Kamanjab – Himba Tribe
Travelling toward Kamanjab today, we drive through Damaraland where we spend some time with several of the Himba people who are pastoral and easily identifiable by their original hair and dressing styles.
Descendants of the Herero people, the Himba continue to speak a dialect of the ancient Herero language. There are approximately 20,000 – 50,000 Himba people residing in the area of Kunene, where they have recently constructed two villages in Kamanjab. The Himba are livestock farmers who, in this arid, rough and mountainous region, breed cattle and goats. These are some of the most photographed people in the entire world because of their stunningly unique style of dressing as well as their fascinating lifestyle. Their style is characterised by revealing clothing made from goat skin and they accessorise with an assortment of jewellery made of shells, copper and iron – in accordance to the tribe’s hierarchy. The scarlet colour of their skin and hair is a combination of butter, ash and ochre which aids in shielding them from the severe temperatures of the desert.
Usually, the women are left to care for the children and to do perform daily tasks such as the milking of livestock, whilst the men are responsible for sorting out political duties. Their villages are comprised of family farmsteads which are huts constructed around a central fire and livestock pen. Both the livestock and fire are crucial to the beliefs of the Himba in ancestor worship, the fire signifying ancestral guarding of the community.
Located a short 20 kilometres outside of town, an expertly led guided trip around the villages will give you an incredible insight into the lifestyles of the Ova-Himba – the last traditional tribe in Namibia. It will also provide incredible photographic opportunities. Here you will learn about the milking ceremony, the smoke bath, and be educated about the beliefs of the holy fire, ancestors and herbal medicine. You will also be informed about the jewellery and hair styles that indicate the status of each individual tribe member within their society, as well as their magnificent bond with nature, their cattle and children. The money that is generated from these outings aids in sustaining the tribe in their day-to-day lives, affording them to purchase provisions and necessary medicines as well as giving them the opportunity to take proper care of the children in the communities.
Please bear in mind that the village is not an exhibition and you are kindly asked to respect the ways of the Himba as they would respect yours. This being said, you will be given a chance to enter the inside of one of these incredible people’s homes in order to experience their remarkable culture.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Oase Guest house
Facilities: En-suite per room, swimming pool, bar, internet connection
Route: Khorixas to Kamanjab +/-150 kms
Travel Time: +/- 2-3 hours (if during rainy season, alternative route will be taken due to bad road conditions)
Activity Package: Guided visit to the Himba tribe