How are tourism and wildlife connected in Namibia? Interesting piece in New York Times.
Uamunikaije Tjivinda squatted in the sand and threw a few strips of dried giraffe meat into a pot of boiling water. Like many Himba women in the arid, northwestern part of Namibia called Kaokoland, she wore sandals, a goatskin skirt and little else. Her skin and long, plaited hair were a striking rust-red, rubbed with ocher dug from the earth.
From nearby hills, other women with young children converged, standing quietly around Ms. Tjivinda’s domed hut, their eyes downcast. Out of the back of a Toyota Land Cruiser, my wife and I unpacked gifts brought on the advice of our guide — cornmeal, tea, sugar and other supplies hard to find here.
Though no longer a novelty for these women, these sorts of encounters with tourists are still new enough to be awkward. Only when the food came out did they smile and start to talk.
“The conservancy has been good for us,” Ms. Tjivinda said in the local Otjihimba dialect, which our guide translated. “Wildlife are cared for like our own livestock, and money from tourism goes into our conservancy bank account.” Goats wandered by as the women sat down to braid hair. Then, from the corner of my eye, I saw a small Himba girl, her hand wrist-deep in the sugar bag we brought. She raised a fistful to her mouth and swallowed.
To read the full story, click on the link above