Namibia the beautiful country that is small in population, sparse in development but overwhelmed with rural beauties.
The desert reminds me of Arizona the route reminds me of Route 66
Just empty land of nothingness that has been untouched by man.
Our route from Windhoek to our desert hotel ranged from one dry end of hostile heat to a more green area of vegetation, grazing animals and people.
Towns are a few and far between but on a five hour journey it is a joy to come across some civilisation, a lonely journey back to Windhoek.
no service station for miles, no road lights for the dark, no SOS. You take this route at your own peril and hopefully with a reliable car. We had the baby sleep for 3 hours, we timed set off to work around her routine, this made sure she didn’t have too much time to get bored and moan. There’s only so much Waybuloo and In The Night Garden I will allow her to watch at our convenience on the iPad.
I had no expectations of this journey just five hours of utter boredom that was replaced almost immediately with terror and fear as the worse possible scenarios of being stranded with a baby could entail played through my mind. I never prayed so hard to stay positive that we would all be ok. And made sure my husband knew about it as we drove through dirt tracks and empty makeshift routes to Sossusvlei. I entrusted the planning of the entire holiday to him and this is how he repaid us.
My thoughts did wander at times and I absorbed as much of the local culture as I could with my eyes. Staying in a desert hotel meant we only connected with the staff and the only rural culture we saw outside of the city was on the long drive there and back.
When planning for a drive like this in Namibia remember to pack:
Some snacks for the journey
A litre of water each for persons and an extra spare bottle.
A full tank of petrol of course
Fully charged mobile phone
And wear comfy clothes and shoes
You need a cardigan for Windhoek but can strip when arriving at the desert.
Something to read
A slow development of this country has meant there has been only recent ventures and businesses opening around the area, giving locals jobs as well as to those who are more than willing to travel far.
We stayed at the Le Mirage a desert spa hotel resort with nothing neighbouring it’s turrets as far as the eye can see. Aside from the endless spa treatments you can receive all day long and a couple of desert activities, the wifi signal was weak and no TV in the Arabesque style luxury rooms. People come here to completely disconnect and do absolutely nothing in front of the pool and I’m not that kind of people. And like I mentioned earlier I had no expectations but boredom from just the journey, boredom of which mainly hit for me during our three nights booked at Sossusvlei so much so even my husband forgoed the third night and decided we drive back. No refunds but somehow seemed worth it! I enjoyed my stay there but two days and one night would have sufficed. It is beautiful and breathtaking and worth the experience all round. Le Mirage also offer an on site restaurant which provide breakfast, lunch and dinner from a set menu. Dishes were well cooked but quite similar everyday.
The desert spans as far as the eye can see and the trees shrivel and bend from the heat, branches stripped bare peeling.
A Namibian desert tree is iconic it is instantly recognisable.(I haven’t added any of my amateur photos of the desert in this post but landscapes images from our trip can be found on shuophotography.com)
Some parts of the desert are such a bright colour in red and orange hues it is hard to believe this is earths natural disposition. To come so far and yet be unable to go further to witness the hostilities of a burnt out border of dust and dryness does somewhat feel disheartening. Land so extremely hostile survival is unheard of.
As we got closer back to Windhoek the weather cooled down and we could see rain from a distance.
Travelling in from South Africa, raised comparisons for me naturally. In Namibia I didn’t come across any shanti towns, Namibia’s residences are just that well built, a few looking good enough to be on Grand Designs and some not as grandiose but good enough. The disparity in Cape Town’s wealth and poverty is concerning and also represents the obvious division between the blacks and whites
German business owners, German owned land. Same with both countries having wealthy foreigners living off the fat of the land but what does this mean for the locals? The same locals who have a natural birthright. Namibia didn’t possess the blatant divide, they seemed to be happy not to want or need for anything or bound by social differences.
A country that is so underrated in the wider world and yet it contains rare sporadic beauty in abundance.
Thank you for reading….