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Photo Safari Namibia 2007


KJL
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My Adventure, My Epiphany

 

Epiphany: a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something.

 

In 2007 I was presented the unexpected opportunity to be part of Photo-Safari Namibia (http://bwake.coffs.com.au/2006/nightweb/rfaggotter/home.html), a 30 day tour specifically designed for photographers by Ray Faggotter, and guided by Wild Dog Safaris. This was the third tour Ray had organised in the last 4 years. A late withdrawal by one of the clients of the group meant an offer came my way, all I had to do was organise a passport, long service leave and pay for the experience – what an opportunity!

 

Little did I know that this trip to Namibia would forever change my life. Sitting in the peaceful African environment afforded me the time and space to assess my values, reflect on my past and consider my future. My epiphany was like a slap in the face, a call to wake up and make some changes and set some goals. On my return to Australia I was able to initiate these changes, resulting in many ups and downs but I now feel alive and as if I am moving towards my true destiny, one in which I have some control. Africa, its people, geology and animals were the catalyst of change.

 

8th May: Maroochydore – Sydney – Singapore

9th May: Singapore – Johannesburg - Windhoek

 

Namibia is a long way from the Sunshine Coast, Australia! Flying into Windhoek was like flying into Central Australia – desolate and flat but with similar folded geology of ranges rising from the plain. Similar vegetation adapted for a harsh, dry environment too. The mixture of black and white peoples was also familiar, although the stature and beauty of some of the indigenous Africans was striking.

 

Our guides collected us from the airport and transported us about 40km to Windhoek where we were accommodated at Pension Moni (would thoroughly recommend this accommodation). We walked our jetlagged bodies into the “city” (more like a county town) for a look around. There are many guards with rifles spotted around the city. It is a confronting sight and something not experienced in Australia. Razor wire adorns the high fences of many properties and would indicate a level of crime/unrest that is not evident in the daily activities of the people.

 

There are many beautiful places at which to eat in Windhoek. (Joe’s Beerhouse and Louigi and the Fish to name but two). The atmosphere was fantastic and the food brilliant – tasty, big meals, but a bit slow in coming. The waitress summed it up when she told us “there is a problem in the kitchen and your meals will be ready in a Namibian Minute”. We calculated this to be about 40-50 Aussie minutes! Not that it mattered because the company was great and the conversation flowing.

 

 

10th May - Windhoek

 

We visited many of the poorer areas of the city, where unemployment and poverty went hand-in-hand. Since Independence the Government has done much to assist those in need, supplying materials to build shanty accommodation, and setting up small business programs for people to earn incomes selling goods and services. The Katatura Markets was an example where stallholders sold their wares – anything from secondhand TV’s and electrical components, food, meat, Herero dresses/hats, cell phones and hairdressers. The Soweto Markets were similar.

 

 

 

Penduka is a craft co-op for women to sell their beautiful textiles. Particularly magnificent were the embroidered fabrics depicting various aspects of the peoples’ lives. “Penduka” means “wake-up”, the concept being that the women should wake up to themselves and use their skills to create a livelihood.

 

 

 

My observations of Windhoek are:

• the people look healthy

• even in impoverished areas everyone is well dressed and clean, giving the appearance of pride and dignity

• sweeping/raking is an important daily activity – saw men, women and children sweeping/raking in all the different areas of the city

• A big church sits on the hill overlooking the shanty areas, providing great juxtaposition.

 

 

 

• People are very friendly – they will stop and find out where you are from. When you tell them Australia, they say “Ahh, Down-Under”, which is funny because Namibia is “down under” too

• Lots of people appear to be sitting around doing nothing

• Service attendants abound at petrol stations (no self-serve here!)

• Security guards at every shop and restaurant.

