Blogs from Namibia, Africa - page 4

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Africa » Namibia » Walvis Bay August 14th 2016

My turn to do the blog again today, as Rob has been unwell and was unable to come on our planned excursion to Sandwich Harbour. I made the short walk to the B&B on my own and almost jumped out of my skin when an Alsatian launched itself, barking, at a fence right beside me. I was picked up after breakfast by a real character of a guide and the next 8 hours was spent in his company along with a pleasant French family, M. et Mme. Vincent and their four boys. On the way to Walvis Bay our guide told us a lot about the local area, the history and social situation. For example a substantial coastal development between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay was originally built to accommodate uranium miners, but following a disaster the ... read more
Sandwich Harbour
One of those drops!
Springbok in the dunes

Africa » Namibia » Sossusvlei August 13th 2016

How can we describe day 10, a six and and half hour African massage, if you don't know what that is read on, if you do you can stop now, or you can read on and enjoy the other parts. No early planned start today we were up and about well before the 'just in case' alarm, however some time was wasted trying to post blogs: you have to accept in Africa that WiFi is not what we In the developed world now accept as a minimum standard. As a result we will be posting this after it is written, but we will not revisit and alter what we write, it will be be first hand and raw and not changed by reflection. We always knew today would be a long day on the road, the ... read more
On the road
On the road again
Oryx crossing

Africa » Namibia » Sossusvlei August 13th 2016

An early start to today as we wanted to get to Sossusvlie before the day got too hot. Although we have been there before we wanted to do a return visit where we had more time as previously we had to rush as we had another excursion booked. We were out of the car park here at 7:00am and spent another 40 minutes getting an African massage, although it is only the last 5km that is really rough. We were treated to some wonderful vistas on the journey as the mist that forms overnight above the desert was still hanging in the shadows of the mountains. On the way we saw a crashed Land Rover that had had an accident on one of the bends. The gravel roads can be treacherous if you do not treat ... read more
Steppe buzzard (we think)
At Dead Vlie
Dead Vlie

Africa » Namibia » Swakopmund August 13th 2016

Not such a long journey today, mainly on the C14, which was in much better repair than we remember from 2012. We started by a stop for fuel and decent coffee at Solitaire (the one criticism of Namib Desert Lodge is that their coffee is foul). Solitaire is a wonderfully quirky place, characterised by a large number of old car and truck bodies on display like a strange sculpture park. There is rumoured to be a meerkat colony but today it was the ground squirrels causing a stir - they look quite similar but their tails are fluffier and they have a more hunched stance. The C14 between Soliatire and Walvis Bay does not pass through any towns, but the scenery is wonderful. En route we travelled through the Gaus and Kuiseb Passes, both of which ... read more
Solitaire
A popular sign
Road through the pass

Africa » Namibia August 11th 2016

When we were planning our first trip to Namibia in 2012 there were two places I wanted to see but we were unable to because of the time available, one was Fish River Canyon which we visited on day seven this time and the other was Kolmanskop which we ticked off today. For those that don't know, Kolmanskop is the most famous ghost town in Namibia. It has featured numerous times on television and even Professor Brian Cox has used it to explain the laws of physics! But of course this doesn't help you. Kolmanskop is or perhaps was a diamond mining town. It was founded in 1906 when diamonds were discovered 10km outside Luderitz. When better yields were discovered further away it was slowly abandoned with the last building - the hospital - finally abandoned ... read more
The desert reclaiming the town
Inside the houses
Hospital

Africa » Namibia » Luderitz August 10th 2016

We awoke to another fantastic sunrise on the edge of the Fish River Canyon. After breakfast we set off on the scenic road (as recommended by the manageress) towards the C13 to Aus. The road followed many dry riverbeds noticeable for being the only place where trees grow and one even had water in it; not the heart stopping river fording that we experienced in Iceland, although a cow had to move out of the way to let us through. We climbed to over 4,000ft and still there were hills around us. The C13 to Aus is a paved road, generally straight as a die, with little of note. We spent most of the journey climbing, topping out at over 5,000 feet above sea level. We stopped for coffee and a very generous slice of four-layer ... read more
Wild horses
Church on the rock
Church on the rock windows

Africa » Namibia » Fish River Canyon August 8th 2016

It's a week since we left home and tomorrow will be halfway through our holiday. It already seems like longer as we have fitted in so much. It hasn't been as windy today; last night it was blowing up a storm so loud that you needed earplugs to sleep. Today we have been on an excursion down to the bottom of the canyon. This involved an early start so we could be on the road by 7:00. Luckily it's not as cold now as earlier in our trip so the start wasn't as uncomfortable as the trips from !Xaus Lodge. The last few days have seen temperatures peak at 28 degrees Celsius and on the coast we are expecting night time temperatures similar to summer in the UK. I doubt that the pictures will do justice ... read more
Klipspringer
image.
Fish river from view point

Africa » Namibia » Keetmanshoop August 7th 2016

A day spent on the road today and an hour gained due to the time difference between SA and Namibia. We left !Xaus Lodge this morning for another 30 km of dune bashing to get back to the main road, but before we left we were treated to another fantastic breakfast. Once on the main road through Kglagladi the game and bird life was plentiful with another first when we spotted some hyena. The journey was highlighted by pronking springbok (where they spring into the air like they're skipping) and sighting a pair of lions. After crossing the border back into Namibia we pushed on to our next destination all on the gravel. About 20km from the border crossing we stopped at a campsite for coffee and the most exquisite apple pie. The campsite was located ... read more
Springbok
Road over the dunes
Inside the igloo

Africa » Namibia » Fish River Canyon August 7th 2016

An amazing start to today, as we were on our way to breakfast this morning we spotted wild love birds feeding in the garden. After breakfast we explored the quiver tree forest. These trees got their name from the fact that the San Bushmen used to use the branches as quivers for their arrows. They are actually a type of Aloe and seem to thrive in the rocky volcanic terrain. They are incredibly slow growing and some of the trees are estimated to be around 300 years old. The site is also home to a colony of rock dassies. We have seen these before but they are incredibly cute. We then moved on to a site called the Giant's playground which is reminiscent of some of the landscape we saw in Iceland. The rocks are volcanic ... read more
Rock Dassie
Quiver Tree
Rock Dassie 2

Africa » Namibia » Kalahari August 4th 2016

A day on the road today and plenty of adventures and sightings along the way. An early start this morning as I thought I could hear meerkats just as it was getting light, but despite checking all around there were none to be seen. After packing and a short walk we were treated to more wonderful food at breakfast. We were also able to see the elusive meerkats before we left and the adventures began. After a short blast down more tar roads we turned onto the gravel where vibration and dust are the hazards but solitude, scenery and wildlife are the rewards. Our route took us past farms of cattle, goats and sheep, which is an animal we had not seen in Namibia before. We were also rewarded with wildlife, even a meerkat standing in ... read more
Windmill
Rob - and others - to the rescue!
Following John across the dunes




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