As you all know, we completed our first overlanding trip to Namibia earlier this year, and I’ve already started planning for next year’s trip to Northern Namibia and the Caprivi. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’m seeing Namibia everywhere these days – on the forums, on Facebook, in the book stores, literally everywhere. I’ve joined groups focusing on Etosha and I’m so excited to visit next year, it looks absolutely amazing. I also came across an article from last year sometime where the writer lists their bucket list for sightseeing in Namibia. I thought it would be fun to tick off the things we saw in April, and which of the items on the list we can look forward to during our next trip.
So basically the list looks like this, and I’ve marked off the experiences that we’ve already done:
Sociable weaver nests (versamelnes)
Oh my word, you literally have to be blind not see these as soon as you enter the Northern Cape/Kgalagadi regions. It’s actually quite an engineering feat what these birds get up to. It’s hundreds of bird nests, all joined together to form a huge nest structure, that’s built either in a camel thorn tree or a telephone pole. If you’ve got a keen eye and lots of patience, you might even see a yellow Cape Cobra or its arch enemy, the mongoose, slinking around the branches trying to score a quick meal or two. Such an awesome sight to see though!
Windmills (wind pomp)
Namibia is a very dry country so it’s no wonder that you see windmills everywhere you go. Many of the farmers have upgraded to solar driven pumps and even in Kgalagadi they’re slowly moving away from windmill driven pumps. It’s still very special to see a windmill, especially if you can frame it in front of one of Namibia’s spectacular sunsets. I find it very difficult to drive past a windmill, to be honest….
Quiver tree (kokerboom)
We were privileged to spend a night in the Mesosaurus Fossil Camp quiver tree forest and the scenery was absolutely magnificent. Quiver trees were named so because the San used their branches as quivers for their hunting arrows. Something else that we found very interesting is that a quiver tree is not an actual tree, it’s actually a very tall, branching species of aloe. The juice of the quiver tree is also known to have medicinal properties but it was so bitter that we decided to rather take Oom Giel’s word for it.
Baobab tree (kremetart boom)
Truth be told, we didn’t see baobab trees during our trip to Namibia but we saw them plenty in Botswana when we visited in 2015. Words cannot describe how magnificent these trees are, and how big they are. I had to get some pictures with our SUV next to the trees to show the sheer scale of their size, and how they towered out over us. We’re looking forward to see some more when we get to the Caprivi next year though.
Exploring the Namib Desert (Verken die Namibwoestyn)
The Desert is everywhere when you get to Namibia. In some places it’s more rocky and mountainous and in others it’s a full on desert with sand and dunes but there’s no getting away from it, ever. We stayed at Sesriem and we spent a whole morning exploring Dune 45 and Dead Vlei and at night we sat around the camp fire listening to how the desert comes alive when it’s dark. Honestly one of the best experiences we’ve ever had.
Oryx is just a big a part of Namibia as what the desert is. You can’t go anywhere without seeing a herd or lone oryx and they tend to become part of the scenery, but every now and then, you see one that’s so magnificent and huge that you get reminded of how special they are, and how tough they are, being able to survive in a desert and all.
And as for the rest of the list? Check in with me in a year’s time…….