ARRIVAL OF NAMIBIA
Arriving middle of August we are looking forward to exploring this pearl of a country. From what we hear Namibia has pretty much everything of what Africa has to share with us.
We will land in the capital Windhoek and will spend our fair time exploring the city and what it has to offer. Approximate two days later we leave westward for the coastline where the gems are lining up. Activities like sandboarding, traditional safari, and balloon safari. A major part of the activities will be scouting for animals, for as far as we can read, there will be a lot of animals.
In short, animals
Namibia is the second least dense populated nation in the world. Thus are we are really looking forward to going there because for us that’s like saying “come and look at all our animals”!
Black Rhinos, desert Elephants, Cheetas, Oryx, Kudus, Springboks, Zebras, wild Horses, Lions, Seals and much more. In other words, Namibia is one of the countries to go to if you want that safari-epicness, and we aim to see it all. Equipedd with cameras and notepads there’s nothing escaping us. If there’s a rhino somewhere near us, it’s on the camera roll!
Of all the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, Namibia is the most comprehensively tourist-friendly. Something we found very interesting about Namibia was the fact that traditional culture remains strong here. Despite successive colonial occupations by Germany and then South Africa. This means that for us as visitors we get an experience of a lifetime. We aim to meet the Himba people in the far north-west, and experience for our selves their culture. San of the Kalahari will be an enriching and humbling experience too if we want.
Other than that, there is a high amount of unemployed people, we want to get to know a few of them to see how the daily life is. They seem a relaxed and humorous people when you get to know them. Back home we were lucky enough to encounter a nice family who taught us a lot.
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Let’s just say it once and for all. Most of the pictures, text or videos coming out of Namibia is about animals. We won’t be much different. Although we are interested in meeting the natives too, we will most of the time be on safaris trying to get a glimpse of the wildlife.
In other words, you should expect the “animal” tag and category popping up a lot while we are down there. Luckily there will be far less animal content from Cape Town. Which should be enough time for our readers to get a break from all animal spam after two months in Madagascar. We are chuckling as we are writing this.
After talking to a few friends of ours that have traveled Africa and Namibia, we are sure we are set to get the most of the short 20 days visit. While some say it’s plenty of time, others pledge you can’t get enough of the country. Guess we have to wait and see.
The capitol is going to be our hub arriving and leaving. So spending a few days here is on the schedule. This city an interesting little place that is something of a capsule of Namibia as a whole. Windhoek started life as a small pastoral settlement, known for its babbling freshwater spring. This freshwater keeps Parliament Garden and palm-dotted Zoo Park green, and those are highest we are visiting.
There are rumors about Swabian beer bars that makes the nightlife buzzing, we might pay a visit there too.
A frequent question that pops up wherever we want to travel: how do we get around? In Namibia, we are most likely hiring a car to get to the destinations outside the city. Some of the tours have their own guide.
So some of the activities will have drivers. So we thought about going with a full pack with a tour and a guide and transportation, however, we have decided not to. We are simply going to rent a 4×4 and travel on our own. This is because we have the full freedom to go where we want, and also at our own speed. It’s also cheaper (believe it or not) and we can wise hire a guide at the different places.
Contrary to popular belief it’s pretty safe and common to use taxies or car-rental services. The time spent in Windhoek will be spent walking soaking up the many aspects of the city. Although it’s a fairly big city, we would rather experience it from long walks, than through a windshield of a taxi.
We were advised not to take public transportation in Namibia. If you find any that is. Different reports from the internet leave us to question if there’s any at all. While Namibia doesn’t have any official public transport, they sure have some sort of way to commute. In general, this means small busses, and those we won’t take a hike on. Simply because the busses tend to be a way too crowded, and too full. Also, if staying safe, it’s transportation like that who may get you in trouble. So summing it up we are going to travel by car and by foot, hiring drivers, driving ourselves or taxis.
Etosha National Park
Also known as the “Great White Place”. Etosha National Park is ranked as one of the largest and finest game reserves in Africa. This is probably the place we are most excited to visit on our whole trip. Why? Etosha has been famed for its wealth of rare animal life for more than 100 years.! Today, the region, which encompasses dry and cracked salt pans and the labyrinthine valleys of the Leopard Hills.
This safari is said to be the kingpin of all the safaris in Namibia. Lucky us since, as you know by now, we simply love animals. Come and spy out the African bush elephants and plains zebras at the watering holes, get a glimpse of the rare black rhino, or witness the springing springbok. If we get to see only one of this majestic animals, we would be happy ever after.
Set deep in the territories of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, where the scorching African sun. Our research comes up with sidewinder snakes drifting across dunes which reminds us of travel brochures of Africa.
Beset by huge, hulking dunes – some of the highest in the world, in fact – it’s a place that rarely fails to take the breath away.
These great sculpted sections of the desert shift in the winds. Like the colossal mound of Dune 7, we are visiting. The dune clock up whopping heights of more than 350 meters above sea level.
We are going the popular way with a 4X4 tour. This is the most popular way to see the sights, and we can expect to spy out the likes of antelope and oryx, springbok and ostrich.
Skeleton Coast Park
There are few landscapes that define the wilds of Namibia as well as the Skeleton Coast Park. This great stretch of endless sand dunes and crashing Atlantic waves run for no less than 500 kilometers from top to bottom. This coast is named as one of the most dangerous sections of shoreline in the world. And we are going to take a look, see if we can spot some great scenery.
At this park, there are countless rusting carcasses of old tankers and skiffs, fishing boats, and convoy ships to testify to this. So we expect to get some awesome pictures for our albums. If we are lucky we get to hear the tales of perished sailors. Making this very much the domain of the wandering Namid elephant and the stalking hyena – which are not humans.
We read that sandboarding down the sand dunes of the Namib Desert is an exhilarating and absolute adrenalin pumping activity. Rated as one of the top adventure activities for tourists to attend.
Sandboarding, for the uninitiated, takes two forms. You can either stand strapped to a snowboard and plummet down the face of a dune or lie on a piece of plywood and go down head first. We are unsure of which of the two styles that would suit us the best. Never the less it sounds like so much fun! It’s not like snowboarding though, other than both sports uses boards.
Second thinking diving head down a sand dune on plywood doesn’t seem like a very good idea. Seems like bobsledding without the ice, the curves, and the safety. Time will show!
Fish River Canyon
When it comes to scenery and mountains, The Fish River Canyon is the place to go. Winds weave between the great mountains of southern Africa in truly majestic fashion. This is the largest canyon in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia.
This Canynon features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles long, up to 16 miles wide and in places almost 550 meters deep. The Fish River, from which the canyon gets its name, is the longest interior river in Namibia. While here we are going spectate something called the Three Sisters. Red-hued rocks atop the valley bottom with the sunset glowing red ranges in the far, and that’s where we spot the Three Sisters.
Yes, you read right! There is actually something called Balloon Safari. Can you imagine experiencing this??
At sunrise, in the world’s oldest desert, witness a spectacular hot air balloon inflation. Aiming to set out on the flight of a lifetime, taking pictures of the animals and scenery below. If we are to belive the travel letters of the internet this is the best and most romantical platform. When up in the air we will soar with the winds for an hour, over the oceans of sand and mountains.
In a balloon up in the sky, with your favorite person, animals underneath and beautiful landscape. What more can you ask for?