Sunday, March 25, 2018 | Namibia – Kunene Region, Kamanjab | Petra
UNDER THE SUN OF NAMIBIA
FASCINATING SOUTH WEST AFRICA
After spending some days at Windhoek to get our technical demands for our truck done, we finally can move on. With a well filled fridge and well filled water and diesel tanks we leave Windhoek rolling Namibia northbound. We were told, that landscapes there are still wider and lonelier. We are very excited about what we’ll get.
EXCITING GAME DRIVE
We take a look around Erindi Private Game Reserve located 150 kilometre north of Windhoek having the size of more than 70,000 hectare. They turned former farm land at Erindi into a game reserve, that now is home of more than 10,000 wild animals.
We ride the game drive in the early morning with our own truck, that offers us a perfect overview over trees and bushes to sight wild animals.
It won’t take long to come upon zebras, springboks and wildebeest having breakfast under trees and bushes. A small dik-dik, an african antelope, crosses our path. First it eyes our truck suspiciously and then runs off quickly.
Many interesting birds, such as the yellow-billed hornbill, we can spot in the branches and while having breakfast we can watch some hippos resting on a small island in the lake. More than seix hours we cruise around the reserve, cross dry riverbeds, ride a stoney offroad trail and enjoy stunning views.
In the late afternoon at Elephant Camp we wait next to the water hole hoping to catch sight of a rhino. Instead giraffes appear on their long legs like walking on stilts. With each snort of the two hippos bathing next to them, the giraffes step back scared. To drink water or to lick the mineral stone they not only have to crane their necks far down, they also have to straddle their long legs. It looks quite inconvenient but worked for thousands of years.
COLOURFUL BUSHMEN PEARLS
In the Erongo Region we find a cozy solitary place for the night at Omanbumba Farm between spherical rocks. For our sundowner we climb up one of the rocks and enjoy the stunning view. Sitting at the crackling camp fire we let the day come to an quiet and romantic end.
The next morning we visit the living museum of Ju/’Hoansi-San, an ethnic group of hunter-gatherers, who provide an insight into their culture and way of living. A culture, which more and more gets lost, since they no longer have the possibility to freely wander the country as hunter-gatherers.
The cheerful San children are thrilled about Pau and Dam demonstrating how to light a fire.
Dam rounds up all women, men and children to present their traditional singings and dances, they are begging for a good hunt or for health with.
At the jewellery workshop of the San village I’m (Petra) completely in my element. The San women produce white, red and black bushmen pearls from the shells of ostrich eggs and with vegetable dye and fire. The pearls look like small buttons and the women create beautiful necklaces and bracelets from it, which they sell in their impressive open air boutique. Since that day a small bracelet and the string, Dam scraped and twisted from a bowstring hemp, decorates my wrist. It looks stunning!
Adorable jewelleries at the enchanting outdoor boutique of the San
AT THE MATTERHORN OF NAMIBIA
We are expected by Conny & Tommy. This time at the impressive Spitzkoppe (1,728 m), a monadnock, which was scaled the first time in 1949 and since 2011 is national monument of Namibia.
The atmosphere of the mountain is breathtaking beautiful and for sunset we all climb up the Rock Pool and enjoy the fantastic view. Climbing between the rocks is a lot of fun and also demands a bit of agility as there are no convenient footpaths.
Magic moment | Image: Conny, www.mantoco.com
DETOUR TO THE COAST
For a short detour to Swakopmund and Darob National Park at the coast we part company. But soon we’ll meet Conny & Tommy again at Brandberg.
We enjoy the small-town life of Swakopmund and the cool breeze of the sea. At the beginning of January, during our first visit, the town was a madhouse with lots of holiday makers. Now in the low season it is very placid.
This time we are lucky and get the chance to purchase those much sighed-for Vellies made from kudu leather. In January they were completely out of stock. These comfortable traditional shoes are handmade in a leather workshop in Swakopmund. They are super soft, feel like a second skin when barefoot and keep for a lifetime. We and billions of others love it!
Before returning to the hot dry hinterlands we pay a visit to rusty Ziela of Hangana and the active seals at Cape Cross. It’s a lot of fun to watch the activities of the big seal colony, especially if you can manage to ignore the intense smell (not pictured) around there. Please breath flatly!
The ship Zeila of Hangana came to a fateful end in 2008 off Henties Bay
QIET BRANDBERG MOUNTAIN
In the meant time Conny & Tommy prepared utter solitude for us in Damaraland region at Brandberg. On a solitary off-road track we find again the team of Mantoco. It’s perfectly still all around us.
The imposing Brandberg Mountain Range has a oval footprint of 760 square kilometres and is home of Königstein (2,573 m), the highest mountain of Namibia.
Image: Conny, www.mantoco.com
Image 6 + 7: Conny, www.mantoco.com
For days we don’t meet other people and see or hear scarcely any animal. Not until we ride in Ugab’s dry riverbed on our off-road tour around Brandberg, where we listen to lively birds’ twittering, spot big foot prints of elephants and see some shy antelopes. (Semi)Desert is alive!
CARVED IN STONE
It was the believe of the San that giraffes are sacred as with their long necks they are the closest to heaven and are therefor able to arouse rain.
This is what Arthur tells us, when he shows and explains in detail the rock engravings of Twyfelfontein (English: Doubtful spring). For thousands of years the engravings were used by the San to inform other wandering families about animals and water sources and also to teach their children. Apart from this Arthur shows us two rainbow agamas of younger age, vitally alive, colourful, female and male.
Namibia is famous for it’s numerous rock paintings and engravings the San left thousands of years during their migrations. Earliest findings are dated 24 000 before Christ.
Twyfelfontein is the richest finding of rock engravings and is the first UNESCO World Heritage of Namiba since 2007.
A few days Conny & Tommy take charge of a little pet. The cute creature seems to be from prehistoric times. It has approximately the length of 20 cm, is light green most of the time, has flaked skin and hungers for living insects. From now his name is Tabaluga, he is a chameleon and can snort clearly if he isn’t pleased with the overall situation.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon it comes, what has to come: I an unwatched moment Tabaluga disappears to the wild, never to be seen again. He even didn’t leave a farewell note.
Stay save, little friend!
We are expecting new challenges. Soon we’ll head to Kaokoland in the North West of Nambia, an extreme sparsely populated area where Himba and Herero traditionally live as hunter-gatherer. They also have desert elephants and rhinos there but no internet. Let’s go to the wild!