Footprints in Namibia

Visiting Namibia has been my dream for 3 years or so now . I’ve always wanted to visit deadvlei, see the desert and particularly the part where it meets the Atlantic and of course catch the sunset from the desert. As I stood overlooking the desert one evening with strong winds blowing across ,the sun setting to the west and moon rising from the east, marveling at the rhythmic, undulating hills and dunes of the desert before me, that dream had come true. I had visited the desert and was spending at a desert lodge where I would gaze at a million stars and the moon that night, smiling at the fact that I was finally somewhere I had dreamed about under the same stars thousands of miles away.

Views from Avani rooftop bar

Hi there, i trust you’ve been well. I can’t believe it’s been three months since i last posted something here may be i should compensate that by making today’s post lengthy. If you follow me on the socials by now you know i and some girlies had a blast in Namibia less than 2 weeks ago. (By the way, if we aren’t insta-friends yet, come play! Twitter @ms_mutegi ) It’s no exaggeration to say that Namibia was magical. She stole my heart, and cracked me wide open for about a billion different reasons. Visiting Namibia is taking a step towards pure paradise, it’s a bucket list destination for so many. It’s highlighted status over Pinterest, Instagram and twitter has brought it alittle fame over the last few years and when virtual meets reality,we hope for it to be worthwhile.

View of Windhoek streets from my room at Avani Hotel. Going by your country of residence, would you consider this traffic? Kindly leave a comment on the comment section at the end of this post.

Namibia is distinguished by the Namib Desert along its Atlantic Ocean coast with Windhoek as its capital city and Swakopmund as its coastal town. It’s population is roughly 2.6m people and the currencies in use are Namibian dollars and South African rands. Namibia’s Coastal Desert is one of the oldest deserts in the world. Its sand dunes, created by the strong onshore winds also happen to be the highest in the world.

We landed at Hosea Kutako International Airport at around 1pm Namibian time and i wasn’t ready for heat! Namibia is hoooot you guys! While at Windhoek we stayed at Avani Hotel.

We had a city tour on day two and a visit to Okapuka ranch for lunch. Windhoek is a bustling metropolis that is stunningly neat and orderly. The city is a broad blend of modern day animation and colonial accents dotted with breathtaking sights and natural attractions.

Christuskirche in Windhoek, a church built on a cliff that quite visible from the city. It’s tower is about 42m high and the church over 100 years old. You can read more about its history here.

We also had a quick stop at the museum which is directly opposite the church and a tour to their parliament buildings that’s within a close proximity as well. The drive to the parliament buildings from its gates is what caught my attention.

This’s one of my favorite photos from Namibia. How beautiful though!

Before driving off to Okapuka ranch we passed by the market in katutura township for some kapana. You haven’t been to Namibia if you haven’t tasted their Kapana btw and i highly recommend it. It’s delicious to say the least. Okapuka Ranch is a lodge situated 30 km north of Windhoek offering accommodation and a A la carte Restaurant. It’s nestled right in the center of scenic mountain escarpments and savannah views. The drive to the ranch was breathtaking, it showcased Namibia’s beautiful landscape.

Leaving Windhoek for Swakopmund the following day had me all kinds of excited. The beach was on my mind only to be shocked later. Before getting to Swakopmund we passed by Spitzkoppe conservation area. The Spitzkoppe is a group of bald granite peaks or inselbergs located between Usakos and Swakopmund in the Namib desert of Namibia. The peaks stand out dramatically from the flat surrounding plains. Bushmen artwork can be seen painted on the rock in the Spitzkoppe area. There also happens to be a campsite within the area though it neither has electricity nor running water and the network is weak. It’s here that you’ll find the arch as well.

Spitzkoppe arch

The drive down Spitzkoppe should be a world wonder. The landscape is nothing like i have seen before. The general area is extremely beautiful but be prepared for hot temperatures.

The drive from Spitzkoppe left us with a slow puncture that saw us making a quick stop at Arandis town for a quick fix. We arrived just in time for the sunset.

We made it to Swakopmund in time for dinner. At Swakop we stayed at The Dome. Here is a sneak peak of the hotel.

Camel riding is no fun in my opinion, first time doing it and it’s canceled, never happening again😂. Am happy i choose to do it here because the views were worthwhile.

Pictured is The mother of Passports, Rioba

The sheer thrill of riding a quad bike through Namibias boundless expanse of shifting sand dunes on the other hand was absolute fun. The freedom of riding through one of natures greatest wildernesses was refreshing.

Pictured is Val
This’s where we had both activities.

In the years i have wanted to visit Namibia i didn’t know they offered the desert safari experience similar to Dubai’s. On the morning we ditched our bus for two Toyota fortuners and a Toyota hilux at Walvis Bay a drive to sandwich harbor was the only thing on my mind little did i know i was up for my most enthralling Namibian experience. A landrover 110 would also comfortably hack the challenge.

The high sand dunes of Namib Desert and the point where the desert meets the sea are the key attractions of the UNESCO World Heritage Site( Namib desert). I couldn’t wait to tick it off my bucketlist.

