Heading south from Orupembe along the D3707 eventually brings you to the mixed Himba and Herero settlement of PUROS, some two and a half hours later. It boasts a magnificent setting at the confluence of the Goatum and Hoarusib rivers, surrounded by dark ripples of striated rock, offset by banks of pale sand. The small settlement is aptly named, being a corruption of the Otjiherero word “omburu”, meaning “fountain”. The impressive Hoarusib River, with its dramatic cliffs and gorges, has permanent springs that ensure pools of water exist year-round. They are fringed by mature vegetation, a magnet for an abundance of wildlife: desert-adapted elephant, giraffe, zebra and a host of varied antelope are regular visitors to these areas, in turn pursued by the less visible cheetah, hyena and leopard. Even the occasional desert-adapted lion frequents the riverbed. Birdwatchers have the chance to spot the likes of near-endemics such as Monteiro’s hornbill, Carp’s back tit, and Rüppell’s korhaan, but the oasis pools sometimes attract more surprising avian visitors such as hamerkops and Egyptian geese.

This is an excellent area to explore for a couple of days, by engaging one of the trained English-speaking community guides who can take you to the permanent springs in the river, twenty minutes from the campsite, where you’re likely to be rewarded by good wildlife sightings in the dry season. The Puros Traditional Village – a conservancy-managed Himba demonstration settlement – is within walking distance of the camp, though you’ll need a guide to interpret and help you learn a little about their culture. Crafts are also for sale. Guides can be arranged at the campsite or the bush lodge.

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