You can lose everything, but nobody will take away what you saw and what you experienced...
Feb 23, 2012 12:00 AM Thunders above Quiver Trees Forest
We camped on the private farm in the Quiver Tree Forest. This unusual trees are one of the Namibian specialities...
You will find them in all southern Namibia, but usually they stay lonely. Here, near Ketmanshoop you have whole forest to take great pictures of this phenomena of the nature. They look especially nice at sunset.
Just after sunset we experienced tropical storm. Do you know what you fill in the little tent in such circumstances?
After stormy night we had a hard day - driving more then 900 kms in our non-a/c car to Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast. It was rather logistic day, but we still saw some wild animals and great African landscapes along the road... Two drivers... Well done!
Feb 22, 2012 12:00 AM The second Canyon of the world?
Fish River Canyon. Yes, they say that this Canyon in Namibia is the second in the world after Colorado. 90-160 kms long, up to 550 m deep...
I saw it for the first time 21 years ago and I was impressed. Now I have more time to explore... It is 10 kms distance from Hobas camp to the main view point. Very bad road! They charge 80 NAD per person entry fee but do not care much about this road...
Driving slovly we reached the rim - view is still great an still the same, but they offer also some exhibitions about the history and nature here... At the main view point canyon is 440 m deep and few kms wide. Can you imagine? The river down there is full of water (it was dry when I was here 21 years ago). Fantastic!
From the main point you can drive by bad road right 2,5 kms to the Hikers' Point or left 3,5 kms to the Edge. River goes like a snake, so every point offers a new perspective - I saw all of them...
Feb 21, 2012 12:00 AM Oranje River Road - we did it!
Fish River Canyon is our next destination. It is accessible by gravel roads only. From my knowledge the nicest option regarding the landscapes is to take the paved road to Rosh Pinah mine, and then... nobody in the capital or here knows about the road condition along the Oranje river. Nobody in my country had experience to travel in this area...
We took the risk... Our little 2WD car was very brave and we passed through driving carefully on the outback road.
Oranje River is a border between Namibia and RSA. There was a lot of lovely green color along the water. We passed fords and one low bridge of Fish. Views were just great!
We reached the oasis of Ai Ais on the bottom of Fish River Canyon at 3 pm. Too hot place to stay! They say it is the hottest place in Namibia. I decided to drive onward to the Hobas Camp on the rim of the canyon. Birds were talking there all night around our tent!
Feb 20, 2012 12:00 AM Kolmanskop - The Ghost Town
We had the great breakfast with the panoramic view of the Tiras Mountains and the rising African sun. After 60 kms on gravel road we reahed paved road B4. Since it is almost completly empty I was able to speed up to 140 kms per hour. They built a new railway track along. For some reason African ostriches likes this unused track - we saw them in many places - more of 50 animals.
There were also a lot of oryx and springbok antelopes...
At 9.00 am we reached the ghost town - Kolmanskop was famous during the diamond boom 1928 till 1956. Then it was abondoned and now is like a museum in the desert - partly destroyed and covered by sand.
They charge 55 NAD of entry fee per person bu it is worth to pay and walk trhough with a local guide.
Luderitz - little town on the coast with a strong German taste is just 20 kms away. Some nice German colonial architecture remained there. We drove in the afternoon to Diaz Point where Bartolomeo Diaz established his cross on 25 July 1488. High lighthouse stays now there.
For the budget travellers the best accommodation is town is family-run Villelodge - at the fuel station on entry to the town - you can get the room with bath and fridge for just 240 NAD. Internet is free! Friendly and highly recommended!
Feb 19, 2012 12:00 AM The great dunes of Namibia
We started from the camp at 5.45 am by car. Surprise: the national park road to the best-known dunes is paved! After 45 kms we park the car at the bottom of so called Dune 45. The sky was already grey when we started to climb it.
Did you climb Ayers Rock? The dune 45 is also red and looking at the row of the people climbing red dune reminded me climbing Ayers Rock. Same image!
We reached the top before the sunrise. It was really great moment when the red color of the sunshine covered the landscape!
Going onward by park road we went close to Sosuvlei. 4WD tourist safari buses took us closer to the new, impressing dunes - some of them are 300 m high!
Deadvlei is the picturesque dry lake with dead trees inside - very dramatic lanscape...
