I think we all know how solocations come about. There’s always a story of a group of friends and family who jumped to the idea of travelling together then there’s that one who was in it for it, entirely. I am that one.
How can you hear your soul when everyone is talking? -Mary Doria Russell
Pettiness aside, when a year began I put up Namibia on my bucket list of places to visit. I had no plan, no one I knew over there except that it was just one of those dreams you fail to explain to people let alone think they would come to pass. Besides that, I also wanted to add another country to my not so extensive list of countries I’ve been to.
If you are waiting for someone to travel with you, you may end up waiting a life time!
Fast forward to September, it just crossed my mind that maybe I should take a leap of faith and go on a road trip to the coast of Namibia. The coast because from these online streets, I could tell that there are also sand dunes of which would be something worth experiencing.
On the weekend leading to the Botswana Independence Holidays I knocked off at the usual 9-5 work time (5PM), dashed home to take a bath, packed my clothes and equipment and off I went. I met up with new people whom I was to travel with via the agency I chose. We left Gaborone at around 2100 on what turned into 21hours of a road trip to Walvis Bay. 21 hours I’d rather not dwell much into. On that note, let’s fast forward to my arrival and days in Namibia.
After roughly 20 hours’ drive to the coast from Gaborone, we passed by Swakopmund enroute Walvis Bay where our hotel is. As it was a long day for sure, we checked in to the hotel. I went straight to take a bath. After what was a rejuvenating bath, I went to the hotel restaurant to spoil myself with their buffet dinner. Well, after a long process of trying to figure out if I should join the shenanigans team or not. I didn’t join by the way.
Day 2 was pretty much our official day 1. I quickly ate breakfast and joined the team I travelled with for a day of adventure.
We started the day off with a DUNE 7 challenge. This was on the tallest dune in this coastal area. Once you get there, you just have to make sure you climb all the way up. If you’ve hill/mountain hiked before, the experience is similar except you’re hiking sand. I managed to eventually summit, yay!! What’s rewarding about reaching the top is a view of various sand hills around and also overlooking the Walvis Bay town.
After the dune 7 challenge, we left the place for yet another adventure. We took a short left to Swakopmund, a 42km town away from Walvis Bay via B2. As soon as we checked in to another tourist attraction, we were to decide between a couple of activities. These included quad biking, camel riding, sand boarding, tandem skydiving, go-karting just to mention a few.
For someone who has never done camel riding before, it was without a doubt that I will choose the activity. As much as there’s nothing to write home about, all I can say is, it is worth trying out at least once in a lifetime. Perhaps I was distracted by trying to balance between taking aesthetically pleasing images and being stable on a camel’s back. A mission and half.
But before continuing with this chat, how could I forget an incredible session I had with the parrot at this place. All you do is extend your arm to it hoping it grabs it and you have a one on one bonding session for lack of a better word, LOL. An activity that many of the tourists were without a doubt terrified of.
After leaving the desert explorers, we drove to the National Marine Aquarium of Namibia, an aquarium that features fauna from the cold Benguela Current in the southern Atlantic Ocean. This Aquarian has a main tank where sharks swim above your head. The centrepiece is a large aquarium filled with fish and sharks, and the walk-through tunnel that allows visitors to get scarily close to these fearsome creatures.
From the aquarium, we took a short left back to our residency, a hotel in Walvis Bay. But just before that we had stopped for lunch at a shopping complex where I finally indulged in seafood. As soon as we arrived at the hotel, we took on yet another adventure with a couple of guys. What I deemed to be my highlight of the day.
To be precise, we drove down town with a local after he knocked off to experience the township lifestyle. Stopped at a taxi rank area where the hustle and bustle is (bars, restaurants and markets are predominantly found there). It would be unfair not to mention the Styles Bar & Restaurant where we were warmly welcomed by one of the gentlemen, whom I assume is the Manager. From all of this, I would confidently say, I experienced the Namibian Coast life entirely.
Closing off the night, we drove back to the hotel and left yet again after freshening up. Stopped at a nearby club called Steak House. Highlight of the night out was at midnight when we all sang along the Botswana National Anthem to celebrate the Botswana Independence Day. What a night.
On the itinerary for day 3 was shopping, boat cruise and to visit the beach. We did just that. Started the day off with breakfast as usual, and quickly left for the waterfront to enquire about boat cruises. As soon as we arrived at the hotel we left yet again to what was a long day at the Walvis Bay Waterfront. What’s incredible though about the place is that besides boat cruises, it also features restaurants and souvenir stores and markets where you can purchase something to reminisce on about Namibia or Walvis Trip.
The beach is the best place to go for a swim and spend a lazy afternoon. Since most locals apparently consider the water too cold to swim, you might have the entire beach to yourself.
What’s there really to write home about going back to your reality? Well day 4 was all about that.
Overall, I had the time of my life in Namibia. I would do the country over and over again.