Did You Know? The World’s Oldest Tribes Can Be Found In South Africa
Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood

Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood

Did You Know? The World’s Oldest Tribes Can Be Found In South Africa

Botswana , Namibia , South Africa , news
Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Aug 19, 2021

The world’s oldest tribes can be found In South Africa, according to anthropologists. This comes as no surprise, since it’s a commonly held belief that human life evolved from Africa millions of years ago.

Many indigenous African tribes are believed to be direct descendants from the earliest human groups as they have unique DNA markers, genetic features, as well as languages that experts say are unlike anything that currently exists today. 

At least seven of these ancient tribes exist today and out of the few that are left, at least two of the world’s oldest tribes and people can be found in the southern region of Africa.

One of the tribes is referred to as the Nama. They are believed to be the last true descendants of the Khoikhoi, who are closely related to the San.

Collectively, the Khoikhoi and San are called the Khoisan and often called the world’s first or oldest people, according to the biggest and most detailed analysis of African DNA.

A report from NPR details how more than 22,000 years ago, the Nama were the largest group of humans on earth and a tribe of hunter-gatherers.

The Nama are believed to be anywhere from 100,000 to 140,000 years old. They inhabit Namibia and Botswana.  The population is relatively small as there are a reported 130,000 left.

Known to be cattle farmers – a tradition that reportedly emerged when some San people acquired cattle stock more than 2,000 years ago – the Nama started calling themselves the Khoikhoi to distinguish themselves from the rest of the Khoisan.

Meanwhile, the San Bushmen tribe inhabits Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, and South Africa. With a reported population of 90,000, the San Bushmen are believed to be 100,000 to 140,000 years old as well and known to be direct descendants of one of the original ancestral human groups.