Stunning nature and ancient heritage in Namibia

I am just back from what can only be described as a trip of a lifetime in Namibia, a country of stunning scenery and wildlife that everyone should visit once.

The holiday started the moment we landed with a quick flight up to Okonjima Nature Reserve where we were treated to a guided cheetah walk. Namibia boasts the largest cheetah population in the world, and we were lucky enough to come across some in their natural habitat. We were also treated to a quick sighting of a leopard on the way back to the lodge.

From here we travelled further north to the Etosha National Park, one of the best places in Africa to view game. During our flight up we flew over the Etosha pan, a vast salt pan which covers 4,731sq km — big enough to be seen from space. Etosha offers visitors the chance to see free roaming wildlife, an unforgettable experience. Our private game drives took place on open trucks so we had plenty of opportunity to see all the amazing wildlife including giraffes, elephants, wildebeest, springbok, and impala.

From Etosha we travelled by road down to Damaraland, one of Namibia’s most scenic areas. The stunning valley at Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has thousands of rock paintings created by ancient hunter-gatherers. It is also fascinating to see how the local wildlife has adapted to survive in such harsh conditions. We stayed in the fabulous Doro Nawas and were treated to a typical Namibian braai — a meal grilled in the open air — along with some local tribal singing and dancing. Some of us even pushed our beds outside to sleep under the starts… it was truly magical.

We continued on down the coast to the city of Swakopmund. Swakop, as the locals call it, is a beautiful Germanic resort located where the Namib Desert meets the sea. It was a great reprieve from all the early morning starts for the game drives. We did some shopping, ate in some great restaurants, and had the opportunity to sample some local beers. It is a great base from which to enjoy a desert safari. It is also considered the adventure capital of Namibia, and a stay here would not be complete without a skydive or sand boarding — it seems that everyone passing through opts to jump out of a plane. A lot of the Himba tribe have relocated here as they can make a living from their wood carvings.

Our final stop on the trip was the truly amazing Sossusvlei region, home to Big Daddy, the highest sand dune in the world. We got to the desert clay pan of Deadvlei first thing in the morning to avoid the heat of the day and started our climb Sossusvlei… it was well worth the exertion, as we got to see the remarkable dead trees which have standing in the middle of the salt pan for more than 600 years.

Travelling around Namibia is very straightforward as everyone drives on the left, and the roads are very well marked. We were very lucky to have the opportunity to take some light aircraft between the national parks, and I would highly recommend this if your budget allows. It freed up so much time for us and we got to experience a lot more than expected.

Call in to see me in Fahy Travel to put together a holiday package that suits your requirements. Email [email protected] or contact Fahy Travel at 091 594747.

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