Survive The Tribe: Desert Hunters Facts

Video highlights from Survive The Tribe

Desert Hunters Facts

•    Summer temperatures in the Kalahari can range from 115 Fahrenheit in the daytime to 80 Fahrenheit at night.

•    It’s been estimated that about 80% of the San’s traditional diet comes from gathering bush food, so knowledge of edible plant species is a vital survival skill.         

•    The quills of Africa’s crested porcupine are almost a foot long.

•    The porcupine’s Latin name means “quill pig.”

•    Mangetti nuts are around the size of hazelnuts. A rich source of protein, mangetti nuts are a prized energy source on hunts when few supplies are carried.

•    Traditionally, one of the Bushmen’s advantages over other societies had been their skill in surviving without surface water. They knew where to find liquid-bearing melons and tubers; they buried sealed ostrich eggs filled with water during the wet season and recovered them during the dry season. This allowed Bushmen to live where others could not. Today, though, there are water wells, which gave rise to farms. This led to the displacement of Bushmen.

•    Persistence hunting—chasing an animal until it has been run to exhaustion—happens during the hottest part of the day.

•    The San were the first people to inhabit South Africa.

•    There are two species of kudu: the Greater kudu and the Lesser kudu. The Greater kudu is significantly larger than the Lesser kudu.

•    The poison on the San’s arrows does not kill a large animal immediately. A small antelope may take 24 hours to die, while a larger one can take several days.

•    The poison used by the San for their arrows is often derived from the larva and pupae of chrysomelid beetles.

•    Sans have an oral culture, which means that knowledge is passed on through language and copying the actions of others.

•    San hunters often throw a handful of dust into the air to determine the direction of the wind.

•    San hunters are renowned for their tracking skills. For example, from examining an animal’s spoor, San hunters can determine its approximate age.

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