Lessons in Damara-Nama

While staying overnight at the Duwisib Guest Farm, we had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth who managed the farm while the owners were away. Elizabeth welcomed us, cooked for us and joined us at our meals for fun and informative chats. She was interested in us and our unusual lifestyle and we, of course, were very interested in her. Her native language is Damara-Nama, one dialect of the Khoekhoe click language spoken in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. We were interested in hearing her speak her language and she was happy to accommodate us. elizabeth of duwisib guest farm namibia

Later, we visited the nearby Duwisib Castle for a tour. There, Samantha, our tour guide and hostess, was a gem. She was knowledgeable about the castle, spoke excellent English and was only too happy to give us a little lesson in Damara-Nama … and ham it up a little for the camera.


samantha tour guide at duwisib castle namibia


The Khoekhoe (Koy-koy) click language consonants are represented by punctuation marks in a symbolic, phonetic alphabet, but it's definitely not a language that I think we'll ever master. Remember how difficult it was for even locals to pronounce !Nami#Nus.

One of the best parts of travel for us is meeting new people and sharing time with them. The opportunity to sit and chat with Elizabeth and Samantha was a highlight of our trip.