And so the next big adventure is closing in… Namibia. I can’t help but feel the excitement and nerves. Three years ago we went to Namibia, it was a life changing experience that was left incomplete. That was the trip that changed so much in our lives.
We started in the Kgalagadi National Park, our very first experience in this arid park, breath-taking. We stayed overnight at a farm just outside Mata Mata, Kalahari Farm Stall, which was so lovely, and then continued to Windhoek. Here we spent our anniversary with a very special family, one we had not seen in years and that had been through some of our most significant moments in time. It was utterly perfect. We continued to Sossusvlei for a day visit, not knowing what all the fuss could be in a desert, sigh, little did we know how good it would be!…
It was after Sossusvlei, a night at another lovely lodge, we embarked on our drive to Sendelingsdrif. We never made it. Just outside Helmeringhausen we rolled our car. It was surreal. I remember listening to the 2nd audiobook in the Harry Potter series with the kids, I kid you not, just after the flying car. Jay and I remember it vividly. He put his hand on my lap and said he was not in control of the car, I felt it too and as we were on a gentle bend and we were headed for the sandy embankment. Our car flipped, the roof bouncing off a solitary thorn bush and flipping over again to land on its wheels in what honestly looked like a thorny parking bay. It was crazy. I turned around, terrified on what I might see, and Joshua looks at me, “Mom, our car flew like Harry Potter!”
It was surreal, everything was intact, glass cracked all around but not broken through. It was as if we could just reverse and drive away. Not even a scratch on us. We climbed out, feeling utterly shaken, and just looked at the car. Two wheels had “popped” off and dented all around but everything still opened. A car a little way behind us watched it happen, eyes as wide as saucers looking at us thinking we could never have made it. They stopped, assessed the situation and said they will call for help ahead, but within minutes a large bakkie drove up to assist, hearing the accident in the nearby town, apparently this is a common occurrence. The hotel owner had already called the police, ambulance and tow truck. They were incredible. Total strangers helping us in the middle of no-where.
With the help of good Samaritans we were finally on our way with a tow truck driver to Keetmanshoop. We had a very bad nights sleep, but we were together and safe. The next day we made our way into South Africa (compliments again to the tow truck driver) who continued on to drop off our car where the insurance told them, while we spent a night near the border, waiting for the rental car to be delivered. In all we felt very well taken care of, albeit anxious and scared.
Fast forward to the present. Last year we had planned and booked to have a follow up trip to Namibia. We again decided it was best in Winter, I am not ready for the desert in Summer, and this time we would do the Fish River Canyon and Etosha as well. Covid changed all that, with our road trip postponed to this year Winter.
I have sat with the maps, working out daylight hours (do not drive in Namibia in the dark!), travel times with extras added in eventualities. Planning what food we allowed to take, where we will stop, shop and fill up. The day dreaming begins. Reading blogs, watching vlogs, researching the places we will go and stay. Menu draft and spreadsheet all set up.
No visa’s are necessary to travel but we do need a passport, so this time we have tried doing it online, here’s to hoping it will work! Other requirements like border control paperwork is done closer to the time, as will be any new requirements due to covid.
Our trip starts at Augrabies Falls, what a fabulous park. After 2 nights here we move on the Ais-Ais hot springs resort, on to Sossusvlei and then Etosha. On our way home we will visit our friends and take a multi stop drive home. We will camp throughout except for the trip home, by then experience tells us our kids will be sick of camping.
Namibia is a vast, empty, and an incredibly beautiful country. The Namib desert has the largest dunes in the world. It offers wild camping to luxury accommodation to suit all pockets. The rand is an accepted form of currency and is one to one with the Namibian dollar. You do not need any special vehicles to travel here, and despite most roads being gravel, they are well maintained for the most part.
Don't be afraid to try new things and go new places, it is always a little scary at first but these adventures are priceless. Don't let the mishaps and uncertainty hold you back. The memories and stories will live on.