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A month in Namibia & Covid-19

This long post is a way update family and friends on the last month exploring Namibia. It made me uncomfortable in these times to share pictures on social medias while I have friends burning their ass offs in the medical system. Technically, I went from the ”let’s make sure we respect all the rules and follow the government guideline” to what may seem like a stellar opposite by traveling. Do I think that traveling right now is a smart idea ? In general, not really, no.

Many countries that are opened for tourism are the ones that have not dealt properly or simply ignored the current global crisis. By welcoming tourists in their high-risk Covid-19 cities, travelers have extra risks of becoming infection vectors as they go around the country. Going in those countries is definitely a bad idea and irresponsible – take Brazil for exemple.

However, a few countries did manage to control the pandemic and, a few of those, have decided to reopen for tourism but with strict measures. Most countries that have done well through the crisis have remained closed and have no desire of re-opening soon. On the other hand, a few of these countries, where traveling can be done safely, and with low risk of exposing yourself or others are opened. Most of these countries are in Africa. Hence, the reason I ended up in Namibia, a country that through difficult decisions, managed to control Covid-19 but at the cost of it’s touristic industry. Nambia was selected as my destination only four days before my departure as everyday, I would analyze how the pandemic is going and what countries should be avoided as situations can go from good to bad within weeks.

So why Namibia? It’s one of the country with the lowest population density and this helps the social distancing part a lot. Also, many measures have been put in place : contact tracing, temperature scan, disinfectant and masks are mandatory when entering a shop. Better measures than I saw back home. The backbone of tourism is nature – you spend your days outside and camping is feasible everywhere. This made Namibia a ”safer” choice.

We left Namibia as the december spike came back up. We traveled during the November low.

Traveling in time of Covid-19: There will always be a small risk even if you follow guidelines. Here is my approach.

  • Be paranoid about the virus, assume everyone might have it and don’t let your guard down even when people tell you it doesn’t exist in their region.
  • Eat outside as much as possible, not inside restaurants.
  • Read daily on the evolution of the Covid cases and avoid regions with higher risks.
  • Avoid crowds, socializing and respect the two meter as much as possible.
  • Always carry hand sanitizer in your bag and spray it more than necessary on your hands.
  • Do camping and spend your traveling time outside urban zones and avoid hotels rooms without exterior direct access.
  • Put your mask on!
  • Have an agreement with the person you travel with so your safety standards are the same.

Due to all this, our trip to Namibia was very different from any of my previous roadtrip experiences – this became more of a camping trip. Avoiding crowds and not socializing when necessary, my friend and I spent most of our time together : reading, looking at landscapes, cooking, hiking and talking around the fire – I call it an old people’s trip and I liked it a lot. Also, having left my job gave me as much flexibility as needed to adapt would the situation change – time not being an issue makes wonders and in time of Covid traveling on a tight agenda increases the risk.

5000 kilometers around Namibia.

Flying in Namibia was a logistical mess due to the PCR testing window. I needed to get my result the same day I took the test, which was not guaranteed, or by the time I would arrive in Namibia the test would have been invalid and a 14 day quarantine would have been mandatory. I gambled that I would receive it in time and be able to get into my first flight and luckily, I received the PCR test result at two am, a mere three hours before my take-off towards Toronto. Getting from Montreal to Windhoek, took around 30 hours and it explains why most people in Namibia never saw any canadian tourists.

Packing for 8 months and different climates.

Once on the flight things went smoothly, I had a stop in Toronto and in Ethiopia. The aerial views between Ethiopia and Namibia were stunning and the plane was almost empty.

Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, is in the desert, the heat as I got off the plane was a major contrast to the first snowfall I just left behind in Montreal. Aleksandre, with whom I did a dozen countries before and mostly road trips, arrived from Germany several hours before me. He was waiting for me at the gate, and he used the extra time to buy sim cards and negotiate a taxi driver – we were ready to roll!

We spent a the first day in Windhoek, walked around a bit and did a bit of preparation for the roadtrip. We bought food and the gear we needed at the central mall and discovered the city a bit. Windhoek is small capital with little to do – a ”quiet” capital and even more so in Covid time. People tend to leave the capital on the week end to enjoy the more lively coastal cities.

