The San Bushmen
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The San Bushmen

Legendary hunter-gatherers.

Legendary hunter-gatherers.

Voyage across the arid red sand dunes of the Savannah to meet the Kalahari Deserts native people, the San Bushmen who have inhabited the area for approximately 20,000 years. Discover the tribe’s renowned cave art, bringing you closer than ever to a remarkable ancient society.


  • Region is Southern Africa

  • Climate here is Arid



The tribe are famed for being skilled marksmen, who are often out several days at a time on a hunt. The women meanwhile are usually gathering food and more supplies, using empty ostrich egg shells to collect and store rainwater ready for the dry season.


Traditionally, the San Bushmen had a hunter-gatherer culture, living in temporary wooden and rock shelters and caves of the Kalahari in South West Africa. About half of modern Bushmen continue to live this way.


Social Structure

Their kinship system reflects their interdependence as traditionally small, mobile foraging bands. A band consists of 25 to 60 people, from several families who are often related.


The group believes in one main powerful god, while also recognizing the presence of lesser gods along with their wives and children. Some also revere the moon.


There are many traditional stories and songs about hunting. Young teenagers play guitar and even form bands playing modern music, but the content of their songs remains about the hunt.


The San Bushmen speak a language called Khoisan. Khoisan languages ​​share click consonants and do not belong to other African language families.


The San Bushmen are famous for their beautiful cave paintings. They have over 20,000 individual rock paintings, all preserved in caves at more than 500 different sites.


After the hunt, the tribe gathers together. The women sing and create music while the men dance in celebration of their victories.
Further knowledge

Further knowledge

Kalahari Desert's native people, San Bushmen, are considered to have the oldest living culture in the world. The Bushman has lived in the Kalahari for approximately 20,000 years.

Photo credit:
Lone Kalahari bushman(1) -
Lone Kalahari bushman(2) -
Two Bushmen setting a trap -

Photos licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license:
Elia Fester, Kalahari Khomani San Bushman / South African Tourism
Bushman and a bow / South African Tourism
Arri Raats, Kalahari Khomani San Bushman / South African Tourism