An October 2012 genetic study published in Science Magazine found that the Khoisan in southern Africa are the oldest ethnic group of modern humans, with their ancestral line originating about 100,000 years ago. The Khoisan, formerly called by the derogatory term “Bushmen,” are genetically unique and no other currently known population had separated so early from our common modern human ancestor, according to the report.
The Khoisan live mainly in southern Africa, in territory spanning Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa. They are largely divided into two groups — hunters and gathers (Sans people) and keepers of livestock (Khoikhoi people). The Khoisan languages include the distinctive click sounds that aren’t found in the languages of their neighbors.