Tag Archives: camping

A day in Namibia’s capital city!

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Day 54: Etosha National Park, Namibia-Windhoek, Namibia (31 October 2009-Halloween)

We woke up this morning in our cute little two person tents (good thing we did this as it’s a prelude to our full on camping trip that we do later) to the sounds of people in the next campsite over packing up their bags…it was five in the morning! Needless to say we weren’t so thrilled at the hour; but we got up, rolled up the sleeping mats and Mathew and Karel packed up the actual tent as I finished getting ready as I had packed up everything inside the tent. We stopped in the same two spots in the same two towns as we did on the way in to Etosha; the bakery for some snacks and internet time, Ot;iwarongo for a toilet stop and then we were on our way to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city. And of course we remembered to take our malaria pills as we were up to the part of the trip that we were now taking them every day as we had started just before Etosha.

We finally arrived in Windhoek in the afternoon, dropped our stuff in our new clean room decorated all in white and complete with air conditioning and a refrigerator and got some news. Paul told us that there were some complications with the travel of those meeting up with us in Windhoek so we would be leaving a bit later in the morning tomorrow than already thought…we were thrilled! We decided it was time for a bit of a late lunch and headed out to the shopping mall across the road for a quick wander and some food. There was a club rugby match on that Mathew wanted to watch so we were looking for a place to do that and came across a place for lunch, Mugg and Beans which is a chain restaurant almost like Applebee’s I would think. We had some lunch with Lee and then headed back to the hotel for a rest and a shower before dinner.

Mathew and Lee went out for a journey around Windhoek as I stayed in for a bit of a rest. Winhoek itself is not a very safe city and doesn’t have that much to offer; think of spending a weekend in Albany if you weren’t visiting the school or having anything to do with politics. They trundled along finding that our hotel was situated at the end of Robert Mugabe Avenue (oddly enough) and saw a few other museums and buildings. After a rest and a shower we found ourselves heading to dinner at Joe’s Beerhaus. Ask anyone who’s been to Windhoek and this is where they’d tell you to go…there’s sand on the floor, ‘jaegermeister is their house beer’, game is a specialty and the décor is filled with what would be other people’s junk but the treasure’s of Joe. We got to meet two of the four people joining us on the next leg of this journey all the way to Victoria Falls, Zambia. Maria and Bernardo, both Portugese were just here for the nine days of this part. Maria is a neurosurgery resident in Portugal and Bernardo is a PHD candidate in Biology living in London and working for Cancer Research and only has his thesis to defend left in the program. Dinner was good and conversation flowed, but it was a bit hard for me as there was game all around. I was so glad that Eveline and I wound up sitting across from each other so at least there was another vegetarian dish to look at across the way. There was game all around the table…Kudu, crocodile, buffalo and even zebra…people said it tasted like horse…YUCK!

Anyway, dinner was fun and we really liked our new members. Upon our return we found out that the other couple had already landed and we would have been able to leave on time in the morning but Paul decided to let us have a lie in. Ian and Louise would be joining us in the morning. We gave some goodbye hugs to Christine, Carsten and Lee who would all be leaving us in the morning; Christine and Lee to fly home and Carsten, who worked for BMW, would be joining a mate and continuing a journey through Namibia on motorbike. We made our goodbyes and then headed to bed.

Tomorrow: Our last day in Namibia; home of the red sand!

All Day Game Driving

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Day 53: Etosha National Park, Namibia (30 October 2009)

We awoke this morning to fresh air and a gorgeous African sunrise that reminded me of the clear night sky last night with all of the stars and how I might really enjoy going camping more often-especially if it all comes with ablution boxes of their showers and loo facilities and the scullery. The time was 5am and it was a bit chilly outside. We got changed in our tent and got washed up in the nearby ablution box. We had some oatmeal and peanut butter and some tea/coffee for breakfast and were on our way. Where you ask…well, we had decided to go on an all day game drive with an outside contractor to Etosha National Park. The park only offered morning, afternoon or night drives and this one was basically all inclusive although you didn’t get the nighttime; but, we had been told many times to do the night one in Kruger National Park in South Africa, so we chose this one. This game drive would leave at 6:30 in the morning, come back for the heat of the day when the animals and people were all having a bit of a rest and then leave again for the afternoon portion around 3 and was to return around 6pm.

Some of the others went on a night drive last night while others went on an even earlier game drive than us this morning and were planning on a night one as well tonight; but this was the one that Paul recommended, so this is the one we chose. The outside contractor running the tour picked us up in a huge open air 4×4 vehicle and we spent the next five plus hours going from water hole to water hole looking for animals and boy did we find them! We saw giraffe, oryx, springbok, wildabeasts, zebra, other types of antelope, elephants, a lion and much more. Yup, a lion! It was constantly amazing driving through the park (which was apparently the same size as the entire city of Barcelona) seeing so much wildlife. It was kilometers and kilometers in between each water hole and the drive at times seemed endless. But then, each time we approached a bit of wildlife our eyes opened wide and we were like little kids seeing Mickey Mouse for the first time. We even saw a giraffe lying down (which is quite rare) and older animals with babies such as ostrich, giraffe, wardhogs and springboks on their little wobbly legs getting ready to jump like their parents. It was just amazing!

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