13 HIGHLIGHTS FROM A TRIP TO NAMIBIA
May 17, 2016 |
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When people imagine
travel to Africa, it’s likely safari touring one thinks of. About 2 yrs ago I
took safari in South Africa
<https://jessieonajourney.com/tag/south-africa> and it also was spectacular
- in the end of Day #2 I’d seen both The Big 5 and The Ugly 5! While Namibia
has safari offerings, particularly Etosha National Park, due to this trip I
decided to travel beyond the obvious and explore the lesser-known experiences.
This wasn’t quite
difficult, since most of my readers are on the USA and Canada, a demographic
typically not really acquainted with Namibia tourism. I say that both because
North Americans touring Namibia isn’t common and as well because almost every
person I told I was going responded by saying “Where is?” “Is that in South
Africa?” or “Really? Are there even activities in Namibia?”
Make bound to check
out a number of the beautiful handicraft markets scattered around Namibia - a
great way to visit local and conserve the economy
The respond to this
last question: a good deal! I now place Namibia towards the top of my “most
underrated destinations” list, in addition to Slovenia and Honduras. Namibia
felt secure - the bumpy roads and vast desert mean you have to know how to change
an appartment and carry many extra refreshments. People also speak English
turning it into easy to people for assistance, and there is often a
well-developed tourism infrastructure.
Oh, and you know
what? I didn’t even must book a safari to find out zebra, baboons, kudu,
springbok, warthogs, jackals, ostrich and giraffe; I saw Namibian wildlife just
by driving throughout the country (especially close to the fence of Etosha).
creature was spotted with the car window driving along the highway
To enable you to
plan a trip to Namibia, here's my guidance on packing and what direction to go
Table of Contents
· Exploring Namibia
o ’1. Savor A Quirky
Meal At Joes Beerhouse In Windhoek
o 2. Climb The
Otherworldly Rocks At Spitzkoppe
o ’3. Sandboard The
Namibias Highest Commercial Dunes
o 4. Hit The Beach In
o 5. Hike To The
“Painted Lady” In Brandberg <https://jessieonajourney.com/things-to-do-in-namibia/>
o 6. See Ancient Rock
Carvings At Twyfelfontein
o 7. See Petrified
Forest At The Petrified Forest Near Khorixas
o 8. Indulge In
Infinity Pool Action At Opuwo Country Lodge
o 9. Experience
Well-Preserved Culture At A Himba Village In Opuwo
o 10. Eat The Game
o 11. Take In The
Views At Grootberg Mountain
o 12. Take In Eerily
Beautiful Views On The Skeleton Coast <https://jessieonajourney.com/things-to-do-in-namibia/>
o ’13. Explore The
Worlds Largest Seal Colony At Cape Cross
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accents and gorgeous graphic print interior lining. Namibia can be a place
you’ll likely be carrying camera gear and multiple lenses, and both bags fit my
DSLR, a supplementary lens, JOBY travel tripod
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in addition to my everyday essentials like sunglasses, cellphone, bank cards,
cash and malaria medication.
So much space
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The Beside-U Wide
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Namibia needs to be
a place in places you exercise a fondness for light clothing and accessories
and light-weight colors, so just for this trip I chose the Bethany Leather
Trimmed Wide Satchel Bag in Rose Dawn as well as a Grenada Leather Trimmed
Multi-Pocket Crossbody Bag in Moon Grey
Both bags are lightweight (below 1 pound) and water-resistant. In fact, I
stupidly left the satchel too towards the shoreline at the lake in Swokopmund
and it also got hit with a wave, though nothing inside, not just my phone, was
For travel safety,
the spacious RFID-blocking zip pockets mean your identity is protected, while a
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Crossbody Bag also carried my photography and travel essentials. Take a peak
Crossbody Bag even worked for adventure outings in Namibia
As for things you
can do in Namibia, I’ll say nine days wasn't enough to view everything this
beautiful country were required to offer, though I did get to see a great deal.
Here are 13 highlights from your journey:
Excited for just a
meaty dinner at Joe’s Beerhouse
The crazy interior
at Joe’s Beerhouse
1. SAVOR A QUIRKY
MEAL AT ’JOES BEERHOUSE <http://joesbeerhouse.com/> IN WINDHOEK
My guide George
from Vulkan Ruine Tours & Transfers <http://www.vulkanr.com/> said
Joe’s Beerhouse is among, in any other case the, most well-known restaurants in
Namibia. After eating there myself I can realize why. As soon as you walk inside
your senses go wild in the mashup of eclectic decor. Outside are koi ponds,
wooden boats and signs stating the home wine is Jägermeister, even though the
interior is scattered with lamps constructed from wooden fishing tools, trees
growing on the floor with clocks and coconuts dangling using their company
branches, and walls lined with Jägermeister bottles and game heads (they like
booze and meat).
