Tsumkwe is a small settlement in the north eastern section of Namibia, about 40 kilometers from the border with Botswana and 60km south of the Kaudom Game Park. The nearest reasonably big town is Grootfontein, which lies 250 km to the west.
There are a couple of shops (and since 2008) a petrol station situated in the town. However these are not always well stocked and visitors are advised to do most of their shopping elsewhere (and also not rely on the petrol station for fuel). For those visiting Tsumkwe from the interior of Namibia, Grootfontein is a good supply stop while those using the recently opened border from Botswana (at Dobe) need to be prepared for a rugged road.
The primary reason for tourists to visit Tsumkwe is the fact that the area is inhabited by the bushman people. The town itself is fairly poor and many of its inhabitants are dependant on alcohol so those looking for a more 'natural' bushman experience will need to look further afield. The Living Museum at Grashoek village offers the opportunity to meet traditionally dressed Ju/Hoansi San people, the center also offers demonstrations of the bushman culture and survival techniques such as using a bow and arrow, a digging stick and generations of accumulated knowledge.
Situated next to the Nyae Nyae conservancy offices in Tsumkwe is G!hunku Crafts, which means barter in the Ju!’hoansi and !Kung languages. This is an outlet for local artists & craftsmen to sell their wares. Items for sale include necklaces and bracelets made from ostrich eggs, beads, hunting bows and arrows as well as collecting bags made from animal hide.
The main C44 road between Grootfontein and Tsumkwe can be traversed in a standard sedan vehicle, but all the other roads in the area tend to consist of deep sand (mud in the raining season) and should not really be attempted without a 4x4 vehicle and reasonable off-roading experience.
A partially community owned camp - allows guest to gain an insight into the lives of the local Bushman community
In the town of Tsumkwe this lodge offers an opportunity to visit the local San communities