Category Archives: Namibia

So many steps. So many I can’t remember how much. My brain is dead, my body broken, but I made it to the top in time. Dune 45 in Namibia is a challenge. Sure, it’s nice to see the sunrise at stupid o’clock, but to walk up a dune? At every step you sink back down just a little. It’s just enough to make you wonder why? Why am I doing this? I reached the top and could barely smile, but after a while the feeling of achievement arrives and you can enjoy the reward of the sunrise.

A safari in Africa is a special event. It’s not every day that you see some of the world’s most impressive animals in the wild. So seeing the gates of Namibia’s Etosha national park made me very excited. Just driving into the park, towards our camp, we saw lions bathing in the sun, zebras and giraffes. The camp ground could be called a village. It’s got everything you need, including a pool, bar, restaurant and shop. I think this was the most luxurious place I’ve stayed at in Namibia, even though it was just camping. Our ‘village’ also had a waterhole, so at night we could do some animal spotting nearby. After several game drives we hit the jackpot. There was a row of cars, an Etosha traffic jam, which could only indicate something was going on. We happily joined in and saw a waterhole. A whole bunch of lions…

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One of the young men spoke English. He was to be our guide while we visited the Himba village. Since it is hard to visit an authentic Himba village, we settled for the tourist version of it. These people genuinely live here, but they are used to visitors, questions, and showing their rituals. The first thing was learning how to greet them: “Moro. Perivi. Mauah.” “Hello. How are you? Good.” You said all of this at once, without waiting for a response to your question. Men can be sent to school when they’re 13. Women always stay at home. A Himba man has several wives and doesn’t have a standard house. He could be moving from village to village. This is why we mostly saw women and children in the camp. They had the most amazing hairdo’s and necklaces. The women immediately wanted to know how old we all were.…

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There are many ways of camping in style. Style is a flexible word and is interpreted in many ways by different people. This time the style was far from glamping, but not in any less glamorous surroundings. Spitskoppe is a group of rocks in the middle of the desert. They stand out and you can see them from afar. My camping experience at Spitskoppe was almost like wild camping. The bushcamp had a small cubicle with a type of netting as a wall. This was the long-drop toilet, constantly occupied by dozens of flies. And that sums up the facilities for the night. We pitched tents and went on a walk guided by a local. He wasn’t a very experienced guide, but an expert on the area. He explained a bit about the click language of Africa, showed us the buttertree which juices are used for skin conditions and took…

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Namibia is a big country with a lot of natural beauty. Sesriem canyon is a relatively small canyon, compared to for example Fish River Canyon, yet it’s a beautiful place to stop on a roadtrip through Namibia. You might be on your way to the famous dunes in the Sossusvlei, but don’t just race past this little beauty. You can walk into the canyon to explore it. It’s only 1km long, so not very strenuous. The canyon seems small, but wider than expected when you enter it. When looking at it from above, you barely notice it is there. Even though it’s a short walk, it can be rocky at times. Small stones are scattered over the floor at one point, sand takes over at the next. The canyon was formed by a river, so you are walking on the river bed. During periods of heavy rain part of the…

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I felt like cattle when we were urged to get into a 4×4. 25 people were standing in the back, holding on to a rail if they could. The ride into the desert was bumpy, at times hilarious, but mostly uncomfortable. When we finally arrived in the big patch of sand a desert guide called Boesman greeted us. He said some people would think he walked quite fast, but that it wasn’t a problem and he would wait for everyone. As soon as that was said he turned around, power walked to the first point of interest over the hot sand and left us all standing with our mouths wide open in surprise. Boesman told us about the animals in the desert. Bugs, lizards, springbok and gemsbok. We were lucky and saw some gemsbok running up a dune. A rare sight. Besides the animals, Boesman was talking about the bushmen…

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Sandboarding is a popular activity in many countries these days. Pretty much everywhere you have dunes, you will find companies advertising sandboarding. There are a lot of varieties to this and the best one I’ve done was in Swakopmund, or Swakop, in Namibia. It was all arranged via Alter Action. In the morning they brought a van to my hostel to pick me up and together with the other sandboarders I was driven into the desert. There were two options to choose from; standing up like a snowboard or lying down like on a water slide. I chose the snowboard version as my main event, even though I had no real snowboarding experience. Time to pick up the gear and go. In the heavy snowboard boots, walking in the desert wasn’t easy. It was early in the morning, but sun was already bright and hot. Luckily it started to get…

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A day in the Sossusvlei starts early. No time for a shower or breakfast. It was still dark and the sky was covered with stars. We were on our way to the famous Dune 45, apparently the most photographed dune in the world. The best time to see the dune is at sunset our sunrise, when the sun casts shadows over the dune landscape, and the best seats for the show are at the very top. Dune 45 is in the middle of the desert, so there are no elevators, chairlifts or conveyor belts to help you. Climbing Dune 45 is done on pure strength and willpower. Imagine walking on the beach, only uphill. Every step you take will only count as half a step, as the sand will drag you right back down. At 170m tall, it’s a lot of steps. When I arrived at the top I crashed…

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