Before I came to Namibia, Gottfriedt had booked us a camp site at Epupa Camp, close to the Epupa waterfalls. Epupa waterfalls are situated on the border to Angola, north-west in Namibia. I was really excited to get to see that part of Namibia as well. We left early Sunday morning, and started the long drive to Epupa. We decided to drive through the park on an area that is actually closed for most tourists, but since Gottfriedt works in the park, he is allowed to drive there. As we drove out from Okaukuejo, we saw a young male lion walking on the grass plain next to the road. He was all alone, and he was really beautiful! We drove along his side as he was walking further, and then he lay down to rest a bit. Since we had a long drive ahead of us, we drove from him.
It took us eight hours to get to Epupa. On the way we stopped at the closest town, Opuwo, to fill up gas. When we stopped, people looked at us, they wanted us to join on a trip to the Himba village and they stood outside the car where I was sitting, trying to sell me jewellery and other things they had made. I got the feeling that this was a poorer town than others I had been to in Namibia and that most the people here were dependent on tourist buying things from them. I thought it was a little bit uncomfortable, so I just stayed in the car.
The road between Opuwo and Epupa was long and bad, gravel the whole way. In this area of Namibia, there is mainly one tribe living here, the Himbas. The Himbas are an old and primitive tribe in Namibia. There are mainly two tribes in Namibia that still live like time has been standing still, the Himbas and the San. It was really interesting to see how they were dressed, how they acted and how they lived. Next to the road on our way to Epupa from Opuwo, there were Himba people walking. The females has a very unique appearance, with bare breasts, leather and skin to cover their private parts and their butts, their hair are covered in mud and their skin is red from a stone. The red colour and the clothes is a sign that this Himba woman is single and are looking for a man. When they are married, they wear clothes like you and me. It's a very strange way of life for a Norwegian, and I doubt my father or any other father in Norway would agree to let their daughter walk out, almost naked, to find a man to marry!
Epupa was just amazingly beautiful! The Kunene River is dividing Namibia and Angola, and at one point it is forming the Epupa waterfalls. Along the river, different resorts, lodges and campsites have developed and many tourist come here to relax, meet the Himbas and watch the magnificent waterfall. We checked in to where we would stay for the night, a nice woman welcomed us and told us that we were welcome to eat cake and drink tea and coffee next to the river if we wanted to. So we drove to our campsite, put up our tent and went back for a slice of a nice lemon cake and my favourite South African tea, "Five roses". It was very beautiful there, the river was moving, the sun was shining and the temperature showed 28 degrees!
After the tea we went to see the waterfall, and it was just beautiful! There was a lot of water in the fall, a lot of big baobab trees surrounding the waterfall and small birds flying close to the water. We took a lot of pictures and film, and be also walked little up a hill to be able to see the waterfall better. It was just indescribable beautiful there and the area had such a calming atmosphere. Gottfriedt and I were so sad that we were only spending one night there, and we both agreed that we need to come back another time and stay longer.
When the sun started setting, we decided to head back to our camp site. It was a huge camp site, and each camp site had its own toilet and shower! It was just perfect! The toilet and shower was without a roof, so when I took a shower that evening, I could stand and look at the stars. It was a cool experience. Gottfriedt made a fire and we had a braai for dinner. It was so nice, sitting by the fire, listening to the animal activity by the river, looking at a beautiful sunset and eating very nice food! In the middle of the dinner, I suddenly saw two shining eyes next to us. First I was scared, but then I saw it was just a beautiful female dog. She had big teats, revealing that she had puppies somewhere. We thought it must have been the dog to the security guy that worked at the camp site. She was very thin, so I decided to give her my meat. She was really happy to get some food and she was so kind and nice. I put on my head light and was allowed from her to do an clinical examination of her. As a vet nurse, I just had to! Except being way to thin, especially since she had to feed puppies too, she looked healthy. Gottfriedt softened up a little after a while, and decided to give her his bread. He is just so amazing sometimes! The dog was happy and I was happy, finally I could use my vet nursing skills on a dog that really needed it.
The next morning, we woke up early and packed our stuff. Unfortunately, Gottfriedt had to go to work the next day, and we had to be at Okaukuejo before sunset, so we were in a hurry to start the drive back home. We wanted to look at the waterfall one last time, and I wanted to check out some of the things the Himbas were selling there. I bought two dried vegetables that are hallow so the Himbas usually use it as a water bottle when they are out on walks. I thought they were really nice for decoration.
We stopped at a Himba village along the road so I could take a picture with a Himba. In my tourist book I had read that we shouldn't give the Himbas money for the picture, but rather give them sugar, cooking oil and flour that they can use. So we had bought that in Opuwo on our way to Epupa. Unfortunately, the Himbas has become affected by tourists and money, so my experience with the Himbas wasn't the way the book described it. When we stopped next to the road, a Himba ran up to us. She looked at what we had brought and thought it was too little. She wanted money as well! Gottfriedt talked to her and they agreed on a price. I thought it was a little uncomfortable, cos they didn't seem so grateful or interested in us at all, as the book explained they would. We took our pictures and Gottfriedt talked a little bit to them in Herero language that is similar to the Himba language. Then we went back to the car. I was little disappointed of the experience, and I think I want to visit the famous Himba village in Opuwo next time.
During our drive through Etosha, we stopped at different waterholes. At one of the waterholes we were lucky enough to see two elephants and one black rhino! The rhino looked so small compared to the two giants. It was a nice way of ending our nice time in Epupa!