springbok, stenbok and oryx oh my!

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Day 47: Keetmanswop-Nubib, Namibia (24 October 2009)

This morning we woke up in our good, cool air conditioned room and went down to a guava juice filled breakfast that was much nicer than last night’s dinner. We left the Canyon Hotel early in the morning and were on our way to the Namibian interior where the scenery would again constantly change. Once again minute by minute it looked different outside as the gravel turned red, the land turned yellow and some of the trees turned green

We stopped first at a crater that was pushed up from the ground and places where mountains had shifted and steam erupted. As we drove we saw the nests of sociable weevil birds who will nest on phone lines in the absence of available trees. We had lunch at a small hotel in the middle of nowhere where I had a tomato and cheese sandwich and Mathew had two hotdogs and some potato salad. After lunch the women who worked there sang for us and they were truly wonderful and very spirited in their singing.

As we continued our journey today we saw baboons as we crossed a bridge, springbok and donkeys in the distance and a parade of horses. At each nature and scenic stop today many of us have taken to photographing the desolate dirt roads and their beautiful gravel which as I’ve said before seem like they stretch for millions of kilometers with no one in sight and no start or end. We arrived at the Nubib Nature Camp around 3pm and were met by the owner of the camp whose family has owned the 8000hectare farm for over 30 years and he has lived there for 12 with his own family of a daughter and her child and a son and his family. He even had a quiver tree in the front-it’s called a quiver tree as it’s what the tribal people used to make their quivers to hold their arrows. We got our cottages, which again have no locks as the nearest town is over 3 hours away. The cottages were adorable and again had their own bathroom facilities inside. The two walls with windows had material on them with a cut out in the center covered with mesh so no big bugs could get inside and they had flaps that would Velcro up or down depending on whether or not you wanted the windows open. The place was really clean and environmentally friendly. The entire place ran on solar power and had well water brought to it through pipes nearly 2 kilometers away.

Once we were all set and completely versed in the possibility of snakes and scorpions, we headed out on an over two hour nature drive in a big open air 4×4 jeep like vehicle called an Unimok. We drove through the farm and it’s beautiful scenery. It drizzled a little but it didn’t matter. You had to pinch yourself because the stuff you were seeing was just so beautiful. It was incredible. Birds flying over the landscape, nests everywhere (some of the ones of the sociable weevil birds took up an entire tree), and tons of animals. We saw springbok, stenbok and hempsbok or orek and their babies. The owner stopped for a bit and we had some drinks towards the back of the mountains near where his property ended and gave us a bit of a lesson on farming in Namibia and to share with us that he had some leopards, jackal, zebra and other animals on his property and how he would like to expand and even bring in the big five (lions, elephants, buffalo, rhino and leopards) but he’d need bigger property to do so.

We drove back to the farmhouse (his homestead is a bit of a way away also run by solar power and they have a computer with a dial up internet system that is super slow) and were treated to a great dinner and a beautiful night’s sky after viewing a perfect rainbow on our drive back. We took our torches with us to dinner for the walk back to the chalet as we were again warned to look out for snakes (especially the puff-adder that looks like the color of land and won’t run away from strangers) and scorpions! We headed back to shower as we are to wake up at 4am for tomorrow’s excursion to the Red Namibian Sand Dunes!

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