Couchsurfing in a Namibian village

Trip Start May 03, 2011
Trip End Jan 31, 2013

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Flag of Namibia  ,
Monday, June 25, 2012

Close to the Katutura hospital in Windhoek I got a minibus to Rundu for 200 N$ (incl. baggage). At this place I got some tea and during that talked with two professional Namibian strippers who were already drinking alcohol early in the morning. After 3,5 hours of waiting got an 8 hour ride which was not too bad. In the bus I got to know Paulus, 27 year old Namibian guy who went back to his hometown Rundu during the school holidays. Because it was already dark when we arrived in Rundu he offered to go to his uncle's place to spend the night. Uncle Mbambo is a nice man who works for the ministry and is part of a Namibian traditional dance group. They are very good apparently because he has been multiple times to Germany, Libia, Venezuela and China to perform for an international audience.

My goal was to go to the village of Shamangorwa to meet fellow couchsurfer Sam who is teaching there already for 27 months as part of the American Peacecorps program. Since the buses left around 2 pm there was enough time to go around in Rundu and see the centre, Rundu beach and a view on Angola which is on the other side of the Okavango river. Bought my hosts some Windhoek Lager (750 ml bottles) and got in the bus.

140 km’s of driving from Rundu brings you to the village of Shamangorwa. I didn’t know exactly what to expect but this is a proper village. There is phone coverage and (sometimes) electricity but no running water and to get it one has to travel 5 km’s! Also no possibility to buy bread or vegetables but only the basic stuff in a small shop. That’s why I thought it would be nice to bring a bottle of Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon for the two of us but later found out that Sam doesn’t drink. He told me that the intention was good though…haha 

Sam is already here for 27 months teaching English and Biology in quite a big school. The children come from miles away walking to brighten their little minds. During my stay I had the opportunity to meet with some of the teachers and even teach for an hour. The children were very interested in me, where I come from, if they also have elephants there, and to learn some Afrikaans so I taught them some Dutch words.

Then it was time to leave the place and walk towards the tar road 6 km from the village. From there got 2 hikes to a place called Divundu and there I met some 'fellow’ Zambians who were on the way to Livingstone. Perfect, so for little money and a blanket I made it all the way to Livingstone which was great.

Evaluation of Namibia   

Namibia was the first country visited after a 10 months stay in Zambia. I have seen quite a bit from it and I believe it is very beautiful and diverse. To go to the most interesting places you definitely need to hire a car so if you are on a very tight (backpackers)budget it’s maybe wiser to visit Namibia another time.

Furthermore the people are very friendly and civilized and interested in you as a person. The infrastructure (roads, lights, electricity) is very good compared to other countries which makes it safe and comfortable to drive and walk around. 
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