Hot, hot, hot... Shower in the camp and again some 400 kms on the gravel roads to Tiras, where we found great and empty Tiras farm. They have a little camp. No electric power but great mountain view. And silence... What a day!
Feb 18, 2012 12:00 AM Through the Namibian outback
It is the end of rainy season but it is still hot and so far we had only short showers in the evenings and nights...
Sunrise time is at 6.30 and at 6.45 we were already on the road.
Just after the checkpoint on the outskirts of the town we strated to drive the C27 gravel road. I was a little bit afraid - we drive the small, cheap VW polo and this is 2WD car. How it will go on the African unpaved roads?
This gravel road was surprisely good. I drove easy 60 km per hour enjoying the wonderful landscapes of green Namibia. Springbok sometimes cross the road. The traffic is minimal (1 car per hour, maybe). The highlight was the view from Gamsberg Pass.
We reached the tiny "in the middle of nowhere" settlement of Solitaire. Time to refill. Petrol costs already 10 NAD per l but our little car does not consume much fuel...
Little and big wild amimals along the gravel road. But wery few farms...
We reached Sesriem Camp in the late afternoon. For 230 NAD the will give you the place for your tent with water and el. power. Time to take a shower and rest... Hiena was loughing cloce to our tent in the middle of the night. Birds were talking all night...
Feb 17, 2012 12:00 AM Windhoek for a day
I see today few new high buildings in Windhoek but the capital is still like a little provincial city, easy to walk around by foot.
We stay in the Rivendell Guest House - Beethoven Street 40 opposite the Chinese Embassy.
It is the place within the walking distance to the center. Clean, spacy rooms. Pool. Safe parking.
The only disadvantage is very expensive internet (1 NAD per minute) and the high room price - check at hostelbookers.com But it is hard to find something cheaper in Windhoek...
Do not go to the bank to change your money - they charge the commission! In the main street you will find 2 or 3 "Bureau de change" - little private institutions - they offer the best rate - 7,55 NAD per USD.
We were walking to the Alte Feste fort, where Museum of Namibia is located. Great Lutheran Church is worth to see and the garden on Parliament...
Then it was the time to buy food for the coming days.
Tomorrow we drive to the outback!
Feb 16, 2012 12:00 AM Baboons on the road! Welcome to Namibia!
In Joburg I had only 2 hours to change the plane to Windhoek, Namibia. It is not too much unless you check your luggage directly to the final destination.
Airlines not always want to do that if you use two or more separate tickets (to pay less).
LH was so kind to check my huge backpack to Windhoek so in Joburg there were no reason to go through the immigration and recheck my stuff for the next flight.
There was only one risk: Joburg airport is famous for delayed and lost luggages... May be I will be lucky?
The next flight of Air Namibia was on time and I was surprised that the their service was better then on Lufthansa!
After 2 hours I saw through the window of the plane the green bush of Namibia. When I was here for the first time - some 21 years ago it was dry season and the Namibia was yellow and brown... Now it is green.
I rented the smallest and cheapest car - cat A and drove with my companion 45 kms to the capital.
Left side of the road please!
After some 4 kms a family of baboons crossed the road just in front of us. Welcome to Namibia!
Feb 15, 2012 12:00 AM On A380 flight to Johannesburg
Why I fly again with Lufthansa?
They fly from Gdansk - my city to Frankfurt and Munich so I can avoid Warsaw (and apriopriate airport taxes) on my route and from time to time they have promotions to the distant destinations. You have to wait and to hunt...
I got Gdansk - Joburg ticket for 2100 zlotys round trip - very good price!
For the first time I fly on huge new doubledecker - Airbus 380.
Once you are aboard you do not feel that more then 500 people in on the same plane - cabins are divided into small ones. And there is enough space for my long legs... Tomorrow, after 11 hours I will land again in Africa!
Feb 13, 2012 11:00 PM Back to Africa!
My backpack is ready. I set out on a new journey to the exotic country! Twenty-one years ago I was backpacking in Namibia, traveling around by hitchhiking. In those days, few Poles traveled to this corner of Africa. Only at the destination it became clear that in this vast country's public transport is almost non-existent, roads are scarce, traffic is minimal, and in addition, local car owners are afraid to take strangers. I spent many hours waiting on the roads for a ride and as a result I did not see much. I knew that someday I will return to Namibia - a country of great natural beauty and amazing landscapes. It is the time!
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