Open your eyes to Namibia
Our World | On 26, May 2010
Love it or hate it, you certainly can’t ignore it. This country is the size of the UK and France put together, but with a population of only 2.1 million.
Namibia requires an open mind, forget the luxuries and be prepared to encounter some amazing experiences in the oldest desert in the world!
The Terrain is ‘unforgiving’ – I say this because you will either find yourself traipsing across sand dunes, sleeping in a tent on ‘Moon land’ or getting up early for a game drive in Etosha National Park.
The Namib Desert, with its silent giants of rock and sand is thought to be the oldest desert in the world. The dunes were probably first formed at least 15 million years ago, and it is estimated that the desert has been semi-arid for the last 80 million years.
An early morning start from the Kulala Desert Lodge in 4×4’s is highly recommended, this will allow you to enter the Namib-Naukluft Park in time for the sunrise. The dune contrasts are at their best at this time in the morning and are breathtaking. After climbing the dunes (if fit enough!) why not trek the 2 kilometres required to view the Dead Vlei (a dried –up river bed) and then on for breakfast outdoors. Sounds like a busy morning, but it is well worth it for the experience.
A ‘Bush’ dinner is highly recommended as it is something that you will never forget. My dinner was exhilarating (in spite of the bitterly cold and windy evening!). After the meal at night, your senses are kept on edge by the sound of howling black-backed jackals and brown hyenas! A little scary, yet at the same time incredibly exciting!
Namibia may not be for everyone, but the time you spend there will remain with you always. You will see, smell and experience a completely new and adrenalin-filled side of life that is as far from the norm and it will certainly awaken and refresh you as an individual. Just because the masses don’t flood there doesn’t mean that it isn’t an amazing country, all you have to do is go with an open mind!
A Practical Guide
Namibia became independent in March 1990 and has a democratic constitution. The capital, Windhoek (in the middle of the country), accommodates its very fine international airport, which is about 30 minutes from the city centre (in addition there are 46 airstrips around the country).
Regarding currency, the Namibian Dollar is fixed to and equals the South African Rand, which is legal tender (always useful to know!). As a country in Southern Africa on the Atlantic coast, it shares borders with Angola and Zambia in the north, Botswana to the east, and South Africa to the south.
Mobile roaming agreements exist with most international operators but GPRS is not accessible. Most tap water is purified and safe to drink and plug sockets are the round 3 pin type.
It’s also worth noting that Namibia is on the same time zone as the UK, although the weather found in either country couldn’t be further apart! Be warned though, as soon as the sun sets the temperature drops to what feels like well below freezing and there tends to be a chilly wind throughout the day.
Susan Sexton, Events Team