The Fun of Driving Through Namibia
If you are wondering what to do on your next holiday, let me recommend a two-week experience in Namibia. I have been to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, even Swaziland and Lesotho, but somehow, Namibia had repeatedly escaped my feet until I broke the jinx last year. Don’t bother asking, the country is simply amazing. In addition to the modern outlook of its capital city, incredible landscapes, warm people, and an abundance of wildlife, the country offers varieties for the taste bud in terms of cuisine and drink. Here’s a detailed experience on the fun of driving through Namibia.
My plan for the trip was simple; to do all I could in two weeks and get back to work. Before my trip, I called Bathusi, my Gaborone based friend and we agreed to hook up in Windhoek. Bathusi is a tour operator that knows southern Africa like the back of his palm. Long story cut short, we hooked up in Windhoek, rented a Hilux and soon the party begun—Bathusi had two clients who were happy to join us and I really enjoyed their company. Basically, nobody goes to Windhoek as a tourist, or so I am made to believe. However, the city has some impressive places to check out. We made a few stopovers at some of the city’s landmark, such as Christus Kirche (Christ Church)—the oldest evangelical church in Namibia, Parliament Garden, Craft centre, Independence monument including the museum among others, before leaving though.
I should specifically mention our moments at Katutura Township. A trip down there is as down-to-earth as you’ll get in Windhoek. The area’s name Katutura, translates as the place where people do not want to live. It reflects the forced removal of Windhoek’s black population to the area in 1961. Today, apartheid has ended and people are free to live anywhere, but you can still feel the signature of the cold old era here.
In Katutura, we visited Single Quarters Market where we bought Kopana (BBQ beef). We had so much to taste because the vendor wanted us to savour his different special recipe of chilli spice. After paying, the vendor suggested that we try Mopane (worms); I told him I had tried it once at Boma Kichen in Victoria Falls city in Zimbabwe but he insisted I should try out the ones prepared in Namibia. I actually tasted the crunchy Mopane in Zimbabwe, so when he mentioned the soft and spicy ones, my adventurous taste bud tingled.
From Windhoek, we drove southeast towards the Kalahari. The more miles we covered on this route, the more the country’s beautiful landscape unraveled. After leaving behind a beautiful city, we gradually coasted into a semi-new world of desert scrub and sand in beautiful reds, oranges, and browns. After a long drive, we stopped a lodge in the Kalahari area. Bathusi was a familiar face there so our host received us as if we were family members who had given notice ahead of our trip. They welcomed us with nice wine, ushered us into our rooms, and when each person had had a refreshing shower, they offered us delicious meals after which we went on a phenomenal sunset drive.
Westwards of our base is the Namib Desert, we went there, then explored Sossusvlei, the iconic red dunes of Namib-Naukluft National Park, then headed northwards to the ocean-side resort towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. We also visited the famed Skeleton Coast and Twyfelfontein and ended the trip at Etosha. I’m sure you can guess that each stop was an experience!
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