There are six “living museums” across northern Namibia, which aim to preserve and transfer aspects of traditional culture, educating fellow Namibians and foreign tourists, providing opportunities for intercultural exchange and, importantly, creating sources of income for rural communities.

Five different ethnic groups are represented in the living museums (the Ju |’Hoansi-San, Mafwe, Damara, Mbunza and Himba) and are supported by the non-profit organization, The Living Culture Foundation of Namibia. By visiting one of these sites you can choose from a menu of interactive programmes, ranging from a couple of hours to a whole day, or even an overnight stay (which will afford you far greater insight), as you learn about and practise traditional skills, herbal remedies or dances, before sampling traditional food. Provided you manage to avoid arriving when the village is being stage-managed to entertain large tour groups, it is possible to engage in genuine interaction with community members, not only about traditional life, but also about the ways in which the communities are adapting to modern life.

Essentials

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