First Page – Dare to Flee by Phil Graham

 The Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert are a threatened species. They are being forced from an area they have occupied for 30,000 years, by the Botswana Government so that diamonds can be mined. 
In an exciting story, Xai, a Busman hunter embarks on a journey to save some of the Bushman and also to hunt down his deadly enemy.

Dare to Flee

Phil Graham

The Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert are an ancient tribe dating back 20000 years. They were the original inhabitants of the Cape and the mountainous areas of Kwa Zulu Natal and traces of them have been found over much of South Africa. The mere fact that they exist to this day is in no small way attributable to their ability to survive.
The arrival of the white man in South Africa began in the seventeenth century and shortly after their arrival, they began to decimate the vast herds of wild game, upon which the Bushmen depended. In retaliation for this slaughter, the Bushmen began plundering the white man’s livestock, and so began a war that the Bushman could not win.

In 1802 the African tribes were decimated by a famine that set the tribes to warring amongst themselves. These wars inevitably involved the Bushmen who were driven from their traditional hunting areas and ended up in the Drakensberg Mountains, bordering South Africa and Lesotho. The whites continued to encroach on the Bushmen’s territory and the warring blacks continued to slaughter their people until, in 1869, the last settlement of Bushmen was decimated.
There were, however some survivors and these hardy people fled to a place where neither the black tribes nor the white settlers were willing or indeed able to live. This was the vast thirstland known as the Kalahari. The Kalahari, like many deserts, has no surface water and any water that exists, is to be found underground, where the Bushmen suck it up with hollow reeds. It is in this inhospitable land that most of the current day Bushmen live.
The Bushmen are keen conservationists; they never kill unless the animal is to be used as food and even when they have killed an animal, they offer thanks to the animal’s soul for the food that it has supplied. They are experts at mixing plants to make poisons and medical remedies and are able to identify over three hundred different plant types.
The Bushman’s relationship with the earth has been described as “An inspiring model of the powerful connection possible between nature and the higher self “
Is it surprising then, that the Bushman is one of nature’s hardiest survivors?


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