Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Namibia May 2011

May saw us on a two week tour of Namibia - well only a small portion of this vast, beautiful country can be seen by road in two weeks, but we didn't do too badly.  Despite the roads being quite difficult following record breaking summer rains, we got around in our little Honda CRV quite easily.  One can drive for hours and hours and not see another soul - the first time we overtook another vehicle was on the 150 km stretch of tar on the way back to the airport.

Flying in to Windhoek we overnighted there (we could probably have made it on to the Sossusvlei but as newbies to the country we decided to err on the side of caution).  The next day bright and early we set off for the dunes, and they were everything we expected them to be, and more. The only mistake we made was not staying in accommodation inside the park, but next time we will know better.  From their Walvis Bay to Swakopmund, the latter I can give a miss next time, but I had the best calamari of my life in a little waterside pub in Walvis Bay.  On to the Seal Colony at Cape Cross - yes it did pong!  Luckily the wind was in the right direction for us not to smell them from the hotel.  What a setting - nothing on either side of the hotel/colony for hundreds of kilometres.

Then we drove a beautifully scenic route into Damaraland where the ancient volcano has spewed giant rocks into the air to land precariously on top of each other and remain balanced like that for millions of years.  Fascinating scenery, and equally interesting rock carvings and paintings at Twyvelfontein.  We didn't bother to go on the excursion to see the Desert Elephants as our next stop was Etosha for five nights and we figured we would see plenty there.  WRONG!  There had been so much rain the bush was still thick and lush, and the animals had plentiful water without coming to the pan or the watering holes.  We saw a single ellie the first night which came right up to the lodge watering hole, plenty of plains game, a fleeting leopard and birds birds birds.  It is truly an amazing place, the pan was full and glimmering in the sunlight.  We were sorry to leave after our five nights in the park but keen to get home and look at all the photographs!  There were many.  Below are just a few to give you a taste of this country which brings to mind lots of superlatives but I am not going to use any more here.

Ostrich against a dune. The colours are real

David attempting to walk to the top of Dune 45.

Walking through "Dead Vlei"

At Sesriem Canyon

See what I mean about the remoteness of Cape Cross!

Going to view the rock art at Twyvelfontein

Early morning mist from our lodge in Damarland

The lone Etosha Elephant

Early morning drive - Springbok

Lilac Breasted Roller

Black faced impala

Usually one can drive right out to a view point - not this year!

We just sat at this watering hole and the game came to us!

We quad biked to the top of this mountain

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