A story from a man that loves to walk
Author: Andries Alberts, Game Warden of Bushmanland and the Nya Nya conservation area. Find out more here.
Namibia is a country with many faces. If you are so lucky to see only one of these faces you will lead a happy and fulfilled life.
On a Namibian safari I came across this valley. At first it was just this green stretch of trees in the middle of these vast open plains. To compliment this picture further, there was the massive Brandberg in all its glory.
As we followed the two track road towards the river the flat plains gradually became low hills dotted with round boulders. Entering the valley the scenery changes to that of green trees and low shrubs. The campsite is nestled under the trees. Like all camping safaris, the camp has first priority and is pitched as soon as possible.
As soon is everything is prepared and correct according to the Wild At Heart guide, the next part of this safaris starts.Venturing into the dry river that cuts its way through this thirst land to the sea, one starts to appreciate the smaller things in life.
At first walking in the sand is hard, but as soon as you get the knack for it, it becomes so much easier. When walking, one tends to become very personal with nature. Following the tree line, observing the birds in the trees and listening to their joyful singing, you start to appreciate life.
After walking about 5 kilometer we came across the first fresh tracks of the ghosts we were looking for, Desert Elephant. The big round tracks can be seen very clearly, and kneeling down one can see the hairline cracks in the sand. Fresh it is. Keeping the wind in mind the walk becomes a slow amble, eyes forever searching the trees and bushes for that massive grey shapes. Walking out of the river onto a low lying hill, you can get a better idea of this vast and majestic area. On the South bank of the Ugab lays the biggest mountain in Namibia, Brandberg, and The North bank is dominated by plains stretching into the far distance. Dividing these two opposites you have the Ugab River.
Lost in thought you are rudely brought back o the reality when the guide start walking again.
Just into the river and suddenly the guide stops and point to something in the trees. At first your eyes see just the trees and foliage, then suddenly you see slow movement, and there they are the ghosts of the Desert.
Peaceful and happy the herd looks. There is about 4 Elephants in the herd, all adults. Slowly they make their way further down the stream. With utmost care, and always making sure the wind does not blow our scent to them, we follow them. Observing these gentle giants in nature must be one of the purest experiences one can have.
Walking back to our camp, the adrenaline leaves your body and you feel slightly tired. Listening to your guide as he explains this tree or that bird, you realize how much this man must truly love nature and his country. Being on an adventure safari with people like this is truly something special.
Filed under: adventure, africa, expedition, Namibia, Travel | Tagged: 'wild at heart', africa, bush walking, damaraland, desert, desert elephants, eco safari, explore, lifestyle, Namibia, namibia desert, nature, wildlife |