? M-hm Yeah Cuz the lioness with... with cubs are very dangerous Very, very dangerous Yeah But you cannot look him like... clear, clear in his eyes You must look him... nice, clearly
You face him. That's how you look a lion How, how do you look a lion? You must look in his eyes You looking on his eyes On his eyes Why? Because... he don't like you must face him in his eyes Ah! He must face you. Not you... you
So, the lion must look at you. Not you look at him Yeah, yeah Because he doesn't like you to look at him Doesn't like it See, one morning me and my brother was going on a hole to drink water. I didn't see the leopard. I stay here Something told me: "don't look back, man". And he show me what that was. Ahem!
So you were coming from there and your friend told you: "Look around, what is behind you" Yeah, my brother told me. M-hm I said: "No brother. Your brother is too close". So what do you do? M-hm Leopard don't want us. He's not afraid of us. He's like a human been, living. He's us friend
Yeah He's your friend? He's us friend. The Leopard coming pass here... So he, he walked past you Past me, yeah. Then he go that side on the hole to drink water and then from there he's gone So why I was scared about leopards and lions? So, why do you think he didn't do anything to you? Because, do you think he respects you or it's because he was full...? No, you... you see? Nature is, is different between human being and nature M-hm If you're scared... or when you feel scared...
M-hm He know you are scared for you Okay If you didn't feel scared, he feel "No, he didn't feel scared". You will survive You do nothing for him, you didn't make him scar, no nothing so, he will leave you Yeah You see Okay But if you do something then he will do something to you, because is nature The, uh... the rangers of the park were looking for a lion? Yeah, in the park, you see? So one guy was in the back side of the vehicle M-hm The lion jumped up, you see, and he's gripping his arm...and he pulled this piece off The... the, the lion jumped into the car?
Yeah, he... got this guy here... in the arm and killed him? Yeah, he only... Lost the, the hand Lost his hand. Now he has a stump
M-hm That guy just work also today in the park M-hm Yeah I thought the lions didn't do anything to people inside the vehicle Yeah. The lion is very dangerous One day is like that, other day is like this You see? like... So they are unpredictable, huh? Yeah, it's like a human being, you see? Today is like this, tomorrow like that...
What are those? These are seed pods from the... Camel Thorn acacia M-hm Those together... looks like the... Camel Thorn that gives the...
the name to the tree