Friday, 21 August 2009

Namibia Holiday. June 2008.

This trip to Namibia took place in 2008. I have decided to record it on my blog, as since posting the Botswana information I have received many enquiries about both Botswana and Namibia, so I hope it is of help to you all? It was my birthday present from my husband. As this holiday was a present, I do not know the prices of the accommodation, so my views are based on what the places were like not value for money. When planning this holiday, my husband had intended for us to visit both Botswana and Namibia, this is often sold by the travel operators as a package. But as he researched the country, he came to the conclusion that Namibia was a destination in its self and Botswana would have to wait for another trip.
My knowledge of Namibia prior to this trip was sketchy. I knew Namibia had also been known as South West Africa and was once a German colony. I remember the South African weather forcast in the 1980s always used to start with ‘Walvis Bay’ and the forcast would inevitabley be ‘Fog’. I had a lot to learn.
Namibia is part of Southern Africa, on the Atlantic side.
We flew with Air Namibia from Gatwick to Windhoek. This was an easy 9 overnight hour flight. The crew served dinner, then left you to sleep. We were woken on the approach to Windhoek for some breakfast prior to arriving at about 07.30 in the morning. No jet lag as the time difference is only one hour ahead. Unfortunately Air Namibia have stopped this rout at the moment due to the economic situation. If we went again we would have connect to an Air Namibia flight in Frankfurt.We collected our vehicle from the car hire place at the airport. As we were uncertain as to what the roads were like we had rented a 4x4 Toyota Hilux. When we were given the vehicle I noticed that it was not a 4x4 and pointed this out the man, reluctantly he swapped us to the vehicle we had booked. 1st Fake 4X4
I retrospect, we did not need to have a 4x4 in Namibia, you could do it all in a VW Polo the roads are so good! We also did not realise that there is a skill to using the 4x4 controls and if we had have needed it we would not have know what to do.
2nd Real 4x4
The airport is about 40 ks from the city, the road was good and it only took about 20 minutes for us to get to our accommodation. Our accommodation was pre booked, the first night we had booked in at the Villa Verdi Guesthouse in Windhoek. Villa Verdi was lovely, but the decor a bit odd,with its almost Thai Themed out buildings. It was very easy to find, set above the city of Windhoek. We had a chalet set in beautiful gardens. The gardens were full of quirky sculptures and carvings. The pool area was very nice, but the water to cold for me to swim.
We set out and explored Windhoek, a small city. It was very clean and safe. One of the towns main attractions were the Gibeon Meteorites Exhibit in the centre of the outdoor shopping mall. The large Meteors looked like solid metal, they were discoverd in 1911south of Mariental, I would not want one to fall on my head!! In the shopping mall the shops and Banks were all the same brands you see in South Africa...the whole place felt very South African.
Art for sale in the shopping mall.
We then thought we would get to grips with the Toyota and set off to the Daan Viljoen Game Park. This small game park is located 18km to the West of Windhoek. It was a beautiful spot, hilly with open thorn-scrub vegetation. But the best and most unexpected thing was the wildlife. I have never seen such wildlife so close to a city before, we saw Wildebeest, Zebra, Warthogs and loads of birds. It looked like there was a restaurant by the dam, but it was closed. There were very nice picnic areas and a Camp Site with self catering bungalows . It turns out that you can book the camping through the NWR office located in Windhoek and when we go again we will stay here.
We got very lost going back to Windhoek, I think we ended up in an area called Soweto. I stopped and asked a lady the way and she pointed us in the right direction. As we were so late back we ate at Villa Verdi, the meal was not up to much, but we were tired by then and just glad to get into our bed!