It’s a land often referred to as if it were a homogeneous “country”, yet the African continent is hugely diverse in landscape and its people. Oliver captures the enchantment of one of Africa’s regions as he describes his experience in Namibia:
Let’s hear it Oliver!
I have traveled the world and never encountered the same warmth and felt the fascination I experienced while in Africa, and I agree with Richard Mullin when he says that
the only man he truly envies is the one who has not yet been to Africa for he has so much to look forward to.
During my African adventures, I have visited almost every country, but last year was so special for me because I went to Namibia, the country that surpassed all of my expectations, and made me want to come back over and over again.
What I Knew about Namibia?
Before I went there, of course, I have asked around and read a lot about the country. I found out that it is a great place for on-the-road adventures. There are many natural wonders to see, and I have made a list of my own: Fish River Canyon, Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, Skeleton Coast, Damaraland, Mamili National Park, Naukluft Mountains and Sesriem Canyon. I printed out the map, marked the locations and planned out a route.
What I Have Learned There?
There is no planning in Namibia. Once you are there it wraps you up in some special time zone outside the world and keeps you captured. When I arrived, I asked for a guide, as I was advised to do. I met an old man, looking like an old wizard (the kind I used to imagine while reading the tales about King Arthur and Merlin), and he agreed to help me with my journey. Though he was a pleasant and quiet man, at some point, me and my travel buddies decided to head alone into this adventure. We rented a for-wheeler and started our safari experience through Namibia.
The Safari Drive
It was the fifth day of our trip, 5 minutes past midnight when my friend Josh entered my tent and woke me up. By then I was already used to the howling of coyotes and slept very tight. “Happy birthday”, he said. Oh right, I forgot. It was actually the best birthday ever. In the morning, we arrived to Etosha National Park where I had the most amazing birthday photos with giraffes, elephants and zebras in the background. I actually sold some of them on a web platform for photographers.
All of Those Places…
Besides the safari, we tried to see as many as things we can. Sometimes we travelled by bus, while at other times we rented a car. One place was not on my list – the Kolmanskop Ghost Town – but I heard the locals talking about it and simply could not resist. We have arranged permits in Namdeb and started our excursion. The city is a creepy sight of abandoned buildings invaded by sand dunes, but it is beautiful in its own way.
The Sossusvlei desert blew me away with its magnificence and hiking in the Fish River Canyon was exhausting, but quite adventurous (we walked the intense 85km trail). All of the places on my list were amazing, but the ones I discovered when I arrived have caught me by surprise, and thrilled me. One of them is surely the Spitzkoppe and the other is Lüderitz, a town sandwiched between windswept South Atlantic Coast and the barren Namib Desert. The city recalls Bavarian villages, with bakeries, churches and small cafes.
The Things I Plan to See Next Time
Sadly, there are a few places we did not have the time or the opportunity to visit. That is just one of the reasons I want to travel to Namibia again. Because it is devoid of roads and crossed only by sandy tracks, the Kaokoveld could not be a part of our route this time. I have heard a lot of tales about Himba – a group of nomadic pastoralist living there, and I really want to see what their life is like. We also did not get the chance to see the famous humpbacked white elephant painting in the Philips Cave. Some other places that must be on my route next time are the Erongo Mountains, Twyfelfontein and Mahango Game Reserve.
Namibia is one of those places that stay with you forever even after you are back home. One trip to such a country is never enough. So, guess what Namibia, I will come back the next year, and who knows, maybe for years to come.
Oliver Hyde is an experienced business consultant from the UK. His job allows him to travel and discover new places. He can’t stay put at the same place for a long time, but Africa was an exception; it stole his heart and made him travel through the continent for more than a year.Twitter Google+