Monday, 18 August 2008

Namibian roundtrip

We are now back in Windhoek after a Namibian roundtrip with Christian and Pernille's family (Marie, Leif, Camilla and Hans).

After picking the family up at the airport we stayed the first night just north of Windhoek on a nice guest farm. The next day we headed towards Etosha National Park. On the drive in we started spotting warthogs, zebras, springboks, all sorts of birds (the bird thing was mainly the two biology experts, Hans and Camilla), etc. But as soon as we entered the park things got even more interesting, as we saw an elephant almost immediately.

During our three night stay we saw more than we ever dreamed of. The first night the water hole at Okakuejo camp was visited by a big group of elephants, and had a visit by three lions and four rhinos. We even got to see a rhino square up to the male lion, resulting in a massive lions roar (which is really some thing you have to hear for yourself, along with an elephant fart...). Aside from this brilliant start to our safari we also saw tons of zebras, springboks, gemsboks, wildebeast, giraffes, plenty of elephants including very cute small ones. But maybe most interestingly we also saw a lion chasing a gemsbok, unfortunately without success. A leopard in a tree with kill, and very surprisingly a leopard in the middle of the road obviously not caring much about us (so much for it being the shy big cat). We also went on a very cold night drive where we again saw lions, elephants and rhino. Nothing short of amazing.

After Etosha we drove down to Swakopmund (with an overnight stay in a hole called Kamanjab), via a petrified forrest, the Skeleton Coast and Cape Cross seal colony. The drive was beautiful, it is just so different for us Danes to see this vast desolate landscape, and the changes along the way. We also saw a giraffe in the middle of the road, and a group of Hartmanns mountain zebras. The seals were also nice, but they really do stink.

In Swakopmund we relaxed, played a bit of football, ate quite a lot and drank plenty (mainly beer i suppose, and I agree Ashley, Tafel is the best of the ones up here). We also went on a drive to see the welvichia plants, that are only found in Namibia. And then we went on a quadbike and sandboarding tour. The quadbiking in the sand dunes was a lot of fun, with surprisingly few restrictions regarding how fast you drive and how steep slopes you attempt to tackle. One thing to remember though, is that the tires grip a lot better on tar than on sand. Christian found out the hard way, and his trousers are currently at the taylors to have the 10 cm tear on his arse repaired, after the quad decided to throw him off :-) Oh, and if you go, the manual 200cc models have quite a lot more power than the automatic ones!

From here on we drove through the Namib Naukluft National Park to Namib Desert Lodge about an hour from the gates to Sossusvlei (the red dunes of Namibia). We went to the dunes, which was probably on of the best experiences of our trip so far. The landscape was stunning, even if the walk up the dunes was very tiring. We went up Dead Vlei and Big Daddy. One of the great things was getting down again, you can gather a lot (and I mean a lot) of speed down these dunes, and thus jump very far and high. The only downside is that you have sand absolutely everywhere afterwards.

Our final night we spent just outside Windhoek (Christian, Pernille and I in a tent in yet another freezing night with temperatures around -5, thank god we bought proper sleeping bags, well Christians isn't quite warm enough, so he seems to be looking forward to warmer nights...).

Now we are in Windhoek waiting for our Hilux, that Toyota have just called to say we wont get back untill tomorrow at 15.00 as we have to have the bearing in our suspension changed.... We sort of expected this, as the left front wheel was very loose.

Hereafter we plan to go on to Khaudom National Park for some rough bush camping (meaning no toilets, and apparently no fences around camp), and then through the Caprivi Strip to Botswana. So we do not expect to have another update for at couple of weeks.

Thank you all for your comments and interest, and my apologies for putting the pictures in the wrong order this time (I cannot seem to figure out how to move them around).


Simon Birkebæk said...

Wow... Nothing short of amazing? Seems just about the right way to put the experiences into words...
I hope the camping in the park goes well.. Greetings from Sønderborg!

Mads said...

For dælen da, det ser jo bare bedre og bedre ud. Landskabet virker jo helt fantastisk og nærmest også lidt uvirkeligt på nogen af de billeder.
Jeg ville nu også gerne prøve en tur ned af de sandbakker..Det ser fedt ud, men der må ha været nogle grumme styrt imellem :)
I lever sgu da bare livet dernede blandt alle dyrene i solen. Glæder mig til at høre om jeres camping uden hegn ... Jeg ville nok ha' skaffet mig en stor kanon af en art, eller lære at brøle som en stor løve :)
Ha' det rigtig godt alle tre, og fortsat go' tur.