|Just before my long ride.|
It was quite refreshing to visit Windhoek. The city of nearly have a million people was quite spacious. You can go long stretches from 6 pm without seeing anyone, and the streets are clean with great infrastructure.
It’s not an easy country to explore on public transit though. I relied on my hostels to get around, writing a note on the noticeboard looking for fellow travelers to share a ride and split costs. I did a free Windhoek walking tour, visited an at gallery and on day three I was on the road to the Namib Desert.
|Christuskirche built by Germans.|
|Spotless clean street in Windhoek.|
It wasn’t easy to get there; we got a punctured tire along the way and the road was so long. We stopped for lunch at The Solitare, a small settlement offering a gas station, bakery and café along with a view of vintage cars baking in the sand.
Seeing the big dunes at sunset was a revelation. Some are over 170 meters high (more than a 30 story building) with sand 5 million years old. To get a great view we had to climb up what was known as “Dune 45,” not an easy thing to do with the wind blowing and your footsteps not being stable. The sunset was just spectacular, and a magical bonus was witnessing the Milkyway with my own eyes later that night.
Entrance cost was N$180 and camping was N$220 at Sessriem campsite.
|Climbing dune 45.|
|Yoga moves on Dune 45.|
|Beautiful sunset from Dune.|
In the morning we set off for the Sossusvlei/ Dedvlei region to see some magnificent trees, resplendent in the sky with some believed to be over 800 years old. How have they survived without a consistent water source? It was Mother Nature working her wonders. This area is simply amazing, make sure to go before it gets too hot.
|800 plus old trees in Deadvlei.|
|Big Daddy dune in the background.|
|One of the respected ladies in the village.|
|Cute kids in the village.|
|Mama and her beautiful little ones.|
I spent five days in Etosha National park. I don’t usually travel to see animals but this was incredible! The scenery is gorgeous. Lions, wildebeests, impalas…it was like living a scene from the Lion King. I learned that elephants as well other animals in arid regions are larger than those in humid temps.
|Zebra crossing in the park.|
|King Lion roaming around.|
|Herd of elephants.|
Are you afraid of ghosts? You have to visit Kolamanskop 10 km away from the coastal town of Luedtritz. There you’ll find a silent community named Kolmanskop. Back in the day (until the 1940’s and the start of the Second World War) this former German diamond mining town had a quaint population of 400. Today all that’s left are echoes of what was, with weathered shops and schools and places of worship amongst sand and strong winds. Everybody left town once the loot ran dry, but their footprints remain. It’s eerie but so captivating. Bring a ghost buster if you can! Kidding, no ghosts,
If you’re lucky, maybe you’ll come across some precious stones, but you’ll be asked to return your shiny discovery. They will reward you with 50% of the cash value.
|Fun times in the Ghost town.|
|Sand filled room in Kolmaskop.|
A drive down Elizabeth Bay enabled us to say hello to some pink flamingos amongst amazing sunsets. The day concluded at Dias's point, where a Portuguese explorer named Bathlomew Dias put down his cross in 1488 as the first European to discover Africa’s southernmost tip.
Namibia is such an exotic country with so much to see. If ghost towns and sand dunes and tribes don’t capture you, visit Walvis Bay where you can surf amongst the seals. Did I mention the Fish River Canyon, the Caprivi strip, or the bushmen and Epupa falls? Nope. There’s so much to discover. You’ll love Namibia, just remember to bring a jacket and hat as there’s lot of sun,sand and wind at night.