66 Notebook Pages and 13 Loads of Laundry Later…

We’re back from Namibia!

As you might have deduced from an unprecedented flurry of Facebook activity on my account after an equally unprecedented lengthy absence of the same.

This was the longest vacation we’ve taken in, like, forever. Two entire weeks, and all of it on the road. Or on the river, if you want to be a stickler. Most of it without any internet, some of it without any electricity, and a portion of it without any air in our tires.

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I have so many tales to tell, my fingers are itchy. And yet I don’t quite know where to begin. With all the things German we encountered, from Bratwurst and Apfelstrudel to Kaiser Wilhelm and his Schutztruppe? With the soul-wrenching bleakness of the Skeleton Coast and its many shipwrecks or the breathtaking beauty of Damaraland? With the 400-plus pictures I took of zebras alone? With the tent that flew off into the night and the German lady – or, as we now think, the witch posing as a German lady – who cursed three tires on our car plus the spare wheel (thank goodness she missed one, just like in Sleeping Beauty, which kinda confirms that she was indeed a witch, don’t you think)? Or with the heart-stoppingly freezing temperatures of the Orange River when your canoe spits you into it?I’m very happy to hold in my hand the treasure of 66 notebook pages I filled during our trip, so I don’t have to completely start from scratch in sharing our Namibia adventure. This may sound like a lot, until you do the calculations. I wrote most of it while traveling in our trusted car, steered by Noisette. Most of it sitting in the trunk, actually, a spot I discovered halfway through the journey when everyone else refused to occupy it – we had four kids for a three-person backseat, remember? Altogether we drove 5,920 kilometers. That’s one percent of a page or, at 270 words on average per page, less than 3 words per kilometer, which all of a sudden doesn’t sound like a whole lot, does it?

The problem is, there is just so much to tell you. And the small fact that I’m departing for Kilimanjaro in just five days, with many things to buy and sort through and pack. What I think I’ll do is relegate Namibia to the same fate as Botswana, meaning I’ll attempt to add it all to an upcoming (hopefully this decade but I can’t promise) book about travel in Southern Africa as an expat family (I still need a good title, any suggestions welcome).

But I promise I’ll share snippets of it here along the way.

For the time being, let me just show you some of the breathtaking landscapes of Namibia.

 

Etosha National Park

 

Etosha National Park, Okaukuejo waterhole, view from family chalet

 

Sunset over Okaukuejo waterhole, Etosha National Park

 

Waterberg area

 

Waterpark Plateau
Twyfelfontein area

 

Twyfelfontein area
Between Twyfelfontein and Damaraland Camp

 

Damaraland,  home of the desert elephants

 

Damaraland, Huab River Valley

 

Damaraland, as seen from a peak at Damaraland Camp

 

Damaraland

 

Gemsbok (Oryx) herd in Damaraland

 

Driving towards the Skeleton Coast
Shipwreck on the Skeleton Coast
Dunes in Swakopmund
Between Swakopmund and Sossusvlei

 

Between Swakopmund and Sossusvlei
Sunset in Namib-Naukluft Park

 

Petrified Dunes in the Namib Desert
Gemsbok in Sossusvlei

 

Areal view of Sossusvlei dunes

 

Deadvlei, Sossusvlei
Sunrise in Alte Kalköfen

 

Alte Kalköfen Lodge
Orange River on Namibia/South Africa border

 

Canoeing on the Orange River

 

God’s Thumbprint, Orange River

 

 

Herons on the banks of the Orange River

 

Near Sjambok Rapid, Richtersveld National Park, Orange River