We drove into the nation’s capital city this afternoon. It was a bit like driving into Adelaide – a few tall buildings in the city centre, urban sprawl all around. Windhoek has a population of just under 500,000 people, and I don’t know much about it at all …. yet. I’ll let you know when I find out more. It seems to be in the centre of the country, which may be why it was established here. We’re staying in a self-contained apartment in the Rivendell Guest House a few kms west of the city centre. You can read about it and see some photos here
But let’s backtrack a bit and recall the last couple of days. After we left Luderitz on Saturday afternoon, we headed east back to Aus, then north towards Sesriem & Sossusvlei. If you’ve ever seen any Namibian desert photos, they were probably taken in the sand dunes of Sossusvlei. More about that later. We had to stay somewhere along the way, as we aren’t allowed to drive the car after dark, and it’s just not safe to drive after dark here anyway. We took a scenic route a bit west of the main road and noticed a few signs for accommodation and camping along the way. With about an hour or so of daylight left, we turned off towards a farm which offered camping and other accommodation.
We drove 12km on a track towards the Tiras Mountains, with the 16,400 hectare Namtib Desert Lodge complex nestled at the foot of the mountains. Incredible location. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately, as it all turned out), the 5-place campsite was full, but we were able to stay in one of the en-suite ‘chalets’ and share dinner and breakfast with the hosts and other guests. Sounded like a bargain at Nam$ 900 (around AUD$ 95) and it was getting a bit too late to find somewhere else to stay anyway. Plus, we’d been camping in the tent for a week, and there were more strong winds forecast for that night, probably a good night NOT to camp, given the choice. So we settled in, wandered up to the Sundowner bar area to watch the sunset and ambled in to the dining room for dinner with the 17 other guests and our hosts. Delicious 3-course meal, great company and we learnt a lot about South African politics, economics, food, travel and other stuff from the Cape Town couple we sat next to. They own an apartment in CT that they offer on Airbnb, and it was really interesting to hear about it from the hosts’ side – they love Airbnb as much as we do! We also chatted with Thorsten, our host, about weather patterns, rainfall, the current drought and other stuff about Namibia. Breakfast was also delicious and we were ready to head north to Sesriem with most of our fellow guests. The only minor shock came when we paid the bill. That ‘bargain’ price for dinner, bed and breakfast was per person! If it seems too good to be true and all that stuff. But we both really enjoyed it all and we both thought it was worth it. In Australia, the equivalent would be going somewhere like El Questro in WA, and it would probably cost 5 times that, or more!
I think I’ll finish this post and write another one about Sesriem and Sossusvlei, otherwise it will get too long and I’m sure Greg has plenty of great photos for 2 posts.