While there is evidence of white settlements in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, it is primarily the historical abode of the Khomani San: a people on the brink of extinction, a symbol of our fragility and the power of resilience to survival. Their existence in this place – along with the place itself – is extraordinary. The brutal landscape, limited water, and agile wildlife make it seemingly uninhabitable. Yet the San thrived in this place, merging existence with the existential.
The San are said to have spoken of two hungers - a physical hunger and, perhaps the most significant hunger: the hunger for meaning. The daily reality, a life of survival, is considered a form of second creation. This routine is two-dimensional - a physical hunger. Of incredible gravity (the one that sees substance over-rule sustenance) is the hunger for meaning - first creation. A large part of San spirituality lies within the trance dance. In a state of trance, the San experience heightened emotional intensity – one that is conducive to healing and change. This augmented form of consciousness and transformation gives way to the first creation – where all of creation is felt rather than named.
The idea of first creation comes alive in Kgalagadi. For me, it is a story that almost defies telling. 30 lions, more cheetah than I can remember, one magnificent leopard in six days. Airborne kestrels with clasped talons in a fight for the skies, somnambulant eyes of a Giant Eagle Owl, previously unseen bird species attracted by the illusion of plenty. That is a sightings report to be lived rather than read about.→