After leaving Khulula Wild Care we went to Botswana to do a cultural and wildlife safari from Mar. 18th through April 2nd. Here is a map showing our safari route.
While in Botswana we've had no access to the internet so I have a lot of catching up to do. The first stop on our safari was the village of Xai Xai in the Northwest corner of Botswana to visit the Bushman. The San as the Bushman are called are culturally hunters and gathers. They are of short stature with tiny delicate features. They wore clothes made of the hides of antelope most likely Springbok. They were decorated with beads. Both the men and woman wore beaded headbands and necklaces (Photo 1).
This morning we were to go back to the site of a beehive found yesterday. On yesterday's walk, about a half mile from camp, the San heard a Honeyguide calling. A Honeyguide is a bird which supposedly will lead you to a beehive. Three of the San men followed the Honeyguide and located the tree with the beehive. The elder did not have to throw sticks this morning since the San knew where to go. We made our way through the thicket to the Marula tree with the hive. There was a circular hole where supposedly the bees were and a vertical slit that supposedly contained water. The San started a fire in the traditional way to smoke the bees out. They then proceed to chop the entire tree down to get at the hive. They used an axe supplied by Adam, not exactly traditional. They took turns hacking at the tree. Kava took the first blows since the San felt that the bees would not get upset with him. The tree eventually fell but still no hive. The San now hacked at the center of the downed main limb to get at it. They took to using a machete which Adam also supplied. Finally, success, they began ripping out pieces of honeycomb. The bees appeared and Kava said they would not sting you unless you disturb them. I think smoking them out and cutting down their tree constitutes harassment. Kava ended up getting stung in the head. As the pieces of honeycomb were ripped out it became apparent that there was no honey (Photo 4). The nest must have been an old one that the bees had recently returned to. All that work and destruction for nothing.
We hope everyone had a Happy Easter!
Peggy and Marc