Shamwari Reserve package offers glimpse into ancient tracking skills

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San trackers will share their fire-making skills, in addition to tracking and archery, on guided bush walks at Shamwari Private Game Reserve in South Africa.
San trackers will share their fire-making skills, in addition to tracking and archery, on guided bush walks at Shamwari Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Starting in early 2020, visitors to the Shamwari Private Game Reserve near Port Elizabeth in South Africa will be able to gain insight into the ancient skills and wisdom of San hunter-gatherers during guided bush walks.

Pairs of renowned Ju'hoansi trackers from Nyae Nyae in remote northeastern Namibia will be teaming up with Shamwari guides to provide visitors this rare opportunity over two days.

The Ju'hoanis are the last of the San people in southern Africa who still command the full suite of hunter-gatherer skills. They track and hunt with bow and poisoned arrow, and the fittest among them engage in persistence hunting: pursuing an animal until it drops from exhaustion. They have the extraordinary ability, passed from generation to generation over tens of thousands of years, to track wildlife across almost any terrain, interpreting the animal behaviour intimately as they go.

Only a handful of trackers across the Kalahari Basin have been accredited as indigenous masters, which is the highest possible level of accomplishment. In January, two of the very best, master trackers Ui-Kxunta and Ui-Gaqo, will join with Shamwari's own skilled rangers on the first trail, with participation limited to a maximum of six guests on each excursion.

Other ace trackers such as Dam Debe, who as a child played a cameo role in the 1980 film "The Gods Must Be Crazy," will make their appearance on later trails. Although tracking is their forte, the trackers will also offer demonstrations of their fire-lighting skills with fire-sticks and bow-and-arrow performances (sans poisoned tips). Guests will be invited to try their hand at tracking, archery and rock art interpretations and will hear fireside stories of the old ways in distant times.

Joe Cloete, CEO of Shamwari Private Game Reserve, says: "Only a handful of bookings are available. This is a rare opportunity and one to be seized upon and treasured: tracking in the bush with custodians of millennia-old skills, combined with unsurpassed luxury at an Explorer Bush Camp."

The Indigenous San Tracking Experience forms part of the Explorer Camp experience, a two-day (one night) encounter that takes guests closer to nature than they have ever been before. Guests are required to secure the San Tracking Experience by booking their stay at this one-of-a-kind camp on their preferred set dates.

The Indigenous San Tracking Experience is available for about $530 per person, double, per night, at Shamwari's unique Explorer Camp. The price includes accommodations, meals, beverages.

For further info, go to https://www.shamwari.com/experiences/indigenous-san-tracking-experience/.


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