Friday, 21 August 2009

Namibia, The Desert Express.

We arrived at the picturesque Windhoek Train Station at 09.00 to check in on the ‘Desert Express’.The train station is built in old Cape Dutch style and there are many old trains on display outside as the building forms part of the Trans-Namib Transport Museum. The German influence was evident with the Gothic script on the information board at the station.
We were boarding the Desert Express bound for the coastal town of Swakopmund. I don’t know how my birthday planner found out about this train, I had never heard of it. There is a paragraph about it in the 2007 Botswana & Namibia Book by Lonely Planet, it says ‘it provides a luxurious overnight trip between Windhoek and Swakopmund twice weekly’.
The train also allows you to put your car on it, and this is what we did.Upon check in we were met by the very welcoming crew, designated a ‘compartment’ in the Oryx cabin and advised to meet in the Dining Room for lunch at 12.00. Once the passengers and cars were loaded the train set off. The countryside we travelled through was not at all what I was expecting, it was rich, green bushvelt. Over a lunch of sandwiches, we were told that we would stop at around 15.00 and go to a game farm for a game drive. We went to our cabin and relaxed reading our books as the train continued through the countryside. We pulled into a siding at exactly 15.00, where this truck was waiting for us to get on.
We drove along a very dusty road, to a game farm, where we saw Rhino, Buck and lots of Rock Rabbits.
We than stopped for Sundowners with snacks

Then we were taken back to the train, once the sun went down it was rather cold and i was glad I had my long sleeved jumper with me. I have put some photos of the cabin on Trip Advisor http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g298357-d478087-r17698257-Desert_Express-Swakopmund.html
The Dinner that evening was lovely, there was a choice between Meat or Vegetarian, and the Dining Car and Bar were very pleasant areas. The Viewing car was unfortunately used as a smoking areas by the smokers, so I did not go in to it.