On the 5th day it was unfortunately time to head back to a city-life, after an again wonderful breakfast at the neighboring lodge, we made our way to the city of Swakopmund. Starting our driving a little later than usual, since we woke up early every day since we had arrived. Our first stop was at the “village”, I guess you can call it, of Solitaire. Solitaire is the only place on a long stretch of road where we could stop to tank and to get some food, so naturally we stopped there. We first went to the bakery of solitaire, where they had all kinds of delicious treats. The bakery also had, hold on, the first real coffee machine we had seen so far, so of course we indulged ourselves with some delicious cappuccinos for the first time since we’ve landed. After the small break we went over to the petrol station to fill up our car, when we discovered that the hood on the back of our 4×4 Range Rover had partially broken off (terrific explanation, basically just car trouble). Lucky for us they could kind off repair it at the garage next to the petrol station, bad luck for us the reparation took about 1,5-2 hours which meant that we had lost quite some time that day. But that didn’t ruin our spirit, still full of excitement did we make our way to Swakopmund.The drive to Swakopmund was absolutely gorgeous. The first stop we made was at the all famous Walvis Bay, which turned out to be quite a disappointment. We drove around for a bit in the city itself, until we made our way to the shore to spot some birds, but since it was quite foggy there wasn’t much to spot. We also could only stay there for a short while because of the time lost in Solitaire, and we wanted to be at our hotel before sundown. So, we left Walvis Bay behind us and entered the city of Swakopmund. We stayed at a hotel near the beach with a beautiful view, once we arrived at the hotel we went for a little beach walk, and in the evening we ate at this fancy restaurant called The Tug, which was rather nice but still couldn’t live up to the previous dinners.
After a small breakfast we left the city again to our next destination, Day 6 was a day of long drives, because we wanted to take a scenic drive so we could pass by the Spitzkoppe. Our first stop that day was at a little government operated gem market , where the locals could sell their gems (that were dug up in the surrounding area), in the form of necklaces, bracelets, you name it. It was I quite nice place to get so souvenirs. After that we just made our way to the accommodation, only stopping for petrol stations. We stayed in the Erongo mountains, in Hohenstein lodge, which had the most beautiful view so far. When we arrived we booked a sundowner game drive for the afternoon, and before that we went for a small hike to a bird spotting point. The game drive was quite nice although we didn’t see many new animals, however we saw a baby giraffe which was pretty amazing. Also watching the sunset in the Erongo mountains from the safari car with of course a Windhoek lager, was totally worth it. After the drive we had dinner at the lodge, a set and included dinner menu.
The 7th day was again, you’ve probably already guessed it, a day of long drives. This day was a bit of a downside to the whole trip. Since we only had two weeks in Namibia, and we wanted to see as much as possible, which meant staying in the car a lot. This day we were just fed up with staying in the car the whole time, also because this day there wasn’t much to see, the day was just a drive/no sightseeing day only. Which ruined the mood a bit. The only stop we made was at a village to eat our lunch and to get some coffee. We had received lunch boxes from the previous place, and they gave us the strangest lunch ever. Maybe it was just something I had never seen before, but it was just odd. They gave us schnitzel on cake? Like literal cake. Maybe it’s a German thing that stuck around in Namibia, or just an open-minded cook that had prepared our lunches. Anyway it was still a fine meal. Also the coffee that day was odd, the waitress just gave us boiled water with coffee pads inside of it, again it was fine but just odd. Besides the strangeness of our meals that day not much excitement happened. We arrived at our lodge, Rustig Toko Lodge, the place was pretty nice. A lot of the locals (among them Herero’s fully in traditional clothing) also came to the Rustig Toko Lodge to have dinner, and to sit around the camp fire watching the sunset. It was nice to sit with locals for a change, because a great deal of the places we stayed at were just tourists. For dinner there was again a little buffet, which was fine. After that we played card games as usual and made our way to bed.
Moods completely restored, because today was going to be an exciting day. From Rustig Toko we made our way the famous Etosha Park. We entered the park through the west gate, Galton gate. After some necessary paperwork we could finally enter the gates. If you are unfamiliar with Etosha Park, it is the biggest and most famous wild life park in Namibia, the best place to spot the big 4 (because number 5 is not to be found there). Throughout the park you have different waterholes, just like at the accommodations, where you can spot different animals. When we entered the gate we took an immediate turn to the first waterhole. And the first waterhole was just a-m-a-z-i-n-g, while the days before we had struggled to just even spot a hartebeest in the distance, this waterhole was just jam-packed with an abundance of animals. It was just crazy, hundreds upon hundreds of zebras, springbok, oryx, eland, wildebeest even giraffes in the distance. We stayed at the waterhole for quite a while, just staring at how stunning it all was. After that first waterhole we just hopped on from waterhole to waterhole spotting different species along the way. We stopped at the Dolomite camp, and after that at Olifantrus to eat our lunch that we had bought at a supermarket. After Olifantrus we didn’t spot much for a while, until at a certain point we stopped at an abandoned waterhole. Right before we turned around to go back to the main road, I squinted my eyes and thinking I saw something in the distance. I instantly grabbed the binoculars, and saw the gigantic (in my opinion) king op the savannah. A massive male elephant was just slowly walking up to us, casually like it was nothing. He just walked by, relaxed, took a look at the waterhole , where we just were parked in front of, no biggie, and walked on disappearing into the distance. The first elephant we saw was just a breathtaking experience. It is crazy to see an animal you always see on tv or in a zoo, to see such an animal up close, right in front of your car. After the elephant, we soon reached our last on the way stop of that day, Oukaukuejo camp. We just parked our car there, ate some icecreams, wrote some postcards and we moved on to our next destination. Right out of the Andersson gate, we stayed at Etosha Taleni Village. The best accommodation yet, I know I keep saying how amazing the places I stayed at are but they really just keep surpassing the previous accommodations, and the keep surpassing my expectations. Before dinner I, of freaking course, did a small hike with my brother. We hiked to a viewing point where we spotted some zebras. After that we had dinner, best buffet ever. Taleni village is from the same lodge chain as the Sossusvlei lodge we used to eat at (the place of the chickenbirds, and also an amazing buffet). So for the dinner part my expectations were rather high, and oh were those expectations met. Just delicious. Later I found out that this place is known for the best buffets of Namibia, and what can I say it’s true!
More days will follow, and as always
-Until next time-