Visual Research Programme – Namibia
NAMIBIA – THE ART GALLERIES OF THE SAN AND KOI
Rock Art, Iron Age & Stone Age sites
11 days / 10 nights
Pricing available upon request
Valid January – December 2021
For a sparsely populated country, Namibia boasts an impressively diverse population, from the Bantu-speaking Ovambo and Herero tribes (the latter of which are admired for their colourful Victorian dress) to the Damara minorities, the nomadic San Bushmen and, of course, the German colonisation, all of whom have left their own imprint of language, architecture, art and cuisine. Namibia’s harsh climate, it seems, made for a rich and colourful cultural heritage, allowing this research tour to explore some of the most impressive artwork sites of Namibia as depicted by its two major local tribes, the San’s rock art and the Koi peoples’ rock engravings. Many of these sites carry such great historical value that they have been classified as world heritage sites through UNESCO.
The Khoisan People: Africa’s Stone Age inhabitants, the largest in Africa, carries many centuries of great historical importance throughout Nambia. Their amazing Rock art contribution dates back thousands of years. The Khoisan are largely concentrated around the northern Kalahari.
The Nama: Pastoralists who were fearsome fighters in precolonial times. Eventually, however, fighting for their land as they rose in armed rebellion against German colonial rule led to their destruction and devastating loss of land in the early 20th century.
The Damara: Believed to be descendants of the south-western Africa hunter-gatherers, in modern day times they are pastoralists, agriculturalists and skilled copper-smiths, too.
The Ovambo: Now the largest ethnic group in Namibia with the majority still living on the floodplains north of Etosha, the Ovambo originally migrated from the shores of the upper Zambezi as far back as the 13th century. This ethnic group proved to be a leaderin the fight for independence from South Africa.
The Herero: The most culturally recognizable ethnic group in Namibia, these historically nomadic herders have fused the old and the new into an ongoing cultural tradition. Especially attractive is the bright and colourful ankle-length dresses, high necklines, tight bodices, and long puffed sleeve style of dress which the Herero Women adapted with a touch of European fashion from the Victorian period.
Visitors to Namibia are often surprised by the strong German influence. German missionaries were some of the first Europeans in the region, landing in Lüderitz in 1883. This was followed by a diamond boom which resulted in an influx of European migrants, and also expanded into great trading opportunities especially for German traders. The German government eventually occupied the territory proclaiming it ‘German South West Africa’. However, during the course of World War I (1915) Germany lost its colonial possessions, including South West Africa but the German settlers were allowed to stay. Hence there remains a strong German influence including the language (alongside Afrikaans and English) and historical architecture in Luderitz and Swakopmund, which is reminiscent of a German town in the 1800s. Older sections of many towns across the country feature buildings with domes, towers, turrets, oriel windows, embellished gables and ornate bay windows.
From game-packed parks to the silence and spectacle of the desert – this incredible country – its landscapes, people and wildlife . . . . is waiting.
INCLUDED IN THE PACKAGE
- 10 Nights’ accommodation sharing, 2, 4 or 6 persons per unit.
- Daily breakfasts or breakfast packs.
- Daily lunches or lunch packs and dinners.
- Coach or overland vehicles for all scheduled travel and transfers.
- All entrances to museums, monuments, cultural and heritage sites as included in the programme.
- Etosha (x 2) and Brandberg (x1) game drives.
- Experienced field guide / tour leader to lead the trip.
- Recreational and safari activities as indicated in the itinerary.
NOTES ON ACADEMIC ACCREDITATION
It is important to note that neither Mr Sidney Miller (the Tour Leader and Archaeologist / Field Specialist) nor Safari Odyssey (the Tour Organizer) are an accredited academic institution. Our role is to provide a structured research / travel programme which provides access to South and southern African archaeological sites, without intervention, but under qualified supervision within the rules set out in our National Heritage Act, Act 25 of 1999. This product enables either the “student” or “tourist” to, at first hand, experience the specific cultural and historical event/s that is of interest to him or her. For research purposes, the course content, structure and field of study or interest can be discussed and collectively decided upon.
OVERVIEW OF YOUR TOUR LEADER, MR SIDNEY MILLER
** Archaeologist, Conservationist and Civil Engineer
Sidney first studied Civil Engineering and worked as such for six years. An interest in the Arts, and specifically in Archaeology, led to a career change in 1986 when he joined the Schoemansdal Museum development team, and in that time completed a Master’s Degree in Conservation of Architecture. After spending four years on the Thulamela Project in the Kruger National Park he became self-employed. Since then he focused on the development of Heritage sites, Heritage Impact Assessments and Conservation of Architecture. He devoted much time in contributing back into a variety of communities the years of experience in the Heritage environment through formal and informal lecturing. In a short overview of Sidney’s experience, the following should be mentioned:
On-site archaeological experience in excavation work / surveying of archaeological site maps / rock art / architecture conservation work / Cultural Resource Management (CRM) Impact Assessment work / publications / reports / dissertations / exhibitions / general heritage surveying for private farm owners / presentation of tours and courses / museum work.
Days 1 & 2: Windhoek
Days 3 & 4: Etosha National Park (Namatomi)
Days 5 & 6: Twyfelfontein (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Days 7 & 8: Brandberg
Days 9 & 10: Swakopmund
Day 11: Swakopmund to Windhoek
Namibia is Africa's best-kept safari destination secret. A land of stark contrasts, where towering dunes meet a tempestuous coastline.