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People and the River



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Several thousand years ago Khoisan and other non-Bantu autochthonous groups already inhabited the river basins of southern Africa. In the course of history they adapted to the Bantu migrants coming from the north, or were pushed back by these new arrivals to specific locations, where several small non-Bantu groups still live today. The Bantu expansion is believed to have begun after the introduction of agriculture to the area, which would indicate a date between ca. 3000 and 2500 BC for the early expansion within West Africa, followed by eastwards and southwards migrations beyond West Africa from about 1500 to 1000 BC (Vansina 1995).

The Kunene basin states belong to those regions in Africa, which were reached relatively late by Bantu migrants. When the Portuguese began exploring the African south-west coast in the 15th century, however, the region was already inhabited by Bantu-speaking farmers, traders and ranchers.

Learn more about the history of the Kunene basin and its riparian states in:

Boat on a river in Angola around 1800.
Source: Dias de Carvalho / AHT GROUP AG 2010
( click to enlarge )




Explore the sub-basins of the Kunene River

Video Interviews about the integrated and transboundary management of the Kunene River basin

View a historical timeline of the Kunene basin countries, including water agreements & infrastructure

Video scenes about the limited access to water of the San in Kunene Province