Namibia is a country unlike any other, with its ancient red sand dunes touching the sky, the cold Atlantic Ocean stretching for kilometres along an eerily desolate coastline and beautiful vast landscapes that seem to go on forever. Despite the tough conditions that Mother Nature throws at all who live here, both animals and humans have adapted to this harsh way of life.
Home to about a dozen ethnic groups, most of Namibia’s ancient tribes have become accustomed to a more modern way of life that does not involve wearing traditional clothing or celebrating ancient tribal ceremonies. While the unfortunate disappearance of cultures and traditions is a theme common throughout the world, there are still many who are trying to keep the ancient ways of their people alive.
On a recent family holiday to Namibia, Gordon Homer, Peace Parks Foundation’s former Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area Manager, visits the Mbunza Living Museum, showcasing the way of life of one of five ethnic groups of people living in the Kavango area in Namibia and Angola. The Mbunza people have lived in this area for centuries, with the nearby Okavango River being an important source of food and water that secures their survival. Guests can witness the Mbunza people fishing, performing traditional dances, and practising highly specialised techniques required when making bows and arrows, pottery and blacksmithing.
The living museum is situated 14 kilometres outside of Rundu, a popular stop-off destination for visitors travelling to or from the Caprivi Strip. The town of Rundu lies on the western-most border of the Kavango Zambezi (KAZA) Transfrontier Conservation Area, which covers a whopping 5.2 million hectares – that’s larger than the Netherlands – spanning across Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Peace Parks Foundation, along with its partners, have helped with the development of the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area since 2004 and are committed to continue ensuring the connectivity between key wildlife areas amongst the countries, as well as to protecting and conserving the natural and cultural heritage of the people living in this beautiful landscape. By supporting sustainable tourism projects like this, the Mbunza people will be able to generate an additional income while preserving their traditional culture for generations to come.