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4 Reviews

Country: Namibia / World Region: Africa

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    4 Reviews
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      11.07.2008 16:11
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      Wonderful. Nearly as good as Botswana

      Namibia is one of the few countries in Africa that can claim that the animals are more dangerous than the people. In all of Africa it is probably true to say that the mosquito is the most dangerous animal, but in Namibia it is the hippopotamus that comes in second instead of man. Namibia has a very small population of fewer than 2 million people. It now however also has a small high quality tourist industry. The wildlife is less abundant than many other parts of Africa on the usual safari tourist trail, but the lack of bus-loads of tourists on a day trip away from the beach makes it far more pleasant and the wildlife viewing more satisfying . The varied landscape of the country, from the huge sand dunes (allegedly the biggest in the world?) to the Kalahari desert and game viewing in Etosha National Park make it a wonderful holiday destination for lovers of the natural world.

      When I went to Namibia I did a ten day self-drive holiday with my partner, starting and finishing in Windhoek. At each safari lodge I gave up my hire car in favour of being driven in a more suitable four-wheel drive vehicle with an experienced guide, although at the Etosha National Park it would have been possible to self-drive there too. I would however generally recommend taking the guide. I was hoping for a large 4x4 to drive myself through the desert, as I had done in the outback in Australia recently, so I was bemused to be given a VW Polo to traverse the hostile landscape. It, however, had no problems are the roads were mostly quite good.

      We flew BA from London Heathrow via Johannesburg to Windhoek, where a driver arranged by Audley travel (www.audleytravel.com) who put together this taylor-made itinerary for us, was waiting to take us to our hotel.

      Heinitzburg Hotel, Windhoek is a great place to stay at the beginning and end of a safari trip in Namibia (or Botswana which is easily accessible by small plane from here too) This splendid old castle which has been extended and converted into a luxury hotel, with a fine wine cellar, good food and a terrace with views over Windhoek. We briefly ventured into Windhoek (I had been before a few years earlier for a trip to the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, but that is the subject of a future review) There are the usual African tourist shopping opportunities, but I didn't sample anything more cultural there.

      We had our car delivered to the hotel and set off into the wilderness. Our first stop was Sossusvlei, 4 to 5 hours drive away, stopping only for a packed lunch provided by the hotel and to look at a few monkeys playing. The only other wildlife en-route being a few birds of prey. On arrival we stayed at Sossusvlei Wilderness Camp, a fantastic place to stay, surrounded by huge sand dunes. Cabins on stilts, with balconies and small plunge-pools, on the edge of a cliff, look out across the wilderness to the dunes many miles away. We dropped the car at the thatched reception and were driven through the camp in a 4x4 to the lodge/bar for check-in. We partook in a medicinal gin and tonic and enjoyed the most memorable of sunsets, followed by an exploration of the stars with a large telescope, escorted by a member of staff (The sky is so clear and the light pollution negligible) A wonderful dinner was served to all the guests, with free wine (my favorite variety) The Wilderness Camp provide guides and transport to explore the dunes, setting out before sunrise and stopping for a picnic breakfast. Not much wildlife apart from the usual springbok, birds of prey etc. but the sunrise over the enormous dunes is stunning.

      We drove on to Swakopmund, officially about 4 hours away, but we took 6 hours. Quite a tough drive through the desert. We stayed at the Hansa Hotel overnight. The best hotel in a not very inspiring town. The town was completely closed apart for one bar. The hotel however was fine and its restaurant was really quite good serving local delicacies such as Kudu steak, and German style buffet breakfast. The bar was very good too, with an open fire and reproduction furniture in keeping with the surroundings (the hotel was built in 1905)

      Next stop was Ongava lodge, next to Etosha National Park entrance, via Otjiwarongo and Outjo. Tarmac roads made the drive somewhat easier. Occasional Ostrich, kudu and monkeys kept us alert. On arrival at the lodge we were greeted by the friendly staff with cold towels and drinks then shown the thatched hut with balcony overlooking the water hole, then immediately ushered into a Land Rover for our first game drive. We saw a female white-rhino with a baby very near-by and the guide whispered, "This is the most aggressive animal in Africa. If it sees you it will attack... so, lets get out of the car, and who wants a Gin and Tonic?" We watched the sunset with our sun-downers. A magical experience, and possibly the best G&T I have ever had. Back to the lodge and restaurant for dinner and more wildlife watching from the bar. From the lodge, during the day it is possible to do game drives in Etosha Park next door where lions, antelope, elephants, zebra, lots of birds and the occasional squirrel may be seen. You can also get just as good a view from the bar/lodge in wonderful relaxing surroundings. This is an absolutely wonderful place to stay.

