Namibia is home to extraordinary natural attractions that are well known throughout the tourism industry but another aspect of Namibia that is just as extraordinary is its rich heritage that is well preserved throughout the area. Within the Namibia region there are a variety of Indigenous African Tribes that are showing a true insight into the regions diverse heritage. Some of these tribes include the Himba Tribe, San Tribe (also known as Bushmen) and the Herero Tribe. Each of these consist of a variety of customs as well as culture that all can be easily found in the Namibia region.
The Herero tribe also known as Ovaherero are traditionally pastoralists and have homesteads in various parts of Namibia, mostly the eastern, central and the north-eastern areas of the country. The people apart of this tribe speak Otjiherero a language and there are about 211 700 that speak it. The Herero people today are known for their modernised fashion that was heavily influenced by the Germans during the colonial period. The Herero men wear military style outfits and the Herero women adopted floor length gowns from that time but have added vivid colours and patterns that are a true representative of the people. These dresses can incorporate up to 10 metres of fabric and the most distinctive feature of the women’s dress is their horizontal horned headdress, the otjikaiva, which is a symbol of respect, worn to pay respect to the cows that have sustained the Herero. The Herero people have a mix of modernised ways but still stick closely to their traditions. Having your clients take a visit to see the Herero people is not only a once in a life time experience but also a very rewarding one as they will have the opportunity to see first-hand their unique way of life.
Another are the Himba tribe who are semi-nomadic indigenous people that can be found living in the Kaokoland Region in Northern Namibia. The tribe speak OtjiHimba (which is a variation of Herero). The Herero and Himba people were originally one tribe before separation due to a drought that occurred in the area thus they have a few similarities but due to the need for adaption there are now more differences between them. Unlike the Herero the Himba men and women both wear traditional outfits made of calfskin and are easily identified due to their hair and skin being a distinct red/orange colour characteristics due to the otjize paste, a cosmetic mixture of butterfat and ochre pigment, to cleanse the skin over long periods due to water scarcity and protect themselves from the extremely hot and dry climate of the Kaokoland as well as against mosquito insect bites. The Himba people have become a well-known image of South Africa due to their distinct traditional ways. These people have a traditional approach to life and will allow your clients to see how they have used their natural environment necessary adaption.
The San also known as Bushmen are a part of various indigenous hunter gathers and are widely spread across Southern Africa. The San speak a variety of languages including all languages of the Khoe, Kx’a, and Tuu language families. Traditionally the San’s way of life and their levels of authority was an egalitarian society they had hereditary chiefs but their authority was limited. The San made decisions among themselves by consensus with women being highly respected and treated as equals. San economy was a gift economy, based on giving each other gifts regularly rather than on trading or purchasing goods and services. Due to their difficult and unpredictable environment they have adopted by using what is around them in order to sustain their life styles. The San are mainly known for their rock art and engravings that are scattered across Southern Africa and these act as a story teller that gives us insight into their past ways of life. Leisure is also something important to the San and your clients will be able to experience this time with the San people by watching their dances as well as hearing stories about their traditional lifestyle and how it has adapted throughout the years.
Namibia is a region full of beauty and diversity which can be clearly seen by its natural attractions but that is barely scraping the surface of what Namibia has to offer, why not let your clients experience Namibia in a different light, via its people the ones that know it best. Your clients have the opportunity to visit one of these tribes (itinerary dependent) when they experience the 10 Day Namibian Explorer Camping Tour, the 9 Day Luxury Namibia Tour or the 7 Day Northern Namibian Highlights Tour. An opportunity not to be missed! Please contact us if you would like more information or sample packages showing how this destination can be incorporated into a package.