Gemmologists should seek out the same valley as the lovebirds, but keep their eyes on the ground for the rose quartz crystals that abound. You may also find the chipped stone implements of past inhabitants.
Sunrise bathes the nearby hills in clear red light, and this is a good time to explore. The hills have an uneven surface of loose rock so wear a stout pair of shoes and watch out for snakes. Temperatures are cold at first, but it warms up very rapidly so take water, a sunhat and suncream. As with exploring anywhere near this border, seek local advice. Some areas were mined during the liberation struggle, and injuries still occur.
Because Epupa is situated in a traditional Himba area, you may get the opportunity to visit a typical local family. Go with a guide who speaks the local language, and make sure that the village receives some real benefit from your visit. Buying craftwork made by the villagers is one very good way of doing this, but simply taking along some mealie-meal would also be a positive gesture. With patience, your interpreter should help you to glimpse a little of their lifestyle.
Of all the Namibians that you encounter, the Himba require some of the greatest cultural sensitivity. Their culture is adapting to centuries of changes within a matter of years. Until the late 1980s there were people living in the area who relied entirely on a hunter-gatherer existence, using only stone implements – a reminder of how remote this area was until very recently.