      On the way back home we stayed over night at Okonjima Guest Farm/Bush Camp, which is run by the Africat charity (www.africat.org) who help rescue leopards and cheetahs. The accommodation is also in the form of traditional huts, with luxurious beds and bathrooms inside, but here the half-mile walk through long grass to the lodge with a torch is even more traumatic. Leopards wander around the grounds freely, although rarely eating the guests. The same format of game drives and communal dinners with sun downers while game viewing is used here, but with a different selection of wildlife. The hides for watching the leopards made viewing and photography from close-up exceptional.

      I would certainly recommend a holiday in Namibia to a keen wildlife enthusiast, while much more expensive (our trip more than £2,000 each for 10 days) than the cheapest safari/beach holiday in Kenya or Tanzania I would imagine it will give a far more memorable experience.

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        13.04.2002 19:07
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        From colony to occupied territory to independent republic, Namibia is one of southern Africa's few successes, with a stable and democratic system of government, in which the rights of all are upheld. It also enjoys efficient infrastructures, a pleasant climate, scenic beauty, plentiful supplies of important minerals (diamonds and uranium), and above all, space. 1.73 million Namibians live in 822,000 square kilometres, a population density of 2 people per square kilometre, compared with Western Europe's least densely populated country, Spain, which has 80 people per square kilometre. The Namibians are truly multi-cultural, comprising blond German settlers, tribal Africans, and everything in between. The sense of space makes the first and defining impression and determines so much about this country. People are not jammed against each other like sardines, but have room to manoeuvre themselves away from the pressures that cause tension. An easy going friendship seems to hold together the people of this land, regardless of race, colour, or creed. My trip to Namibia had been programmed around a journey on the Desert Express, a luxury train running between Swakopmund on the Atlantic coast, and the capital, Windhoek, 1700 metres above sea level, with a couple of days at each end. A last minute schedule change by Air Namibia worked in our favour, allowing us to enjoy a lunchtime braai (barbecue) at the Windhoek Country Club, before flying from Windhoek's cozy domestic airport, Eros, on a 19 seater Beechcraft to Swakopmund, where we landed on a sand airstrip. We had an extra night in Swakopmund, a charming small town oozing with the character bestowed upon it by its unique location between desert and sea, and its German and African heritage. If this weren't enough, there are plenty of fascinating and unique excursion possibilities nearby. We stayed at the Strand Hotel, homely and welcoming in the German &#
        39;gemuetlichkeit' tradition', beautifully situated on the ocean front, a few minutes' walk from the Swakopmund Museum and the town centre, and most importantly from the Cafe Anton with its superb traditional German cakes and selection of coffees, guaranteed to tempt the strictest dieter off the straight and narrow. The delights of Swakopmund, with its original art and craft shops, restaurants, and bookshops could have kept us busy for a couple of days, but we also had things to do in Walvis Bay, further down the coast. Before independence in 1990, when Namibia was known as South West Africa under the UN mandated South African administration, Walvis Bay remained an integral part of the Republic of South Africa. Due to its importance as a strategic base and centre of the fishing industry, it was only handed back to Namibia four years after independence. A town of sea mists, wheeling squawking seabirds, and fishy odours, it is one of Namibia's important centres and was the starting point of a four hour boat trip around the natural harbour, during which we saw dolphins, tame seals which clambered aboard to eat with us, and penguins. Fresh oysters, champagne and snacks were included in the cruise, ensuring an experience that was both informative and enjoyable as our captain pointed out many features of the land and seascape, illustrating the history of the area and the country. The incredible coastal sand dunes are a photographer's dream, with their sharp edges and wind formed ripples providing colourful contrasts between light and dark. Here we went quad biking, an experience which one of our group described as being 'about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on'. It was certainly a highlight for all of us, even the more timid quickly getting the hang of the machines, safe and stable due to their four balloon tyred wheels. The ladies were given automatic geared machines, the men had more powerful ma
        nuals (I was happy to see that chauvinism is still alive and well in this part of the world) with 5 or 6 forward and reverse gears, making digging yourself into, or out of, the dunes quite easy. We set off behind the leader on a ten kilometre jaunt up and down the dunes, accompanied by whoops of laughter and screams of terror as the machines took off down the steep slopes. Exhilarated and windswept, we returned intact and planning the next outing. In the evening we dined at a restaurant overlooking the placid water. We arrived in time to photograph flamingos and pelicans cruising for their evening snacks to the backdrop of a flaming African sunset. From our tables we enjoyed the floodlit spectacle of the marine birds foraging for their dinner. Next morning after a last minute trip to Cafe Anton and a visit to the best butcher in town to buy biltong (dried spiced meat) and smoked kudu fillets, we headed for the old Swakopmund Railway station, now tastefully converted into a luxury hotel and entertainment complex, and the check in point for the Desert Express departure. Minibuses took us to the 'shack on the track', the actual departure point of the train a few hundred yards away, where we boarded the train and were shown to our compartments by the friendly and attentive train crew. Ingeniously designed for optimal use of the limited space, the compartment was fitted with a shower and toilet, a small sofa and a comfortable single seater which converted into bunks. The train has 24 compartments in four named coaches (Oryx, Kokerboom, Springbok, Meerkat), each decorated in the pastel colours of the desert and with a frieze made of desert stones and containing a small brass plaque depicting the name theme of the coach - ours was 'Oryx', a graceful buck with long slender horns. Promptly at 14h00 (this was a German colony for many years) the train moved off with a gentle clink of glasses as we gathered in the Spit
