namiba part I

Once the Cape Town conference was over I took 2 weeks annual leave. I knew I wanted to go on my little wine tour but thereafter I wasn't sure where to go or what to do until one of my work colleagues suggested I travel to Namibia. I found a trip with African Budget Safaris that matched my dates and booked the trip, pretty much sight unseen.

The trip was run by Nomad and as I was so busy at work in the lead-up to the trip, I admit to not reading the trip notes. All I knew of Namibia were the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei so when my travel agent mentioned I was going on safari, I hadn't realised that was part of my trip.

The trip began very early one morning in Cape Town. We boarded Mike the truck, and from Cape Town we headed north. Our first night was spent on a citrus farm in chilly Citrusdal in the Cederberg Mountains.

We were promised long driving days in the truck followed by an activity day.

Once we crossed the border into Namibia, we noticed a vast difference in the quality of the highway. South African highway on the left; Nambian highway on the right. It was a bumpy ride and for someone who doesn't travel well, the long driving days were challenging.

Namibia is a vast place but sparsely populated so yes I was standing in the middle of the highway taking this photo.

Our first stop in Namibia was the Orange River, where I arrived a little worse for wear so went to bed without any supper. We stayed in little cabins overlooking the river and my cabin was called Meerkat Manor. The next day we went on a canoe ride down the Orange River. We paddled for just over 2 hours along a stretch of the river. We negotiated some gentle rapids and even though I was knackered, I enjoyed the bird song. Someone (that would be me) fell over while bringing in the canoe so spent the next few hours sitting in very damp jeans.

As we drove towards our next destination, so we were surprised to see grapes being grown commercially.

As we drove on we passed a grape pickers camp, where the workers huts were covered in local reeds sourced from the Orange River.

We were heading to the hot springs of Ai-Ais until an accommodation glitch saw us relocate to the Fish River Canyon. The hot springs of Ai-Ais were not as romantic as they sounded and instead looked more like a municipal swimming pool so I didn't mind the accommodation switch all.

We drove to the Fish River Canyon, the 2nd largest canyon in the world, arriving in time for sunset.

The canyon was transformed into a great golden bowl of light.

I saw plants I'd never seen before, so had to stop to take a few photographs.

We drove to our accommodation, the Canyon Lodge, in darkness. It wasn't until the following day we could appreciate the beauty of our surroundings.

I stole a few moments to capture the sunrise.

The bougainvillea clad terrace,

and the delightful donkeys.

The next day we stopped for diesel at the roadhouse.

We discovered Namibians have a thing for old cars.

More bird life in unexpected places.

We drove on to Bethanie spying the first of many weaver birds nests.

The old stone church in the town of Bethanie, where copies of the bible were on sale at the petrol station.

We were told we had a long drive ahead before arriving at our accommodation at Sossusvlei so we were all surprised when we drove into the main street of Maltahohe mid afternoon.  As we'd arrived earlier than expected, I went for a walk around the town. The best way to describe Maltahohe is a town that time forgot and yes that is a goat wandering down the main street. We presumed we were in Maltahohe due to another accommodation glitch.

The local roadhouse.

Our accommodation for the night was the Maltahohe Hotel, where the kitchen staff treated us to an impromptu after dinner concert.

The next day we still had quite a drive to reach Sossusvlei, so we left our hotel before sunrise.

We stopped to take pictures of the spectacular sunrise before returning to Mike the truck for the drive to the National Park.

We were aiming to climb Dune 45 before the heat of the day. Thankfully it was mid winter so the temperature was in the early to mid 20's unlike summer time highs of mid 40's.

The dunes were awe inspiring.

There was some amazing light going on that day.

The only way is up. The climb was hard and at times seemed never ending.

The views from the top were spectacular and the scramble down the dune way more fun than the climb.

We'd just unloaded the red dirt from our shoes when we refilled them on the walk to the aptly named Dead Vlei, where absolutely nothing grows.

We had another late night due to a last minute change in our accommodation. The next day we were heading to Swakopmund on the coast but first the truck stopped at the Solitaire Road House, as all travellers do, for some of their famous apple pie.

Someone has a sense of humour.

We had one scheduled stop that day at the Bush Camp where our guide Frans took us on a tour.

Frans was an excellent guide as he introduced us to some of the wildlife and plant life of the region.

Those tiny little figures are mountain zebras. Each time we'd stop to photograph one, they'd head for the hills.

Some of the amazing bush ants, up close.

We stopped en route at this canyon.

I tracked it down on the internet and I think it might be Kuisberg Canyon.

I have plenty more images to share with you so there'll be a Part II of the trip to Namibia and just a warning, there may even be a Part III.

See you all again soon,



No comments

Post a Comment

© DELICIOUS BITES • Theme by Maira G.