Located in the low surrounding hills, Opuwo is the Otjihereo word meaning “end.” This small border town failed to do anything when the South African Defense Forces set up a military base with the aim of conducting expeditions to the surrounding area. Today, Opuwo is the gateway to Kaokoland and home to the mysterious Himba people who have preserved their unique identity and culture for centuries, thus setting this goal for a truly authentic Himba tour.
Sure, you can see Hemba all over Dalaraland: Kamanjab, Khorikas, Utojo, but that Himba is what I call “tourist entertainment.” But in Opuwo …
In Himba, they gather in the city, walk around the surrounding villages, often for miles, to sell supplies and goods. Some Himba have even made Opuwo their permanent home, abandoning their traditional nomadic lifestyle, hoping to have a more focused life based on the money economy. Many make small profits from selling their crafts and jewelry, as well as taking photos of tourists to collect their photos and returning to their villages for a real Himba tour. Walking through the city, you can see how the outside world has affected people. Himba men often dress in their traditional “skirts”, which were worn with a Western shirt and a ball hat. The dusty city with the smell of people and the fresh scent of the “Himba” women’s hearth, beautifully decorated with the skins of their traditional animals, dress you in a world that is sad and slowly fades away. Although the elders of Himba firmly do not shy away from traditions, it is the school children who challenge the tradition with Western clothing and modern amenities. Herro is also very popular, and the two groups form a community that is unique.
These 3 cultural concepts “need to know” have a deeper meaning when joining the Himba tour expedition.
1. Women are known to cover themselves with a mixture of butter fat (sometimes Vaseline) և vodka, known as otjize, to protect them from the sun. The blend gives them a reddish look that is said to symbolize the red soil of the earth and the blood that symbolizes life, and both coincide with the idea of the beauty of Himba. Women decorate bracelets, trunks, necklaces, iron belts and beautiful beads made of sea shells.
2. Extended family members live mainly in the home, which consists of small, circular mud huts and work areas. The huts are surrounded by ancestral fire, okuruwo and animal enclosure. Together, the fire and the animals are closely linked to the faith and worship of their ancestors.
3. Hymns are notorious for wearing their traditional clothing made from animal hideouts. It is common for women and men to remain unprotected, but men wear Western shirts with their traditional clothes faster. If a woman wears a hair-like crown over her head made of animal skin, it means that she is married.
How much does a Hamba tour cost and who are the best locals? Himba is the guide. http://wildsafariafrica.com/about/your-specialist-in-african-safari-planning/