 

11th May – Khomas Hochland Highlands; Spreetshoogte Pass; Sesriem

 

It was great to get out of the city and hit the corrugated roads so similiar to those in outback Australia. The landscape was fairly barren apart from grass and the occasional gnarly tree, but the animals were uniquely African – baboons, kudu, oryx, springbok, ostrich, and sociable weavers (birds that make these crazy, huge grass nests in the trees or at the top of powerlines that the whole colony lives in).

 

Lunch at Spreetshoogte Pass Lookout provided spectacular views of the ranges and plains in the area.

 

Arriving in Sesriem at sunset was also beautiful. The grasses took on the appearance of soft carpet that met the textured, brown boulders of the hills.

 

 

12th May – Dead Vlei, Sesriem Canyon

 

I would highly recommend rising pre-dawn to be at Dead Vlei for sunrise. The magnificence of the red dunes is enhanced by the contrast of light and shade. There were beautiful curves created by the crests of the dunes as they snaked towards the sky. Recent rains produced many grasses that added a golden glow to the untouched ripple marks crossing the dunes. Dead Vlei is a salt pan amongst the dunes. Dead trees are spattered across the pan, their gnarly silhouettes creating interest.

 

 

The afternoon was spent at Sesriem Canyon. 1km long and 30m deep, the canyon was carved by the Tsauchab River through the 15 million year old deposits of sand and gravel conglomerate. Unbelievably there was a pool of water, and gorgeous reflections, at the head of the canyon.

 

13th May – Sossusvlei

 

Lunch at Sossusvlei in the shade of a camel thorn tree prepared us for an afternoon of wandering and exploring before appreciating the sunset. For those who are up to it, walking up the crest of the big dune provides a fitness challenge. A thirsty experience, take water and wear a hat and sunscreen. Lots of wild life can be found in the area – white faced owl; goshawks, guinea fowl, springbok and black-backed jackals.

 

14th May – Solitaire; Kuiseb Valley; Bloedkoppe; Tinkas

 

The service station/café at Solitaire contains hidden delights in the form of huge pieces of apple strudel – well worth the stop. Beyond Solitaire we passed through the Tropic of Capricorn and stopped for the obligatory photo. Very similar landscape to where the Tropic passes through Longreach, Australia. The rugged road passes through the rugged geology of the Kuiseb Valley, with many valleys and gullies surrounded by the tilted sedimentary layers. Lots of mica and schist in this area.

 

Bloedkoppe is a granite mountain. Much time can be spent scampering around the granite structures – there are so many interesting shapes, sculptures and textures in this area.

 

The Tinkas, a short drive away, provide more granite geology reminiscent of the Devils Marbles in Australia, but smaller in size and without the extreme red/orange created by a high concentration of iron. There is a lot more wind and sand weathering here, creating many unusual sculptures – use your imagination and you can see a variety of animals carved into the rock. The kokerboom trees present an unusual sight with a textured trunk of white and yellow, the leaves like those of an aloe vera plant poke out from the end of stubby branches - a beautiful contrast to the oranges of the setting sun on the rocks.

 

 

 

 

15th May - Wustenquell Farm

 

Travelled the most atrocious corrugated roads to the Welwitchia Miribilis plants that grow in the Namib Desert. These ancient plants grow in the most barren and desolate area. There is literally nothing but dirt. One of the plants is dated as being 1500 years old – perhaps the oldest plant on earth (??). It took 1 hour to travel 30km from here to Wustenquell Farm. Another interesting geological area where we camped amongst the rocks.

 

17th May – Swakopmund

 

Swakopmund was shrouded in a cold fog that didn’t lift during our day there. We wandered the shops, many of which were quaint and tourist oriented. Lunch on the beach was cold and windy. The Atlantic Ocean was quite foreboding – ship wrecks emphasised this fact, attributing to the name Skeleton Coast. It sounded like the Pacific but it didn’t look or smell the same. The desert meets the sea here – a huge contrast to the beaches of Australia’s east coast.

