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Here are my Top Ten Adventure Thrills in Namibia. It’s a country I fell in love with the moment I awoke on the banks of the Orange River, having set up camp after crossing the border from South Africa in the dark, and waking up thinking I’d died and gone to heaven.
In an article on Namibia by Elisabeth Dos Santos – she summed up my feelings about Namibia…..
“Locals will tell you that here you weep only twice; the first time when you arrive in Namibia; because it’s so forbidding;
and the second time when you leave because you have fallen in love with it.”
You have to be a sand lover to really appreciate Namibia. It’s a vast country with sandy nothing between here and there. But how often do you get to be in the middle of nowhere? Here you will be…and often. It’s a rather wonderful feeling!
- Let’s start at the Orange River. Canoe downstream with various river rafting companies and spend 5 or 6 nights camping on the riverbanks going through scenery that’s larger than life.
- Meeting nomadic Himba tribespeople sent me into a sort of time warp, where life as I knew it didn’t exist any more. I couldn’t believe how beautiful they were, especially the women glowing in ochre mud and bedecked with heavy jewellery, Himba live in the north-west of Namibia and I encountered them after a white water rafting trip down the Cunene River ending at Epupa Falls. Opuwo is the main town of their homeland and you see scantily-clad Himba and top to toe Victorian dressed Herero women and the juxtaposition is quite mind-blowing.
- One of the best harbour boat trips in the world is in Walvis Bay. Climb aboard for a Dr Doolittle experience where Cape Fur Seals ride the wake then leap on board and sit your lap. But it doesn’t end there…the Skipper whistles in the seagulls and pelicans and throws fish up to them as they fly alongside the speeding boat. Then the dolphins appear!
- Okonjima is home to the Africat Foundation which rescues cheetah as well as leopard and wild dog; all in danger of being shot by sheep and goat farmers. It’s heartwarming to stay here and see how they rehabilitate the animals.
- Who doesn’t have Hot Air Ballooning on their Bucket List? And what a Safari Tart I am because I’ve managed to do it in several safari destinations, including over the Namib Desert close to Sossusvlei.
- While we are talking about Sossusvlei, throw off your shoes (who needs them?) and sink your feet into the tallest sand dunes in the world as you walk along the crest. Has to be done!
- I mentioned Epupa Falls as being the homel region of the Himba people, but it’s also one of those really remote spots that is just too beautiful, where you want to just sit by the river and contemplate.
- Namibia is all about sand and shooting very fast down a huge dune on a bit of cardboard is bloody marvelous fun!
- You don’t even have to look very hard for Bushmen paintings at Twyfelfontein as the Lodge has giant boulders covered in them right at their entrance. It’s a region of huge rocks and dry riverbeds with desert-adapted rhino and elephants that you may be lucky to find.
- More sand-loving adventure for big boys with big toys; quad biking in the dunes around Swakopmund. I rode pillion behind the guide and he had me screaming in fright as he crested the dunes followed by near vertical descents. Sand is very forgiving like that!
I hope you enjoyed this adventure and cultural tour of Namibia. Have you been…what adventured did you have?