We had a short drive today, further into the Caprivi Strip. We stopped early at Camp Kwondo, our accommodation on the Kwondo River. Our rooms were tents – sort of – thatched roof, wooden floor and canvas walls. Good thing for the mosquito netting – I didn’t hear any mosquitoes but the only thing between me and a scorpion at the foot of my bed in the morning was the net.
There were lovely seating arrangements on decks at the edge of the water and we had time to relax and watch and listen to the abundant bird life.
A pair of Ruppell’s Robins
A Golden-tailed Woodpecker
This afternoon we visited a “living museum” so common in Namibia. The visit answered a lot of my questions about the way of life here. First we went into a compound and learned how the Bantu people used to live in pre-colonial times. Their food staple was millet and it was ground to a fine flour.
Clay formed by the termites in their hills was used to line the storage container for the millet.
An ingenious device was used to mimic the hippo’s sounds. The hippo would be eaten at ceremonies such as weddings:
Traditional music and dances with a shaman were performed:
The second part of the visit was to the modern village. This village has about 300 inhabitants and each compound has a fenced courtyard with the huts of a single clan – children, their parents, aunts and uncles and grandparents, with each family or couple having their own sleeping quarters. There are segregated bathroom areas with shower hookups. Kitchens are partially open air for ventilation and food is cooked over a fire in a communal kitchen. The government provides a water hand pump for each compound. School is mandatory and there is a school in each village. In this village, the children walk 2.5 kilometres each way to go to school. There was one vehicle in the compound.
Income is earned in a variety of ways – many chop trees on their land and sell firewood for about $1 a bundle.
We were slated for a boat ride here but as we walked back to the lodge after our tour, lightning streaked the sky and the clap of nearby thunder accompanied us so the ride was cancelled. Instead we had a rare chance to relax and enjoy the surroundings. We watched flocks of egrets fly up the river at the end of their day.
The cancelled boat ride had a silver lining. We were so happy to learn that both Chobe to the east and Mahongo to the west received rain. It is hoped that eventually the building cumulus clouds will reach Etosha.