Namibia January 2012
Wedged between the Kalahari and the south Atlantic, Namibia enjoys vast potential as one of the youngest countries in Africa .In addition to having a striking diversity of cultures and national origins., Namibia is a photographer’s dream – it boasts wild sea scapes, rugged mountains, lonely deserts, stunning wildlife, colonial cities and unlimited plants.
In January 2012 we traveled for the first time to Namibia and stayed for 17 Days, it was summer, Hot and clear sky, from time to time light rain, off-season, prices a little bit cheaper than usual.
Day 1| Direct flight from Johannesburg to Windhoek, the rental 4X4 company collected us from the airport and we slept at a hotel they offered, nice and pleasant.
Day 2| We left Windhoek driving south west towards Hakos, where we stayed at Hakos Gust Farm, the place was very nice and the view amazing.
Day 3| We left in the morning heading towards Sossusvlei on C26 dirt road, the mountains and the scenery were very nice and so were the Cyphostemma with the large caudex .we continued on to C19 to Soliteri and than on C14 to Sesrim, where we settled in Sossusvlei Lodge, very beautiful place with excellent variety of good food, we went on a short walk late afternoon to a close by dune and small Canyon.
Day 4| Early morning as gate open 5:00 AM we entered the Sossusvlei reserve before sun rise to explore the famous dune 45 and the entire area, the sites were beautiful and where changing dramatically the colors as the sun was rising. We went to see the dead Valley and at around lunch time in the blazing sun we drove 350 Km north to Walvis Bay, in most of the way it was a very boring drive, but in some places we saw nice Euphorbias and other trees. In addition we saw Baboons Thompson gazelle, Oreck and many birds of pray.
Day 5| We spent the day in Walvis Bay , in the morning we went on a cruise to watch Pelicans, sea lions, Dolphins, and many other sea birds. In mid day we drove towards the salt pools hoping to see flamingos, on the way there we met a local guide named Franz, who took us in to the heart of the salt pools, the drive was very tricky, but with the help of Pinhas our guide we managed, and saw thousands of flamingo birds and seagulls,
Day 6| We drove to Swakmpund and continued on c28 towards the very famous Velvicia drive in order to see the ancient Velvicia plants, in that area with a good Lithops hunting intuition we spotted Lithops Gracilidelineata growing between Quartz rocks. It was great filling, as we did not expect to see them there. The rest of the day we spent walking along the beach in Swakmpund watching the birds and sea.
Day 7| We drove towards white lady on a very boring dirt road but that changed as we arrived at Uis, where we saw many nice plants and trees, we arrived at the farm at 45 degrees heat where we rested till sun set, we tried looking for desert elephants but all we saw was their tracks.
Day 8| Early morning we went to see the white lady rock painting, very nice two hours walk with many birds and love birds along the way. From there we continued towards Khoriax and to Damara Mopano a most beautiful place, in the afternoon we climbed the close by mountain, it was very rocky, and on the way down we understood why we were recommended to take gloves. at the top of the mountain we saw most beautiful trees and scenery.at sun set we set at the hotels balcony drinking bear and watching the sun goes down.
Day 9| We left the hotel towards Palmweg, close to Khoriax we climbed on a mountain ridge with Quartz hoping to see some Lithops, but instead we saw beautiful Pachypodium Lealii. We continued and along the road in dense vegetation we saw desert Elephants. we stopped in Khoriax to get supplies and than carried on , shortly after we had a flat tire, we replaced the wheel and drove back to Khoriax to repair the tire, this was a 3 hours completely manual operation!!! later on we continued to see the petrified wood. Along the dirt road we saw Commiphora, Pachypodium and others and just at sunset we arrived at Palmweg lodge.
Day 10| We left Palmweg on C43 in the direction of Sesfontein, on the way we saw many Pachypodium, Cyphostemma, and many other caudex plants, the scenery along the way was beautiful, approx. 40 km before Opowa we saw many giant Baobabs. In late afternoon we arrived at the city of Opowa.
Day 11| We spent the day around Opowa including a very interesting visit to the known Himba village, in the afternoon we drove back to see the Baobab trees , and left the place only when heavy rain started
Day 12| we left Opowa on C41 and C35, finally after many days a tar road, we arrived at the western side of Etosha NP, although it was raining we saw many animals and we headed to the beautiful Dolomite camp, the place was amazing situated on a mountain that provides excellent view.
Day 13| We left the Dolomite camp to the direction of Dkaukvejlo camp, on the way we saw many more animals and lots of birds of pray. we visited the hunted forest and saw the beautiful Moringa trees, unfortunately it was raining, but never the less it was beautiful sight.
Day 14| We left driving East towards Namatoni camp in early morning we did not spot a lot of animals, but as we were getting close to the camp we saw big herds of Giraffes, Zebras, Wildebeest Wort Hog, and couple of Rhinos, many birds of pray were flying around and some of them were busy eating a dead Zebra.
Day 15| As we were getting ready to leave the camp, we saw a pride of Lions resting under a tree, the cubs were playing around, defiantly a highlight of the Etosha Park. we left the park driving south in the direction of Waterberg, scenery was beautiful, many Cyphostemma, aloe, Adenium
Day 16| We left heading back towards Windhoek through Omaruru, this D tour paid off as we saw thousands of birds of pray flying all over at very low distance to the road for miles and miles. Defiantly amazing experience.
Next day we started our trip back home