From here we were up for a thrilling 4×4 experience driving through the dunes. I documented the experience in videos that i have shared on my insta stories under Namibia. Special thanks to Alex and his team for the most amazing desert experience, it beats Dubai’s if you asked me.

That is not all that Swakopmund had to offer. The day after we went for a catamaran cruise that wasn’t fun at all. The sea was angry that day. It was so rough majority of us got sea sick. Before all that we had the pleasure of meeting someone. I had never laid my eyes on a sea lion before this day.

A sea lion.

Swakopmund was such a treat and while i was loving every second of my stay apart from the fact that it was too cold and windy for a swim, time had come for us to leave for Sossusvlei.

Sossusvlei is situated at the heart of the enormous Naukluft National Park, and dare i say, it’s one of the highlights of any trip to Namibia. Easily accessible, Sossusvlei is a clay pan that is only rarely filled by water but is nevertheless a place of awe-inspiring beauty. The drive to Sossusvlei is breathtaking to say the least, with different rock formations and dunes in different shades of brown with some coming in white. It’s a photographers paradise if one ever existed. It had me oooh and ahhhingthe entire time. God clearly took His sweet time with Sossusvlei. The downside is that it’s a long off road drive, around 6hrs from Swakopmund and there is no network coverage. I’d recommend a minimum of 2nights in Sossusvlei for anyone wishing to visit. There is so much to explore.

We got to Desert quiver camp, our home for the night, slightly before sunset. The camp is surrounded by undulating hills and dunes with bleak grounds in between.

Desert quiver camp

While it was extremely windy, it was way warmer than Swakopmund. I have never had the opportunity to watch the sun set and moon rise simultaneously till Sossusvlei. I have never been so excited!

Am a sucker of silhouettes
View of the moon rising to the east

Desert Quiver Camp is located 5kms from the entrance gate to Sossusvlei with inspiring scenery characterised by granite outcrops, spectacular views and roaming wildlife.

The morning after we were off to the park for a visit to Deadvlei. There is a shorter route to getting to Deadvlei without necessarily having to hike big daddy. I wish someone had told me this earlier because hiking that dune was an extremely sport. We made a quick stop at Dune 45 and here are my favorite shots.

From Dune 45 we went straight for big daddy. The hike wasn’t an easy one but it was worth it. We got an aerial view of deadvlei and the surroundings given that Big daddy is one of the highest dunes.

We came to learn later that you aren’t supposed to touch the trees nor lean on them. There is a signage with this info but unfortunately had been buried in the sand.

That’s about all as far as my Namibian experience is concerned. I’d however like to recommend afew activities and restaurants; quad biking at the dunes, the whole sandwich harbor experience including the 4×4 experience at the dunes, a stop at Spitzkoppe and a visit to Sossusvlei. The Namibian beer is also good. Am not a beer person but i liked their tafel (A fusion of tafel lager and lemon) and their Kapana as well😋. I’d also recommend The tug restaurant at Swakopmund for steak. Someone on twitter made the recommendation and am glad i tried it out, it’s really good. They generally have great food. For the sea food i recommend The ocean Cellar. The strand hotel has some really nice cakes too.

I’d have however loved to visit the fish river canyon and the Northern Namibia in general. I was told the North is where you find the elephants and you all know how much i love my long nosed friends and wildlife in general. It’d have been a dream come true to but time was of the essence.

A Namibian dollar is equal to a South African rand. An economy flight ticket from Kenya to Namibia will cost you between Kes 75,000 and 100,000 depending on when you book it and whether you are flying from NBO or MBA. The answer to whether it’s worth it is an unequivocal yes.

I hope you find today’s read helpful enough as you plan to Visit Namibia. Incase of any questions feel free to leave a comment below. Here is a link to a twitter thread on the same i did while in Namibia.

It’s a pleasure having you here, till next time, cheers.

28 thoughts on “Footprints in Namibia

  1. Reading this gave me goosebumps!!! Thank you so much for documenting My Namibia with these words! Your creativity is out of this world! Sometimes I feel like pictures don’t do justice to the Namibian landscape but you proved me wrong!! These pictures are BEAUTIFUL!!! You wrote it and captured it like how a local would!!! Again you are talented!!! Thank you so much ❤️
    Lots of love, Namibia 🇳🇦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for stop by. Am told the Northern is equally beautiful. I’ll remember to visit Etosha. Thank you for the recommendation.

    Like

  3. Aawwww 🤗Thank you for your kind words. Your country is really really beautiful, the world needs to see more of it. ❤️

    Like

  4. Well written, well documented. Thanks for this gem Ray.. it will do a decent job helping me planning my trip out there. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ray, thank you for visiting and thank you for the marvelous story about our beautiful Namibia. You have captured it in words so vividly; the photos were almost redundant. Please visit again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am a Namibian in heart and soul. Must congratulate you on your beautiful photographs of the trip. Please put Northern Namibia on your bucket list too. You will never be disappointed. Nam greetings, Marianne

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve been reading your article about my country Namibia, its been an awesome thrill to hear that you’ve enjoyed it so much, Thank you so much for sharing😃

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  8. Thanks so much for this great article and review. Have always yearned to visit Namibia myself. Is the 75k ticket on return or only a one way?

    Liked by 1 person

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