 

I would recommend a joy flight over the region. Once clearing the fog it was possible to see 3 very distinct areas of geology all of which were vast and far reaching. The flat barren desert changed suddenly into brown, rugged, tilted moonscape area, which changed just as suddenly into the convoluted shapes and ridges of the sand dunes.

 

 

 

18th May – Spitzkoppe

 

 

Spitzkoppe, in the north west of Damaraland, is another mountainous granite structure rising from the plain. On the drive in, many people, mostly kids try to flag down the cars to get you to buy their rocks, minerals and artefacts.

 

As a teacher I was amazed by the sight of the Katora Primary School which had the school emblem painted on its front wall and underneath in huge writing “Use Condoms Please!” Such is the gravity of the message that it dwarfed the writing of the school name. Can you imagine an Australian Principal giving permission for such a thing to be written on the front of any of our schools??

 

 

 

One of the guides and I wandered around the buildings poking our heads through broken windows. Dilapidated lockers and bunk beds indicated the school had boarders. Although school holidays, it wasn’t long before we had a rag-tag crew of kids following us, keen to have a chat. We asked them questions about their school and what would happen after they finished year 7 – some thought they would go to high school in another area but the reality is that most will not receive any further formal education after primary school. They also spoke the Damara language for us – an intriguing inclusion of clicks punctuated their words. We treated them with a packet of biscuits for which they were grateful. This was one of my highlights of the trip.

 

 

 

Again sunset and sunrise are the times for the photographers to do their “stuff”, although the volume of visitors in the area made for interesting interactions as people had to cooperate to keep out of the way of other people’s photos.

 

The “whoop, whoop, whoop” sound of a leopard during the night really brought me a thrill and made me realise I’m in Africa!!

 

 

Part 2 to follow

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18th & 19th May – Okahandja Markets; Omboroko campsite at Okonjima

 

The Okahandja Markets was a confronting experience where stallholders mobbed you and invited you to enter their stall and touch the merchandise. Any item you looked at they would pick it up for you to hold. “How much?” you’d ask them. They would bend down and pick up a stone from the ground and scratch the price on their arm then put a line through it and say, “But you are my first customer, so I give it to you for…” and they write the new price. The haggling then begins. Basically you need to convert back to your own currency and decide whether that is a fair price. If you say sorry, I can’t pay that much and hand it back, they will often agree to your price as long as it is fair. It was a real pressure situation and not one I really enjoyed because, while I understood these people were really poor, I too had a budget to work within.

 

The Omboroko campsite at Okonjima was fantastic with quaint gas hot showers and loos with a view. A shelter shed with a sink also provided a useful shaded space.

 

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Upon our arrival we were collected in open safari vehicles to see cheetahs being fed by the Africat Foundation staff. Africat is the world’s largest cheetah and leopard rescue and release program (www.africat.org). Staff threw meat from a bucket and made the call of a wounded impala which soon brought 7 cheetahs into our presence. While it was great to see them up close and take photos I didn’t get the buzz that I might have otherwise felt if I had spotted them (excuse the pun!) in the wild.

 

The morning had us up early for transportation to the Okonjima Bush Camp lodge and the start of the Kalahari Bushman guided trail. This was a very interesting and entertaining experience, thanks to our comedic guide, that provided information and demonstrations on various aspects of Bushman life. Well worth it.

 

We also had the opportunity to visit a hide and watch a leopard feeding. Again, great for pics.

 

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20th May: Petrified Forest; Twyfelfontein; Aba Huab

 

I saw my first giraffe in the wild – awesome!! Giraffes are evolutionary freaks, gangly and geaky, but totally beautiful. The colour, patterning and size are amazing. I was so excited.

 

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Our fuel stop at Khorixas was interesting and confronting. As soon as you step out the door of the truck you are mobbed by people wanting to know your name and how to spell it, with a view to engraving it on their nut jewellery. You have to be very direct in saying you will not buy it. There were also young children begging for small change. There is huge difference in the appearance of these poorer people when compared to those in Windhoek – they are less clean, more dishevelled and more desperate.

