Category: Namibia


african-oscars

Well now that we leave Africa soon (Boo Hoo!) Muni & Molly’s African Oscars are now published.

The categories are : (drum roll please)

1. Best Accommadation / Hotel : Green Turtle Lodge, Dixcove, Ghana
2. Worst Accommadation / Hotel : Pensão Leeta, Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique

3. Best Meal : La Colombe, Constainia, Cape Town, South Africa
4. Worst Meal : Cafe No Name, Arsi Negele, Ethiopia

5. Best Transport : CTM, Morocco
6. Worst Transport : Burundi

7. Friendliest People : Tied at Burkina Faso and Malawi
8. Unfriendliest People : White Namibians

9. Best Value : Ghana
10. Worst Value : Rwanda

And last but by no means least…

11. Best Beer : Primus 720ml, Burundi
12. Worst Beer : Laurentina Stout, Mozambique

And the most coveted award for biggest tosser in Africa goes to….

The fat, Afrikaner, make-up put on with a cement mixer, hair-do like a bulldog’s arse, manager of the Cat Nap Guest House in Springbok for her inability to take a booking 3 whole weeks in advance. Moan about the check in time, lie about her presence prior to us checking in and then only say that we had booked one night when two were requested. I hope you catch the clap from a toilet seat and you choke on some worm infested biltong again. Congratulations, your golden Oscar is in the post.

We’ve also added some additional categories for those that were worthy of such an acolade.

They are:

Toughest Day : 8th April 2009, Butare, Rwanda after visiting a genocide memorial. (I talk about it HERE)

Most adventerous moment: Boarding a tug boat to travel down Lake Tanganyika en-route to Kigoma, Tanzania

The 5 best highlights (in no particular order):

1. Getting up close and personal with 5 Silverbacks in Parc National de Volcans, Rwanda
2. Being pamered in Madikwe Safari Lodge, South Africa
3. Juming out of a dhow, after spotting Dolphins, onto the best beach in Africa. Praia de Chocas, Mozambique
4. Standing on the precipace of the plateau in Dogon Country, Mali
5. Giggling at the confluence of the Atlantic and Indian Ocean’s at the southern most tip of Africa

Muni & Molly

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Well now that we leave Southern Africa soon Muni & Molly’s Southern African Oscars are now published.

The categories are : (drum roll please)…

1. Best Hotel : The Gecko Lounge, Malawi
2. Worst Hotel : Pensão Leeta, Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique

3. Best Meal : La Colombe, Constainia, Cape Town – by far
4. Worst Meal : Hotel Palma, Palma, Mozambique

5. Best Transport : Zambia
6. Worst Transport : Namibia

7. Friendliest People : Malawi
8. Not so Friendly People : Namibia

9. Best Value : Mozambique
10. Worst Value : Malawi

And last but by no means least…

11. Best Beer : 1 Litre Frosted Glass Hansa Draught – Namibia with Maluti a very close second – Lesotho
12. Worst Beer : Laurentina Stout – dire!

And the most coveted award for biggest tosser goes to….

The fat, Afrikaner, make-up put on with a cement mixer, hair-do like a bulldog’s arse, manager of the Cat Nap Guest House in Springbok for her inability to take a booking 3 whole weeks in advance. Moan about the check in time, lie about her presence prior to us checking in and then only say that we had booked one night when two were requested. I hope you catch the clap from a toilet seat and you choke on some worm infested biltong.

muni

Where have all the peoples gone??

Africa the continent of 53 countries has lots of peoples. Or maybe it’s a continent of more than 53 countries depending on if you consider Western Sahara a country or not? How about Sudan, North and South is that one country? The population of Africa as of 2005 is 900 million. Namibia is a massive country but holds one of the lowest population rates per square mile. The population was estimated at over 2 million in 2006 but traveling the country you would think the population is much less.
Whilst driving mile after mile in towns, villages and through crossroads, there was little sign of life anywhere. The environment here does make it one the toughest countries to live in; scorching desert, lack of water, mountain passes, cold ocean breezes and more. The odd donkey was spotted grazing signaling a village nearby or perhaps one or two huts made from corrugated iron sheets. But that’s it.

Fish River CanyonJon, Maria and kidsDeadvlei

I missed the peoples. I had little interaction with the locals, I guess driving in your own vehicle results somewhat in that but there is no public transport here anyhow. There was no craic with the bus boys, no women selling fruit & veggie in markets, in fact no markets, no kids selling freshly roasted peanuts, no-one selling phone recharge, no packets of washing powder at the small corner shop. No street sellers at all. Something strange going on with the few locals I was able to interact with; the white population (generally of German descent) some clearly wondered to themselves why you were talking to them and were blatantly quite rude and unfriendly. The black population clearly wondered to themselves why would a white person be talking to them and looked at you blankly not quite sure whether to joke and laugh with you or not. It is a confusing place I found.

Uniab River Canyon, Skeleton Coast NP

Plenty of fine restaurants, clothes shops, museums, tourist tack curio places of which I visited and enjoyed and spent a fortune in. Incredible but it is just a sign that you are in a ‘different’ African country, more modern and civilised than all others I had visited on this trip. Yes the scenery is better than anywhere else I have ever been, each day brought views better and different than before and for this I loved the country. However I missed the ‘real’ Africa.

