After a week on the road with sleeping in tents and eating by a camp fire we were dirty and tired and then came the luxury: a hostel with normal beds in a town by the Atlantic Ocean, called Swapkomund.That’s not enough, we also went out and ate in a real restaurant, that served all kinds of wonderfull food from pizza to wild meat, like springbook or oryx.
On the way to Swapkomund we passed the tropic of Capricorn and saw a desrt-part that looked like a moon landscape. It was very different from the other parts of the desert. A whole new planet.
We continued throgh the desert and suddenly the desert became a beach and we reached the ocean and the town of Swapkomund. The border between desert and beach was a road.
In Swapkomund or Walvis bay nearby we were supposed to see flamingos, but they didn’t want to show up, so we just saw the town and continued into the desert. We saw women in traditional cow-hats. Interesting and beautiful. We also had luch by the ocean in the most perfect seafood restaurat. We also visited a local museum that told history of the town and a local market with nice crafts.
In one of the places, near mountain called Spitzkoppe, we saw ancient cave paitings wih lions, giraffes, bufallo, men and women and a whale (?). There are other, even more magnificent areas with cave painting, that are on the world heritage list in Namibia, but not the ones we saw. That’s a perfect reason to return to Namibia. In that place, near Spitzkoppe, we got surprised by heavy rain and thunder, that poured down and was gone in few minutes, but left us soaking wet. African rain.
The sunset by Spitzkoppe was enchanting. After the sunset, in the dark we had a visit from some locals who showed us their dances and invited us to join. It was fin, even if some of us came a bit outside our comfort zones. We joined in womens dance and mens dance and danced till the night got really dark and we were really tired. This was the first night of two when we slept by the camp fire with no tents, just the dark heaven and the stars above us. It was beautiful, exciting and just a little scary. We saw scorpions during the day, they are most likely creeping around during the night as well.
In the desert we saw more amazing things and met amazing people. We travelled by nice villages and stopped by a local market. There were some people dressed just like westerners, some traditionally, like women in cow-hats, some dressed as their navite ancient forefathers did. It was the Himba, who we would meet later that day. Everything seemed perfectly normal and nobody was surprised. Just imagine showing up in your city on the main streey dressed traditionally. Unless it’s national Day people would probably stare.
We continued through the deserts and we met the local Himba people and learned about their customs. It was strange feeling visiting them, a little bit uneasy, like going to a zoo. Or maybe we were the zoo that invaded their world?
That night we saw anothe wonderfull sunset and slept under the naked sky watching milions of stars and thinking about how small we are and how large bugs with more than two legs are waiting to attack us. We saw also the most beautiful sunsets in Africa and in this place one of them.
After that we continued to Etosha National Park for game spotting. We saw lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, springbook, hippos, oryx and many more animals and birds. We also saw the great Etosha Pan and yet another sunset.
After Etosha we continued to Windhoek, the capitol of Namibia and after that to Botswana and the wonderful Okavango Delta. And finally to the great Victoria Falls. All that will be in the next post.
To be continued…