D77…..The Himba.

Blog — By on December 8, 2012 9:21 pm

A very different day today. A day to soak in the splendour of the scenery at Serra Cafema. We look out from the lodge, which sits on the Kunene River, at the desolate Angolan mountains over the far bank. There is not a vestige of vegetation visible. Just grey fractured rocks baking in the hot sun. Home to a few lizards and scorpions. The river itself provides the border between Namibia and Angola, and eventually emerges into the Atlantic about 60k from here.

We visited a Himba village this morning. It is described as a village but is actually an enlarged family. There were 4 womenfolk and a cluster of children of various ages. The women were all heavily coated in red ochre. One was grinding some red rock for further application later in the day. They mix the fine red powder with milkfat and apply to their skin and hair. One lady had a rather deformed breast. It transpired that just a few years ago she had been collecting water down at the river casino when a crocodile had clamped on to her. It dragged her under, but as it did so its tail came out of the water. Miraculously her dog lunged and sank his teeth into the tail. The crocodile let go and she clambered to the side. There happened to be a plane at the small dirt strip and it immediately flew her to Windhoek where she was lucky enough to get good treatment. That”s life in the bush. And we are about to go on a boat trip this afternoon!!

The boat trip turned out to be uneventful although the journey by landrover was quite an adventure. We took the “old” trail seldom used by guests, as they get too frightened. It was quite the steepest descent any of us had ever experienced down an enormous sandy couloire amongst the mountains. You would never have believed a landrover could make such a descent, but it did. We all thoroughly enjoyed it. It later transpired that it was only the second descent the driver had made. If one gets the wheels slightly out of line the landrover will roll at this level of steepness. The boat ride was rather tame after this! J

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