Namibia - wildlife watch and pedaling around with a Brompton folding bicycle in Namibia

Welcome  to our Radltour!


 January 2014
 

Participants:
Iris, a retired and tired bicyclist

 
 




 
Touring wildlife reservations, Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay (Namibia)
 
Review of the tour

The author of this review: Iris from Austria - now retired

Winter time in Austria, where I live is hard. In order to avoid losing all my little power, I have decided to spent some time on the other half of the globe.

A long way to go down there. But worth to see.

Crossing the equator by your plane can be shaky. When I met a pilot on the occasion we shared the same train at Heathrow's terminal 5 train, he said:"this are just bumps as on a lousy road". 

Today, Namibia is a rather save country in terms of criminal acts. I would say drug free. You have to expect there will be no public transport. Long distance travel mostly made by shuttle services. I used the Welwitchia shuttle service, which I can recommend. Very much in time and save! Prices reliable.

To order a shuttle check their webpage:

http://welwitschiashuttle.com/

Alternatively you may take the desert train, which operates from May through October.

Bicyclist are very rare. On many roads outside the city limits, one may not find a shoulder, what makes bicycling very dangerous. Namibian car drivers are very similar to the Spain car drivers: once they are in motion, it is very hard to stop them.

One thing to know:

The high season starts on May. You have to have booked an accommodation in advance. If not you may sleep in your tent (not recommended - can be dangerous because of wildlife animals)

You still may find Island whereas German is spoken. Even they have at least two German TV programs: ZDF & Sat1 (without the nagging sex adds at night time).

The official language is Afrikaans and English.

Concerning wildlife: governemnt is very strict with wildlife conservation. There are still scavenging animal poachers. The prisons are full with them.

They also check if reservations fit to their rules. E.g., government checks if a wildlife resort provides sufficient space for the kind of animals they keep. And more important, if they fit together.

Just to repeat: Namibia is a clean and safe country. Have not seen any drugs or prostitution. I understand they are free of Aids and Ebola.


As I have been there in the mid 80ties I recognize a lot of changes...

Anyway, I am living legacy of that person that time...


Enjoy my report and the pictures.

Good luck to our followers!


Here is my report:

start to fly down to Nambia on 09-01-2915

stay for the next 3 days at

night at Windhoek

accommodation:

Safari Court Hotel, 3900 WINDHOEK NAMIBIA Windhoek NA, Corner of Auas and Aviation Streets, WINDHOEK

Safari Court to to order go to their webpage:

http://www.safarihotelsnamibia.com/

You find a nice accommodation - see pictures:

 
 
 
 
 
 

on the days at Windhoek, I traveled to the Okapuka ranch, which is the closed reservation nearby Windhoek.

One may order alternatively a room in their lodge. Worth to do!

See:

http://www.okapuka-ranch.com/foto-e.html

Enjoy the animal pictures taken at the Okapuka ranch.

You will not see a lion...!

They had two; one has died recently. The other one, as I have been told is too old to hunt. Now they keep him in the reservation "hotel", what means, is supplied with food etc.

But you may see a lot of other 'good looking' animals. Even the Orix, which became a symbol animal for Namibia.

The Orix (Orix Cimera), is an interesting animal. Not dangerous to humans, as long as you stay away...; but dangerous to lions. They cheat the lion, once the lion is on hunt. I learned how the Orix does: the Orix goes down on it's front leg, predict it is hurt, the strong horns are down. But once the lion jumps to get it, the Orix stands up quickly and spear the lion, that way as at least one Orix horn runs though the lions body.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 see the nearly hidden crocodile:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 remains of a crocodile lunch: it was a careless ape
 tired crocodile after a good lunch:
 
 
 
 
 explaining the crocodile pile
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Back to the ranch lodge for a beer:

 
 

Alternatively you may order a tour shuttle which brings you from Windhoek to Okapuka via phone:

+264 61 231281 or cell: +264 81 1280338 (Mr. Adolf Mozny)

Touring around Windhoek and vicinity See pictures below:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 road shoulder is small - traffic is heavy
 and if a car hits you - you can pray, pray, pray (in German language)

13-01-2015

travel by a shuttle service to Swakopmund (not possible to ride this 300 kilometers by bicycle, as there are nothing in between except sand dunes)

travel down by 

http://welwitschiashuttle.com/

You should know, there is a lack of public transport at Namibia.

 
 

From May to October the desert train is in operation.

Worth to go - a luxury train.

see pictures:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

14-01-2014

a day to explore Swakopmund

15-01-2015

finally a bicycle ride

Swakopmund to Walvis Bay

round 40 kilometers with my spouse Heide's Brompton bicycle

see pictures below!

accommodation:

Footprints B&B

Turmalin Str 100
Hage Heights
PO Box 3162
Swakopmund
Tel. +264-64-403042
Fax: +264-64-403132
Mobile: +264 81 251 3111

the Footprints accommodation:

 
 we had a wonderful time - "they called me the computer angel"

we had a wonderful time... - sharing music:


If you order a tour at Footprints, Andrew takes you to hidden places in nature. You can have a night out in a tent, Andrew cooks and if you are lucky, he playing his 12-string guitar:

 
 
 
 

Touring Swakopmund:

 
 In the city - a fietspad can end soon...
 
