… that is how the story of this traveladventure begins. From desert to ocean to savana plains and mountains, Namibia is a top destination for people who like to travel independently. After doing some group travels over the past years, it was great to be on the road with a friend for 3 weeks and travel at our own pace. With a size of 824.000 km2 and a population of only 2 million, there are vast open landscapes. To me there’s nothing like the sensation of driving on these open roads – gravel in this case ☺ - and seeing it all pass by, the scenery, the people, the wildlife. We chose to stay in lodges and bush camps, many others camp or do a combination.
Whatever way you like to travel, you will find the 'waw experiences' in Namibia. There is something about the country that gets into the heart of every traveller, far away from the crowds and stress. Ofcourse the country has problems of its own. There is an enormous gap between rich and poor, also creating social and health problems like alcohol abuse, and high numbers of HIV. And yes, we have seen poverty, people living in poor conditions, walking in the scorching sun in the middle of nowhere. But in our contacts with Namibians, whether they were white or black, we also saw an enormous will to move forward.
And what about safety? We didn’t experience any trouble. Namibia is a fairly safe country to travel through, even for two women. In fact at the moment, I feel safer in Namibia than anywhere in Europe to be honest... Just use common sense and listen to the advice of the people in the lodges and guesthouses. The main risk seems to be road accidents due to high speed. So travel slowly, make sure you get to your destination before dark, get enough fuel, and take water and some food with you ... oh and a satellite phone might come in handy too (especially if you don’t know how to change a tire :-)).
On our 3000 km trip there were so many highlights, from seeing the most amazing nightsky in the Namib Desert, to sitting in a hut with a group of Himba women and a two week old baby, late night campfire talks, tagging along with a group of Bushman people showing us their ancient knowledge and traditions, watching an elephant passing by at just 2 meters in front of the car, ‘cruising’ over the high sand dunes at Sandwich Harbour and then seeing how the cold and wild Atlantic Ocean meets the high sand, the sight of hundreds of flamingos on a beach near Walvisbaai, seeing a lion having his lunch snack, observing large amounts of giraffes and zebras drinking at a waterpool, watching the sun go down over the desert or the palmtrees in Palmwag, ... need I say more?
I hope this blog inspires to travel, whatever destination you chose.