Namibia is known as “Africa for beginners.” Our seven nights in this insanely beautiful country proved this name fitting. We flew into the capital city of Windhoek from Cape Town, South Africa on a cool winter morning in late July and the rest was truly not what we thought Africa would be … easy … relatively speaking!
We booked our trip through Cardboard Box, a company specializing in travel reservations in Namibia. Now, we did not travel with a group or guide (we don’t really like that kind of travel), but we did use a company to help us plan … since Africa intimidated us a little, tiny bit!
We deplaned onto the tarmac and ventured to find our rental car, which was conveniently located at the airport.
We drove north to the Etosha National Park. We were speechless upon arrival. We spotted giraffe, ostrich and oryx within the first 30 minutes in the park. Our animal sightings did not stop and our three nights in the park were nothing short of spectacular. In addition to the a fore mentioned animals we saw hyena, rhinos, zebra, exotic birds and even (yes!) the King of the Jungle!
Leaving our plush accommodations in the park to venture to our next destination was bittersweet. From Etosha we drove towards the Atlantic Ocean for a night in the coastal town of Swakopmund. This eccentric town boasts of wonderful seafood restaurants, quaint coffee shops and German-influenced architecture. Our great B&B (The Alternative Space) was welcoming, comfortable and perfectly eclectic.
We left Swakopmund and headed for the Namibian Desert and the Sossusvlei. We stopped briefly to feed Michael’s need for speed by renting ATV’s. The ride over and around the sand dunes was both terrifying and beautiful! The dunes are 5 or 6 stories tall, yet, while at the peak of these dunes one can see where the Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean. The juxtaposition is astounding!
I was more than happy to get back in our 4×4 and navigate the desolate and very bumpy roads. The drive was (again) scenic and a memorable part of the adventure.
We reached our room at The Desert Camp just in time for sunset over the mountains and cook our own dinner via campfire. We also watched the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympics on the only TV on the property, at the bar. Ironically, we watched the ceremonies with three Londoners! It was surreal.
We spent the next two days in the desert, slathering on lotion and sunscreen while scaling sand dunes, trekking through the desert and relaxing near our “tent.”
We reluctantly left the desert and returned to Windhoek to spend our final night in the city.
I highly (highly!) recommend visiting this country and staying for at least 7 nights. It’s known for the ease at which “westerners” can travel through her winding, barren roads. However, the nation should also be known for it’s beauty, wild side and contradictory landscapes.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR TRIP, OR CREATING YOUR OWN ADVENTURES IN NAMIBIA? Leave a comment or email me at wifewithbaggage [at] gmail [dot] com, I’d love to help!