damaraland

Week 6: Damaraland – Africa Anticipated

This week in Namibia we head north through the Skeleton coast up to the Angolan border.

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Skeleton Coast

After leaving creepy Mile 108, we finally made it to the infamous Skeleton Coast. We didn’t have reservations to stay within the park, so the guard had to turn on the generator to turn on the phones to call the lodge there to make sure there was room for us! He also made us take a package to give someone there, it was all very mysterious.

The Skeleton Coast is ‘infamous’ because of all the shipwrecks, but it was a bit of a disappointment. We actually only saw one, but assuming we’d see hundreds we didn’t even stop to take a photo of it! *facepalm

oil rig
The only thing we really saw at the Skeleton Coast: a rusty, derelict oil rig

Damaraland

The next day we left the windy coast and quickly started peeling off the layers as we entered the Damaraland province of Namibia. All of a sudden it looked like the Africa I know from the Lion King, it was magnificent. If only we had spotted wild elephants, it would’ve been the Africa I’ve always imagined.

damaraland
Damaraland…

We visited Twyfelfontein, one of Namibia’s World Heritage Sites, and one of the biggest rock engravings sites on the continent, carved for centuries by the San bushmen (who the Damara people descended from).

giraffe rock engraving
A giraffe engraving at Twyfelfontein

And then it happened. We got to a very cheap bush camp, glad to save some money, when someone told us desert elephants were around. And we saw elephants!! In the wild! Just…doing their thing! Moreno’s writing a post on our little adventure with them, but it was amazing, and I don’t think the image I’ve had in my head all these years could’ve played out any better.

elephants
Elephants everywhere! There ended up being about 20 of them.

The next day we headed north. And look! Giraffes! Three of them, and they were so beautiful. It was a bit ironic that we managed to get closer to some of these animals in the wild than in the parks we’ve been to so far.

Opuwo

We didn’t mean to stay in Opuwo, but man, are we glad we did. It’s a little town, with not much in it, but it was the first one not overrun by tourists (which was a bit overwhelming in itself) and the town was filled with a mishmash of different African cultures: some people were in modern ‘americanized’ clothing, the Herero women were in their Victorian style dresses, and the Himba women, painted in red ochre, were bare-chested in not much more than a cow hide skirt.

house in herero viillage
Moreno takes selfies with the kids, while a Herero woman patches a wall of her house

It was extraordinary, and we decided to stay another day and visit some villages to learn more about them.

getting up on a donkey
Children in the Himba village prepare to go fetch water from a nearby hill

And, bonus! We met another long-term overlander, Brian from London, later that night and he had a saw Moreno could use to fix our “cabinet can’t open without hip-checking the fridge” problem. Yaaay!

moreno sawing cabinet
Moreno fixing our cabinet door…by sawing off one of the corners

Epupa Falls

Then it was further north, to Epupa Falls, which appeared an oasis in the desert as we came over another dusty hill.

moreno at epupa falls
Token pose in front of the falls

It was easily one of the most beautiful places we’ve been so far on this trip, and it gave us an extra kick to know that Angola was just across the river.

kat at epupa falls
Taking it all in…

Now and Next

We are currently in Kamanjab, doing nothing but hiding from the heat and catching up on some interwebs. They let overlanders stay free as long as we support them by eating at their bar/restaurant. No complaints here.

Next: We’ll be here for another few days and then instead of heading to the Etosha Game Park as we intended, we might be heading back south to Windhoek, the capital, to get that Landy snorkel looked at, and get some passport things figured out.

And AND! Since we’re all caught up on the updates now (for now anyway), we’ll be concentrating on getting posts and photos out about all these things we’ve been mentioning (when my laptop works anyway). (Sidebar: god, I miss my mac).

Till then!

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