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Eupupa Falls – Himbas

23 Aug

Headed to Epupa Falls in the North on the Angolan Border!

Day 7 Halali to Opuwo

I did a morning Safari in the park so I only got on the road around 1100. From the West side of Etosha, Anderson Gate, I set off for as far North as I could go until nightfall.

 The roads where all well kept, both gravel and tar

  

I managed to get 600km in and arrived in Opuwo as the sun was setting.

 It was a magical arrival, as the road into Opuwo runs East West.

 The Camp I stayed at was still high enough that the sun had not completely disappeared behind the mountain range.

 Distance: 578km

Day 8 Opuwo to Epupa Falls

 Opuwo is the last town with anything that resembles a supermarket, ATM or maintenance for that matter.  The morning was spent doing a few repairs to my suspension in Opuwo before heading North.

 

The 190km gravel road ride was filled with photo opportunities. The landscapes and rock structures would make a giant play ground for geologists and enthusiasts.

 

 With my stopping included it made for a four-hour drive through Kaokoland, also known as Himba country. The sight of the Falls peeking through the Makalani Palm tree oasis was spectacular.

 

 The Eupupa Falls were one of the most spectacular falls I have seen. Perhaps the volume of water is not as great as Vic Falls and the greatest drop boasts a mere 37m, but it’s 1.5km spread section is home to many large Baobabs clutching to the rock face. This makes it a wonder to me.

 

 

 To get a great perspective of the 0.5km wide Kunene River, which separates Angola and Namibia, a viewpoint is situated on Sundowners Hill.

 In the right of the picture below, set among the Makalani Palms is Omarunga Lodge.

 I set up camp along side the Kunene River. This was the turning point of my trip and as far North as I was heading not to mention by far the most beautiful location,  therefore I stayed here for two nights. There is a lot to do here, as far as seeing the falls, waiting for the right light to photograph, river rafting, croc tours, and visiting a Himba village.

 Distance: 191km

Day 9

 Himbas

The Himba’s are mostly nomadic and live in the Northern regions of Namibia. Daily tasks include herding their cattle and goats, milking the cows and collecting water.

 The women use a mixture of milk fat and ochre pigment to rub on themselves making them red in color. The travel guides and Internet articles say it is to protect them from the sun, but the Himba’s told me that was incorrect as it is for moisturizing and beauty. To dull the smell of the milk fat, the woman then apply a perfume from the “perfume tree”.

 

Center: Grinding corn / Mahangu

 Their hairstyles are interesting as they can tell you something about the person. The boys have a single headdress similar to a Mohawk, which will continue growing into long tails.

 

Young girls have two tails running forward like a fringe. If the girl is a twin or was not delivered head first at birth, she will only have one tail growing forwards. The same as the young boys above, only forward.

 

 Once they become a woman, their hair is warn as above.

 The Calabash is filled with milk. The woman will sit under a tree and shake it for hours. During my visit, the young children would relieve the women for a few minutes. This will form a thick butter solution, which is to be mixed with the red ochre as described above.

  

 This is the house of the Chief and his first wife. On the floor you see Calabash and wooden buckets.

Finally, the Chief invited me to lunch with him. This was under the tree with a bucket of fermented milk mixed with root of a plant I could not get the name of. The milk was trying for me to swallow, but in the name of being a good guest I pushed through. Then the corn that you see the one lady grinding above was cooked up and served in a straw basket, I know it as Pap. As it is not processed corn like the corn meal or “Millie Meal”, this dish is red in color. Chunks of pap were scooped out of the straw dish and placed in the milk, then stirred to porridge like consistency. Lunch now served, with 4 fingers, you scoop and slurp. What an experience!

 My day with the Himba family was one I will not forget…

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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Namibia

 

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