Who: L U C I E, L A C H L A N, and B O W W O W.
Their occupations: Gypsy, Slick Suit in Finance, Dog
The trip: Crossing Africa by 4×4, helping communities through trade.
We’ve cut our teeth on over 25,000km of dirt roads across Southern Africa with our dog, Bow Wow, sourcing wonderful, handmade treasures… Think Summer of Love! Here are our highlights so far…
We met Tico by the Epupa Falls in Namibia. He told us that his necklace is made of shells from the ocean. He began wearing it when his father died. It is traditional that a year after a father’s death, the siblings will have a ceremony to remember their dad and then they will remove their necklaces.
It is unfortunate that their way of life has been tainted by tourism but we couldn’t help admiring these debonair young dudes’ fusion of western sportswear and traditional Himba gear.
In its heyday, Kolmanskop was so rich in diamonds that men didn’t even need spades to find them, they just sifted through the dirt with their hands. Talk about location, location, location!
Natural selection through the ages has carved the Himbas impressive physiques and allows them to pull off rather daring ensembles.
In Purros we visited Himba women whose fine jewellery made of metal, bone and skin would not look out of place strutting down an Alexander McQueen runway.
This shop owner in Sesfontein is from the Herero tribe whose most valued commodity is cattle. Herero women wear Victorian style full length dresses with hats made from rolled cloth that represent the horns of a cow.
Our slick, diamante-studded guide called Salmon at the Petrified Forest in Namibia.
This shop owner in Sesfontein is from the Herero tribe whose most valued commodity is cattle. Herero women wear Victorian style full length dresses with hats made from rolled cloth that represent the horns of a cow. Namibia.
Bow Wow being mobbed by some ghetto groupies in Windhoek. It’s a dogs life.
Radioactive rollers at Mel G’s kitsch salon in Luderitz, Namibia.
We met and Bow Wow licked the Ju/’hanse San people, or as they are more commonly known, the Bushmen, near Tsumkwe, eastern Namibia. Bow Wow impressed the tribe with his tricks, while I learnt how to make jewellery out of ostrich eggs and Lachlan considered ditching his Calvin Kleins for some Bushmen budgie smugglers.
At a foot and mouth control point, we lent a few dollars to a man who had run out of fuel and cash. His name was Eugene and not only did he pay us back when we got to Grootfontein, he also organised for us to camp at Kalkfontein Farm which is owned by an eccentric Swiss fellow who keeps some surprising pets.
We’ve seen some watering holes during our time in Africa but nothing quite like these. Cruising down the C46 highway in Namibia, we couldn’t get over how original, weird and brilliant the bar names were. Feel free to add your own punchline.
We had fun at the Epupa Falls but going there made us realise how vulnerable the Himba culture is and how lucky we had been to access remote areas by 4×4 and experience the customs of those who are still largely unaffected by the modern world.
After driving up a dry river bed and accidentally scaring the hell out of unsuspecting animals, we got a taste of our own medicine when we were snuck up on by a band of Himba men bearing spears and axes.
In Purros we visited Himba women whose fine jewellery made of metal, bone and skin would not look out of place strutting down an Alexander McQueen runway. We listened to the snap of branches and the purr of dessert elephants as they tramped past our tent on their midnight moseys and Bow Wow ate so much of their poo we renamed him Shitlips.
Having fought, picnicked and played at Namibia’s most ancient geological and spiritual sites we leave the beaten track for Koakaland, home to the Himbas.
Camping in the vast emptiness of the Namib Dessert under a camelthorn tree and the great glittering arc of the Milky Way, we saw so many shooting stars that we ran out of wishes. We didn’t realise how easily Bow Wow could have been cheetah, spotted hyena or leopard padkos! Having successfully smuggled our stowaway in to the soaring sand dune sea of Sossusvlei, we then pushed on to Windhoek via the Gemütlichkeit of Swakompmund.
We kept our eyes peeled for shining stones and glamorous ghosts as we explored the deserted diamond town of Kolmanskop in Namibia that is now almost lost to the dunes.