The next day, on November 13th, AdvanceCarHire picked us up at our downtown Airbnb on Independent Avenue. At their office, they took several hours to prep us for the trip on our Toyota Hilux 2014 who boasted a solid 330,000 kilometers. We sorted out the paper work and we received a few recommendations on how to deflate the tires and drive in sand as this is bound to happen in Namibia.

We took the keys and off we went. I spent the last week end before my departure preparing a high level plan of the trip and came up with a good 4-5 week itinerary of Namibia that would amount to more or less 5000 kilometers and allow us to visit Namibia in depth.

After two hours heading south on the high quality paved highway that connects South Africa to Angola, we took a dirt road left towards a famer’s guesthouse. Farmers of Namibia have massive lands that are often poor in nutrients, arid and impacted by severe draughts. This prevents effective land agriculture. Hence, they mainly have wild stocks – from game animals (endemic animals like Oryx, springboks and kudu) to sheep and goats.

Due to the bad conditions and weather changes, many farmers have been looking for a side income and started to build guest houses on their lands to profit from the ever increasing flow of tourists. Farmers are a wealthy class in Namibia and almost of all them are white Namibians who are descended from former colonizers of Germany and South Africa. White farmers own 70 percent of the land even though they only make up six percent of the total population.

Our first farm house

We were amongst the first tourists they had since March and while drinking South-African wine, we discussed the 7 year draught, politics, farming life and Covid-19 amongst other things. My favorite conversation was when we talked about snakes. ”What do you do if you get bitten by a snake here since you are in the middle of nowhere?” I asked my host. With a heavy Afrikaans accent he answers : ” You crawl to the shades, it’s better to go in the shades than to die in the sun.’‘ Our host also gave us many advices on what do to in the surrounding regions and I modified my planning based on his recommendations.

As the evening went on, he confessed that right now, in Namibia, the government didn’t have any stimulus plans or ways to help farmers and people in need. Tourism needed to come back before it was too late – finding the right balance isn’t easy especially for a country that relies so much on tourism. These countries do not have internal tourism as we do back home. No foreign tourists means no income for the entire industry.

Our first African sunset of this trip.

Tourism in Namibia exploded in the last twenty years. From several hundred thousands yearly tourists to almost two million visitors a year ( it’s impressive when you realize that Namibia has 2.4 million inhabitants.) In 1996, around 600 jobs were related directly to the country’s tourism sector. In 2008 it was estimated that 77,000 jobs directly or indirectly depend on Namibia’s tourism, amounting to 18.2% of all formal jobs in Namibia and since then, it didn’t stop growing.

Following the recommendations of our hosts, the next day we continued our way south and stopped mid-way at a hydro dam.

The water level is near depleted and even though we visited during the rainy season – it only rained once for a few minutes.

We encountered only a handful of vehicles on the road that day and we started to realize just how empty the south of Namibia was. Near the dam, a hotel was completely empty and we decided to visit it. It felt strange especially since the pool was recently refilled. This was a welcomed opportunity to cool off as the air conditioner of our the car was struggling to a point where it was ineffective in the mid-day heat.

Everything touristy was completely on hold in the south – a region people don’t visit if they have less than three weeks to tour the country.

We set our tents up directly in front of the entrance of the Quiver Tree forest for our first camping night. It was a special experience as we had the entire park only to ourselves while this place must usually have been swarming with tourists. We headed into the forest with a wine bottle to enjoy the sunset. We made our way to a higher viewpoint while watching every steps for scorpions and snakes. The quiver trees are endemic to Southern-Africa and aren’t tree, they are succulents closer to aloe Vera. You can see some of them here and there in Southern Namibia, however the Quiver Tree Forest allows you to have a forest of them in one place.

The next day, we woke a bit before sunrise, and we were about to live one of our best moments of the trip when we encountered two cheetahs. See video below.

In the desert, the weather is cool all the way to 8 am (around 15 degrees Celsius at night). After that, the temperature is ideal for an hour or two and around 11h00, it gets to a point where being exposed to the sun and doing exercise is extreme.

After the cheetah encounter it was still early and we hiked some interesting stone formations at the Giant’s playground. The enormous parking was empty – the place was all ours and the silence was stunning – we could hear our blood circulating in our ears.

