Authentic, ancient and evolving, Namibia’s cultures and people are vital to the spirit and the future of our communal conservancies.
Go tracking with the San, whose lives are rooted in the oldest culture on earth, meet the statuesque Himba of the northwest, learn more about traditions of the Herero people, and the various cultures of the northeast where life on the rivers is an integral part of their cultural identity.
With traditions forged over time, the cultural groups of Namibia celebrate the past while moving towards the future. Rich traditions mark milestones in life. Food and music are expressions of a region and its people. And everywhere humor defines the rugged individualism that is carved in those who live off this harsh, beautiful land.
There are thirteen different cultures in Namibia and all of them are found within Namibia’s communal conservancies. Some have their history etched in the rocks, while other have roots that were founded in the traditions of hunter-gathers and semi-nomadic pastoralists, others plant and wait for the rains to fall before harvesting season begins.
Experiences with the people of rural communal conservancies are as varied as they are – go tracking and learn the signs of the wild, dance to traditional music, visit a living museum, watch as traditional arts and crafts are being made, and listen to stories told around the fire.
Namibia's cultural history is also etched in the rocks. Communal conservancies are home to Namibia's first World Heritage site at Twyfelfontein which has more than 2,000 rock engravings, making it one of the richest rock art sites in Africa, and Brandberg, home to the White Lady rock painting and many more on Namibia's highest point.
Explore the land and approach members of Namibia's communal conservancies with respect and genuine interest, and you will be rewarded with fresh insights into worlds you could never imagine.
While cultural experiences are all around you in communal conservancies, there are also cultural villages and heritage sites within conservancies that are well worth a visit! Many of these are included in the information below.
Highways lead to by-ways that lead to countless side tracks in Namibia’s communal conservancies, just waiting to be explored by the intrepid traveler. From rocky rugged passes in the northwest to the east where water turns tracks into muddy quagmires, there are challenges for the toughest vehicle and driver.
Namibia is a photographer’s dream. There are magical hours, days and nights. Spectacular wildlife, landscapes and people of old, evolving cultures found in Namibia’s communal conservancies provide endless opportunities for keen amateur and professional photographers to capture stunning images.