Speaking of game,
this is also that you can invest those tasty safari animals (not the endangered
ones) on your plate, like oryx, springbok, kudu, zebra…though vegetarian
options like lasagna and crispy mushrooms tempt the palate, too. The atmosphere
is fun, festive and downright weird sometimes.
Joe's #Beer House
will be the quirkiest restaurant in #Namibia. Here's why.
landscapes dominate Namibia, specially in Spitzkoppe
A Damara woman
selling gemstones at Spitzkoppe
There are numerous
opportunities for interesting poses at Spitzkoppe
2. CLIMB THE
OTHERWORLDLY ROCKS AT SPITZKOPPE
me of Wadi Rum in Jordan, with desert landscape covered in otherworldly rock
formations ripe for climbing and yoga poses. I ran around being a kid who
inhaled lots of pixie sticks, hopping from rocks to caves to archways and
immersing myself within the scenery (and showing some yoga poses). You can camp
here or simply spend several hours like my group did, though whichever you end
up picking I’d recommend purchasing some handicrafts and local gemstones on the
entrance from your Damara along with their children, considered Namibia’s first
inhabitants following your bushmen plus the Nama. This is one kind of the top
activities in Namibia, inside my opinion!
“Just Dune It”
(Alter Action’s slogan)
me a bit crazy
3. SANDBOARD THE
NAMIBIA’S HIGHEST COMMERCIAL DUNES
highest dunes are usually in Sossusvlei reaching dizzying heights of a
single,784 meters (5,853 feet), tour operators don’t offer excursions there.
For those wanting a desert adrenaline rush, you ought to instead go to the
Namib Desert’s Dorob National Park, where golden dunes painted by Mother Nature
with chocolate, vanilla and caramel swirls reach about 100 meters (328 feet).
My local travel
agent for the day was Alter Action <http://www.alter-action.info/web/>,
whose package included 120 minutes of sandboarding, lunch with beer and soda,
plus a video during the day for about $25-$31, based on if you do lie down or
standup boarding. I chose the first kind as I was told I could improve GoPro
footage with this angle (furthermore, it looked more relaxing yet fun).
mixed beautiful views and adventure
<https://jessieonajourney.com/sandboarding-namibia-post/> with laughs
naturally we all took turns wiping out, rolling down mounds and eating dirt.
Luckily the soft sand broke our falls and left us in laughter rather then
tears. For me, the true highlight was the red and brown hues on the sand
contrasting brightly using the cerulean sky, white speckled clouds and, through
the top in the dunes, the cityscape of Swakopmund.
Morning coffee within
the balcony in the Beach Hotel Swakopmund
Dipping my toes
from the Atlantic. Ahhh….
Jumping for joy in
4. HIT THE BEACH IN
sandboarding, Swakopmund hosts some beautiful Atlantic Ocean coastline worth
checking many things you can do in Namibia. Paraglide or skydive over it, have
a very meal within the pier, or perhaps spend each day lounging within the sand
with a decent book and swimming inside ocean. You can also do cartwheels just
like a crazy person, as i am.
In this city I
stayed in a single of one of the best accommodations on the trip: The Beach
Hotel Swakopmund <http://www.beach-hotel-swakopmund.com/>. My room a
private balcony, great shower pressure, strong Wi-Fi and reliable ac. Moreover,
the top pool offered gorgeous city views, as well as the onsite restaurant
served upscale yet affordable local seafood.
The “White Lady” in
the middle of shaman visions and wildlife paintings
Enjoying the pool,
a beer and also the view for the Brandberg White Lady Lodge near Brandberg
The sun needs to
rise at Brandberg White Lady Lodge
5. HIKE TO THE
“PAINTED LADY” IN BRANDBERG
namesake mountain could be the highest in Namibia, sitting at 2,606 meters
(8,550 feet). The two-day round-trip summit isn’t the one reason to go to this
mountain though, as it’s the place to find over 50,000 rock art paintings by
ancient cultures, manufactured for healing and communication purposes using
natural dyes like animal blood, ground sandstone and charcoal.
