Namibia in 13 Days

Travelling in Namibia

Find out more about Wild at Heart Safaris in Namibia.Wild at Heart Safaris is a young Namibian-owned and based Safari Company, that specialises in Adventure and Luxury Safaris for small groups and families.

 

 

Lions in the wild

Lions in the wild

 

The safari started off in Windhoek, and would eventually end up there again. What happened between the start and the finish was a safari of great pleasure. I was joined on the trip by two (2) men hailing from Edinburgh, Mark and Stefan.   Visiting the Waterberg Game Reserve will and always is a delight. The majestic sandstone cliffs with the plains at your feet are a sight to behold. Sitting on top of the Waterberg Plateau and watching the sun paint brilliant colours all around you is difficult to describe.  Getting up the next morning and hearing the call of the Dassies and Baboons make you realise, you are in Africa.

Onguma were to be our next stop. One of the “Jewels of Namibia” Onguma offers tranquillity and peace of mind. Pitching camp under a Leadwood tree and starting the fire for dinner is one of the many pleasures of a camping safari. After dinner all of us would just sit around the fire and listen to the night music that Namibia has to offer. This became the trend for the rest of the safari.   Entering Etosha National Park at Namutoni, another adventure began. Wildlife of different shapes and sizes, everywhere to see. Stopping at different water holes to observe, and to enjoy this spectacle of nature in its full glory. At Halali lunch was had. After lunch we took the road that would eventually bring us to Okaukuejo, and from there we would leave Etosha via the Anderson gate. Around 14:10 we spotted two lions lying under the shade of a Camel thorn tree. We really thought that this was a very good sighting, not knowing what lay ahead.

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Twelve Days with a Norseman

Climbing the Brandberg mountain in Damaraland Namibia

 

His name is Joakim Jonsson, a Swedish native now living in London, England. Joakim completed the 120 Kilometre Namibia Ultra Marathon in 22 hours 40 minutes during his first visit to Namibia.

 

Brandberg - Namibias highest peak

Brandberg - Namibias highest peak

 

So, the safari started at Sossusvlei, renowned for its very high sand dunes (as if we did not know that – but more on this later). Joakim is a professional photographer, meaning first light and last light is his favourite time, and the rest of the day can be used for other activities. After photographing the haunting beauty of Deadvlei, it was so decided that we would see what Witberg looks like. Though this track is only 5 km in a straight line, it took nearly seven hours until we reached our vehicle – tired, but totally satisfied. The experience was magical: entirely alone in the dunes, sitting on the high crest and looking over the “sand sea” , just dunes and more dunes as far as the eye can see. Witberg was the only rocky outcrop in this “sea of sand”…. That evening, sleep came easy.

The next leg of the journey was Damaraland, a wilderness with landscapes that take one’s breath away. First, of course, the highest mountain in Namibia, Brandberg had to be conquered. Konigstein, at 2573 meters, with a view of all the plains below, was in our sight. With our backpacks weighing about 20 Kg, mainly water, we began the journey. Stopping at several Bushmen paintings on the way, the mountain began its to cast its spell. Extremely rugged, but so utterly beautiful, we continued walking. We pitched camp at 1990 meters, and had our compulsory meal of dried food before going to bed. The blanket of stars above us is just too difficult to describe. As the last wood burned away, we fell asleep safe under southern skies.

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Exploring the Namibian Dune Sea

 

Unspoilt Namibia

Unspoilt Namibia

 

Recently, the Wild at Heart Safaris team was contacted by the Namibian Coast Conservation and Management Project (NACOMA) to lead an expedition into the sand sea of the Namib Desert. The aim of the visit was to familiarize the Hardap Regional Council with their coastline and to look at potential ways of generating funds for this region.

The expedition consisted of two Wild at Heart Safaris guides, three NACOMA members, one Fisheries and Marine Resources member, and seven Hardap Regional Council Members: the Honourable Governor, Me. K.M. Hansen, and Member of Parliament, the Honourable B. Namwandi (the two main figures on the trip).

The expedition started at Rooibank, on the south bank of the Kuiseb River. From here on in, driving in and on dunes would be the only option left. The Shawnee, a shipwreck near Conception Bay, was first on our list. We reached the Shawnee at 14:00. The next shipwreck to be visited was the Eduard Bohlen. The Bohlen ran aground in 1909, and is now laying 400 Meters inland. The night’s camp was pitched at the old customs office of times gone by.

The next day we traversed more dunes and visited the diamond towns of the area. Everyone was amazed at the determination of the diamond diggers of that time.Camp for the evening was 50 meters away from the cold Atlantic Ocean. That night, the fog came in, and it was cold and very wet the next morning. Not a good sign. As we travelled further south the fog increased in density, so much so, that the vehicle convoy had to stop for 2 hours to wait for the fog blanket to lift. At 11:00 that morning, we could start driving again, and reached Sylvia Hill at about 15:40.   We pitched camp at a lovely site perched high on the dunes overlooking St. Francis Bay.

The next morning was spent visiting the penguins that live in close proximity. From there, two more landmarks in the form of an old Ford and a bulldozer were visited before we had lunch in the dunes, just north of the Hauchab Mountains. Our plan was to reach Witberg that afternoon. It so happened and we made our camp in the shade of Witberg. Luckily the wind did not reach our campsite, as it was enclosed on three sides by the mountain. Slowly our time was running out, but everyone was in good spirits for the day that was ahead us.

The last day of our expedition also provided us with the largest dunes in the world. One slip face we went down measured 140 meters, which is quite high to say the least. After exiting near Dune 45, the whole team met up at Sossus Dune Lodge for a farewell lunch.

The sand sea of the Namib is brutal and merciless to those that enter without knowledge. Members of Wild at Heart Safaris know the area, respect the area and above all, have an intense love for this unspoiled wilderness. The undulating dunes, the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean, the strong wind that is ever present, and the sun in your face will always draw you back to this place deep in the heart of Namibia.

Author: Kobus Alberts | Find out more about Wild at Heart Safaris in Namibia. Wild at Heart Safaris is a young Namibian-owned and based Safari Company, that specialises in Adventure, Luxury Safaris  and specialised tours of Etosha National Park for small groups and families.