Wandering around Namibia

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April 1st 2011
Published: April 1st 2011
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Hi all,
We are now in Gaborone and have a few minutes to update you on our last days in Namibia. But first, some of you have said that you enjoyed the monkey pictures so here are a few more including baboons for your enjoyment.

After spending time in the desert we made our way to Swakopmund, on the coast of Namibia. The 300 km journey took us about 8 hours, on dirt roads of varying qualities, and through four or five different types of desert, and crossed the Tropic of Capricorn. While resting beside the road, biologist Steve picks up a cardboard box and out comes a snake moving towards Steve! Needless to say,as he walked away the snake decided to go the other direction. We have come to Namibia where much of the desert is fields of grass due to the exceptionally heavy and long rainfall this winter. They say that the rainfall has not been like this for the past decade. We feel lucky to have experience the desert in this way and it has made for a lot of fun fording the many "dry" riverbeds! Steve has had fun with the 4X4 car in this way.

As many of you may know, Namibia was colonized by the Germans and then was part of South Africa before becoming independent in 1990. Swakopmund is a seaside town that looks very German in architecture and German is spoken in many places. It is quite an odd feeling to be in Africa and hear German and Afrikaans in a sushi restaurant on a pier on the Atlantic ocean.

Early the next morning, after arriving in Swakopmund, we were taken to seal colonies in the Walvis Bay area. There we kayaked among seals who jumped up and down around us and the youngsters following us from behind for most of the time we were in the water. We kayaked in both the Bay and the Atlantic. While driving out to the seal colonies, we past salt works where salt water is dehydrated at a rate of 20,000 tonnes a day...and flocks of flamingos that feed in these salt pans. We saw a few pelicans and as always cormorants. We didn't stay long in Swakopmund and the next day we moved on to a 1700 metre high rock formation about 100 km inland, named the Spitzkoppe, these rocks stand out in the flat savannah, and have been given to the local indigenous peoples, the Damara, to manage as a community resource including amazing camping sites.

We stayed one night and saw some wildlife and bushmen art paintings of 200 years old. The next morning we climbed to view more art paintings and decided to climb to the top of one of the formations. Having reached the top we made our way down the other side which included negotiating a narrow crack in the rock. Linda now has one less pair of trousers to carry with her for the rest of the journey.

We traveled into Windhoek and eager to look at the more illusive African wildlife we went to a local game park where we were able to drive our own vehicle around the park and get out and view the animals as close as we could. Steve saw his first giraffe of the trip and got quite close to them. We saw kudu, oryx, eland, warthogs, wildebeast and many different varieties of birds.

We arrived in Gaborone on Tuesday and since that time Linda has been working with colleagues at the University of Gabs while Steve has been wandering the streets, swimming in our pool and relaxing. In Gaborone we are definitely in another part of Africa...as we have only seen a handful of white people since we have been here.

We start our safari next Tuesday so you may not hear from us for a while.
Steve and Linda

Additional photos below
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1st April 2011

Those are absolutely awesome pictures!!! Tanisha

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