Ethnotourismus in der Kalahari


Dr. Jennifer Scheffler

Research Area:


Tourism is a key industry and income generator in Southern Africa. Cultural tourism has seen a significant rise recently. This dissertation project examines the tourism aimed at “Bushmen” in the Kalahari. It seeks to uncover similarities and particularities of Bushmen experiences compared to other forms of ethno-tourism. Such may for example arise from a discourse in science as well as in the media, which places the San at the roots of human development, both culturally and genetically. A critical media analysis shall show key aspects placing the Bushmen image in the noble savage discourse tradition as well as factors that distinguish the discourse on Bushmen from the one on other so-called ‘primitive people’. The PhD project will study and compare several cases of tourism projects in different parts of the Kalahari region, which vary in size and age, in the nature and quality of services offered, as well as in the degree of control that local communities or individuals possess. The objective is to obtain deep insight into the motivations, aims and ideas of the hosts and agencies on the one side, and the images, perceptions and views of the tourists on the other side. Ethno-tourism is facing a controversial debate, both in and outside academia. The project will contribute to this debate from the perspective of intercultural communication theory.