Guidelines for visiting villages
Wherever you camp, you must take great care not to offend local people by your behaviour. It is customary to go first to the village and ask for permission to stay from the traditional leader (n!ore kxao). This is usually one of the older men of the village, who will normally make himself known. Never enter someone's shelter, as this is very rude.
Often the headman will be assisted by someone who speaks Afrikaans or even English, and if he's not around then somebody else will normally come forward to help you. If your Afrikaans is poor, then you may have to rely upon sign language. If you wish to take photographs of the people or place, this is normally fine – provided you ask in advance, and pay for the privilege.
Remember that you are in a wilderness area, where hyena, lion and leopard are not uncommon, so always sleep within a tent. Try not to scare the wildlife, or damage the place in any way. Keep fires to a minimum, and when collecting fuel use only dead wood that is far from any village.
If you wish to buy crafts from the village, then do not try to barter unless specifically asked for things; most people will expect to be paid with money. Similarly, if one of the villagers has been your guide, pay for this with money. Remember that alcohol has been a problem in the past, and do not give any away.
Some local people have been designated as community rangers, with a brief to check on poaching and look out for the wildlife. They may ask what you are doing, and check that you have paid your camping fees.
Water is essential for everybody, and in limited supply for most of the year, so be very careful when using the local waterholes or water pumps. Often there will be someone around who can help you. Never go swimming in a waterhole or reservoir.