Cultural experiences in Botswana
Botswana has diverse ethnic groups living side by side in what has historically been a very peaceful country. However, for the visitor this sparse population can imply few opportunities for cultural interaction - so it may seem to be an unpromising place to search for any of Africa's best cultural experiences.
Look hard and there are some fascinating cultural experiences in Botswana.
One of the most interesting groups for outsiders to visit are the scattered groups of hunter-gatherer people that we would refer to as Bushmen, or the San.
The San lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle, with a culture that's very different from most other African tribal groups. See our suggestions below for ideas of where to experience aspects of this culture. Several camps offer fantastic Bushmen walks, with authentic San trackers, happy to share their wealth of knowledge about the bush with you. It's a great opportunity to get a real insight into the zoology, geology and anthropology of the places they call home.
If you want more, then ask us about a luxury mobile safari that enables you to spend much more time with bushmen and experience their culture and traditions, living near to them in their village.
Botswana's only World Heritage Site is well worth a visit. The Tsodilo Hills have one of the highest densities of Bushmen rock art in the world, dating back at least 100,000 years. This rocky outcrop, rising 1400m from the rolling plains of the Kalahari, is little visited, but is definitely worth the effort, once described as “The Louvre of the Desert”.
Our 4 top tips for cultural experiences in Botswana
Camp Kalahari|93% (24 reviews)Camp Kalahari offers a fascinating and authentic walk with Bushmen. Our team has done this and said it is one of the best on offer. You’ll go out with Bushmen guides, looking at the surrounding flora and fauna, and hearing about their culture. More about Camp Kalahari
Kalahari Plains Camp|91% (13 reviews)As a result of Kalahari Plains’ partnership with local San Bushman families to lead educational walks, we strongly recommend the camp for traditional cultural experiences in Botswana. Guests gain a glimpse of how this fascinating culture has survived for centuries in harsh conditions... More about Kalahari Plains Camp
Nxamaseri Lodge|92% (49 reviews)Botswana’s only World Heritage Site, the Tsodilo Hills, are easily accessible from Nxamaseri Lodge. Nxamaseri offer guided and catered day trips here – get a taste for this ancient culture, see the amazing density of historic San rock paintings and take in the stunning views. More about Nxamaseri Lodge
San Camp|100% (7 reviews)San Camp offers Bushmen walks. As above you can expect a sensitive, authentic and really interesting experience. You’ll learn about the vegetation, maybe dig up some roots and even taste some of them! You’ll enjoy learning about this traditional culture out in the bush. More about San Camp