Walking down the street of Outjo were luscious, naked-breasted Himba women. They had beautiful skin covered in brown ochre and butterfat. They carry a nice amount of subcutaneous body fat – not sinewy or skinny – and are a striking sight in an otherwise modern streetscape.

 

Some great samples of petrified pine trees (some trunks are 30m long) are to be found at the Petrified Forest. Apparently these trees were washed down an ancient river and eventually deposited and buried in sediment where the river current slowed. Pressure and heat resulted in mineralisation of the woody tissue.

 

An afternoon guided tour of Twyfelfontein provided us some great pics of 2000-6000 year old Bushman petroglyphs, interesting rock carvings depicting elephants, giraffe, kudu, buffalo, and human and animal footprints.

 

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In the evening, as I was cleaning my teeth, I heard people singing and went to investigate the beautiful sound. There was a group of people at the lodge that put on an impromptu performance for a tour group. Our guides were also there and they invited me to join the dance – it involved following each other around a circle and used a sequence of steps but no particular hand or upper body movements. It was a joyous cultural experience and another gem in my trip that left me feeling elated.

 

21st May: Kamanjab; Himba Village

 

Afternoon guided tour of a Himba Village near Kamanjab. The villagers, now used to tourists, get paid to allow them to witness and photograph their way of life. Existing on meat and milk products (butterfat), the people have a healthy layer of fat that gives their appearance a certain glow. The babies were chubby and very cute. Red ochre is used with the butterfat to adorn and clean the skin – water is only used for drinking and cooking, never for washing – and for mosquito protection. Their hair and skins used for clothing are also covered in the ochre and fat mix. The cleaning ritual takes about 3 hours and includes the burning of herbs which the women breathe and squat over.

 

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The women did singing, clapping, stomping dances. They laughed and joked a lot (probably about tourists being idiots). They liked to look at the pictures you took of them, but on occasions you could see that they had had enough of modelling and wanted to go except for the guide’s insistence they continue.

 

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Part 3 to follow

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22nd – 25th May: Etosha National Park (Okaukuejo, Halali, Namutoni)

 

It is possible to spend hours sitting at waterholes watching the hierarchy and dynamics of many animals as they come and go. The elephants appear to be the most commanding – when they are present everything else waits or lingers cautiously to the edge. The eles are very protective of their babies, always keeping them surrounded. The babies are very cute and get up to all sort of playful antics – splashing the water with their trunks, scratching themselves on the legs of adult eles, chasing each other. As the herd left they passed within 10m of the car – it was amazing! Scary too! The guide described a couple of the females as being “dodgy” and told us to sit still and quiet as their ears were held straight out from their heads and their trunks were moving forward in an undulating motion. One ele stopped, faced the car and stared at us as if to say “what are you looking at?!” Oh my gosh, it was such a thrill.

 

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Rhinos, chunky as they are, also seem to have a high status and a cantankerous attitude. They chase off any other animal that comes down to the water to drink. When the rhinos start to leave and other animals move in, the rhino returns and chases them off again.

 

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Zebras are a zany bunch – they all seem to want to drink from exactly the same spot which results in some nasty kicking action and chasing. They are really snickety with each other.

 

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Giraffes exhibit a paranoia and nervousness like no other animal. They wander in cautiously, stopping every 50m or so to look around. They never seem at ease. They will get half way down to having a drink and up they pop again, checking that all is still OK. I guess having your legs spread wide apart to get from a great height to the water to drink puts you in a very vulnerable position.

 

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Many other animals can also be seen: springbok; oryx; wilderbeast; impala; black-backed jackals; birds of all shapes and sizes, from tiny lilac breasted rollers to ostrich; hyenas; warthogs.

 

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Lions proved to be the most elusive. The guides did an amazing job of finding them lying in the grass in the distance. Apparently lions sleep 20 hours per day so you need to be lucky to see any action. And lucky we were – driving in to a waterhole there were 3 lionesses on the move and they walked straight beside the car. Everyone was falling over themselves to get their cameras organised for a photo in the brief moments available.

