Every so often, it’s good to leave the rat race behind and take a break to recharge the batteries. It’s even better when you also have an adventure to look forward to and my Namibian overland trip with Nomad Adventure Tours was just that – a trip of a lifetime and an adventure indeed! In 12 days we covered a distance of 3000km from Windhoek all the way to beautiful Cape Town. We were privileged seeing so much wildlife in the Etosha National Park and with its enormous salt pan it’s not like any national game park I had been to before. The salt pan from the distance looks like the ocean with its blue-green colouration, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that the coast was nearby!
We also had the opportunity to visit a Himba tribe and to understand their culture and way of life. The semi-nomadic Himba people have lost large portions of their land and their numbers are dwindling, so this tribe was classed as an educational tribe, whereby they provide visitors with an understanding of their traditions and lifestyle. The hairstyles of the Himba women certainly had all of us talking!
Spitzkoppe with its massive boulders, incredible landscape and Bushmen paintings was another highlight en route to the coastal town of Swakopmund. Swakopmund reminded me of an old-fashioned German town with the German street names, restaurants and bakeries selling traditional bread and cakes. It is also Namibia’s adventure capital and we were taken to the desert adventure centre, where you could choose to do everything from sky diving, sand-boarding, quad biking and taking a scenic flight. Whilst some were brave enough to sign up for a sky dive the following day, 4 of us decided to go on a scenic flight over the desert and skeleton coast. The scenery was fantastic and whilst I admittedly started feeling nauseous due to the turbulence over the desert, I would not have missed this flight for the world!!
From Swakopmund our journey continued along the coast to Walvis Bay, where we got to see the flamingos – there were thousands and they were very noisy! After that we headed for the desert, which is a truly amazing place – from the red desert sand, the incredible dunes, the 900 year old dead camel thorn trees in ‘Deadvlei’ (Dead marsh) to the most amazing night skies, it was all incredible!
When we finally left the desert, we headed for the mighty Fish River Canyon, which is so enormous that it makes you feel incredibly small. After a night in the Ai Ais hot springs resort, a little oasis surrounded by mountains, we headed for the Orange River and the following day it was time to cross the border into South-Africa. After a very long drive we got to the Cederberg, well known for its citrus and wine plantations. We stayed on a citrus farm for the night and had a great evening wine tasting and had a traditional meal cooked for us by the owners.
The following day we arrived in Cape Town where our tour ended. I had a few more days to explore the stunning city and took the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, went to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, explored the V&A Waterfront and the wonderful Cape Malay quarter of Bokaap with its colourful houses. Sadly, the time came all too soon to pack my bags and leave.
A big thank you to Amen our guide and Clever our chef – they made a fantastic team! The lovely group of people from all over the world I travelled with were so easy-going, good fun and great company.
Those 12 days have a special place in my heart – never to be forgotten!