Reflections on Namibia

   Lucy I climbed the big sand dunes at Sossusvlei. I was the first person to climb to the top because I had a head start. The sand was very orange when the sun came up. It was hard to get up but easy to get down. We got down by sliding on our bottoms and running; you can't run down straight without turing into a somersault, so we ran down curving. The African people wear Victorian clothes and have hats that look like horns (Herero Ladies). The Himba people mixed ochre into their hair and the skin. This ochre is a kind of paste they make out of sand. Ochre is a kind of sun cream and it turns their skin orange.DSC01830.JPG Alisha I have really liked Namibia, we've done lots of things here. I loved meeting the San Bushmen. We had a walk through the bush and a hunter showed us how they set traps for guinea fowl. Daddy made a bow and arrow and the hunters showed him how to hunt for animals. They stick their spare arrows into the back of their loincloths but Daddy had to stick his in the back of his pants, which made him look very silly. They showed us how to shoot at a pretend springbok made of grass. I bought some arrows to use my bow, one was made of giraffe bone and the other metal. They were sharp but they didn't have poison tips on them. When we got back to camp I practiced with them and I got one accidentally stuck in a tree, they are excellent arrows. DSC03208 Gilly We had been to Namibia twice before many years ago and loved it, so had high hopes as we entered the country. Yet again it has wowed us with is beauty and natural diversity. The parts that stick in my mind was the solitary beauty of the desert and our time visiting the Himba and San Bushmen people. Both cultures so different from ours at first glance actually served to remind me that what is important to people is the same the world over. The skills these people have to successfully live in such harsh environments is so impressive. I loved seeing their unique cultures and learning about their way of life. One of the other things that impressed me was how communities, with some help setting up from NGOs, had built campsites and tourist attractions to support themselves. In some places, like in the Kunene, all we saw for hours on end was sand and tourists, although not that many. So it was good to see that local people could generate income from visitors. DSC03258.JPG Steve Namibia is a great country to drive in. The scenery is fantastic and whilst the drives are long, the gravel roads are usually good. We saw lots of people on self-driving camping holidays and the country lends itself superbly to this. Whilst places are remote there are good facilities, lots to see and do and it's incredibly safe. It was great to come back to revisit things we had seen before; see and do new things; and to be able to take things at a slower pace. I loved being able to spend 9 days in Etosha and visit the park at a more relaxed speed. I felt this way we got to see and appreciate the wildlife better. I could have stayed even longer but I think the kids were ready for a change of scene and we'd also run out of food. Like South Africa, the game parks are incredibly good value. I think this will change as we head into some of the other Safari countries. DSC01812.JPG

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