African Adventures: Beyond Safaris, Sun Hats and Sand Dunes

Head to Namibia for African adventures, magnificent wildlife, wanderlusty lodges and enormous dunes. But there is more… So much more…

African Adventures: Beyond Safaris, Sun Hats and Sand DunesAs we discovered on our self-drive safari through Namibia in December 2014. It might be a bit of a cliche, but Namibia once again proves that sometimes it is about the journey as much as the destination.

The Big Picture

No one returns from Namibia without a sense of meaning. There is something of true beauty to be found in its wide open spaces and big skies. Whether driving along endless stretches of road with no car in sight. Or staring out over the vast Etosha pan as wildlife emerges from the mirage on the horizon. Or sipping an ice cold beer as the candy floss dusk sky fills up with more stars than you could ever imagine.

African Adventures in Namibia: Our campsite at the Okaukuejo Camp at dusk
The dusk sky turns into candy floss sky porn from our camp site at Okaukuejo.
African Adventures in Namibia: A star trail over Spitzkoppe
A long exposure of the night sky over Spitzkoppe.

The Road Less Traveled

We get it – you are here to see wildlife. And we can guarantee you will see plenty. But quiet gravel roads sometimes deliver a simpler magic – a reminder that the everyday can be pretty special too. Spotting the first sign of human life as a child and her father walk down a dusty road seemingly in the middle of nowhere. A cow stands at a defiant distance from a nearby tree as the blistering heat of the midday sun beats down – nature’s take on minimalism. A herd of goats “stop the traffic”.

African Adventures in Namibia: A young girl and her father walking along a quiet stretch of gravel road.
A father and child walk down a dusty road in the middle of nowhere.
African Adventures in Namibia: A cow in the midday heat.
A cow and a tree – nature’s take on minimalism.
African Adventures in Namibia: A herd of goats stopping traffic.
Goats! (You have been warned)

The Simple Life

As interesting and photogenic as the Himba and Herero (indigenous) people are, it is even more interesting and photogenic observing the basic ways in which modern life has made its way to rural Namibians. A young girl emerges from nowhere as we stop next to her “crystal” stand just outside Spitzkoppe. Selling rocks straight off the ground to tourists seems like capitalism at its best. A donkey cart with Nike’s swoosh branding – a subliminal message to the donkeys to “just do it”.

African Adventures in Namibia: A young Himba girl
A Himba girl covered in the red clay of Namibia.
African Adventures in Namibia: A young girl selling crystals at a small roadside stand close to Spitzkoppe.
The crystal sales girl with Spitzkoppe as a backdrop.
African Adventures in Namibia: A Nike-branded donkey cart.
Just do it – The Nike swoosh donkey cart.

A Moment between Moments

Maybe it is because of the way one’s day is structured around game viewing (early morning and late afternoon game drives). Maybe it is the oppressive heat in the middle of the day. But something about Namibia affords you the opportunity to enjoy the moments between moments. Staring into the distance. Deep in thought. Drinking mid-afternoon tea at Onguma’s Fort overlooking a waterhole as a storm rolls in. Taking a pitstop next to the road – the sliver of shade making you feel like a champ. Sitting on the deck of the camp with a gazillion little fish below.

African Adventures in Namibia: Drinking afternoon tea at Onguma's Fort (close to Etosha National Park's eastern gate).
After a long, busy morning of photography, we finally managed to steal a moment over a cup of tea and some sandwiches – taken at The Fort part of the Onguma Private Game Reserve just outside Etosha’s Eastern gate.
African Adventures in Namibia: Taking a break at a roadside picnic spot.
The rather long slog from Cape Town to Windhoek called for intermittent snack breaks.
African Adventures in Namibia: Bush camp bliss at Onguma.
Bush camp bliss at Onguma.

Share Your African Adventures

We definitely cannot wait to go back to Namibia. Yes, you can definitely hit all the big ticket tourist attractions in one trip but there will always be something new to discover. So if there is any magic you think we need to search for next time, please let us know. Share your African adventures in Namibia (and beyond) in the comments below.

African Adventures in Namibia: Brigid and Adam road tripping.
This is how Namibia makes you feel 🙂

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African Adventures Beyond Safaris, Sun Hats and Sand Dunes: A collection of wanderlust-inspiring photos.