Nomads of the Kalahari and the Namib Desert – The Khoisan People

Khoisan people of the Kalahari.

I love and greatly respect the Khoisan people of the Kalahari Desert in Namibia and Botswana, and those spread across the Western, southern, and Eastern Cape of South Africa. They live nomadic lives, but not randomly nomadic. Each clan has a set nomadic pattern, which is repeated each year, whereby they live in pre-chosen areas specifically dedicated to each season of the year.

I originally researched the Khoisan people while writing my first book, ‘ONE Life – Love – Energy’, in search of a society or tribe that still follow their old traditional way of life. The Khoisan people stood out immediately. This strongly furthered my life experience.

Until about two hundred years ago there were two separate tribes. The KhoeKhoe people were known as the “non-Bantu” indigenous people of Southern Africa and the San (formerly the Sākhoen), who were foragers. This tribe was also known as the Bushmen of the Kalahari, and as the Hottentot people of the Cape. These two tribes eventually became collectively known as the Khoisan people.

These people do not war against anyone and they passionately believe it to be imperative that they treat all people, animals, plants, Earth, and all life with love and respect, as instructed by God. This is reminiscent of one of the Usui Reiki’s daily pledges, “Today I will be kind to, and love, all living creatures”. The Khoisan believe very strongly in the notion of living as one with all life and that all life in the Universe forms part of the ONE.

One of the Khoisan people’s beliefs is that mother nature must be given sufficient time, about a year, to restore herself to full abundance after they have lived in an area for a season. After each season, they move to another area where they had lived for the season the previous year, and to which they will return after each year for that particular season. They gratefully and meaningfully thank mother nature every time they eat and drink anything.

Khoisan on the hunt.

When the Khoisan kill an antelope or any wild animal, whether it be for food or for clothing and other purposes, they pray, asking mother nature to forgive them. They reassure her that this has not been for sport or intended as cruelty of any kind, but that it is specifically for food and to make clothing and utensils. They then bless the animal and mother nature before skinning it, eating it, and using its resources. As they live in the desert and semi-desert, they are continually foraging for roots, and they follow the same procedure of thanksgiving for the roots that they eat and from which they extract water.

 In the series, ‘The Secret’, the presenters strongly urge people to have an “attitude of gratitude” for what they already have before expecting further blessings. Could we possibly improve on these Khoisan people’s attitude to life, to God, and to planet Earth? Or do ninety-nine percent of us take everything that nature provides totally for granted, presuming that the supply will simply continue? Some of us know that it will not, as the soil becomes barren and the water supply becomes more poisoned and even totally depleted in some areas on Earth.

 I love the Khoisan people’s attitude of gratitude. Since I learned of this attitude, I make a special point of thanking God and mother nature for what I consume. I marvel at the wonder of its perfection, and how it is a gift from nature to feed and sustain me. One life, one energy, one creation.

We are all part of one creation, made of one energy, and created by the great One – God. The Khoisan people live the most beautiful lives of anyone on Earth, to my understanding, and they live in the Namib Desert and the Kalahari where conditions are extreme, or they certainly would be for us. They have dwelt there for thousands of years. Unfortunately, they were fairly recently – in historical terms – rounded up and put in camps by the Botswana Government because the government wanted to use their land for agricultural and economic expansion. The Khoisan people opposed this and they were given back a sizable piece of their naturally inherited land where some of them continue living in their traditional way.

Their love and respect for nature, in fact for all life, is phenomenal. I often wonder if this is not the type of lifestyle intended by God for all humankind, but our modern and post-modern civilizations have wondered so totally away from it, living the unnatural lives such that we live in towns and cities, doing what we do to entertain ourselves and lavish in the luxury lifestyles of our choice. We may believe that we, or human civilization, have advanced a great deal in the evolution scheme of life, but we also need to remember that we have trashed our planet and its hemisphere in the process. Is this evolution or devolution?

It is quite disheartening to acknowledge the fact that the Khoisan people’s presence in the world, and their way of life, is diminishing at an alarming rate, especially in more modern times. From research done, it appears that there are only about 100,000 of them left living their natural nomadic life in their home regions. Oh well, life moves on and evolves over time, but to the loss of what little is left of real life.

Hopefully, these thoughts will inspire people to appreciate life in a greater multiplicity of forms with a hightened consciousness.; perhaps this will even inspire some people to a higher realization of life’s truths.

Peace, harmony, and love to all universal life.


This article is a combination of two articles that I wrote which were published in the Opera News Hub – Africa website a few months back.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.


2 Responses

  1. Hi. I understand the Aboriginal people much like the Koi did not always live in extreme landscapes. Why would one do that when there was abundant food and water for the taking. Were they not in both cases driven there by invading hostile tribes and or settlers? This romantic notion of original people’s living in deserts does not add up.

    1. Hi Clive,
      Yes, indeed, thank you for this comment. The Khoi and the San people had evidently migrated from North-Western Africa millennia ago. Where they lived before that I think is still buried in ancient history.
      Kind regards,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *