Photographer's Note

Africa is not only water falls (Victoria Falls), national parks (Chobe National Park), big rivers (Zambezi River) or wild life where the “big five” (elephant, lion, buffalo, rhinoceros and leopard) rule. The most important element of this beautiful African land is its PEOPLE. And, of course, no trip to Africa will be complete without visiting the local inhabitants in their villages.

Who are the Okavango Delta Peoples?

The Okavango Delta peoples consist of five ethnic groups, each with its own ethnic identity and language. They are Hambukushu, Dxeriku, Wayeyi, Bugakwe and Xanekwe. The Hambukushu, Dxeriku, and Wayeyi are all Bantus who have traditionally engaged in mixed economies of millet/sorghum agriculture; fishing, hunting, and the collection of wild plant foods; and pastoralism. The Bugakwe and Xanekwe are Bushmen who have traditionally practiced fishing, hunting, and the collection of wild plant foods; Bugakwe utilized both forest and riverine resources while the Xanekwe mostly focused on riverine resources. The Hambukushu, Dxeriku, and Bugakwe are present along the Okavango River in Angola and in the Caprivi Strip of Namibia, and there are small numbers of Hambukushu and Bugakwe in Zambia as well. Within the Okavango Delta, over the past 150 years or so Hambukushu, Dxeriku, and Bugakwe have inhabited the Panhandle and the Magwegqana in the northeastern Delta. Xanekwe have inhabited the Panhandle and the area along the Boro River through the Delta, as well as the area along the Boteti River. The Wayeyi have inhabited the area around Seronga as well as the southern Delta around Maun, and a few Wayeyi live in their putative ancestral home in the Caprivi Strip. Within the past 20 years many people from all over the Okavango have migrated to Maun, and in the late 1960's and early 1970's over 4,000 Hambukushu refugees from Angola were settled in the area around Etsha in the western Panhandle. The Okavango Delta has been under the political control of the Batawana (a Tswana sub-tribe) for several hundred years. Since most Batawana, however, have traditionally lived on the edges of the Delta, were traditionally savanna pastoralists, and were few in number they are not included here. Small numbers of people from other ethnic groups such as Ovaherero and Ovambanderu now live in parts of the Okavango Delta, but since the majority of the members of those groups live elsewhere and the habitation is recent they are not considered as part of the Okavango Delta peoples. There are also several Bushmen groups represented by a handful of people. These groups were decimated by diseases of contact in the middle part of the 20th century, and most of the remaining members have intermarried with the Xanekwe.


The main posting is a picture of the three kids talking in front of one’s hut. I can imagine the kid at the door telling his friends he has to wait for his mum to return home.

In WS1 you can see a woman and a baby in front of their hut listening to music from a stereo powered by a solar panel. Solar panels are quite common and have the advantage of using lots of free sunshine all year round.

The picture in WS2 is a tremendous testimony of their engineering skills. To build the huts walls they use all the empty cans they can get hands on. When the walls are up they go and apply a coat of mud plaster, both the inside and outside, in order to get a stronger and weather resistant house.

In WS3 is a picture of the curios market set up by the village women every day to attract the curiosity and the US$’s the tourists carry with them. I have to say they do not sell cheap but it is very important for the local economy.

PS: a small note/reminder about the quality of the photos. As previously mentioned, I had a small accident and the CANON 30D ended down fully in water during the second day of my trip. Fortunately, the camera kept working but getting worse and worse by the day. However, my persistence paid off and I end up taking some reasonable pictures through out the entire trip.

In this set of pictures you can see the skies getting washed and the focus not at 100%. So, please excuse the poor quality but keep enjoying the African views I have to offer you.

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Additional Photos by Antonio Ribeiro (ribeiroantonio) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4685 W: 455 N: 6473] (22730)
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