Namibia – Land of Sun, Moon and Stars

Luxury – Where attention to detail and hyper-localism meet
3rd May 2019

I can’t remember seeing as many sunrises and sunsets as in my time in Namibia’ – I kept hearing myself say when recounting the recent familiarization trip that my partner and I did to Namibia recently. We drove more than 6000 kms in our 4 x 4 and kept exclaiming over the extraordinary other-worldly vistas we encountered and the amazing up close to nature experiences – including a night under the stars. Namibia is a photographer’s dream.

Home to only two and a half million people and bordering South Africa, Zambia, Angola and Botswana, Namibia has the second-lowest population density in the world after Mongolia.

Our trip resembled a large horseshoe starting from Cape Town, crossing the border at the Orange River near Noordoewer, visiting the coastal town of Lüderitz, heading to the Dunes of Sossusvlei, up to the German town of Swakopmund, through Damaraland up to Etosha National Park and then turning the corner and heading down past the capital of Windhoek, through the Kalahari to the Fish River Canyon and on past Lambert’s Bay back to Cape Town. Whilst Namibia is a fantastic place for a road trip and in fact, the parking lots at the lodges are mostly filled with 4 x 4 s with rooftop tents, it also lends itself to luxury fly-in safaris with many lodges having their own airstrips and bush planes.

There are too many highlights to mention, but here are a few:

• The land art by Anni Snyman and PC Janse van Rensburg of the wild horses viewed from a hilltop at Klein Aus
• The fresh oysters at Lüderitz and Oryx stew
• The eerie ghost town at Kolmanskop just outside Lüderitz
• Climbing Big Daddy – a 350 m dune in the oldest desert on earth at Sossusvlei at sunrise
• The private plunge pools at The luxury Desert Grace Lodge between Solitaire and Sesriem, and sipping a Desolate Gin and Tonic in their funky bar
• Sleeping under the stars on a comfortable roll-out bed at Dune Star Camp after a 5-course dinner
• Eating apple crumble at Solitaire
• The sunset over the Atlantic on the jetty at the seaside town of Swakopmund
• Dinner in the German-inspired dining room at the Hansa Hotel, Swakopmund
• Spend a morning at the excellent museum in Swakopmund, followed by Kaffee and Kuchen at one of the German cafes.
• The 5,000-year-old rock engravings at Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site
• The desert elephants at Grootberg Lodge managed by the Conservancy in Damaraland
• The amazing game at the waterhole at Okaukuejo – magical night viewing, under the spotlight, of rhinos and elephants drinking
• Traversing the vastness of the Etosha Pan
• The warm Jacuzzi at sunset at Eningu Clay House Lodge in the Kalahari, east of Windhoek
• The extraordinary collection of stone sculptures by living legend and international artist Doerte Berne at Peperkorrel Farm
• The spectacular view and silence along the rim of the Fish River Canyon at the Fish River Lodge
• Swimming in the hot water natural sulphur pool at Ai-Ais
• Drinking Tafel and Windhoek beer brewed following the German tradition
• The availability of top South African wines and interesting wine cellars at the lodges

Places to stay:

Gondwana Collection – The Desert Grace, Dune Star Camp, Canyon Village, Klein Aus
Journeys Namibia – Grootberg Lodge, Fish River Lodge
Wilderness Safaris – Little Kulala
Cormorant House, The Nest Hotel - Lüderitz
Hansa Hotel, The Strand Hotel - Swakopmund
Eningu Clay House Lodge (65 kms from the airport) - Windhoek

Places to eat and drink:

Swakopmund: The Tug Restaurant, Swakopmund Brauhaus
Windhoek: Joe’s Beerhouse, Stellenbosch

There are a lot of unexpected things about Namibia.

• The Tropic of Capricorn passes through it – in the middle of nowhere we saw about 3 cars – which is a lot for Namibia – and slowed down to see what they were looking at only to notice a large sign saying Tropic of Capricorn.
• Beautiful free range Gemsbok (Oryx) just standing solo in the desert.

Read: Parts Unknown by Zirk Van Den Berg

Namibia is good for the soul. In this hectic, overwhelming world – the vastness and silence of Namibia offers solitude, a chance to unplug and healing sanity. Everyone should visit Namibia at least once in their lives. Vindigo Travel would love to help plan your trip. Whether it is a 3 day fly-in safari to Sossusvlei or an add-on to your South African adventure.

Please contact melissa@vindigotravel.com to discuss your visit to the land of the Sun and Moon and Stars!

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