The perfect time to drive in Namibia is when it’s too warm to enjoy the outdoor, so from 11:00 to 15:00 we drove until we arrived at Grunau. We were the first tourists at that guest farm since the quarantine in March and they upgraded us to their biggest guest house and made us feel like guest of honors – I felt like the first rain drop after a long draught – they knew, or at least hoped, that more would soon follow.

The part of Namibia we were going through is called the Kalahari desert. Flat, dry and hardly hospitable. This landscape stretched in-land for hundreds of kilometers all the way west towards Botswana. However, to the west, the few hundred kilometers towards the ocean were a successive fluctuation of landscapes and the most incredible route of the roundtrip in term of views.

We proceed with a full day in Fish River Canyon National Park as it takes several hours to get there and come back on dirt roads. We left early as we wanted to hike before the heat would make it impossible – the canyon get’s so hot during the summer months that their multi-day hikes are forbidden during this season.

Once again, we had the place to ourselves, only two other cars signed in the ledger before us on the park visitor list. Driving to the canyon is an activity in itself as you pass through protected zones and several animals can be seen as we drove through amazing landscapes, but Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world, is a sight to behold. We drove near the cliff to different view points and around noon it was time to head back.

After a night relaxing around the pool and cooking our own game meat of Oryx, we left the Kalahari desert behind and made our way towards the windy coastal town of Lüderitz. The road to Lüderitz is one the best route I’ve ever had the chance to roam. It’s a straight drive west towards the ocean, but you drive down a slope of 1500 meter and different kind of landscapes succeed themselves. It felt like a video game where you keep changing terrain zones and suddenly everything is different when you cross a line – hard cut transitions!

Lüderitz isn’t visited by much due to its remote location and difficult access – only one road in and out. The road is continuously covered in sand and sand tractors, same as the snow ones back home, keep clearing up the way. The wind is never-ending and it’s a everyday task. Once in the town of Lüderitz, the wind blows even harder by the ocean, sand find ways to infiltrate the buildings through the smallest gaps.

Lüderitz itself is a small but interesting town where mining and fishing are the driving economical factors – however, next to the city lies the abandoned town of Kolmanskop.

Kolmanskop is similar to the gold rush era in America that saw major hubs appear in years and then be abandoned as new richer locations were discovered – except here it was all about diamonds.

The city hardly deteriorates due to the extreme dry weather, however, the sand is slowly covering the entire abandoned city. Due to Covid-19, we once again had the entire place almost to ourselves, it made the experience magical and we could slowly explore without encountering other people. We spent several hours exploring the city hall, school, workers dormitories and rich people homes.

We spent two days in Lüderitz and also drove to the sea-side where the wind was so strong that we could let ourselves fall and be supported by the wind. Seeing the sea after a week in the desert was a welcomed sight.

One of my favorite moment was having a beer at the dock of Lüderitz, and a few kilometers away, on the other side of the bay, you could observe a high mountain being dwarfed by the much higher dunes stretching hundreds of kilometers until it blurred into the distance. I enjoyed a few beer more beers while gazing at that view.

From Lüderitz we were heading back inland through that road we loved and then towards north to Sossusvlei – but we needed to find an accommodation half-way due to the distance.

Namibia has several private reserves that are far more high-end and well managed than national parks. They are however targeting the rich tourists and can charge more than a thousand USD a night to enjoy a lodge on their premises. Luckily for us, some offer one or two exclusive camping spots but reserving these high demand spots is hardly possible. NabidRand is one of these privately owned reserves, and since it was mid-way to our next stop, we decided to go see if one of those spots were available – we learned later that normally one needs to reserve 8 months in advance, but due to Covid-19 it was available for us and actually that night, there were no other reservations anywhere on that reserve.

Andrew, the manager, a bushman descendant who got schooled in the UK and Australia, made our experience incredible and suggested that we hop in his car to enjoy some dune surfing since the sun was soon setting – the right moment to do so to prevent 2nd degree sand burns. He drove us to the dune, stayed with us, taught us a bit about the park and got the sand board ready. He proceeded to push us down the dunes and he made sure we had one hell of a cardio workout walking back up the dunes. The dunes weren’t enormous but it was more technical sliding than my previous sand boarding experiences due to the shapes of the dunes. Writing this, I still have sand in my ears due to a few hard landings/crashes.

