Himba Tribes

Trip Start May 20, 2010
Trip End Sep 05, 2011

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Flag of Namibia  , Kaokoland,
Monday, August 15, 2011


Day : 446
Temperature : 30 degrees
Weather : Sunny, clear skies

The long drive up to Opuwo is certainly worth it. We'd come here to see the Himba people…nomadic tribes who are famous for covering their bodies with a mixture of ochre, butter and herbs, turning their skin a deep orange colour, serving as a sunblock and insect repellent.

We stayed in a little community run campsite which was blissfully quiet, and after an early night we collected a guide the following morning and headed to the supermarket to buy some "gifts" for the Himba people……maize, oil, flour and a few other things. We then drove to some 30km out of town to a village where our guide introduced us to the Himba women and showed us around, translating for us.

The women are a spectacular sight, not only using the ochre mixture on their bodies but also covering their braided hair, giving a dreadlock appearance. This is topped off with a hat made from animal skin. In addition, they prefer to wear traditional clothing, being bare breasted and draped with ornate necklaces and jewellery.

After looking around the farm one of the girls demonstrated the mixing of the ochre and butter and the application of the cream to the body, as well as the smoking of aromatic herbs in a little pot which they move over their bodies as if applying perfume.

Before leaving the village we were invited to buy some local jewellery made from cattle horn. Despite bartering the women down from $50 to $20, we later realised that we were still paid too much when later in Opuwo town they were selling the same jewellery for $5! Blimey! These girls were good!
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Antony on

Just looking at the latest blog entries now (during lunch break at work). Looks all dry and dusty....did you use similar insect repelant and try it out ?


Eileen on

ok Fab fab fab .... but your coming home sooon ! yipeeeeee xx

nomadic-brands on

Er no, I didn't try out the Himba insect repellant cream, thankfully I had some 20% DEET on me, so I didn't have to turn bright orange...what a stroke of luck :-P

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