Namibia is a country found in the southern part of Africa and neighbors South Africa to the south, Zambia and Angola to the north, to the west the Atlantic ocean and Botswana to the east.
After spending 10 days in Cape town it was time to move on to the next country Namibia and we decided to take a bus. There are several bus companies that operate the Capetown to Windhoek route and we decided to use Inter-cape who actually operate all the way to Lilongwe, Malawi. Our bus was scheduled to leave at 10. am and we got there about an hour in advance to get our luggage checked in and basically get the hang of things. We were quite impressed by Inter-cape as they are quite organised . Expect to show them your passport and visa( if you require a visa to get into Namibia).If your visa is to be issued upon arrival they will note that down. Then make a call to the border prior to the bus leaving ,once they are assured it will not be problematic then you can board the bus. We thought that was really practical and showed accountability on their part.
We left cape town right on time and it was kind of sad seeing the table mountain for the last time. I do not know if its just me, but it always feels like i leave a tiny part of me in every place we travel to. However am happy to carry all the good memories with me.
The view on the road all the way from cape town to the border varies from massive dry areas to big plantations. The bus itself has a bathroom which was very nice considering the trip was 25 hrs long. We had a couple of food breaks and on one of those breaks some Namibian guy left his Passport at a KFC and only realized 200 km later!. We were definitely not going to turn back to go get it and there was also no way we were going to leave him in the middle of nowhere so we kept going on in the hopes a solution would be found. We got to the border at around midnight and I have to say the south African border control people were rude!. Like there was this nasty guy who threatened everyone on the bus with “ I will plant drugs in your bag because I can”. That was so annoying. Good thing nobody attempted to be a hero and save us from the threats because I suspect that guy would have made us stay there till morning!.
The Namibian side was pretty chill and we had no rude guys threatening anyone. Oh!and the Namibian guy was able to cross the border!!The KFC people found his passport and diary and emailed his friends bla bla and well he was able to go home . Yaay!! So happy for him.
We got to Windhoek the capital at around 11 am and checked in at our hotel before passing out from exhaustion. Namibia is one of the least populated countries in the world and this was very evident even in the capital. Its unlike any other capital city in Africa.To be honest there is also nothing much to do in Windhoek. That night we decided to eat out and check out the night life in Windhoek. The hotel staff recommended Joe`s beer house “the best known restaurant serving Namibian cuisine with a German twist “ and we decided to go check it out. It was okay, had tons of tourist and some good kudu meat which we downed with a couple of beers. Namibia by the way is like a beef / meat county and every meal basically has tons of beef and very little vegetables. While in Namibia make sure you try eat all sorts of bill tong!! Had the best beef chilli bill tong.
Uber doesn’t exist in Windhoek but they have lots of taxis which charge around 20-50 NMB Dollars .Also important to note is that public transport is basically non-existent and what is available is very unreliable which makes backpacking a nightmare. The next day we hired a car and camping gear which we figured was more convenient and economical. Accommodation is also quite expensive and it is hard to find something in between.
Our Namibia plan involved doing the desert ,the coast and seeing a little bit of the north bordering Angola.After picking up our car hire we stocked up on amenities before leaving the capital. We left at around 5 pm and we had around 394 km to drive on roads that we did not know. Which was not a smart idea and I would not advice you to do that. The road was sometimes so bad and we had to drive super slowly, coupled with the fact that our GPS was not working and for a few km or more we ended up just driving blindly. However I would like to mention that there are several flight options to sossuvlei if a road trip is not your cup of tea.
We got to the Namib naukluft park at around midnight after a long scary drive. The park is the largest game park in Africa and the fourth largest in the world is ran by the government and you have to go through it to access the desert. The park itself has a camping site where you can put up your tent for 200 NMB Dollars a night. However there are many lodges around the park that you can stay at if you prefer that instead. We were fortunate enough to find space on the camping site despite not making a booking in advance. Please book in advance he he. We were so tired and hungry after the long drive and made some vegetables before checking in .
We woke up the next morning at 5 am as we had been advised on going to the desert early since it gets extremely hot and you would much rather get there early. An advantage of staying inside the park is that the Sesriem gates to sossuvlei open at 6 am for you while everyone else residing outside the park has to wait till 7 am.
The sunrise is beautiful and as you drive in the desert the sight is breathtaking. We saw a couple of hot air balloons flying over the desert and we could only imagine what a view the people inside must be having. If you get a chance please do the hot air balloon there are various companies offering those specific services.Our first stop was Dune 45 whose name comes from the fact that its on the 45th km from the Sesriem gates. Dune 45 and Big Daddy are some of the highest and most famous sand dunes in the Namib desert.
First things first, the desert can be ruthless and I highly recommend dousing yourself in sunscreen and hydrating like crazy!!. The climb up dune 45 looked so easy from a far until we started going up!oh my!! IT IS HARDER THAN IT LOOKS!.
I nearly passed out from the heat and the steep ascent!!. I stopped so many times going up for water breaks, catching my breath breaks, sunscreen breaks and basically any excuse to take a break is allowed. As you go up, there is another higher peak right up your vision and dammit its like we were possessed because we kept going!. There was this old couple in their 60`s who made it look like a piece of cake and made us young folks feel lazy. Finally we made it to the top!!!yaaay!! #bucketlist .
We were overjoyed and we sat there for a while just taking it all in..the view is everything and worth the climb. The entire desert from the top looks so beautiful. Its like nothing we had ever seen before. Tiny little insects and geckos scrambling in the sand on our feet and the whole entire desert before us, the sun peeking out shining *sigh*. This world is beautiful. As usual I got down to my yoga shenanigans at the top, it was too picturesque not to do that.Going down was a piece of cake and waaaay to much fun!!. What better way than to sand board all the way down and in our case slide on our butts!. Ha ha so much fun. It takes around 45 minutes or more getting to the top but going down took us a little under 5 minutes! How cool is that?!.We were not the only ones with that crazy idea which made everything so much fun and silly as we went down.
We were so sandy and literally looked like we just got out of a scene of the movie the gods must be crazy LOL!!. We had just slayed the dragon that is DUNE 45!!!
Next up was Deadvlei, a dead forest in the Namib Desert ,mmmmh?. Intresting ;);). Soon on the next post ;-).
Thanks for the ❤ as usual.
Yogie On The Move.