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The Topnaar
of Namibia


The Topnaar are part of the Nama Peoples and speak a beautiful “click” language.

Traditionally, Topnaar have survived by hunting, goat herding and harvesting Nara melons, a plant indigenous to the Namib Desert.

2,000 Topnaar still exist with an officially-recognized chief. Only 500 Topnaar remain within the Namib Desert.

Challenges they face:

  • Most Namibian children must leave home to attend school.
  • Educational expenses are costly and unaffordable for the majority of their young people.
  • Topnaar lands are now located in a national park with herding and hunting restrictions.
  • Coastal development and a dwindling water table threaten Nara melon habitat.
  • Families are desperate to find employment.

Namibia is intimidating, wild and stunningly beautiful. It is a paradox in time and place with a multitude of fascinating cultures.

  • Roughly twice the size of California
  • 92% of land is classified as “hyper-arid, arid or semi-arid"
  • Population of 2.5 million
  • Capitol is Windhoek
  • Stable, self-governing democracy
  • Unemployment > 40%