Travels: Update 3

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Africa » Namibia » Swakopmund
December 1st 2018
Published: December 3rd 2018
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Western Kalahari
Day 13: Picked up a car and blitzed 3 hours NE to Waterberg national park. Plenty of Timon's Pumba's on the road side. Speaking of roads, their straights are so long - I could see the mirage fade into the horizon at one point.
The park itself is a table mountain plateau, with rhino's on top, if I heard the guide correctly...
I shan't lie, I did splash out a little, relative to the backpacker scene. But it was cheaper than any other solution I could conjure up. And the four-post bed with rhino-themed sheets shamelessly justified it.

Venturing out, I did a 10km loop through the valley, reaching a spring surrounded by deer and baboons. Felt like a little scene from the jungle book. In saying that, the heat of the day led to a new PB of 8 litres in a day.

Day 14: Rose to enjoy the sunrise over the western side of the Kalahari desert - a scene something like the lion king dare I say. Joined a local tribesmen for a trip up to the top of the plateau (forbidden to go alone). Overlooking the plains and valley, it was a special scene

Heading towards valley spring
looking out.

I then cruised at 120km/hr (the speed limit...) back to the capital to drop off the car and proceeded to walk across town with all my gear. Safely navigated the begging children (front for drugs apprently) and got to the shuttle to Swakopmund in time. These bus drivers love hustling tourists for free beverages and food as stations, so I've adopted the tactic of offering the ultimatum - the goods or the tip, but not both. Cracking 4 hour set of house music from a South African New Years Eve party as the drivers elected soundtrack.

Arriving in Swakopmund, I've never seen somewhere quite like it. With massive mines on the inland, huge compound houses within an oasis-like setting are everywhere on the outskirts of town. Surrounded by the skeleton coast dunes either side of its urban sprawl, a cheeky beach run to stretch the legs as the sun set was a cracking way to end the day. However, the contentful glow was undone somewhat by the realisation I had merely two packs of noodles for dinner.

Day 15: Cruised around the town centre for 8 hours. Many art and craft stores. Good crystal museum also. Had a moment whereby I saw the town Christmas tree and a large dune in the background - bizarre image. The town itself is a collage of architecture and a tourist hotspot for obvious reasons. Still great mining potential here, especially uranium and copper. Anyone want to start a joint venture? House prices are a relative bargain.

Day 16: Cheekily alligned a dune drive of Sandwich harbour as a free shuttle to my next town. Still rather smug with that. Seeing the size of their main port on the way, and its expansion plans (gateway for much of central African trade), I'm struggling to comprehend how the GDP is only growing by 0.7%

Simply epic to drive into the depths of the Skeleton Coast desert in a proper 4X4. Going down 38 degree dunes in a car is up there with a rollercoaster in many ways. Quality way to round off the final day. Also saw a genuine grave - Skulls and all - as well as huge flocks of pelican and flamingo.

And I got a dorm room all to myself...must be a sign. Still determining whether it's good or bad...

Day 17: A

Find the baboon/s
day of flights. A lovely domestic one from Western Namibia to the capital. Before a slickly timed check-in for Doha. Good update of movies to keep me occupied. Feet notably less swollen. 22 degree midnight temperatures not so welcome though.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13



View up valley from lodge

Had to show the size of these

Justification: The fabled sheets. Maybe the four-course meal also...

Sunset was pretty spectacular

The architecture

Scale: Car at the top of the dune

The grave - mother, toddler and baby. Dunes have moved 400m forward since first settlement.

Where the dunes meet the sea. 150m at times.

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