16 March 2015

Namibia | Exploring Southern Africa



Beginning of the year I promised to show you more of Africa.  I have been part lazy and part busy with work and a house move to actually look at the pictures from my recent travels but better late than never, right?

Usually when I see people post about Africa its a same usual places like South Africa, Egypt and Morocco. I think to myself why are these folks missing out on the countries in the middle. There's another 50 odd countries with stunning scenery, quiet beaches, wild life and yet magazine still show you the same tried and test (about a million times) destinations. And no, you will not catch Ebola! As unfortunate as that horrid disease is, it's only in 6 out of 54 African countries. If you need more convincing then I would strongly recommend posts from fellow bloggers like Dave Cole at CookSipGo, who has been exploring Ethopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, or going off grid and checking out Kenya's Central Island with Manouk from Bunch of Backpackers. Ever head of Madagascar? Well if you havent then you might want to swing by The Crowded Planet and see Madagascar through the eyes of Margherita and Nick, whose travels around the country will have you clutching both your pearls and passports as you race to your nearest travel agents for tickets to this diverse and magical island on the Indian Ocean. Even tiny little landlocked countries like the Kingdom of Swaziland are packed with much to see as shown by Heather Cole at the Conversant Traveller. One other place that is firmed placed close to the top of the list for my upcoming travels is Djibouti. Check out the post by Brock and Tanj's Travelogues of this tiny country on the elbow of Africa. Hopefully these links have not pushed your wanderlust into overdrive or your bank balances into meltdown. Now, recent posts I showed you around Zambia's capital, Lusaka and the Victoria Falls in Livingstone. I certainly hope you enjoyed those because it is now time to head South of the boarder and into Namibia.



What Exactly does Namibia have, Anyway?


If you have not heard or been to Namibia then you better move it close to the top of your bucket list, pronto! This is one place that will have folks flocking to it the moment they realise just what a gem it is. Perhaps you won't see this place and those linked above in the mainstream media, because they want these places to themselves. Certainly do not wait until that happens, because by then you would have been left with spoiled fruit. So now is that time to go! If you are one for adventure there is plenty for you. From quad biking and sandboarding in the desert dune, sky diving and hot air ballooning over the Namibi Desert. If you are more of the chill out on the beach type then you will be in good company as the beaches are a  treat, not only for sunbathing but water sports too! Did I also mention this is where you can see the world's highest sand dunes?! The diverse landscapes  of Namibia range from National parks like Etosha Park which consists of a large salt pan and safari parks, Caprivi Strip in the Northeast which meets the Zambezi, the Skeleton Coast to the west, where the sand dunes on the coastline meet the Atlantic ocean and reveal ghosts of the past in remains of shipwrecks, to the striking contrasts of Deadvlei with more dunes to trek. The wide expanse of stark beauty in the country are truly mesmerising and form a million reasons to book a flight as soon as possible. My explorations of Southern Africa had started with a trip home in Zambia before heading to Botswana and then onto Namibia before heading back to Zambia and then London.  To better explore Namibia you are better off renting a car. After exploring Botswana, we rented a car and drove the 10 hours from Maun in Botswana to Windheok, Namibia's capital. We stayed for one night before embarking on another four drive to Swakopmund with stops to check on the smaller towns in between. I mentioned my grand entrance into the country on my FacebookWhen we arrived into the country, our entry was just magical! I wasn't able to really capture it on camera, but as the land is quite flat with a few mountains in the distance on the outskirts of town as drove into Windhoek, it was raining heavily and soon after all around the skies opened as they landed before us over a hundred lightening bolts in a space of about 10 minutes. Simply the coolest thing I have ever seen and just what all cool road trips are made off.

We start with Swakopmund


Namibia boasts such a diverse landscape, from the built up city of Windheok to small Germanic towns of Swakopmund. Having passed through the capital we based ourselves in Swapo(short for Swakopmund) where we roamed for 5 days, taking part in various activities. So more posts on that to come including Walvis Bay, where we were spotting dolphins among a sea of pink flamingos as well as quadbiking and sandboarding in the Namibi Desert.

When you arrive in Swapo you would think you had been tricked by your airline as it looks like  you had been dropped in a small German Town. Founded in 1892, and not shocking, considering Namibia was colonised by the Germans so you find many people here also speak German in addition to many of the African Languages from the migration of people in and around surrounding regions. Namibia was in the hands of South Africa when it was captured from Germany during WWI, so was very much linked to South Africa's history of Apatheid and only got independence in 1990. Do not let that stop your from visiting the beauty that lies waiting your gaze.

Getting there and getting around: The town is fairly small so you can get around by walking while you are there. There is a train that comes through from Windheok. Although, I think you are better off getting a car so that you  have the freedom of movement as well as freedom to explore the dunes, nearing towns which are not really served well bypublic transportation.

Where to stay: There are a few hostels and hotels in the main town but we opted to stay at a lodge about 15km away from town. I will be posting about that in posts to come. There are places with varying budgets but as Western currency will get you very far in Namibia you can stay comfortably without alert your bank managers.

With friendly town folk, cute cafes and galleries, beautiful landscapes from where you can watch the sunsets and watch the stars litter the pitch black skies and twinkle like diamonds. Why on earth would anyone wait to get on the plane to visit?



Note on Car Rental:   Make sure you have all your paperwork, if travelling with rental cars between country boarders as you may not be allowed to leave the country with the car. So be sure to mention to your rental shops if traveling between boarders to provide inter-board paperwork which comes with an additional cost. Also note that most of the rentals don't have that many branches so you don't have many drop off points. We were lucky that we travelled with my brother from Botswana to Namibia and when we flew out from Namibia my brother drove the car back to Botswana with him and returned it to the rental shop on our behave.


Namibia, Deadvlei, Etosha National Park, sandboarding in Namibi Desert

14 comments:

  1. Its really pretty, definitely adding it to my list

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  2. Your photos are absolutely amazing, and thank you for the detail in this post :) definitely on list of places to visit x
    | Life as a Petite || Fashion, Crafts & Lifestyle Blog |

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  3. The sky looks such a beautiful colour, a million miles away from the weather in London today.

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    1. Tell me about! The weather really does make me want to go back.

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  4. Wow beautiful photos - the sky is so blue! x

    Amy | The Perks of Being Amy

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  5. Such a lovely place and great post. Beautiful Pictures and plenty of useful information! I will be visiting your blog. xxx

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  6. Pretty pictures and does not look like anything I expected! Thank you for sharing :)

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  7. Namibia has been on my radar ever since my old roommate visited and raved about it-I definitely need to make it to the other side of the Aptlantic!

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    1. You definitely should. I was gutted to come back and leave the beautiful scenery.

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  8. My friends recently backpacked from Kenya all the way to Zimbabwe and Namibia had been one of theor stops but unfortunately time ran out and they weren't able to make it. I have been meaning to travel moe within Africa and Namibia's defnitely on my list. Your pictures of it are beautiful.

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    1. It's really beautiful. That's really my aim to see and show more of Africa on the blog too.

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  9. My goodness, this place is absolutely gorgeous. I'm going to dig a little deeper to see how I can capture this greatness as well.

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  10. Stunning photos! The colors are so vibrant. What camera are you using?

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  11. I love your photos! The trip looks amazing. Makes me want to go to the motherland. x

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