        zkoppe bar for the first of many drinks. Tertius, the train manager, assembled the train crew (except for the driver, whom we were assured was at his post) for introductions. The dedication and enthusiasm of this team of young people for their country and their work was apparent from the beginning, and it was perhaps this more than any other single feature of the journey which made it so unique. As we sat enjoying their commentary and hospitality, the train moved at its sedate pace through the surprisingly varied and interesting desert landscape. Each member of the train crew performed various tasks. Angela, a lovely young girl from the nomadic Damara tribe, was tour guide, barmaid, and waitress (she also befriended and looked after my 5 year old son). At our first stop at the Kahn valley in the late afternoon, we walked into the veld to see remains from the wartime army camp, whilst Tertius pointed out features of the landscape and the flora and fauna. Angela spoke of the ancient history of her tribe and language, and at her request, we fell silent to listen to the sounds of the desert. The utter stillness and peace blanketed us, soft and warm and comforting, until, in a moment of surrealism, we were jolted back into the 21st century as someone's cellphone summonsed attention, a stark reminder of how this ancient land has adapted itself to modern life. We were shown the different plants and how the tribespeople used them in their quest for survival in the harsh landscape. Before boarding the train, we played 'African Chess', in which opposing teams use stones cast into hollows in the sand to represent cattle which they have to steal from each other. As night fell a four course dinner was served in the plush Welwitschia restaurant car. Namibian cooking draws heavily upon local ingredients, and game, fish, and steak were all offered along with a small but well chosen selection of excellent award winning South African wines
        . After a memorable dining experience, Tertius invited us into the refreshing clear desert air to enjoy an experience that most people never have - seeing the constellations sparkling through unpolluted air with no ambient light to detract from their clarity. After a full cooked breakfast served as the train neared Windhoek, we made our last stop at Okapuka game ranch. We transferred from the train in open vehicles and drove through that unique African early morning cool resplendent with the promise of the heat of the day to come. From the safety of a substantial hide, we saw untamed lions feeding and marvelled at the raw strength and beauty of the king of the jungle. From there we went to the boma and sat enjoying coffee whilst a tame ostrich kept us under observation through its beady eyes. All too soon it was time to board the train for the last short stretch to Windhoek's historic station where we arrived at 10h00 and said our farewells to the train crew. As we left the train and added our grateful comments in the visitors' book, I noticed that someone had foolishly attempted to compare this service with South Africa's Blue Train. There is no comparison - the Blue Train is luxury point to point transportation, the Desert Express an experience in hospitality, and an insight into this complex land and its people. Before leaving the station, I looked around the Railway Museum, located in the station and containing well laid out and labelled memorabilia and models relating to the country's railway history from early days up to independence. The last night was spent at the Kalahari Sands Hotel, a Windhoek landmark in the town centre and close to all amenities. Our large and comfortable room faced West, affording a splendid view of an African sunset in colours ranging from salmon pinks to burnt copper, against the dramatic background of darkening thunderclouds which promised much needed rain. In the u
        niquely Namibian setting of Joe's Beer House we sat on rough wooden tables and selected dinner from a menu including warthog, zebra, and springbok, as well as more conventional Teutonic fare such as Kassler rib and eisbein, all washed down by copious draughts of Namibia's own Windhoek beer in a relaxed and congenial atmosphere. Late in the evening some friendly locals joined us. When we asked them if it was safe to walk back to the hotel (we needed to walk off the massive portions of food) about a mile down the road, we were pleasantly surprised to be assured that it was indeed quite safe, despite which they offered us a lift in a gesture typical of the generosity and hospitality which had marked our stay in Namibia, and saw us safely back to the hotel, a pleasant ending to a very different and enjoyable stay in one of the few countries in southern Africa that remain very safe, welcoming, and organised. Flights from Cape Town to Windhoek and Swakopmund by Air Namibia. See my opinion on Air Namibia under : travel > airlines > Air Namibia Strand Hotel, PO Box 20 Swakopmund. Tel : +264 64 400315 Walvis Bay Cruise by Mola Mola Safaris : mola-mola@iafrica.com.na Quad biking by Dare Devil Adventures : daredadv@iafrica.com.na Desert Express (Windhoek) : dx@transnamib.com.na Okapuka ranch : okapuka@iafrica.com.na Kalahari Sands Hotel, Windhoek. Tel : + 264 61 222300 Joe's Beer House, Independence Ave, Windhoek. Tel : +264 61 232 457