The reserve is also a night sky watching zone, Aleks cooked some of the Oryx meat that Andrew brought us and we observed several animals who came to drink water at dusk. The stars eventually filled up the sky, and I spent a while trying to do some astrophotography with my cellphone while a curious desert white fox came to inspect our camp.

We saw many springboks, Oryx and desert Zebras by that point but there were far more here than anywhere else. The next morning, we woke up before sunrise and while cooking breakfast made the decision we would like to stay an extra day if the camping spot was still available. When Andrew came about to make sure everything was in order for our checkout, we told him we’d love to extend our stay as this place was out of this world. We felt luck ran out when he informed us that the two camp spots were reserved that night. However, he didn’t mind us taking the country house of the reserve for the same price than the camping… this is probably the biggest upgrade I’ve ever got on a trip – we were given the top place of the reserve – a chalet where farmers resided last century before selling the land and with pristine view on the reserve.

This day was spent sitting on our porch, raising our eyes from our book when animals came to the waterhole located right in front of the Family Hideout farmhouse. Extreme relaxation.

The next morning, it was time to pack and leave this piece of paradise behind but we needed to make haste to sossusvlei as we desired to camp within the National park borders. In the previous weeks, I wrote several times to book a camping lot but I never received an answer. Being the most visited place in Namibia, you do need to reserve months in advance.

Luckily, once there, only three camping spots were taken in the entire camping. During the two days we were there, we only saw six cars in the entire National Park. More than a million visitor come annually (that’s around 4000 a day in a non-Covid period – crazy difference!) It was still early afternoon and once our check-in was done with the park rangers, we proceeded to hike in a small canyon near our camping spot. We dined early that night as the next morning, our alarms were set for 4 am as we wanted to catch the sunrise in deadvlei.

Sossusvlei, is the oldest desert in the world, and it’s still growing, eating ancient marshlands, mountains and everything on it’s path. We later learned that the reddish unique colors of the sand in this region is due to the high amount of iron in the sand that has been rusting for millions of years.

At 4:00 am we packed the tents, and started driving in the dark towards one of these ancient marshlands who dried out more than five thousand years ago. Due to the absence of humidity, the dead trees still stand since they do not decay. We spent an hour driving towards the heart of the desert and eventually, the road turned to small sand dunes – Aleks maneuvered his way through this more technical section and our tires were deflated to 1.2 bar . This section isn’t easy to drive and the risk of getting stuck are high ; we did find some French tourists stuck wheel deep in the sand on our way out that afternoon. As we cruised through the dunes, I was thinking about those pickup commercials where they show pickups in mountains and deserts while a deep voice talks about freedom and you tell yourself : ”Nobody does that, what a dumb marketing stunt” – and here we were doing exactly that across Namibia – go Hilux!

There are barely any indications to reach the vlei- and a walk is needed across some dunes to reach the ancient marsh. We arrived a bit after sunrise, but due to the height of the dunes surrounding the marsh, the darkness still persisted in the valley. We spent the next hour walking slowly around this mystical place while the colors changed by the minutes, the shadows and contrast kept mutating and eventually we found ourselves with a side completely lit up and another side still in darkness. I felt as if on a new planet in a sci-fi movie. We eventually just sat on the cracked soil and stared at the dead trees for a while until the sun embraced the entire place and the heat chased us away. I’m still excited just writing about it.

Around noon we climbed a gigantic dune to get a view on the the surrounding region. Climbing sand is tough – walk 10 steps, spend 2 minutes catching your breath and swearing that once you go home you’ll get back in shape. One side of the dune was scorching hot and the other side cold to the touch. I had to keep socks on not to get burned by the sand due to missteps once on the ledge.

That evening, we decided to indulge ourselves with a luxury lodge not far outside the park. Our most expensive accommodation of the trip but it was worth it! The Desert Quiver Camp had a cold pool, cold beer and a hell of a view and we ordered food to BBQ ourselves and around 9 pm we were ready for sleep.

It was time to head back to the ocean with a six hour drive towards the town of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.

We planned to spend the next four days in Swakopmund as it is the touristy beach town while Walvis Bay is a mining hub.

