When out in the bush it is important that one respects people who follow a traditional way of life and that you act in a fashion that acknowledges that you do.
I once visited a Himba village where we were all required to put a stone on the grave of the previous village headman, once our group had done so we were welcomed into the village and made to feel at home. Another group that drove in without paying respects were totally ignored.
One should also be careful of trying to buy peoples artefacts especially if they are wearing them, in the Himba village we visited they had adequate handmade trinkets for sale which we were able to bring home.Many of the Himba jewellery items have been passed on for generations and it’s just disrespectful to try and buy them.
Traditional folks are proud of their heritage and way of life and are in many cases wary of the euro-centric encroachment on their way of life.
We were in the then South West Africa just before independence and it was strange to see the political parties handing out branded T-Shirts and items such as sunglasses which were all worn regardless of political affiliation, in those days used SADF army kit was also relatively common.
The right to embrace change is up to the local population and should be respected, by all means, travel with gifts for the kiddies but be practical avoid sweets and toys, rather give out plastic soccer balls and paper and pencils or crayons.
Good behaviour when outdoors is critical. This extends beyond our daily interactions with local populations to the way in which we handle our litter and look after our campsite or chalet that we may hire.
It includes the need to regard other people around us when we play music or party, how we make a fire and ensure that it does not get out of control.
If in the wilderness take out your litter and it’s also good practice to pick other litter up if you are able to.
We have the capacity to do good when outdoors but there is a small segment of the fraternity that does not abide by the rules. The other day I read an article about beach pollution and the impact that would be made if every beach visitor picked up three pieces of rubbish and disposed of them when visiting a beach, perhaps the same principle applies when going off-road?