We read, “Don’t bother with Namibia. I can take you to the beach and show you some sand. It is over-priced and over-rated.” Being from the desert in Arizona, and serious budget travelers, we almost did not go.
As we met and talked with fellow travelers who loved Namibia, a new plan and path emerged. So, after that 20-hour bus ride to Windhoek we rent a car and venture into the sand.
The road transforms from pavement to gravel, making for slow travel. We’ll call it “magnificent travel.” Vast terrain transforms in color and formation every several kilometers.
We’re getting worried that our small Volkswagen may be running out of gas (gauge is stuck on full).
We haven’t seen another vehicle for several hours, except for a mule-driven cart.
Namibia has a population of only 2 million people, as opposed to South Africa’s 53 million. No wonder it’s one of the safest countries in Africa!
The town of Solitaire certainly earns its name. They could have named it “Relief.” After a gas-up, we make like a baby and “head out.”
Let’s make camp in a safari tent at “Desert Camp.” The tent comes with a bathroom and back porch kitchen.
Talk about a porch with a view…we are in planetary paradise. Fire up that lamb braai! Suddenly, the road turns straight, forever into oblivion. Changing sunlight sets mountains, dunes, and vastness aglow with different colors.
Impalas, ostriches, gemsbok and wildebeests also love the desert.
In the morning, many rush to Namib-Naukluft National park to climb the dunes and watch the sun rise over the landscapes.
About every ten years, rains flood the washes and riverbeds. That’s when Sossusvlei, a large ephemeral pan, comes to life.
It attracts hundreds of thousands of migrating birds from as far away as the Arctic. Usually, though, the pan is dry and looks like a different planet.
Some of the highest dunes on earth are formed by some of the oldest sands in our world. Here, they separate the desert from the Atlantic Ocean.
Back on the straight, gravel road, Zebras come out of nowhere.
We’re heading to the Namibian coast, totally grateful that we decided to travel here. Gotta have more sand! Ron Mitchell