 

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On our departure from the park we stayed at Onguma Bush Camp, just outside the Von Lindequist Gate. It was a beautiful place to stay: fantastic accommodation; great bar area and restaurant; and a campfire with comfy chairs to enjoy the warmth of friendship.

 

26th - 27th May: Tsumkwe area (Bushmanland)

 

Arrived Tsumkwe late afternoon and the guides had a bit of organising to do to find the man in charge of the Conservancy to make arrangements to see the Bushmen in action. Camped around the base of a HUGE baobab tree with a hide built on the side of it by Raleigh International. Raleigh International carried out game counts in the area, enabling better information to be used in the planning of wildlife management strategies for the national parks of Namibia. Unfortunately we arrived to find that elephants had long ago destroyed the toilet facilities and water tanks after being attracted by the source of water in a dry season. We used the broken pieces of china cistern to dig a communal toilet hole, and then I explained the finer points of “squatting” to the less experienced campers of our trip.

 

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Early morning saw us following the Bushmen around on their hunting session. Only one man wore traditional skin clothing – the other guy’s skin was chewed up by a dog overnight. Lots of wandering around the spear grass checking out various footprints, before we were treated to a demonstration of how to start a fire using 2 sticks. The Bushmen are now prevented by the Government from hunting, and are more dependent on tourist dollars for survival. There is a real risk that, in the long term, their culture may be lost due to Government intervention in their traditional practices. This more genuine experience lacked the polish of the Bushman talk at Okonjima Bush Camp which was much more informative with regards to Bushman culture, hunting, manufacturing string from the plant called Mother In-Law’s Tongue and fire starting. I think with time and a skilled interpreter, the Bushmen will master the tourist dollar. Our visit also provided them with the opportunity to sell their crafts and jewellery, thereby further increasing their incomes.

 

We spent the afternoon with the Bushwomen as they wandered the spear grass digging and gathering other items of food. They all have a remarkable sense of direction, and the thought passed my mind that I would be in serious trouble if I got separated from the group.

 

The evening was cold as we observed the singing and dancing of the Bushmen. Sitting around the camp fire, the women tend to sing and clap while the men dance around the outside of them in a sort of shuffle/stomp. The little children liked to emulate the dancing of the men and were obviously having a lot of fun.

 

28th May: Guma Lagoon Camp (Okavango Delta)

 

Crossed the border into Botswana – an interesting procedure where you get departure stamps from Namibia, then go 300m down the track to get entry stamps into Botswana, a slow process with the wheels of bureaucracy almost turning in reverse. The police officer was not satisfied that our tour company had the appropriate license to bring us into Botswana. This meant we had to transport him with us along 112km of potholed track to get a license in Gumare. The guides have to do a lot of problem solving on a daily basis and I have the greatest respect for their patience, flexibility and adaptability.

 

We had a fun and exciting 4WD trip into Guma Lagoon – sand, bumps, water, bogged, out pushing. The camp itself was beautiful, set against the backdrop of the Delta. We camped on grass amongst the trees for the first time. Hot showers were great and there was plenty of time to catch up with some much needed washing. A night cruise on the Delta before dinner permitted us to see nocturnal birds and a croc or two.

 

29th – 30th May: Okavango Delta

 

We were ferried to the Mokoro (dugout canoe) pick up point by motor boat. Mokoros were loaded with gear and people in a frenzy of activity which was in direct contrast to the trip that was to follow. The lead poler was named Selected – a beautifully sculpted man with an equally beautiful, calm personality. He did a fantastic job ensuring our safety while providing ample opportunity to see the delights of the Delta.

