Category Archives: Environment

THE ‘BIG 6’ – We’ve got Dragons

I arrived in this tiny Hambukushu village more than 30 years ago and here, a tale of huge Dragons that live in the Kavango river was and is still spoken of with much familiarity by so many as to make me a believer too. They spoke of a Female dragon, with features of a black mamba, but can also fly and breathe fire and is fearsome. It’s counterpart the male, is spoken of as being derived from a Python, has scales, 4 legs with clawed feet and horns like a Kudu and is called Dikongoro.

Legend says they both live here and are as normal a part of the Hambukushu people’s lives as the sunrise. They do not normally pose a threat to the community as they don’t eat people, but if you happen to see one of them (who look uncannily like the Eastern Dragons!) then a close family member will pass away within a day, or you will get very lucky very soon.

I was enthralled by the stories of how your dugout canoe may be caught in a whirlpool in the river where you could not escape, and you would have to offer a few drops of blood from cutting your finger, or perhaps a shiny ornament as a peace offering, and the dragon would throw you and your canoe far out of the river as the trade.

To show respect and to honor this fearsome beast, ‘Dikongoro Dragon’ was used as the name for our river rafting excursion as so many of my staff seriously claim to have seen the dragon and lost a family member as a result, or at least know of someone who has. Witchcraft is a normal daily part of life here and many place names honor the Dragons passing or perhaps where one was killed by the locals or where it surely lives.

I did some research and found that there are 65 documented Dragons Worldwide, and all of them look very similar to the Eastern dragons. When showing my staff pictures or models of these amazing creatures they identify them easily as nearly the same as the Dikongoro of the area and ask in wonder where I got it! How was it possible that this remote tribe has this amazing creature in their ancient history, obviously without ever having seen the clearly documented Asian one just like it before?

Many years of ponder and stories has convinced me that in fact the death of the family member is the key to seeing the Dragon. I believe that the dying relative probably subconsciously knows that their time is near, and that the family member also knows this, as they are closely linked.

I also know that our limited senses don’t allow us to see outside of their given frequency paramotors, but speculate that when death is near, perhaps we become more aware and our senses are ‘stretched’ somewhat, and we then see the Dragon who is there all the time!

In fact, I challenge you to prove me wrong when I remind you of the science experiment that we all saw as kids at school where a light was shone through a prism of glass and it produced the rainbow colors on its exit. Well consider that in nature when sunlight is similarly refracted through raindrops, that it does exactly the same and produces a rainbow… within another rainbow! Why two of them when there is only one source of light? And they are exactly symmetrically aligned inside each other. AND the colors on each start with the light colors on the outside progressively getting darker to the inside until they are lost in the middle fading to nothing that we can see between the two distinct magical arcs!

I say that the ‘empty’ space in between the two complete rainbows is where the Dragons live!

So now at Ngepi we can boast of having the ‘BIG-6’ 😊 because in fact we have had some non-believers from outside of the local tribe actually see the Dragons several times recently! I can’t wait!!



Okavango River Monsters and other secrets of the Hambukushu people

Okavango River Monsters and other secrets of the Hambukushu people

The sun is just beginning to set as you poll your mokoro along the panhandle of the Okavango. It’s been a successful but long day of fishing, and tonight there’ll be tilapia for dinner, enough for the whole family! Suddenly, your mokoro [traditional dugout] won’t move. Nomatter how hard you pull, it remains stuck. YouContinue Reading

Ngepi’s Mokoro Trips – a taste of traditional Kavango life

There is undoubtedly no better way to explore the Okavango Delta than on a mokoro… I loved my mokoro trip at Ngepi Camp! Gliding through the water unobtrusively (without a noisy engine to scare away the wildlife) allows you entry into a secret world. Reedy islands and riverbanks are alive with birds of all kind;Continue Reading

Responsible tourism drives award winning Ngepi camp

An article about Ngepi Camp on the Namibian Tourism Expo blog! Ngepi camp on the Kavango river in the far north east of Namibia is a magical remote destination in the Okavango swamps. It is a paradise of flooded plains and secret swampy backwaters, teaming with wildlife, as we are nestled between Mahangu National park, aContinue Reading

Some good advise

An old farmers advice * Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong. * Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance. * Life is simpler when you plow around the stump. * A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor. * Words that soak into your ears are whispered…notContinue Reading

Birding at Ngepi

Birding… The Rollinson and Bernon families recently did a trip to Botswana and the Caprivi Strip. “From here we moved onto Ngepi Camp, about 15km’s south of Divundu we were there for three nights and found it to be one of the more enjoyable camps. Birds seen in the campsite included Hatlaubs Babbler, Senegal Coucal, Chirping Cisticola,Continue Reading

Ngepi eco-socio policy

Ngepi eco-socio policy

So called progress is not stoppable I guess, but we suggest that a compromise can be reached where an area is set aside as a conservancy where rural local people can be respected for who they really are. Respect would entail a quantum shift in the understanding of the Westerner to a point where weContinue Reading