"Namibian Safari" Top 5 Page for this destination Namibia by GillianMcLaughlin
Namibia Travel Guide: 2,151 reviews and 6,282 photos
Namibia was my quid pro quo for agreeing to join a friend on a family visit to Cape Town... nothing against Cape Town or South Africa, just that my idea of a month away normally meant beaten tracks were a luxury! Neither of us regretted it for a second, in fact, as I write, Guy is back in Namibia exploring parts that we couldn't reach last year.
We had little time. Internet research led us to cheap flights out of Cape Town to Windhoek (although with more time I'd have gone overland). We travelled around thanks to Jackie and her team at Chameleon: a safari company that we were recommended thanks to a chance table seating in a restaurant in Brussels. They were just brilliant.
6 days gave us cheetahs up close, a traditional Himba village, a walk on the eerie Skeleton Coast, sae ancient rock paintings and had them explained to us, and the great hunt for the exceedingly rare desert elephant. We saw seallions by the thousand (and smelled them!), had a puncture mid-desert, had a broken window thanks to a spring-bok that decided to race the 4x4 we were in (it got up unhurt!).
I had my reservations about an organised trip - a fear of being enclosed with people I didn't want to be with. I couldn't have had better travelling mates as it turned out!
Chameleon then organised a car for us to visit Sussovlei and the red sand-dunes that looked like they'd come out of a Tintin adventure. We climbed one in Dead Vlei: 2 hours hard hike up the way: 5 minutes down!
Namibia is enormous: the size of Germany, poland and most of their neighbours put together. It is also very empty: only 1.7 million inhabitants. It was fan-tas-tic... one remaining great wilderness...
In the north of Namibia there live still a number of communities whose way of life remains unchanged for centuries. One of these is the Himba people who live in the northern part of the country.
My memories of our visit to a Himba village will remain with me for a long time. This photograph shows one of the wives of the chief, warming herself in the morning sun.
Another highlight of this trip was the many hours spent trying to spot one f the very rare desert elephants: we were told that there are only 200 of these animals left. In all respects they are the same as their counterparts from more lush parts of Africa, but they have adapted to life in areas with very little vegetation and very little water.
I was desperate to see one! It seemed that every likely spot we visited, the elephants had just left! Then one day we devoted our afternoon to the task of fining an elephant for me! We were assisted enormously by a man from one of the villages, who was a tracker: you know the sort of thing... I see pile of dried sh*t... he sees that they passed here 58 minutes ago and were moving in that direction!
Another humbling moment among many in my life!
He didn't let us down. He guided us up ro a rocky hill where we perched for an hour or so. Just as the sun was going down they appeared from the undergrowth... not one, not two, but SEVEN of them came crashing through the trees - it was like the opening scene of the Jungle Book. I was so excited I was dribbling!
- Pros:Surprising variations for a huge empty country mainly covered by desert
- Cons:Huge distances
- In a nutshell:Anumals, desert, culture: it has it all
The makalani palm breaks up an otherwise treeless landscape in the northern part of Namibia. I have searched for some... more travel advice
It is a well known fact that you can smell Cape Cross long before you see it. This is thanks entirely to the fact that... more travel advice
- See All Wonderful lodgings with a tame meerkat...
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- See All breaking down in the desert
Written Apr 3, 2004
Himba - portraits of a People
Written Aug 14, 2004
GillianMcLaughlin's Related Pages
Namibia Travel Guide
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