The most well-known
of these could be the highly detailed “White Lady,”
researchers have found is a male shaman. This is distributed by the penis
decorations, antelope-tail fly whisks, knee and arm straps, and dancing rattles
used during ritual performances. Surrounding the figure are spiritual animals
and psychedelic visions from your local shaman following hallucinogenic desert
plants, to be an oryx with human legs and the ones with animal features. It’s a
striking and eye-opening look back on time, as well as the hike itself walks
you two-hours round trip through beautiful Namib Desert landscape.
Tip: Go as quickly
as possible to avoid the scorching sun.
Have you met #Namibia's
famous White Lady? She's an essential piece of #history!
A snake peaking out
Looking out over
carvings at Twyfelfontein
6. SEE ANCIENT ROCK
CARVINGS AT TWYFELFONTEIN
will be very different in the previous. First of all, you’ll see rock carvings
(not paintings) from 2,000-6,000 a long time ago. Moreover, the landscape is a
lot more dramatic with broken sandstone chunks of all sizes immersing hikers
inside landscape. As you weave from the rock you’ll note ancient art in
addition to the layered landscape contrasting jagged red rock, bright blue sky,
forest green flora and pearly watercolor clouds. History and nature mixed
wonderfully as of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Petrified forest in
They know this as
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7. SEE PETRIFIED
FOREST AT THE PETRIFIED FOREST NEAR KHORIXAS
While my guide
called video hike, it was actually a quick 20-minute walk from the desert,
albeit an intriguing and educational one. A local guide described enormous
petrified trunks of cone-bearing trees reaching 45 meters (148 feet) in total,
viewed as 260 million years of age.
trees were taken on stone, or what is known as “wooden opal.” While some are
above ground other medication is buried in sandstone - although some you can
even play as being a musical instrument, each section with the wood setting up
a different sound. The attraction, which is really a national monument, can be
found 42 kilometers (26 miles) west of Khorixas.
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Chillen with the
The sky is racing
8. INDULGE IN
INFINITY POOL ACTION AT OPUWO COUNTRY LODGE
I stayed on the
Opuwo Country Lodge <http://www.opuwolodge.com/> when see the local Himba
people, as well as the view alone may be valued at a stay here. There’s an
Infinity pool complemented by outdoor lounge chairs overlooking Opuwo as well
as the surrounding mountains - quite the sight at sunset, especially with a
domestic Windhoek Lager on hand. During this time the clouds appear like
they’re burning, with pinks, oranges and purples swirling about heavenly
pillows that appear close enough to touch.
The rooms can also
be nice with flagstone showers, comfortable beds and ac. For food, the restaurant
serves sets from tender oryx steaks to Namibian mussels in garlic cream sauce
to kudu carpaccio.
Hanging while using
Himbas in Opuwo
Himba along with
children within the village
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WELL-PRESERVED CULTURE AT A HIMBA VILLAGE IN OPUWO
The highlight of my
entire tour exploring things you can do in Namibia was obviously a Himba
Village visit <https://epicureandculture.com/himbas/>. Unlike some
village experiences that could feel like you’re in a human zoo this felt
authentic, as my guide George helped our group to talk (the Himbas speak
Otjihimba) and assimilate as an alternative to being awkward outsiders.
I wandered the
little village interacting with all the people, playing while using children,
gaining an understanding in the always-burning Holy Fire
and the way it connects the Himbas for their ancestors, receiving a better
education for the importance of livestock (it’s fundamentally the Western
version of greenbacks), and viewing the cow dung and straw huts. In fact, I
even went into one and saw that this Himbas crush up ochre stone for making
body paint - they even can painted my arms - to use for beauty, sunscreen and skin
To give you thanks,
I purchased some handicrafts in the blankets setup because of the Himba women.
It felt as being a true exchange rather than simply going into without a guide,
unsure what was happening and giving money blindly for snapping photos (so bear
in mind, a great guide will likely be essential because of this).
A #culture holiday
to a Himba village in #Namibia taught me a great deal. Here's why.
A tender oryx steak
with delicious garlic butter
A typical lunch
pack in Namibia might add a full steak in tin foil. I’ll never get back to
10. EAT THE GAME
Ask a Namibian what
their best food is and you’ll likely hear “meat.” If you press further, they’ll
probably say “game” or “red meat.” In fact, my guide laughed and said on
Christmas he’ll often just eat a huge plate of meat with perhaps a little salad
and a few milk. After tasting for myself I can discover why. My favorite: the
Oryx Steak. Leaner than beef and extremely tender and juicy (unlike Kudu, that
may be quite difficult to chew).
