Walvis Bay & Swakopmund, Namibia – September 9-10 – As we flew west across the vast continent of Africa – from Kenya to Namibia – we somewhat marveled that from loudly grunting hippos in the Mara River at dawn we were on to the crashing surf of the south Atlantic at dusk. A place where huge sand dunes meet the waves, and moonscape desert landscapes make us marvel. The Namib – oldest Desert in the world – and we were coming to stay here. Has Lakani gone loco?
Namibia is known by some as ‘the land god made in anger’ … upon landing we could sort of see that too. Barren desert as far as the eye could see, or so it seemed. By late afternoon a few of us were on the Living Desert experience among the spectacular sand dunes with our guide Tommy and seeing chameleons, lizards, sidewinder snakes, sand beetles, and little birds that came from nowhere. This place was becoming magic. We were being wow’d quickly. Just before heading out to dinner at the beach-side “Tug” restaurant we enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the ocean.
We enjoyed a full day to explore the good mysteries of Namibia. Starting with a morning boat cruise on a luxury catamaran we, explored the Walvis Bay harbor to meet the marine life. Through the morning mists, within minutes, we were joined by sea lions and a large white pelican. We sailed through vast oyster beds … originally imported from Chile. Past huge colonies of seals … you hear them long before you see them. Our highlight was to see the Benguella dolphins riding on our bow wake and the huge Humpback whales breaching ahead of us. A sumptuous elegant lunch awaited us on the beach. Oysters and bubbly alongside the Atlantic. That afternoon, in comfortable 4×4, we headed off down the long wide sandy beach toward Sandwich Harbour. We cut up into the high dunes and enjoyed dare-devil driving as we headed up and down towering sand dunes. We are on nature’s biggest roller-coaster ride … the sand dunes end at the sea.
Late in the afternoon, from the small old German town of Swakopmund, we headed out for the ‘moonscape’ desert landscape for sundowners at sunset. As we arrived we were greeted by a youth group acapella choir, their beautiful voices carried across the desert. A shout of ‘look up’ quickly makes us realize a group of colorful parachutes are carrying sky divers above us. As they were coming closer … someone said ‘they’re bringing our bubbly from heaven’ … and they were, it’s heavenly bubbly from the sky. Now that’s magic! Our choir sang, we toasted a magnificent day. At dusk, we drive a short ways and come across a most beautiful setting in the desert, a huge natural rock ‘bowl’ lit by hundreds of luminaries all around and high up on the rock walls. We were amazed. A bright red carpet lined by tiki torches and a jolly marimba band lit our way into our desert dinner under the stars. High up on the rocks, fire dancers amazed us more. This night was almost unbelievable.
The magic of Namibia has enthralled us all. It is a country of great contrasts, distinct differences. We were captivated. We have seen it for real. We shall never forget. Awesome adventures await … it’s time to head for Africa’s most southern city, sometimes known as the ‘pearl of Africa’. We’re rather eager to find out why. Cape Town here we come …
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