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          26.09.2001 18:55
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          I really wanted to share my amazing experiences on my once in a lifetime trip to Namibia, but there were so many wonderful events that I can't fit it all in to one op so I have decided to break it down and write it bit by bit, like a series (you have been warned!). I noticed that the only other person who has written in this category, up to now, has never actually been to Namibia yet it is her dream destination, well I have been fortunate enough to spend 3 weeks there and it honestly was the best trip I have EVER had, Namibia stands alone as a country of vast open spaces, abundance of wildlife and the most diverse terrain imaginable. I have decided to concentrate this tale on my experiences of a visit to Cape Cross which we took in May 2001, when my partner and I were invited to stay with my e-pal whom I'd never met before in this stunning country which I had always wanted to visit, following a fascination born of tv documentaries and books. We were staying in Swakopmund,a German influenced seaside resort near the Skeleton coast, and I must write about that too soon as Swakopmund is worthy of its own entry. I made it known that I wanted to see as much of the country as possible and never made secret the fact that I am crazy about all manner of wildlife, so when I was asked "do you want to see some seals?" I thought a nice trip along the coast to watch a few seals at play sounded a pleasant day out. "It's nice and near too" my new friends added and we all piled into the car, early one May morning and set off along the long straight (Oh so VERY long and straight) coast road with a salt surface, which leads North from Swakopmund, all the way to the Skeleton coast. It was misty and hazy as we began our journey, as it so often is along this strip of the Atlantic where early morning fog lifts mid morning to reveal bright sunshine and blistering heat, tempered by playful cooling breezes which cause the local Nami
          bians from further inland to mutter about freezing cold weather and don their quilted jackets, as we English, made of hardier stuff by necessity, plaster factor 30 all over and swig vast quantities of coke, sweating in our T-shirts and shorts. My e-pal Heila behind the wheel had been asked to keep us informed of any points of interest and she pointed out a sand dune, then another followed by several more, then we switched over to observing the sea, another snatch of sea and a bit more sea! To say there is very little to see along this plain stretch of coast would be quite true, but that does it a serious injustice for if you can call being able to see for miles and miles, nothing but rolling sand in 3 directions and the deserted beaches of the edge of the skeleton coast, not much to see, then you haven't seen it for it was balm to our tired city eyes and the sound of the winds howling continuously across this vastness, music to our ears. What I find difficult to express is the sheer vastness of the terrain, it just goes on and on seemingly forever, its severity seldom broken by habitation or town. Yet not for one second does the view get boring as the scene shifts and colours change subtly and all the time you keep your eyes peeled for the rare sight of a lone jackal, scavenging for scraps of goodness knows what in the inhospitable desert scrub, suddenly the air is rent with beating wings and a huge flock of flamingoes fly overhead on their way South to Walvis Bay, a large snake waiting patiently by the roadside for small mice will often choose the very moment your vehicle heads over the horizon in a cloud of dust, to cross the road in a slither of scales and allow a brief glimpse of something poisonous and deadly but oh so beautiful, and sadly you can see his dead relatives, less lucky, flattened by tyres. Why? when they have thousands of miles of uninhabited desert to choose do they pick the only busy road for hundreds of miles to sunbathe on? When I
          say busy road I mean one where you may pass another vehicle as frequently as once or twice an hour! That by Namibian rural standards is the equivalent of a traffic jam. Eventually after about 2 hours of driving we are told "keep your eyes open we are coming to the town of Henties Bay" and we wait patiently and eventually see on our left, the seaward side, a grim little cluster of dusty shacks, this is Henties Bay, last town before the skeleton coast takes over and inhabited by fisherpeople and those working at the nearby salt mines and the odd hardy camper. In a blink of the eye, Henties Bay is gone and we are back to sand watching, in the back of the car, my partner Brian is squashed in one corner, with Heilas nephew Vaughn snuggled in between the fridge and his Aunty Gundi, and they are playing I spy, a bit difficult as almost everything the eye can see begins with S ..... sand, sea, sun, sky, salt mountains ..... Oh I get it, Vaughn is teasing us waiting for the minute we see SEALS, I