Enjoying the views
at Grootberg Mountain Pass
Wildlife over the
Grootberg Mountain Pass
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A panoramic shot
while driving through Grootberg Mountain Pass
11. TAKE IN THE
VIEWS AT GROOTBERG MOUNTAIN
Pass crosses Grootberg Mountain while offering gorgeous mountain, valley and
neat basalt rock formation views (and also numerous installments of cars which
have toppled in the high curvy road, so wear a seatbelt!). I experienced this
pass driving on C40 from Opuwo to Terrace Bay Resort around the Skeleton Coast.
I’d recommend grabbing a photo with the flat-topped peak before you decide to
enter the pass and also once you’re immersed inside it.
Also, look out for
wildlife as I saw the endemic ’Hartmanns Mountain Zebras
really cool to discover on the mountain valley ledges vs within the national
shipwrecks from the Skeleton Coast
views through the Terrace Bay Resort restaurant window
12. TAKE IN EERILY
BEAUTIFUL VIEWS ON THE SKELETON COAST
otherworldly landscapes! While Namibia is loaded with opportunities when
planning on taking gorgeous shots of dunes, deserts, bright blue skies with
pearly puffy clouds and mountain peaks, the Skeleton Coast carries a more Edgar
Allen Poe feel. Beautiful beaches and misty skies complement washed up
shipwrecks and whale bones to supply an eery feel that’s also stunning. Despite
thinking my accommodation at Terrace Bay Resort <http://www.nwr.com.na/index.php/resorts/terrace-bay-resort>
was haunted, the sunrise and scenes Skeleton Coast National Park offers are
worth the vacation to this remote spot.
Seals may stink,
however they sure are cute
Baby seals at Cape
13. EXPLORE THE
WORLD’S LARGEST SEAL COLONY AT CAPE CROSS
desire to bring a cloth to pay your nose and mouth due to this excursion,
because the hundreds of thousands of adorable Cape fur seals that reside here
absolutely stink. That being said, the sight is amazing just like the sounds,
with all the blubbery creatures belly waddling down the beach and making noises
similar to a dying goat.
As it’s a host,
you’ll see a huge selection of cute seal pups splashing inside the waves and
cuddling on their own mothers. It was definitely one of one of the best spots
to photograph within the trip.
Here's the best way
to see #adorable seals in #Namibia. Don't miss it!
Local Guide: I used
Vulkan Ruin Tours & Transfers <http://www.vulkanr.com/> and was
extremely impressed using dedication to responsible tourism and education. My
guide, George, and driver, Martin, were both fun and knowledgable, helping
facilitate all activities in a manner that helped our group make the most out
of them. I would recommend requesting them when producing your booking.
When To Go: Namibia
can be a year-round destination; however, for wildlife viewing June through
October is the most suitable as it’s dry season.
Namibian Dollar. As of March 3, 2016, the exchange minute rates are about $1
USD = $15.67 Namibian Dollars.
may be the national language, though most also speak Afrikkans and German
(Namibia experienced a time period of German rule from 1884 under German
If you travel a good deal a KnowRoaming Global SIM Sticker
affixes for your SIM to supply you local rates and eliminate roaming charges in
200+ countries. Otherwise, may buy a local SIM card from MTC. My starter pack
cost about $5 and lasted me for eight events of pretty consistent use. Note:
You’ll need an unlocked phone in order to do this. You can call you cellular
telephone provider to own this done if it’s not already.
Dress: Dress is
casual and cozy. While I’d read many guides saying you will need to cover the
shoulders and knees, I didn’t find this for being the case in fact. While I’d
skip dressing provocatively, shorts, tanks, tees and sundresses are totally
Outlets: The four
people on my tour group ALL mistakenly brought an unacceptable converters. I
even brought a 150+ country converter and it also still didn’t work. Make
certain to get this one <http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003IS6JYM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B003IS6JYM&linkCode=as2&tag=jesonajou05-20&linkId=653RK4RKPGC76BFN>.
Essentials: Along with your typical gear, make certain to have:
· Light long sleeve
shirt to close sun
(I love the insect-repelling NosiLife line from Craghoppers)
· A hat (I like this
insect repelling one
(an excellent option for chilly nights and plane/car blankets)
· A Telephoto lens
· Personal alarm
Garments <https://clevertravelcompanion.refersion.com/c/96ed> (again,
something I always pack)
(for sun and dirt protection)
*This post was
sponsored by Beside-U Handbags, a product I use both for travel and my everyday
wear. My holiday to Namibia was hosted with the Namibia Tourism Board. All
opinions are 100% my very own.
We hope these Namibia travel trips prove useful. If you've visited, and have absolutely something to feature, let us know from the comments below!