 

The journey over the lily covered water was beautiful and cathartic – only the sound of the polers’ deep voices and laughter broke the silence. On occasions there was a need to go straight through the reeds and papyrus to avoid potential hippo situations. It was an impossible task keeping a sense of direction. Bugs and spiders brushed into the mokoro for a free ride. We arrived at our island camp in time to set up before lunch. After lunch it was fun to have a go at poling the mokoro. It’s as hard as it looks, balancing at the back while maintaining speed and direction. The guides and I went swimming in the shallow area out from the camp where there were no crocs or hippos. It was joyous to play like kids, having running and swimming races before deciding that an apple would make a good ball to play “piggy in the middle”. I laughed more than I had in many years.

 

At 4.30pm we went out in the mokoros for a sunset photo opportunity, visiting many little islands and their elephant inhabitants, before watching a spectacular sunset go down over the reeds and lily-pads.

 

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After dinner we were treated to a performance by the polers. With background music comprised of their deep, melodic voices and clapping, the first dance featured a man with a well padded (with leaves) bum and stomach – resembling that of an overweight man. It was especially hilarious when the dancer went and sat at my father’s feet. Two other dances also demonstrated humour accompanied by the fantastic rhythm of clapping and song.

 

31st May: Guma Lagoon Camp

 

Back to the luxury of tents on grass at Guma Lagoon Camp. Washing and showers prior to lunch; rest and relaxation sitting on the large wooden deck overlooking the Delta after lunch.

 

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1st June: Bumhill

 

Long drive to Bumhill today. Lovely campsites, each with hot shower and toilet. Elephants could be viewed from one of several platforms.

 

2nd June: Katima Mulilo

 

Short drive to Katima Mulilo & our stay in the Zambezi Lodge. The lodge was comfortable enough, but the pool was empty, the floating bar inaccessible and things seemed to be requiring some maintenance after being damaged by recent floods. Spent time wandering around the shops and markets and bought some lovely woven baskets/mats.

 

Part 4 to follow

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3rd - 4th June: Kasane, Botswana (Chobe National Park)

 

Evening and dawn game drives afforded us some more up close and personal experiences with elephants and lions. It’s amazing how vulnerable you feel in an open safari vehicle when there is an elephant about 10m behind you and showing an obvious interest at getting closer!

 

Saw a pride of lions hunting a warthog that was obliviously walking into a trap. The teamwork of the lions was amazing and seemed to occur without communication, each individual playing its part in closing in on the warthog. Amazingly the warthog escaped by making a mad dash into the water and swimming for safety.

 

Lots of elephants were neck deep in the water, pulling out reeds and shovelling them into their mouths.

 

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Hippos were also abundant, but getting close enough for a good photo was near impossible.

 

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An evening cruise provided a different perspective of the park and its inhabitants (and a beautiful sunset), but I would recommend going on a smaller boat with less people as there is too much competition to get a good photo when an opportunity presents itself. My only disappointment of the trip was that I was unable to get any decent hippo photos.

 

5th – 6th June: Zambezi Sun International Hotel, Livingstone, Zambia (Victoria Falls)

 

Crossed the Botswana/Zambia border via a large barge over the Zambezi River. Wow! What a chaotic process! Cars, semis, trucks, buses – hundreds of them waiting for the small number of spaces on each crossing. The process took hours for us, but I’m sure for some truck drivers it would take days. Pre-booking our arrival in Zambia helped process our passports quickly (no forms required), but we waited for hours for the inspection of our vehicles by customs. Thinking the bureaucracy was finally over we drove about 2km up the road to be stopped by the police. Apparently we didn’t have the appropriate license required by foreign tour operators, so we had to return to the border post to pay the fine and purchase the necessary license.

 

The Zambezi Sun Hotel is a spectacular resort next to Victoria Falls. The setting, rooms, food, service would be hard to better (but that’s from a person who is a camper at heart and has limited knowledge of resorts – I’m easy to impress).

