Namibia: a land of golden silence and magic
Namibia is like no other country on earth. Photographers dream of its eerie sand dunes, sailors shudder to think of its merciless coast and the fearless challenge themselves against her harsh environment.
Who among us in this day and age can imagine what true silence sounds like? Namibia can teach us. The Namib Desert is the oldest in the world and yet its vastness and solitude belie the fact that it is full of life. Sustaining fogs roll inland off the Atlantic and desert elephants roam the sandy wastes, walking immense distances in search of food. In Etosha National Park we can find the other members of the Big 5, eking out an existence in this harsh environment. A safari here is as unique as it is rewarding.
Historically sailors have feared the rocky and fog-cloaked coastline. Those who survived the ship wrecks didn’t make it far into the parched interior. There is a reason it is called the Skeleton Coast and the rotting hulks of smashed ships can still be found today. Those are not the only traces of the past to be uncovered; in the desert remain ghost towns, such as Kolmanskop, abandoned by the settlers when the diamonds ran out and returned to the suffocating embrace of the sands.
Yet it’s the sand that draws so many people back to this fascinating country again and again. The ancient dunes at Sossusvlei – as big as hills and as soft as talcum powder – reflect the light in constantly changing warm hues. A walk in this immense landscape can make you feel so small, and yet so alive. And somehow people can live and even thrive in this environment, such as the Himba tribal people and the San Bushmen, whose ancestors created incredible works of cave art that we are still discovering today.
Yes, Namibia is an ancient land, but there is also a strong Teutonic flavour brought by the German settlers of the 19th century. It can be sensed in the architecture of the capital, Windhoek, and the seaside atmosphere of Swakopmund, where thrill seekers head out into the desert on sand boards or out to sea on whale and shark spotting adventures. Those truly looking for a challenge venture down into the immense Fish River Canyon and emerge days later, while the truly mad attempt the Namibia Ultramarathon – running 126km through the desert beneath the merciless sun.
And for once the travel cliché rings true: a visit to this country is unique. With almost 365 days of sunshine a year, comfortable accommodation and well developed infrastructure, a tour of Namibia will not disappoint. There are many incredible experiences to be had in Africa and a Namibia tour is up there among them. So if you do happen to visit don’t forget to pack your camera, your walking shoes and, most of all, your sense of wonder.
We have tour packages to Namibia to suit most budgets, from self-drive options and Skeleton Coast tours to fully guided Namib Desert safaris, just let us know if you would like us to make a tailored itinerey.