Swakopmund reminded me a lot of Old Orchard Beach in the Main, but a Old Orchard that would have been built by Germans. The touristic section is small but charming with several buildings being built between 1895-1910. There is a wide variety of restaurants, beaches and activities to do. In the end, we ended up spending seven days in Swakopmund. The weather was perfect, never too warm with the sea breeze that kept you cool even when walking in the sun. We tried several restaurants, German beer gardens and I really enjoyed a Wine bar ( all with outdoor seatings.)

At the top of my list of to-dos was doing quad in the desert. We called Daredevil Adventures to make sure the quads were not locked to a certain speed limit and that we wouldn’t be shoved in a group. We’ve been told not to worry – we would be alone with a guide that would make sure we’d have a blast. The guide makes sure you don’t get lost in the desert but mainly, he is there to prevent serious accidents as in dropping 50 feet down a steep dune while riding at 70 km/h. It’s hard to tell when a dune ends and what lies on the other side, without a guide I’d probably be in hospital. Our guide evaluated us and once we were sure that we had the hang of it, he kicked it up a notch and the real fun began. We drove up and down dunes, in half-pipes of sand swirling from an edge to the other and accelerating to a maximum as we glided through the dunes – real adrenaline. We came back two days later for more.

Another activity we did was an organized 4×4 full day drive to ”the place where the desert meets the ocean” aka Elizabeth Bay’s tour. The desert just pops out of the ocean as steep dunes hundreds of feet’s high and no roads can bring you there. The drive itself was epic and our guide Marius, an expert dune driver, was one of the funniest guy I ever met. Once you reach the viewpoint, it’s a weird mindfuck seeing so much sand and the ocean meeting in one place.

Our guide gave us a geology crash course of the region and explained that the desert has been been slowly growing for 50 million years due to the Kalahari in-lands erosion due to the rain and the sand ending it’s journey in the ocean brought there by the rivers. The sand is then pushed back in-land due to the tides and permanent extreme winds always pushing inland. So the dunes near the ocean are the youngest, and the ones in sossusvlei, deep in the Namibian lands, are the oldest.

Note that this activity departure time depends on the tides and convoys of forty 4×4 usually bring tourists there. We were only three cars that day and the owner told us he had to sold 2 cars to survive the past months.

Another day, we drove back and fort to Cape Cross Seal Reserve. We were the only visitors of the park that day. It was us two humans and 50,000 seals. Interesting place yet not for the faint hearts, nature is metal and we saw it upfront – thousands of carcasses of baby seals, some getting gored by territorial adult seals. This was raw nature and the hundreds of thousands of seal turds cooking in the sun were suffocating. They also all had very distinct screams,  expressing themselves non-stop in a choral of shrieks. We often desire to see animals as nice and innocent creatures, this place would be a slap in the face to anyone thinking so.

We spent some days relaxing and walking around the town of Swakop not doing much.

Just like in most cities of Namibia and South-Africa, the rich ”white part” of town is sustained by the poor ghettos and cheap ”black” labor which enables their lifestyle. The clash in Namibia isn’t as drastic than in South-Africa but it is a major societal issue that is shocking me.

We had several talks with a local black man in his early 20 that was struggling to make the day to day : hustling everyday, cars watching for a few cents or washing windows – minimum salary isn’t a real thing for those outside the system. Namibia is still a place where equal chances is a lie – the apartheid scars are still there and very visible and based on our conversations with white locals, they somehow ignore the situation or simply end up convincing themselves that the poorer black Namibians actually have it good.

We left Swakopmund to visit a mountain called Spitzskoppe where you need a guide to visit the bushmen painting. The bushmen, a nomadic population of these parts, left many drawing to communicate between each other and give directions on surrounding resources. We had one of our best camping spot of the trip and did some hiking around the rocks of our camping spot. We knew that in a non-Covid time, we would never have had this prime camping spot that was surrounding by high cliffs and which protected us from the evening wind. That night, when starting in the fire, I could picture millennials of Bushman tribes who found refuge at this exact same spot and danced their nights away around their fires at the rhythm of the shaman.