Herman The Bushman

And now it’s just me, myself and my ruc-sac (well Jon is with me too) again and I’m happy. No 4×4, no excess baggage like extra duvets and food. Just us, ready to go, proper traveling again. De-sanded, de-fuzzed and clean. South Africa bring it on.

Jeanne

A few kilometres outside of Walvis Bay we pass Dune 7, the first sign of the blood red sand dunes that Namibia is famous for. I’ve already envisioned myself charging off road in the soft sand. Our next stop is Homeb. A very remote part of the Namib Naukluft right beside a dry river in its own canyon edged by those large red sand dunes. That night we bush camped, the only people for hundreds of kilometres in any direction downing rum by the fire after a hearty braai. I’m contented now, more than ever before. Emancipated from public transport, our new found independence is wholly liberating. Our faces still warm from the fire we retire to bed.

Tropic of CapricornThe Gamsberg MountainsElim Dune at Sossusvlei

En route to Sossusvlei we detour through the Kuiseb Pass and Gamsberg Pass winding up and down through some spectacular roads over increasingly sky scraping mountains. Our reason for being here; star gazing. This point on the planet here is among the best in the world. Sossusvlei was for me, after hearing stories from Bob and Jenny, a must. Nestled in the heart of the Namib Naukluft Park its bare beauty is unmatched. Dead Vlei revealing its 500 year old dead trees against a red sandy backdrop like a picture postcard.

Dead vlei

Namib Rand Nature ReserveFeral Horses at AusChameleon

We sample Moose MacGregor’s apple crumble in Solitaire and continue to Aus where we sit amongst the feral desert horses. We clock a Chameleon along the road, it soon hissing in defense of the Irish paparazzi. Ai-Ais is one of the first peace parks, combining with the Richtersveld National Park on the South African side. Again we find ourselves on the moon while we skirt the Orange river. A male Leopard springs from the bush for a brief staring match and vanishes. We settle into the Gondwana Roadhouse for a couple of nights to inspect the Fish River Canyon. Second only to the Grand Canyon, and equal to the Blue Nile Gorge it’s a massive gash in the earth’s crust. Over 150 kilometres long it winds through southern Namibia its depth and precipices knee knocking.

Ai-Ais National ParkFish River CanyonGondwana Canyon Roadhouse

Basil has an infectious manner. His enthusiasm for the wilds of his local Brandberg and knowledge  of its residents and their habits are without boundaries. Amazingly, he let us tag along, on the now dry and very sandy Ugab river, in search of Desert Elephants. Off roading and Desert Elephants! What more could I ask for? Kilometre after kilometre up the Ugab we coursed and eventually there they were. Basil getting charged and making a very slow get away. Naturally, we came to the rescue. Soon we were right beside a small herd as they browsed the Mopane trees. Just beautiful. Unforgettable.

Elephant Mock Charge - Offroad in Brandberg

So, now we are back on public transport for a short while. In Swakopmund sampling the cheesecake. Contemplating the next leg. Cape Town now fully in our cross-hairs. Namibia, there is so much here to see and I can fairly say that we saw a considerable amount. What we have seen in the last fast weeks has been breathtaking. Its countryside is just staggering as one vista surpassed the next, south – in Gods country.

muni

North, in Gods Country

All over, my skin is parched and cracked. My hands feel as if their skin is one glove size too small. My lips chapped and peeling. I wear a crown of various colour dust each new day.

Tsumeb, apparently the very first mining town, is quaint but cold. Biting cold at night. This town a stepping stone for Etosha National Park. And once we pass the Von Lindquist gate we find the residents have adapted for this harsh climate Elephant, Lion, Oryx and Springbok, all desert adapted. Most large game here sport a distinct ashen colour from the dust that kicks up off Etosha Pan from it’s tornadoes white salty squall.

64 Etosha 220 Etosha 280 Etosha 2

We move into the place that the Bushmen call “ the place that God made in anger”. For us it’s like hell without the heat. The Atlantic Ocean on this Skeleton Coast is colder than I can ever remember with wind like swords that numb the knuckles and dagger the ears. Nearby a Strandwolf searches in the sun-shimmer for carrion. A Cape Fur Seal’s bleats may be his last, I fear. Towns here are as stark and welcoming as Antarctic outposts. The mountains seem to float on the cold early morning fog like giant battleships ran aground.

9 Skeleton Coast National Park11 Skeleton Coast National Park23 Skeleton Coast National Park

Namibia is elemental. Its landscapes, more like Moon or Mars-scapes are, like no other in Africa. The wind on the Skeleton Coast like no other I’ve experienced on this trip. It’s not just the daytime heat here, it’s the dryness – instant evaporation. And at the end of it all are Namibia’s waters. A huge coastline and massive rivers, such as the Kavango, bringing it all back to life. And this is just the north – in Gods country.

38 Skeleton Coast National Park42 Skeleton Coast National Park

muni