Notes from Namibia: part nine

By | Category: Travel destinations, Travel tips & opinions

When it comes to fabulous weather and wildlife, there is nowhere like Namibia, says Adrienne. Here she shares her final note from Namibia – arguably Africa at its most authentic – exclusively with CD-Traveller readers

Elim Dune was our sundowner destination. We were pretty tired, so elected to watch the sun go down. Sadly more vehicles arrived, and we worried that we were in another tourist trap. We are only joined by two American girls though.

As we drank our sundowners the mountains were changing, turning from brown to gold to purple. Finishing our wine we returned to the camp for dinner, our last one in the wilderness; fish and enormous slabs of cow barbequed on the braai.

I tried a different tack with sleeping arrangements, putting my sleeping bag inside the blanket I had used as a mattress all trip. And I put my pyjamas on over my clothes. I slept as snug as a bug in a rug.  Until 4am when I felt travellers fever kick in. I held myself back for two hours but was up and packed by 7am.

This meant I had a bit of a wait after breakfast while the others packed and we could take the tents down. Illicitly we had left some toast for the birds, and watched the sociable weavers devour it. They were seemingly unaware of our presence as they ate and came really too close to our feet.

We left for Windhoek at 8.30am, quiet and subdued. We decided to go to Joe’s Beerhouse on our return, while waiting to be taken back to the airport, but it was closed. In the meantime I once again watched the world flash by through the windows. Suddenly Tuhafeni stopped and ran off into the bush. He came back clutching some brown twigs with dead looking leaves. The Bushman Tea Plant is put into a water bottle. John tried it. He still lives.

It was a great relief to hit tarmac again, much less dust which meant that we wouldn’t be so dirty when we got back on the plane. It also signalled that we were close to town – Reheboth, the main town for the Baster people. The Basters are mixed race of Khoi-European descent. They retained their land during apartheid and are now around 30,000 in number.

Inspiration seemed to leave our guides now, and lunch was served in a lay-by. Not far from Windhoek we were increasingly aware of being ever closer to our return flight to Heathrow. We dropped Peggy and Tilly first, at their guesthouse, and then John at his hostel. Once back at Wild Dogs we were taken on an alternative trip to a local shopping centre where we were able to buy really cheap spirits – £5 bottle of Pimms anyone?

And then, the airport. We tried persuading our driver to carry on along the Trans-Kalahari Highway into Botswana, but he insisted on making the turn. Into the terminal building, he said goodbye leaving us to check in.

We walked along the tarmac to the plane and boarded. The relatively empty plane meant that I got a double seat to myself, which made sleeping much easier. I did wake when we were over the Sahara though – I could see a little ring of fires indicating a campsite in the sand beneath us. One of the fires is moving off into the desert. No hyenas there I bet.

It suddenly dawned on me. My adventure was over. A slightly emotional goodbye to my travelling companions, with assurances of emails and I was on my way back to Manchester.

The Africa bug had me completely in its grasp.

 

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