More than ten years (or, reflections when oceans meet)

More than ten years (or, reflections when oceans meet)

Eleven years ago, this journey began when I made the decision to leave my stressful, highly-paid job in a tall office building in Boston. Over the months that followed, decisions fell into place that meant selling a home, a car, a variety of possessions, and putting others in storage. Another job was quit (not by me, by that lovely woman who walked beside me in life for a while –

Hiking in Namibia

Hiking in 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

Rock Art and Other Goodness at Spitzkoppe and Twyfelfontein

Rock Art and Other Goodness at Spitzkoppe and Twyfelfontein

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

Etosha National Park: words do not suffice

Etosha National Park: words do not suffice

“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

A Visit to the Himba

A Visit to the Himba

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?

Wine Tasting in Namibia

Wine Tasting in Namibia

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.

Wildlife of Namibia Part 2

Wildlife of Namibia Part 2

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

Wildlife of Namibia Part 1

Wildlife of Namibia Part 1

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