had almost forgotten what we had come to see. Oh, and yes I DID say fridge, no matter where we go in Namibia, whether its a day trip or longer we pile a fridge in, filled to the brim with cold drinks, beer and food, usually the cold remains of last nights braai (barbecue). Hang on did I say this was a short trip? Well again, by Namibian standards anywhere which can be reached in less than 10 hours or so is a short journey, yet its still about an hour after passing through the metropolis of Henties Bay that we see a small sign pointing left, saying Cape Cross Seal reserve and we veer off the road in a flurry of sand and dust and drive through the gate,which is a gap between two huge rocks shaped loosely like seals and pull up in the small car park for visitors outside the small office, we unfold ourselves and a cry of delight goes up all round, and we all dash off together .... Have we spotted the seals? No, even more urgent and exciting is the
          sight of a public toilet which we all make hasty use of! Thus ablutions taken care of we wait patiently while our Namibian friends go in to purchase admission tickets, as they are Namibians they get 25% discount off admission to any attraction, which, costing only N$10 each ( about £1 ) seems ridiculously cheap to us, but to them that 25p saving means quite a lot. As we all walk the 500 metres or so towards the coast Brian and I are warned, "get a hanky ready, the smell is terrrrrible" But as we come over the rise and look down towards the sea, the approaching pong is forgotten as I struggle to work out what I am looking at, surely pollution can't be so bad here that the whole beach for miles in every direction is covered in black swirling oil?? But as my eyes adjust I am totally gobsmacked, there are cape fur seals everywhere, seals by the hundreds, no the thousands, well, God HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS, I am completely overwhelmed by the sight, I had been expecting to see a few dozen maybe more but this is unbelieveable, fantastic and as we get closer we realise that we can get really close and I begin to fiddle and fumble with my camera, hang on where are my binoculars ... ooops, dropped my hanky, click, click goes the camera and the smell? Brian is looking rather sick, Heila and Gundi are almost retching, Gundi muttering her favourite expression "Terrrrrible" Vaughn is pulling a face that only a 10 year old can pull and me, I'm loving it!!!! Yes I admit it, I'm weird alright, but it is an overpowering fishy, seal droppingy kind of smell and it is nature in the raw, not the sanitised nature you can view at the zoo but true Praise the Lord nature and it is everywhere and the smell is part of it. We approach a low sea wall of piled up rocks and gingerly lean on it and there, just 2 feet away are the first of, what are predicted to be ... half a million seals, many are relaxing, sleeping or sunbathing, though how on eart
          h they can do that with the noise, it is deafening, thousands of seal voices raised so they can be heard above the crashing sea, honking and bleating and sounding like something between a donkey serenade and a sheep karaoke contest. Seals sleeping, seals strolling in pairs or alone, seals romping playfully ( they DO honest they do) and seals fighting for that prime spot of sand which is unoccupied, for empty gaps are at a premium, never have I seen such a crowded beach, not even in Benidorm at the peak holiday season. The sea is wild and the surf is crashing on the many rocks which line the inlet of the bay, and the water is black, with thousands of seals diving, surfing, rolling and then coming out and up the rocks to join the ill mannered queue. Heads bobbing above the foam they are joined by thousands of sea birds hoping for a scrap of remaining fish from the seals lunch, you shade your eyes from the bright sun and look and look and no matter what direction you face there isn't one bit without these beautiful, fat but graceful creatures, with the loveliest faces seemingly capable of human expression. But best of all, there are the little ones, the babies, Oh my, they are SOOOOO cute I want to take one home, as we walk along the sea wall, I keep spotting one which is even cuter than the last, maybe the little black one lying next to his big fat Momma with one flipper (paw? arm?) proudly patting her face and an adoring expression that is saying "look this is my Mum and isn't she just the best" and her expression of pride and tolerance says "he's mine and I'm so proud of him, but he can be a little bugger when you're trying to have a kip" Or possibly little fatty, a small dark brown chap only a few months old who is destimed to be a playground bully as he fights everyone who comes near his little patch of sand. A little further I spot Titch, tiny and grey he is all alone and he has the loudest voice of them a
