After many hours of travel from Botswana, I got to get to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. Laurence, the truck driver left me at the doorstep, the Chameleon Backpackers. It was quite late and there was booked. My intention was camping with my tent/store, but there was no room, as they have a very small camping area, only two or three stores. But there was available a store that have permanently mounted the hostel. It is a safari-style tent, these having the square base and are shaped igloo. In the central part is high enough to stand up. It was a little more expensive than camping with my store, but quite comfortable, because inside is a normal and even a nightstand bed. It's actually a small room, I took a week sleeping there and love it. The hostel is very good, a very relaxed atmosphere, with garden and pool, and a huge kitchen that have impeccable. It is very nice.
Namibia is a big country and most of it is desert. The cities are far apart from each other. There are few inhabitants, mostly concentrated in the north, so there is huge almost uninhabited areas. It is a very impractical country to visit by public transport, since you can only get to the four main points. But the most beautiful parts of Namibia are more remote. The only way to visit is with an organized or renting your own car tour. In general the roads are good and there is little traffic, so it's relatively easy to drive around. Renting a car is very common among tourists. But renting myself was not viable because I would have gone very expensive, and it's a bit dangerous as driving alone by which remote areas.
Ivan, a friend from college wanted to come visit to Africa but as it was at the end of my trip had left open to wait to see how it was progressing plan. After the summer we were talking to see if we could reconcile some plan out well for us both and we saw that renting a car and make Namibia route for a couple of weeks could be a very good idea. After a few days Judith, another friend of Barcelona is also noted. I had planned to do some traveling around this time and when we explained our plan decided to join.
The first difficulty arises when choosing the type of car and the credible car hire company. The second difficulty comes in defining the route. After searching a lot of information online, read blogs, and send several emails, I decided to rent a jeep with the company Savanna Car Hire. They were offering me the best price and were also very quick to answer emails and answer all my questions. Is a Toyota Hilux, the most popular model in this area, and is equipped with everything needed for camping. There are two folding tents installed on the roof of the car and on the back it is loaded with chairs and folding tables, cooking utensils and refrigerator. That's incredible. Also, I come prepared with a deposit of 160 liters, as sometimes must travel long distances and no gas stations. Define the path was not easy. I spent several hours turning, but I think in the end we have a good plan.
We will be most of the time visiting the northwest of the country. First let's climb north of Windhoek, to visit Etosha Park, Namibia's most famous. There spend a few days on a self drive tour with our car hired and without a guide, something I have not done yet before and I really want to do it again. Then go up to the north of all, playing with the Angolan border, an area known as Kaokoland. This is one of the most remote areas and is where the Himba tribe lives. There will also visit the Epupa Falls, a waterfall in the Kunene River, which are like an oasis in the desert. Then we will be a couple of days down Damaraland desert areas where it is possible you come across with various wild animals. From there we will approach the coast and travel along a piece of the Skeleton Coast (Skeleton Coast).
It is known by this name since there have sunk many ships, some still can be seen from the coast. Pass by the city of Swakopmund, most touristy area, and finally descend to Sesriem to visit the famous dunes of Sossusvlei. Although I had been planning almost everything online, once in Windhoek I finished defining all.
I had to spend a week here to wait for my friends to arrive. I've done well to finish organizing everything and to take a week of rest and take some time to work on different things from the blog. The first day I went for a walk around the center, to buy food and get a guide and a good map. This city is completely different from those I have seen so far. There is plenty. The buildings are low and separated from them. There are great avenues with more than one lane in each direction. Even the side streets are overly broad. The crossings are well marked and there is very little traffic. It is rare to see more than 4 or 5 cars waiting at traffic lights. Many new cars and many SUVs are. In general there are very few people on the street. No paraditas or persons selling. Nothing to do with all the cities he had seen in East Africa. Namibia was a German colony for a long time and there are many German tourists and expatriates. There are also several whites born here, and some coming from South Africa. I've hardly seen anything of the city, because there are few things to see and also very hot and not feel like walking. I went a few times to the main shopping center.
It is a very large building with modern shops and also has an outdoor street with shops and restaurants, the most famous street in the city. This shopping center is a giant supermarket where you can find everything. It is the first supermarket that actually has the same things to be found in Europe. The first day happens to me like two hours wandering the halls and looking at what he had. The other day we were laughing us with another traveler's hostel because he said he did the same. Although not buy anything, as long you do not see these things, you stay out there walking, just makes you feel at home. That's funny.
One day I went to visit the slum of Winhoek, the neighborhood of Katutura. It is the poorest neighborhood. Clare, an Australian girl who works at the hostel and spent years living here usually go once a week there to work with a small organization, the Home of Good Hope. We also accompanied Zandie, a South African girl. Working in a hostel in Cape Town and you see occasionally exchanged some workers from hostel to learn from each other. Zandie is spending a few days here for the hostel Windhoek and see the city. Interestingly works in Cape Town guesthouse where I have booked for the days you are there, so I'll see it. Along the way we pick Monica, a woman here who is leading the organization and preparing food for the children every day.
In this center they do is basically accommodate small children not yet attending school for a few hours. Do some activities and give them food. Spent a couple of hours helping to feed children and playing with them. Children are always lovely. It's great to see older siblings, who sometimes have neither five years, look after the children. There was a very cute girl who fell asleep in my arms. It was a good experience. The neighborhood of Katutura is the poorest, the houses are very simple and have few things, but conditions are much better than those I saw in Kibera, Nairobi. There is much more space and far less dirt. I guess the good part is that they are less inhabitants. When you're on the road with the car you realize that you really Windhoek is a city in the desert. When houses everything is dry and yellowish run out. I really want to take the car and head out to discover this country.