Hiking in Namibia

hiking-namibia

“This can’t be right.” I’m pushing my way through grass so high there are seeds at the base of my neck. A moment before, I was certain I saw a path there but doubt is creeping in. Is it time to turn back? Shouldn’t the path be veering to the right to loop back? Didn’t the staff say this was an easy trail to follow? And what happened to the...
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Rock Art and Other Goodness at Spitzkoppe and Twyfelfontein

Twyfelfontein-rock-art

For the non-African visitor planning a road trip in Namibia, Twyfelfontein pops up as a must-see in the literature, websites, and when talking with other travelers . Home to one of the largest concentrations of rock engravings in Africa, it’s the only UNESCO-designated cultural World Heritage Site in Namibia. Yet when I talked to South Africans about where to go or where they’d been, they mentioned Spitzkoppe and Brandberg, both...
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Etosha National Park: words do not suffice

etosha-jo-sage

“How exactly does this whole self-drive game viewing in Etosha work?” I felt unbelievably dumb asking this question. My traveling companion kept saying things like, “we’ll have heaps of time during the middle of the day to read, swim, nap, write, play cards.” Yet somehow we were also supposed to see hundreds, maybe thousands, of animals. To me, this made no sense. Before Etosha, my game viewing experience consisted of...
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A Visit to the Himba

Himba-ladies

We followed John around the grocery store as he loaded the cart with sugar, salt, cooking oil, maize meal, soup packets, matches, petroleum jelly, tea bags, and hard candy. Everyone here knows what’s happening, I thought. We’re traipsing around with a uniformed tour guide who’s hefting 10kg sacs of maize into our cart without blinking. What do these people think of the white tourists who take food to the Himba?...
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Wine Tasting in Namibia

Neuras bottles

More than once I’ve mentioned that I didn’t do a great deal of research or planning for my Namibia trip. But there was one very important subject I looked into with great detail: wine. Specifically whether anyone produces it there. The answer – obvious from the title of this post – is yes, there are wine producers in Namibia. Four of them, actually. But only three are open for tasting....
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Seals and Shipwrecks on the Skeleton Coast

sunset-mile-108

For the most part, I believe that travel is and can be affordable and accessible. There’s usually a way to visit even dream destinations like Bora Bora on a budget. But there are a few places that can only be visited if you have a good chunk of money sitting around. Or a job that takes you there. One of those is the northern stretch of Namibia’s Skeleton Coast. Access...
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Wildlife of Namibia Part 2

desert-elephants-bw

As mentioned in a recent post about plants, Namibia wildlife astounded me day after day. I’ve been in Africa for more than six months now and have seen an overwhelming amount and variety of animals. Even the ones I see regularly such as baboons and goats still excite me. Unless I’m seeing those baboons in a campsite, then I’m not a fan.   In South Africa and Swaziland, most game...
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Wildlife of Namibia Part 1

plants near Burnt Mountain

When I set out for Namibia, I figured the only place I’d see wild animals would be Etosha National Park. Maybe I’d see oryx and springbok, almost certainly a few baboons, perhaps a flock of flamingos. But my quick research told me it was the wrong time of year to see desert elephants and the thousand-beast herds of antelope that once roamed the country are no longer. I had no...
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Sossusvlei: So Much More Than Sand Dunes

deadvlei-sossusvlei

As a 19-year-old student I visited Pompeii and marveled at the lives people led during the Roman Empire. That mankind had existed with such complexity for so long, only to be destroyed by one quick blow from mother nature, overwhelmed me. When I sat alone and contemplated the history of people on this planet, tears came to my eyes. I couldn’t understand why I cried but I let myself feel...
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