In apartheid southern Africa, a three-year-old girl named Koba is snatched from her Kalahari desert tribe after witnessing her parents' brutal murder by white farmers. A hunting party discovers the Bushman group poaching on their property, and a white farmer is killed by a poisoned arrow. The orphaned child is taken in by a liberal white woman called Marta, and Koba finds herself trapped in a terrifying new world. She slowly learns to adapt and survive in a cave isolated from the farm's dangerous but beautiful environment. Koba grows up quickly and as a teenager learns 'white' ways alongside Marta's son, Mannie, a boy her own age, while never forgetting the pull of her own desert people. One weekend though, when Marta and her husband are away, a passionate love affair develops between Mannie and Koba which questions all their assumptions and loyalties, bringing down upon them all the force of the law.