The day the journey ended

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Africa » Namibia
March 14th 2020
Published: March 15th 2020
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We had a leisurely start for once thinking we were done with safari. However an excited lady walked past and told us there were 8 lions by the side of the road outside the camp so we got our arse in gear and had the real privilege of seeing a pride of lions (9 in total). They didn’t seem bothered by our presence and walked right by the car, we were all very happy and it was totally unexpected.

We then headed out the park and south to a town to re-stock for the next few days in Damaraland and along the skeleton coast. Unfortunately about an hour later we got some internet reception and it seemed the world was truly starting to lock down on Corona-virus and we contemplated carefully whether we should head for Windhoek and get out before the shutters came down.

Alain had already decided he wanted to stay a few more weeks as his ski trips were now cancelled so he very kindly stopped the car for an hour while Warwick and I looked at options by the side of the road. We concluded the world wasn’t going to improve so we should get out while we could and head to the airport in Windhoek.

We then set about changing flights but after 20 attempts to reach the Ethiopian airlines customer services and Kate trying from London we realised it wasn’t going to happen so we bit the bullet and looked to book new flights. We were about to pay for a flight on Lufthansa but then Alain got a text alert saying the Namibian government had immediately suspended all flights to and from Ethiopia, Germany and Qatar. So we quickly changed over and booked tickets on South African via J’burg as the only route out of Namibia left open.

Once booked in and with a “possible” exit route we had to double back away from the Skeleton coast and begin a 6 hour drive to Windhoek to fly out the next day. This was the moment the trip ended but it proved a prudent decision and I think we were just ahead of the curve as all flights were cancelled and you couldn’t get a flight out of Namibia for the next few days.

We headed sombrely to Windhoek, the wind a little taken out of our sails. Alain seemed excited and a little nervous of going on his own but he seemed keen to try it a week and see how it goes. Since he has nothing to rush back for it makes a whole lot of sense for him to enjoy the time out here and the amazing scenery.

We got to the lodge we had arranged for several nights hence and thankfully since they were empty they could accommodate us. It was a lovely spot and we had a good meal and 2 bottles of wine to finish the trip (accompanied by one million moths who were fighting for landing space).

A little prayer and a little bit of luck should hopefully get Warwick and I back to our families tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

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