 

The walk around the top of the Falls is incredible, the sight and sound awesome. The thundering roar of the huge volume of water spilling over the lip is extreme. The spray that results from the intensity of the water hitting the bottom of the falls was saturating and exhilarating. I didn’t bother with a rain jacket, preferring instead to soak up the atmosphere and joy of being subjected to the magnificence of nature. I had a big grin on my face the whole time. Rainbows were to be found by the dozens as sunlight streamed through the water particles.

 

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The final highlight of my trip was a 111m bungy jump off the bridge connecting Zambia and Zimbabwe. At lunch time I was feeling more than a little nervous, but by my 4.30pm jump I was pumped and ready to go. The staff distract you from your thoughts by chatting to you constantly as they kit you up with your full body harness. Standing on the edge of the platform was surreal – I felt no fear or hesitation at all. Pure blind faith in the equipment kept my mind at ease. Plummeting towards the water my mind felt free and blank – if I died today, I would die happy having had the best adventure of my life.

 

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The tightening of the straps around my ankles was very reassuring as I reached the bottom of the jump and was flung back up in the air. Lots of yo-yoing and spinning ensued before a guy in a harness was lowered down on a cable to click me into a winch for the ride back to the lower side of the bridge. Again the staff chat constantly as they work, keeping you distracted as you make your way under the bridge to the stairs to the upper world. You are always attached to safety cables. It was incredible!! If you get the chance, DO IT!

 

7th June: The long trip home

 

A day of sadness as we farewelled our wonderful guides and thanked them for an experience of a lifetime, knowing that the bonds formed would unlikely be revisited.

 

I now have an ache to return to this magnificent country. It is something to plan and save for, but in the mean time I find joy in reflecting on the photos and memories that I carry with me.

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Hello KJL and thank you so much for sharing your Namibian experience with us all.

Namibia is a place I have always wanted to visit and will try to squeeze it in when I'm in Africa next which is next July.

Love the way you devided the trip into diferent stages and your photos are amazing!

As for the bungy jumping, I will leave that for the thrill seekers for I prefer to have my heart inside my chest... :P

 

Thanks again for sharing

 

Ross

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  • 1 month later...

Including epiphany in your title is such a good choice of words that I am certain many of us can relate to.

 

From epiphany to condoms. I agree that "Use Condoms Please" would be a very startling sign on an elementary school!

 

You have some great photos of people! And of course the animals. A drinking giraffe is something I've always hoped to see. Your delta sunset is lovely. You got at least one good hippo photo, despite their reluctance to pose, so that should not be a disappointment to you. Still, you could use it as your inspiration to return--gotta get that hippo photo.

 

Thanks for comparing and contrasting your various Bushmen Walks. The walks showing visitors how they used to live may ironically become more important as the Bushmen are less able to actually go about their lives the way they have for centuries. I got a kick out of the one Bushman's skin being chewed up by the dog.

 

When you mentioned being concerned about being separated from the group and getting left behind on the Bushman walk, I thought of a desert version of the movie Open Water. I think that was based on something that happened in Australia where a couple is left behind by the diving boat. Don't tell me the ending. I never saw the movie, just heard lots about it--enough so it popped into my head after reading your stranded by Bushmen concern.

 

You bungee jumped!

Glad you had fun doing it. I was scared just reading about it.

 

Thanks for the wonderful report that shared your love for Namibia.

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  • 1 year later...
Drew McKillican

Hi there,

 

Thanks so much for bringing this blog to us, i read it with great interest. Of particular interest were your comments on Katora Primary School. In 2005 I was fortunate enough to visit the area and complete some building work on the school (for charity, i'm not a builder!)... This included repainting the school and building the 'jungle gym' (i.e. wooden framed swings and climbing frame). We also refurbished the bathrooms and replaced all the windows (which seem to have all been broken again!)

 

I'm curious to know if you have any more photographs? Particularly of the school and the play area... i'd be quite keen to see some more recent pictures of how it's settled in... as you can imagine, it's quite an emotional memory.

 

Thanks again,

 

Drew

 

p.s. The 'use condom' slogan is new, we didn't add that !

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