The town of Heidelberg is magical with its historic old town. With a hilltop castle and views along the Nekar river, we were completely blown away. There is something special about this place that made us feel like we were in a fairytale. The cobblestone streets and medieval architecture were a pleasant view into old Germany. It is a wonderful place for a romantic holiday and the perfect fairytale town.
Namibia is home to more than just spectacular wildlife. It also has some of the tallest sand dunes in the world. The Namib-Naukluft National Park is the home to most of these wondrous landscapes and also the famous Deadvlei. We camped for four days in Sossus Oasis Camp which was enough to cover everything well. This campsite was inside the gate, and this allowed us to get in the park an hour earlier than those outside the gate. We had some unexpected surprises during our visit that turned out to be amazing and even eerie.
Campsites in Namibia are generally well equipped, easy to get to, and affordable. Upon reaching our first site, we were happy to find WiFi, hot showers, a restaurant, shops with food and water, and even electric outlets. These amenities seemed pretty standard across most of our campsites with few exceptions. Our time camping was very memorable and will stay with us for our lifetimes. The landscapes were beautiful, and some camps we had all to ourselves. How could you pass up such an opportunity to explore Namibia?
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The Damara are one of the oldest tribes in Namibia. We had the honor of visiting them easily at the the Damara Living Museum near Twyfelfontein. The experience was much different than the Himba, as it was more of a structured sharing of the culture, but was still a very valuable visit. We interacted directly with one of the tribe members, witnessed traditional song and dance, and were shown many of the traditions still held today by the tribe members. If you are traveling through this part of Namibia, the Damara are worth visiting.
Big cats and other carnivores have been on the decline for a long time as they have nowhere to go. Farmers do not want them eating up their livestock and humanity’s footprint is continuously increasing. Hunters make them trophies or just kill them for sport. Others are taken to zoos around the world. To see these animals driven to extinction is terrible; as they are so beautiful and deserve to survive. That is why we support the AfriCat Foundation.
Visiting some of the native tribes was a must for us. It felt important to understand the cultural roots of Namibia and the primitive peoples. The history and way of life of the Himba was fascinating. They live a life without cell phones, cars, or even electricity. Everything in the village was made by hand. Sure, they are still plenty touched by modern life, but they try to stick to their roots and culture as much as possible. This is how to visit the Himba and what you can expect.
On our second day in Sesriem, we woke up to bust down the gate at 6:45 am. Our mission was to get to Deadvlei as early as possible so we could get pictures before the masses arrived. We would have loved to get there in time for sunrise, but it is at the farthest point in the park.
The sky was still dark for most of the hour-long drive. It really felt like a race to get there, all visitors vying to lead the pack down the single, 65km road. Posted signs indicate a 60kph speed limit, but the early risers floored it through the park at nearly twice that, racing the sun.
The drive was enjoyable as our excitement was building for the day to come. We were warned that the last 5km was for 4×4 only, but we felt confident. When we got off the pavement and onto the sand we had good momentum, and I thought we could make it just fine. That was until the truck in front of us started to slow down. They got stuck… and then we did too. What do we do now?
Cape Town is a vibrant city with a mix of cultures, beautiful landscapes, beaches, and plenty of activities. With these activities, you should be able to get a good feel for the Mother City and what it is all about. We’ve included activity costs and some safety precautions to help you plan your trip. Here are our 8 fun things to do in Cape Town.
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One of the main attractions in Namibia is the enormous sand dunes. The tallest in Namibia and the world is Dune 7 located near Swakopmund. It is a whopping 383 meters (1,256 feet) tall. We missed this one to see big cats (a must – post coming soon!), so we climbed Big Daddy Dune instead at about 325m (1,000′). This choice was the best at the time and we have no regrets.
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Every day in Etosha we saw wild elephants ranging from one to thirty at a time. The youngest were so playful in the waterholes. They would roll around together in the water, and even boldly chase after other animals. We always looked forward to seeing their beauty and grandeur, and each moment with them was special.
While we still have a limited internet connection in Namibia, we are keeping our posts short. Expect more from us in August when we arrive in Europe. See you then!