Simple Mile Life

Oct to Nov 2016 – Namibia -1

Beautiful Country with Huge Potential

After staying in South Africa for 11 days, we flew from Capetown to Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. Some of the reasons we went there included: not needing injections for some of the serious infections; and there was a smaller possibility of contracting malaria (during the dry season); and the affordable safari and desert tour compared with other neighboring African countries.

Namibia was very hot and dry during autumn to winter because it is located in the Southern Hemisphere. The season we visited was the end of the dry season. Because the air was so dry, we didn’t sweat so much like the summer time in Japan. I felt more comfortable with the dry air, than the same temperature with more humid air. However, since it hadn’t rained for so long when we visited, it must be very hard for the plants and animals living there.

Namibia became independent from South Africa in 1990, so it is a very young country. The infrastructure was very new and some places in Windhoek were even newer and cleaner than locations in Japan and America. Even though the city wasn’t as big as the capitals of other developed countries, the roads were clean and well organized. It wasn’t the so called “Africa” like we usually think about.

The street of Windhoek, Capital of Namibia – looks so clean and well organized.

Since the country is still young, there were a lot of buildings being constructed by foreign companies. There are many opportunities to develop this growing country and earn money. One company from China was building a casino, while some others seem to think about utilizing the huge potential for solar energy.

I think Namibia is still hiding a huge amount of potential. Once it unveils this potential, it might have the powers to change how the world views Africa. The biggest problem in the very dry climate, is how to provide enough water for an increasing number of people. However, I felt Namibia still depends so much on the economy of South Africa. It will take time for this development to take place.

Namibia isn’t a very popular country for American and Japanese visitors. Some of our friends and families even don’t know where to locate Namibia on a map. But this country seems to be quite popular among Europeans, especially people from Germany. Namibia was once colonized by Germany before South Africa, and they built quite a nice church in Windhoek. Most of the tourists we met in Namibia were from Germany.

The German Style Church in Windhoek – Germans left this beautiful church… and also tasty beer.

Amazing Red-brown Sand and Blue Sky

We joined two tours from Wild Dog Safari in Namibia. They offered so many affordable 3 to 4 day nature tours. Since our interest was to see the wild animals and nature in Africa, we decided to do 2 separate 3-day-2-night camping tours to Sossusvlei and Etosha. We had a good experience with this tour company not only because of the contents and expenses of the tour but also the kind and professional tour guides.

Sossusvlei, one of the scenic spots in Namib Dessert, was our first destination on the first tour. It was simply amazing, and provided views that can’t be believed unless you visit. All you will see is clear skies and the red-brown sand dunes made of very fine sand, with sun and shade – that’s all. Something so stunning has to be seen to be believed.

The Dune we hiked before sunrise – The place of these dead trees is called “Deadvlei”. The trees died hundreds years ago! What a mysterious scene!

This is famous “Dune 45” before sunset. Never seen such a simply amazing nature!

These sand dunes move little by little over thousand years by the strong wind! That means the dunes we visited will not exist with same way or move beyond the long span we can think of. Thinking about the intense sunlight with dry air and strong wind, the environment must be very hard for animals and plants. But we saw some such as small insects (a unique kind of ant) and plants with hard surfaces and thorns. They definitely have their own role in this harsh environment. I can’t stop thinking about my own respect for these creatures.