          ll as he honks and honks and peers around myopically and his penetrating voice clearly says "Mam, MAM where are you?" he is panicking, for if you lose your Mam in this busy supermarket those nice customer service people won't put out a tannoy message, but the panic is over, as he swivels his head to the left and right, Mum comes up behind, gives him a playful swipe and flubbers her big soft body down next to him, shaking her head and tutting as if to say, "I only went for a swim and I knew where you were all the time". It is chaos, it is insanity, it is just wonderful to see and they go on and on and on as far as the eye can see, I am moved to tears by the sight and I am so happy I am floating on cloud 9. Fortunately Heila has her camcorder and we have this amazing trip on video to keep but even if we hadn't I would never forget it, it is one of those memories to dig out when you've had a bad day at the office and its guaranteed to put a smile on my weariest face. There is a downside, apart from the smell, and if anyone is planning to go there I must warn them, at first I was so enthralled by all this wildlife I didn't notice, underneath the seals, as they moved around the sand, beneath them are bones, lots of bones, and if you look closely you can see hundreds of skulls, backbones and the odd dead seal, it is inevitable that in such a massive crush for space the odd few are crushed to death and at first I found this very upsetting but then I realised that the bones will eventually turn back to sand and the seals who perished will be part of this bounteous spot forever and it didn't seem so bad. However I was informed that once a year, and I'm afraid I'm not quite sure exactly when, late I think, maybe October or November there is a cull as there is a desperate need to control the vast quantity of seals who increase in numbers by the thousand every year or there just won't be room or food to susta
          in those who have been coming for years, I believe they try to restrict the culling to old and injured animals, but I wouldn't want to visit during or after this dreadful time when the sea runs red for a while. All too soon it was nearly time to go, we spent several hours there and hunger pangs were making us want to make tracks, you couldn't enjoy a picnic there for the smell would make everything taste like fish, or worse. I didn't want to leave, but we reluctantly turned back towards the car park and spotted a gap in the wall where several animals had ventured out and were lumbering towards a second toilet block! We approached cautiously as these are huge beasts and could easily turn aggressive as we had seen, as they fought each other, yet we got so close to one basking seal that the video of him shows the inside of his mouth as he yawned, he turned towards us and as we watched him he looked straight at us " Look" I said to Vaughn "He's saying goodbye" and to all our amusement and Vaughns delight this huge seal lifted his flipper and WAVED at us!!! Of course he was probably just cooling himself down but it was a final magical moment to take back with us as we left Cape Cross for our journey back to Swakopmund. I really hope anyone reading this has enjoyed it, I enjoyed writing it and the memories it brought back, I have lots more I want to write about from this wonderful holiday but I will leave this here or it will be too long and as I am still quite a new Dooyooer I want to get it right. I was going to continue this by writing about the fun we had on the way back, but as this is so long I must leave it here and maybe my next op will be about "The booze up in the back of beyond" !! 08/10/01 Apologies to anyone who has read this twice by mistake. After leaping up and down with glee having been awarded my first crown I watched and waited for reads of this op to increase and whe
          n it became obvious it was not getting as many as some of my others I decided to change the title. Hope it attracts a few more people to share my love of seals!

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            07.09.2000 03:08
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            I have always dreamed of going to Africa and Namibia is my all time favourite destination to visit. I have this ambition to fly over the Skeleton coast and discover the great wilderness in Africa. The Skeleton coast is the long stretch of Namibian seaboard which extends north from Swapokmund to the Angolan border. It has been given this name from the scores of ships which, over the years, have been swept towards destruction by lethal south Atlantic rips, the Skeleton coast is one of the most remote areas anywhere on the African continent. A quote from Richard Knight sums up why i can't wait to visit this place "from the air one can see clearly the strange, swirling patterns carved by canyons and gorges across Namibia. The entire country is a geological freak show". There are tribes people who still live in the traditional manner, relying on arid and difficult land to sustain them, their cattle and their way of life. I can't wait to visit this remote country and advice anyone looking for a real adventure to give it a go.

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