Page 11 of Weir travels Travel Blog Posts


Africa » Namibia November 6th 2006

What do you do with a free ten days in Namibia when the early appearance of the rainy season (6-8 weeks ahead of its anticipated arrival) makes driving on your own to the few parts of the country that you haven’t yet visited somewhat unwise? Faced with the option of kicking my heels in Windhoek - don’t get me wrong, I’m fond of the place: it’s just that there isn’t a vast amount to do and I feel as if I’ve “done” most of it - I arranged to go back to the Cheetah Conservation Fund where I’d had such a ball back in September. But first to “pay” for the loan of a vehicle to get me up and down the country. Keith Leggett, the scientist with whom I’d worked on the desert-dwelling elephant ... read more
chameleon
black-backed jackal in the late afternoon light
CCF after the rains

Africa » Namibia October 30th 2006

What do you do with a free ten days in Namibia when the early appearance of the rainy season (6-8 weeks ahead of its anticipated arrival) makes driving on your own to the few parts of the country that you haven’t yet visited somewhat unwise? Faced with the option of kicking my heels in Windhoek - don’t get me wrong, I’m fond of the place: it’s just that there isn’t a vast amount to do and I feel as if I’ve “done” most of it - I arranged to go back to the Cheetah Conservation Fund where I’d had such a ball back in September. But first to “pay” for the loan of a vehicle to get me up and down the country. Keith Leggett, the scientist with whom I’d worked on the desert-dwelling elephant project, ... read more

Africa » Namibia » Kaokoland October 19th 2006

For reasons that I’m not sure I’ll be able to convey to anyone who has never been to the big open spaces of Africa, I fell in love with Kaokoland during my work on the desert-dwelling elephant project there in August. Truly, to paraphrase, I can "never shake the ancient dust of Africa off" my boots. It’s not a kind environment. The adage “if you don’t like dust, don’t go to Kaokoland” is all too true, and that’s even when the afternoon winds aren’t whipping up the dust, obliterating the surrounding hills and getting it in your eyes and ears, not to mention turning your clothes and skin a paler shade of grey. Temperatures in the hot dry season of which October is supposed to be the beginning reach at least the mid-40s in the shade ... read more
dust storm in the Hoanib
the eclectic collection of things on sale
schoolwork at Purros campsite

Africa » Namibia September 30th 2006

Sitting here at a keyboard on a muggy spring night in Outjo, unable to sleep thanks to the efforts of a particularly noisy mozzie in my room and a probable OD of caffeine earlier in the day, I feel as if I am back at school with an essay crisis (except for the fact that I wrote essays by hand in those days). Admittedly, this is an essay crisis of my own making: I want to get the blog for the most recent part of my trip written up before I go bush on Sunday and forget all about the last month’s experiences. I think that it is safe to say that, when I was describing my trip to friends in advance, this second conservation project in which I was going to get involved as an ... read more
view on the way to work in the morning
Tylee's puppies at 5 weeks
one of many sunsets from the Tower

Africa » Namibia September 3rd 2006

As you might have noticed, I have been very happy to put up with, shall we say, a variety of accommodation arrangements in the last few months. (I described one type of overnight arrangement as "basic camping", promting the question from one friend, "what's more basic than camping?".) However, I could not really expect Colin to enjoy other than a reasonable amount of luxury when he flew out to join me in Namibia for a snatched nine-day vacation at the end of August. And, it must be said, I didn’t resent the five-star treatment too much - though I found it interesting how much less comfortable I felt in the company of the majority of my fellow four/five-star guests than I had with my co-travellers and co-volunteers in Namibia to date. The trip started and ended ... read more
Etosha Pan from the air
traffic jam at Okaukeujo waterhole
making "baby monitors"

Africa » Angola » North » Luanda August 23rd 2006

Eight things that I didn’t know about the capital of Angola a week ago: (1) It is one of the most expensive cities in the world; I assume, the most expensive in Africa. US$10 for an iceberg lettuce, for example. And I’m assured that eating out in London seems modestly priced by comparison. (2) The US dollar is, effectively, a second currency, thanks, in no small part, to the booming oil industry here. (3) Along the coast, the most oft-sighted bird is the common egret; a curiously spectacular bird to be apparent in such numbers. Not a seagull in sight. (4) There is, effectively, no tourist industry; not even a scruffy photocopied handout at the Luanda Fort where nothing is labelled, and street-sellers simply sell goods targeted at the general population rather than hassling the (non-existent) ... read more
view towards central Luanda from where I was staying
plaque commemorating David Livingstone on the British ambassador's residence
view of Luanda Fort from PwC's offices

Africa » Namibia August 21st 2006

Sitting here in Luanda watching the fiasco that is the fourth day of the England -v- Pakistan test match (how I came to be here will be revealed in a later blog), I’m struggling to work out how to write up what have undoubtedly been a couple of the most interesting weeks of this year. Where to start? The beginning? Well, I suppose this’d be a reasonable - if slightly old-fashioned - option… When I took a year out in 1993-94, I looked into doing voluntary work abroad, but ran into a brick wall with VSO, the only option I believed was open to me, on the basis that they wanted at least a couple of years’ commitment, and someone with more useful skills than an ability to list the top ten cases on recoverable financial ... read more
base camp at Outjo
that´s what we´re looking for!
en route to the Hoarusib

Africa » Namibia July 29th 2006

Well, OK, this is just an excuse to send you photos of other stuff, including birds and, if not bees, then at least some curious insects, and some flowers and other things that I thought might be of interest. So, you can heave a great sigh of relief: there will be little text in this blog, and lots of piccies to look at. No excuse not to get back to work quickly after scanning this entry! Sorry, did I mention the "w" word???! Anyway, by the time you get this, I'll be off on my travels again. Fully recuperated from the effects of a lot of VERY early mornings, lack of sleep and the full-on schedule of the Namibian Experience having had a week of veg-ing in the chill of Cape Town (yes, I am managing ... read more
crimson-breasted shrike
female Southern korhaan
Cape sparrows

Africa » Namibia July 29th 2006

After the non-stop thrills of the Northern Adventure with the camping and early-morning starts, it was nice to get a night’s sleep in a real bed without a tent companion - however well Yvonne and I had got on as tent buddies. The evocatively-named Rivendell Guesthouse in Windhoek (though I was disappointed that there was not an elf in sight, let alone an Orlando Bloom look-alike) also provided space and time to re-pack and re-organise my somewhat tired-looking backpack. So, by the time Sunday dawned, I was raring to go on the Southern Swing (I’m still a bit dubious about the name, but there you go). This time, Yvonne, Veerle, Lisa and I found ourselves with only three additional companions: a Connecticut biology and chemistry teacher, a retired NHS Englishwoman and a Belgian “teacher of teachers”, ... read more
tame cheetah at Quiver Tree Forest camp
a busy meerkat family
Baster children at Hoachanas

Africa » Namibia July 28th 2006

The second half of the Northern Adventure was to get more cultural as we left nature for anthropology and a visit to a Himba village near Kamanjab in Damaraland. This village has been developed by Jaco Burger, a South African known as the “white Himba”, who has adopted the ways of the Himba and was appointed head man of this particular group of Himba. The Himba people continue to lead a traditional way of life, with cattle at the centre of their lives, and move around between villages as the seasons and the cattle’s grazing requirements change. It was a privilege to be able to visit them, and have some of their customs explained to us; yet, at the same time, we felt as if we were intruding, as if the Himba people themselves were being ... read more
close-up of a petrified tree trunk
welwitschia at the Petrified Forest
rock carvings at Twyfelfontein




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