Adventures in Namibia
Trip Start Aug 26, 2012
129Trip End Dec 22, 2013
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During the day we had the opportunity to visit a San Bushmen homestead (Ju/’Hoansi Living Museum) where we spent time with them walking and listening to their stories of how they live off the land as they probably have the deepest understanding of all cultures of nature and ecology and being able to live in harmony with their environment, presented in their unique clicking language
The next two days were spent in Etosha National Park which is home to a wide range of Southern Africa's wildlife, including all the big carnivores and five rare or endangered species: black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. The wildlife is prolific and Etosha has every right to proclaim itself as one of the world's pre-eminent wildlife areas. Game viewing in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large sparsely vegetated pans
The next day we drove 150km through the park to reach another original German fort camp site called Okaukuejo. Before arriving to set up camp we went for a game drive and on a tip given to our leader we came upon a pride of no less than 16 lions and lionesses; a male, many mother lionesses and 2 batches of cubs. We were able to watch them cross the road and make their way to the watering hole. What a nice way to end our last game drive of the trip.
A nine hour driving day got us further west in Namibia to Spitzkoppe otherwise known as 'the Matterhorn of Namibia’. The mountain, which is 700 million years old, is 1987 metres (5857 ft) high. It was a beautiful setting for a bush camp and we had a rare opportunity to watch a film crew from Peru film some shots for a movie called Blue Frontier
Driving for 3 hours the next day we caught our first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean as we made our way to the Cape Cross to see, hear and smell the thousands of cape fur seals that make Cape Cross their home. There was definitely a lot of mating going on as the birthing season of late Nov is slowly approaching. After visiting the seals we traveled a bit further south along the errie Atlantic Coast and had lunch by a ship wreck. Here is where I got to stick my feet in the "refreshing" Atlantic Ocean and declare that I have traveled the continent of Africa, coast to coast.
For three nights we stayed in the town of Swakopmund which is right on the Atlantic Ocean and surrounded by massive dune fields of the Namib Desert. Swakopmund had oodles of German culture and architecture much like all the major settlements in Namibia. At times I could almost think I was in Germany as opposed to Africa. Swakopmund is also the place to go if you are an adrenaline junky. I thought I’d get my adrenaline rush on and went sand boarding in the dunes
So if that wasn’t enough of a rush for the day, five of us also signed up to go skydiving. No sooner as we got back to our accommodations we were picked up and whisked to the office to sign our lives away and then on to the dunes about 20 mins away to the jump site. We got a very quick briefing about what to do, what not to do and what to expect and then off we went. Five trips (loads) were made and I was in fourth load with Jesse. Sitting around waiting and watching for the others to jump surprisingly did not make me nervous. Putting the jump suit on and getting the harness on did not make me nervous. Getting on the plane (yes something I’m very accustom to doing) made me nervous. Perhaps because there were no seats, a wobbly sliding door on one side and you are sitting backwards. My diving partner (the guy who will prevent me from going splat) was so excellent and totally made me experience as good as it was. I was half strapped to him as soon as we got on the plane and then at about 6,000 ft I was completely strapped to him. He sensed I was getting very nervous and kept me in a bear hug until he told me to “open the door”
Nights in Swakopmund are pretty much all about hitting the bar or dance club, which is really one in the same
Leaving Swakopmund we headed further south to Sesriem Canyon which is in the middle of the Namib Desert region. This canyon was formed when the Tsauchab River carved a gorge 30 metres into the gravel deposits about 15 million years ago. It's thought that this river once flowed to the Atlantic Ocean but its course was blocked by the encroaching sand dunes. The next morning we hopped on the truck at 5am to drive to dune 45 in time to catch the sunrise. Walking 800m up the dune was a tough task at 6am in the morning but really worth it to see the spectacular sunrise. Running down the dunes was also worth the hike. I felt like a little kid. After breakfast in the dunes we took some 4X4’s out to see the clay pans of Deadsvlei and Sossusvlei which is where the Tsauchab River flows out to the dune fields and ends at these clay pans.
The next day as we continued to make our way to South Africa we made a stop at Keetmanshoop to get some supplies and then visit a cheetah reserve were saw a couple cheetahs lounging under their perspective trees. As well we got to take a walk through a quiver tree forest, which I wouldn’t say was really a forest as you can see for yourself in the pictures
There are only 2 million people living in Namibia but the size of the country is 825,400 km squared. This means there is has not been much to see along the side of the road aside from landscape and the landscape is basically large rock masses and crushed rock, making it challenging to have a bush toilet stop. As well there are no villages have developed along the roads like in previous countries and the roads we have been travelling are not paved; more like crushed gravel. So we’ve been having lots of “African Massage” all through Namibia. Despite the desolateness of travelling through Namibia I’ve really enjoyed my time in this country. The people are so friendly and I have had some really great first time experiences. I would definitely like to come back and do some more travelling in Namibia; more in the North and the city of Windhoek.