It has been a couple of days since I’ve landed in breathtaking Namibia, and so far it has truly been an epic experience. In my first four days I’ve already seen amazing things.
After a long twelve hour flight with a stop in Luanda, Angola, we finally landed. Right when we came out of the airport, we already got lucky by spotting some wildlife (or game as it’s called) along the highway, several baboons were playing in the grass, hopping from fence to fence. When we arrived at the accommodation we just relaxed for a bit. After that we headed into the city for some good old sightseeing, we went to all the different sights bought some cliché souvenirs. After the tour throughout the city we went to this place called Joe’s Beerhouse where I had my first try at some springbok meat (which was kind of scary to try, but oh boy so delicious) and I paired the springbok meal with (of course) some Windhoek Lager. Overall I must so even though I rather enjoyed Windhoek, it’s quite a small city with only a few sights, still worth a visit but the one day we had there was more than enough.
On the second day we made our way out of the city heading to the Kalahari Desert. This day existed mainly out of driving but we made a few stops on the way. For our first stop we made a quick break in the city of Rehoboth, we had some lunch there just before heading into the city, that’s when the Namibian poverty first hit us, while we were enjoying our lunch we had several people coming up to us asking for money, which I mean is quite understandable, in Namibia there is unemployment of 50% which made us, as “rich” tourists the money income for the unemployed. Also when we drove through the city of Rehoboth it was rather shocking to see all the people in their self-made homes. We also fueled up in Rehoboth, at the petrol station there was a small kind of “museum” outside where you could read about the history of Rehoboth which was very interesting, because it gave more information about the city then any of the travel books we brought with us. After our short stop we made our way to the Kalahari Dessert, where we stayed at truly gorgeous lodges in de middle of nowhere, called Kalahari Anib Lodge. Once arrived me and my brother and I did a small hike near the lodges, where we spotted our first warthog ( aka Pumba) in the distance, truly a silly animal when it ran away from us, with its tiny tail wagging in the air. After the hike we sat on the edge of the swimming pool, watching the sundown near the waterhole. As the evening slowly grew darker several animals made their way to the the waterhole, and we spotted the greater kudu, some oryx and springbok. After that we had some wonderful dinner at the lodge, buffet style.
Before we left the Kalahari Desert to head on to our next destination, we had our first game drive in the morning. Game drive is where you sit in a safari car, and drive around to see if you can spot different animals. We drove around on the plot of the Anib Lodges, I slightly expected to see some more warthogs and springbok, maybe even an oryx if we got lucky. But oh boy was I wrong, we did not only see the ones as mentioned above, but we saw zebra´s, blue wildebeest and kudus. At a certain point we went out of the car for a small hike so the tour guide could show different plants and trees, and I asked him if there were any giraffes on the plot as well, he told that there were but that they are really hard to spot. But of course again we got lucky, when we went back into the car to head back to the lodges we spotted some giraffes, eight, nine maybe even ten of then all eating from the same tree just on the side of the road. It was extraordinary to see such an animal, an animal that you see in the zoo or in movies, to see such an animal in real life, in the wild. Full of amazement we came back to the lodges where we packed our stuff and went off to our next destination, Sesriem. When we left we received lunch packages, which is a very handy thing to order at your accommodation if you´re up for a long drive, because you never know how far away your next meal is going to be. After we left we just drove straight away to our next accommodation, well straight away, we did get lost at one point, but fortunately we found the right way soon enough. When we arrived at our accommodation, Desert Quiver Camp, we unpacked our stuff, chilled at the bar for a bit and we went to the lodge near us for some dinner. Again dinner in buffet-style, but this time with added barbecue elements, there were several chefs outside where you could pick any kind of meat (even crocodile, I mean CROCODILE) and they would grill it for you. Best dinner so far, also beautifully located, outside just in front of the waterhole. After dinner we sat at the bar for a bit to play some good old card games, while playing card I discovered this delicious soda, totally not Namibian probably available in a lot of other countries, but anyway it became my Namibian holiday drink: Schweppes Lemonade (also nicely paired with vodka).
Day four was a rather exciting day. Well, all the other days had been exciting so far but this day we didn’t have to drive as far as usual since we stayed at the same accommodation for two nights. So that meant a whole day of exploring and hiking. We started the day off with an very very early breakfast at the same place as we had dinner. The meat grilling was switched to egg frying, and the breakfast buffet was just as glorious as the dinner buffet. While we were having breakfast, these silly birds were running around outside, later on I learned that they are called helmeted guinea fowl, and that they are literally everywhere, but from that moment on I just called them chickenbirds, because they looked like failed chickens to me, still beautiful, but failed. After breakfast we drove to the Sossusvlei, an extremely popular sight, that my dad called the Eiffel tour of Namibia, which is don’t think does it justice. The Sossusvlei is part of this enormous desert, which exists mainly out of picturesque dunes and valleys. While we drove through we climbed one of the most famous dunes, called dune 45. Not only did the dunes look spectacular, several 100 meters high, with a sharp cartoonish line in the middle, but also the view from dune 45 looked extraordinary. With bare feet we climbed up the dune, and we went back sliding down the sides. After we climbed it, we drove on to the valleys, first we drove on the usual gravel roads, and after that we had to drive through mule sand which was quite an adventure since a few cars got stuck. After that we reached the famous deadvlei which looked straight out of a Salavdor Dalí painting, white plain field full of dead trees and vultures, surrounded by the sky-high dunes. It was a breathtaking scene. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay to long, since it was almost noon which made the weather too hot to stay. Just before exiting the park we stopped for some lunch, and we ate some classic American burgers the Namibian way, with of course some lemonade. After lunch we went to Sesriem canyon inside the park, the canyon is actually how the town of Sesriem got its name. The farmers who used to live there needed six (ses) belts (riems) to get the water out of the canyon, that’s why it’s called Sesriem. The canyon made up for a great and short hike, and also great views. Afterwards, since it was getting too hot, we headed back to the camp, where we relaxed at the pool while watching the sundown. In the evening we went back to the other lodge for some delicious dinner. While finishing up with dinner we met Patty, Patty is the “house” oryx that lives on the plot of that lodge, which meant we got to see an oryx up really close which was a pretty special end to our stay in Sesriem.
So far I’ve already fallen in love with this country, the rest of my journey will be coming up soon on my blog. And as well ways
-Until next time-