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Africa » Namibia » Swakopmund
April 24th 2015
Published: April 26th 2015
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HIMBA BABYHIMBA BABYHIMBA BABY

Little guy was very curious
En route to Namibia we celebrated our 42nd anniversary. It was a lovely day and night as we joined up with friends for a celebratory dinner and dance. We came back to a decorated cabin artfully done by our steward. We have been fortunate to be at sea for 14 of our last 15 anniversary parties.

Namibia is the land of desert and dunes, skeleton coasts, wild horses and pink flamingos. It has one of the highest life expectancies in Africa and seems to have a fairly stable government. Namibia gained its independence from South Africa in 1990 after a 23 year war with South Africa and is prospering. One of the first things we noticed was the absence of barred windows and barbed wire fencing around the houses in Namibia. That is a good sign! Brad and Angelina somewhat put Namibia on the map when they honeymooned here and gave birth to their daughter. Now it is an adventurer’s paradise.

Luderitz was our first port of call. This area is named the Diamond Coast for its mining of this valuable gem. There are still boats here that sweep the ocean floor just off shore in search of diamonds.The
GEOFF and JACKIEGEOFF and JACKIEGEOFF and JACKIE

Anniversary night with friends.
town of Luderitz is pretty basic and still has many Germanic remnants of its former colonial rulers. We explored the town on foot during our short stay and noted an abundance of taverns and churches. Luderitz is not a regular tourist stop and there is little in the way of visitor facilities in this tiny town. But the beautiful dunes are close by and the desert is filled with wild horses.

Our next stop was Walvis Bay. It is one of the major deep water ports in Africa and was fought over for centuries by the Dutch, Germans, British, South Africans and Namibians with the latter finally gaining control of the port in 1995. Not only is it a prosperous commercial port but Walvis Bay is also becoming a popular seaside vacation destination.

We took a van with Helga and Jurgen 20 miles north to Swakopmund. Here, nestled between the towering dunes of the Namib Desert and the Atlantic Ocean, sits a bit of Bavaria. This perfectly preserved German colonial town is amazing in its authenticity as a replica of a village in Deutschland with its architecture, restaurants and even the lingua franca. So who better to visit
ANNIVERSARY NIGHTANNIVERSARY NIGHTANNIVERSARY NIGHT

Two love birds
this place with than our two German-speaking friends? We first took a walk around town ending up at the crafts market by the museum. It was fun to listen as Helga bargained with some local street vendors in German. We went to the Caffe Treff Punkt for a very traditional German lunch consisting of potato pancakes and sauerkraut and sausage. Helga and Jurgen said the pancakes were the best!

We also came upon a small nomadic group of people who are of the Himba tribe. They have very distinct clothing and hair styles. The women who were selling metal bracelets did not wear tops and several were nursing their babies as they negotiated with us. Due to the lack of water and tribal taboo, Himba women do not wash themselves with water, they instead cover their bodies with red ochre which helps protect their skin from the sun and from insects. They also cover their dreadlocks with red clay for the same reasons. When they are out in the desert, they generally don’t wear much clothing, just the red ochre and clay. These cattle herding Himbas are fiercely traditional and almost totally self-sufficient.

That night Silversea treated us to a dinner party in the desert. We were driven out into the desert to a narrow canyon that resembled a moonscape. There a lovely oasis had been set up for us complete with local music, camels, lanterns, heaps of food and wine, bonfires and even some porta-potties. During dinner the skies filled with stars and then a sudden rain shower sent many of the guests scrambling back to the vans. This was such a surprise in the area where the total annual rainfall is less than an inch. Nevertheless, it was a lovely way to spend our last night in Africa.


Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 24


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DIAMOND SUCKING BOATDIAMOND SUCKING BOAT
DIAMOND SUCKING BOAT

Men harvest diamonds on the sea floor
SUSAN & SUZANNESUSAN & SUZANNE
SUSAN & SUZANNE

A chilly day on deck with Julien
MODERN SETTLEMENT HOUSESMODERN SETTLEMENT HOUSES
MODERN SETTLEMENT HOUSES

The government built houses have replaced the township slums.
GUISEPPEGUISEPPE
GUISEPPE

Restaurant pro from Italy
J and HELGA IN NEGOTIATIONSJ and HELGA IN NEGOTIATIONS
J and HELGA IN NEGOTIATIONS

Getting the German pancakes and apple sauce
PANCAKES and APPLE SAUCEPANCAKES and APPLE SAUCE
PANCAKES and APPLE SAUCE

A German specialty
HIMBA WOMEN SELLING THEIR WARESHIMBA WOMEN SELLING THEIR WARES
HIMBA WOMEN SELLING THEIR WARES

Nomads come into Swakopmund
SEASIDE MANSION WITH THATCHED ROOF SEASIDE MANSION WITH THATCHED ROOF
SEASIDE MANSION WITH THATCHED ROOF

Walvis Bay has many fine homes
PINK FLAMINGOSPINK FLAMINGOS
PINK FLAMINGOS

A beautiful site on Walvis Bay
A NIGHT IN THE DESERTA NIGHT IN THE DESERT
A NIGHT IN THE DESERT

The setting was enchanting
NAMIBIAN WOMEN GREETERSNAMIBIAN WOMEN GREETERS
NAMIBIAN WOMEN GREETERS

Their dresses were brilliant
CAMEL RIDING IN THE DESERTCAMEL RIDING IN THE DESERT
CAMEL RIDING IN THE DESERT

Lori and Maria know why horses might be a better idea.
DESERT DINNERDESERT DINNER
DESERT DINNER

Day turning to dusk proved magical
POLLY POLLY
POLLY

She painted a lovely desert water color
THE LOCAL ENTERTAINMENTTHE LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT
THE LOCAL ENTERTAINMENT

Serenaded us during dinner.
LUMINAIRESLUMINAIRES
LUMINAIRES

Lighting our way in the desert


26th April 2015

Toward the end.
Thank you for all those interesting and entertaining blogs. Only a few more days and you will disembark into the day-to-day world again. Have a good summer and warm greetings.
26th April 2015

Good to hear you enjoyed Walvis Bay and J and Helga got their potato pancakes. We were there two years ago. Take care, Linda & Bob
27th April 2015

Great photos, and interesting comments, Thanks
Say hello to our good friends Dodie and Larry

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