First of all: I made it back into Namibia! I was very worried about that since the visa regulations are somewhat strange and the more I checked different resources the more confusing it got. I found different embassy or travellers’ pages saying you can get 90 days each time you enter or 90 days per year or enter several times or only once. So when I first entered I was given 91 days…which was already weird but I knew I was only to use 75 days and with touring Namibia later on I would come up to 88 days in total, so all should be fine. When crossing the border from South Africa in the South, I was not sure if I would have to argue with the officers or not. When it was my turn at immigrations the official took my entry form and stamped that pretty quickly but then he was taking a look at my passport and he started talking to his two colleagues and all I could understand was “15th of July” and “31st of July” which was the day I exited and the date until my first permit was valid. I was preparing myself for giving him my best sweet-talk but then he handed me back my passport and when I checked my stamp it said I could stay until 24th of October. Seriously?! And I have been worrying sick a few nights over this.
I am very excited to be back to Namibia and it feels really good. I enjoyed Cape Town but it just doesn’t give you the real Africa feeling at all. But then again since we are doing the classic touristy route now in Namibia all we have seen so far was beautiful landscapes and hardly any locals and therefore totally different to what I had experienced of Namibia so far. And: it is freezing cold! The first night I was not sure if I could handle camping for 31 days if it stays this cold. Apparently it is going to get warmer as we are heading further North. Lets hope so!
After visiting the Orange River and the Fish River Canyon we reached the Sossusveil Dunes and Namib-Naukluft National Park. Which was so far the highlight of my trip. Early morning we climbed the Dune 45 – which some of you might know as a wallpaper from an old windows version. It was freezing cold and the climb was pretty tough since it felt like you were going one step forward and two backwards but the sunrise up on the dune was amazing! So all worth it!
After the National Park we reached Swakopmund – the promised land – since we would get to sleep in a lodge and enjoy the luxuries of a city again. Also I got to meet up with my friend Lore who has been living in Swakop for more than 13 years now and founded and supports various projects in the DRC – Democratic Resettlement Community – which is an illegal Township on the outskirts of Swakop. She was so kind to take us to the DRC to visit the day care places she supports and gave us a tour around the township. It was a very interesting experience and it felt very good again to see the real people of Namibia. To be honest I was not too shocked by what we got to experience since by now I have gotten used to the way of living in the townships but again I have to say even though life in Mayana is tough and the community is lacking basic infrastructure it is still soooo much better than any township in Namibia. And of course it was just amazing how we were greeted at the kindergartens. We got many hugs and had fun playing with the kids. Also we were happy to give away some clothes to people who could really use them. It was amazing to see the joy and the smiles on their faces when receiving a few T-Shirts. And who would have thought that the most desired pieces were our smelly socks! There are just no words to describe what kind of feeling you get from an experience like that!
Now we are off to Spitzkoppe and Outjo and the next big highlight will be Etosha National Park for sure! So much looking forward to some great game drives! Still missing the Leopard from the Big 5!