 
 
 A remain of history
 
 


At the jetty of Swakopmund, you may find Himbas selling their jewelery to tourists.

Himbas are interesting people. They practice all the rites of their trib.

This is what Wiki says:

The Himba (singular: OmuHimba, plural: OvaHimba) are indigenous people with an estimated population of about 50,000 people living in northern Namibia, in the Kunene region (formerly Kaokoland) and on the other side of the Kunene River in Angola. There are also few groups left of the Ovatwa, which also belong to the Himba people, but are hunters and gatherers. The OvaHimba are a semi nomadic, pastoral people, culturally distinguishable from the Herero people in northern Namibia and southern Angola, and speak OtjiHimba (a Herero language dialect), which belongs to the language family of the Bantu. The OvaHimba are considered the last (semi-) nomadic people of Namibia.

They live in the Northern territory mostly at Koakoland and Angola), but sometimes came down to Swakopmund to sell their jewelry. The all go more or less naked, without any shy. Just a small loincloth protects them.

see some pictures taken: (you see: I've got a new friend)

 
 

touring Swakopmund pictures:

 
 
 This road passes the Swakop river - dry in summer
 
 
 Everything for the tourists: walk like an Egyptian

Spindrift Guesthouse & Art Studio, P O Box 3481, Walvis Bay,Tel : +264 (0)64 206723

A wonderful B&B, see pictures below:

 
 
 
 
 
 

16-01-2015

a day to explore Walvis Bay

see pictures below:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 the salt works plant nearby Walvis Bay
 
 
 
 
 
 

And a flat in the middle of nowhere (near Dune 7, round 15 kilometers away from Walvis Bay):
a typical homemade problem.
Heide, my spouse had installed inflatable tires...; but Iris?: she installed patched inner tubes. One of the patches has opened...
No mercy!

Just for information:
The back country road is not tarred. The "pavement" is compacted salt! Why? At Walvis Bay is the International harbor. And at Walvish Bay is a huge sea salt harvest plant. A high number of trucks using this back country road to transport the salt. And loosing continuous salt.
What did one say to me: "...when it's dry, it is nice to ride there. When it's wet, you cannot imagine how the cars look like!" Beside the effect of the slippery road.

 
 
 that's the intersection where it happened

 the back country road - no tarred, it is salt!

17-01-2015

ride back with the bicycle to Swakopmund

again take a night at the Footprints B&B Guesthouse

18-01-2018

travel with the shuttle service back to Windhoek and depart on the same day

At Swakopmund they have a "Crystal Museum", join me to enter the wonderful world of crystals:

 
 walkway inside an artificial tunnel - full with crystals
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

there are so many good looking crystals more - but Google does not provide more space for this site... ;-(

One travels to Namibia has to visit the Etosha park.

I did in the 80tees.

See pictures from that time:

 
 
 
 
 
 

meanwhile, the have a mountain bike challenge at Namibia's desert.

see:

http://www.bicycling.co.za/event/oemf-mtb-team-challenge/

A rather hard ride - not for beginners :-)

 

The event starts in Windhoek and takes riders through the Khomas Hochland
down the escarpment to Solitaire. 219km


 

time to pack and say "good by Namibia; I had a good time with you"!

Thank you all!


some information about Namibia (source Wiki):

Namibia officially the Republic of Namibia, Afrikaans: Republiek van Namibië), and formerly South West Africa, is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Zambia and Angola to the North, Botswana to the East and South Africa to the South and East. Although it does not border Zimbabwe, less than 200 meters of riverbed (essentially the Zambia/Botswana border) separates them at their closest points. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March 1990, following the Namibian War of Independence. Its capital and largest city is Windhoek. Namibia is a member state of the United Nations (UN), the South African Development Community (SADC), the African Union (AU), and the Commonwealth of Nations.

The dry lands of Namibia were inhabited since early times by San, Damara, and Namagua, and since about the 14th century AD by immigrating Bantu who came with the Bantu expansion. Most of the territory became a German Imperial protectorate in 1884 and remained a German colony until the end of World War I. In 1920, the League of Nations mandated the country to South Africa, which imposed its laws and, from 1948, its apartheid policy. The port of Walvis Bay and the offshore Penguin Islands had been annexed by the Cape Colony under the British crown by 1878 and had become an integral part of the new Union of South Africa at its creation in 1910.

Uprisings and demands by African leaders led the UN to assume direct responsibility over the territory. It recognized the South West People’s Organization (SWAPO) as the official representative of the Namibian people in 1973. Namibia, however, remained under South African administration during this time as South-West Africa. Following internal violence, South Africa installed an interim administration in Namibia in 1985. Namibia obtained full independence from South Africa in 1990, with the exception of Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands, which remained under South African control until 1994.

Namibia has a population of 2.1million people and a stable multi-party parliamentary democracy. Agriculture, herding, tourism and the mining industry – including mining for gem diamonds, uranium, gold, silver, and base metals – form the basis of Namibia’s economy. Given the presence of the arid Namibia Desert, it is one of the least densely populated countries in the world. Namibia enjoys high political, economic and social stability.

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THANK YOU !


 
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