We took our time the next morning enjoying our camping spot and later drove towards the mountainous region of Twyfelfontein where more paintings could be found. At this point we were arriving in the northern parts of the country where the Himba tribes could be found.

We visited the village of Damara where Himbas show you how they used to live – nudity isn’t much of a thing for the Himbas as woman go around topless and covered in a rockpower that serves as sun protection. We learned about the medicinal plants they used, tools they made, games they played, their language and songs. A very interesting experience and a great way to discover a new culture in a non-intrusive way.

I found a Airbnb that seemed as remote as remote could possibly be. A small cement house lost in the mountains, hours deep off a secondary road. Making our way there took us the entire day and even in our pick-up we were almost certain we would have a tire puncture due to all the rocks and river crossings. Once we arrived at the hut, with our tires in good shape, we took a liking to the place right away with it’s view over the surrounding valleys. Strangely enough, we had some of the best 4g internet of the trip due to our altitude and nothing stopping the antennas from reaching us. So we wrote to the host that we wanted to stay longer. Also, on a more personal matter, my girlfriend and I did a bid on house in Montreal (neither of us visited it) the previous day and thanks to the internet access I could stay in touch and learn that we won the bid.

A guide came the next morning at 8 am for a morning hike, we learned a lot about the animal poop, picking up the poop to know how long ago it was ”pooped”, and which animals the many footsteps belonged to. One of the good moments was when the guide walked to a poop pile, picked it up and said : ”I think this one happened very recently… like now…” we then looked a bit further down and a big Oryx was just staring at us probably wondering what we were doing with his fresh poop. So yeah, the guide was right – it just happened.

During our hike we came upon several bones.

We BBQed, we read, played some Catan and I also worked on the future layouts of the house we won. This was the warmest place by far in Namibia, the two days we were there, around 1 pm we would just start napping. It was probably 50 Celsius outside and 30-40 Celsius in the house during these hours – not doing anything was about all we could do until the wind picked up late afternoon and started to cool the place down. The feeling when outside was the same as when opening your oven’s lid with your face right next to it.

Our next stop was Etosha National Park. Leaving the mountain and stopping to do the groceries was going to take all day. Etosha once was the biggest national park in the world with almost 100,000 square kilometers, now it’s closer to 22,000 kilometers (still a massive National Park) and it hosts more than 140 mammals and hundreds of bird species populate the park. We camped directly in the park to be in the wild. We spent two days driving from waterholes to waterholes and stopping on the side of the roads when we saw herds of animals.

The top sights were by far the the lion and lioness that were relaxing in the shade about 5 meters away from our car – we stayed there for a while and even had the chance to witness some lion sexy time – real discovery channel moment that lasted a good 10 seconds before the king of the jungle was done. We also spotted 5 white Rhinos off the road and a waterhole with more than a dozen giraffes in one place – we rarely saw more than two or three together before that. The campings, fenced zones in the middle of the park, felt a bit like Jurassic Parc, and both evening we went with a bottle of wine to look at the waterhole right outside the protected zone. You sit on your side, above the fences, drinking wine as the sun sets and watching animals make their way to the water. A family of elephant came and we admired them for a while. We saw less than ten cars in our entire two and a half day in the park – it was a great self driving safari.

Once out of Etosha we found a lodge directly on our way south as we were going back to Windhoek – the end of the trip was nearing and we needed to bring the car back in 3 days.

With only two days left, we were entering the wine region of Namibia. After swimming and reading around the pool of the lodge, where we were the only guests – so no rush to leave – we made our way to a small winery that produces less than 9000 litres a years to have lunch. We called first to let them know of our coming and that we would like to eat there as the food reviews were good. Turns out, the owner is an artist that paints, makes ceramic and manages the winery. She made us feel extremely welcomed and told us that she would soon bring us the ”small snack” which turned out to be massive plates of food – but the best food I’ve had in a winery by far. The wine was good, the rosé was great and we eventually had to leave after a long conversation with her as we asked questions about the pictures on a wall on the winery. The rest of the day was spent on the road driving towards Omaruru.

Omaruru has 2 wineries near it, and less than 2.5 hours away from Windhoek, it was the perfect last stop. We wanted to hit those the two wineries that day, but ended up spending the entire day at the first one we visited. It wasn’t the same quality level as the one of the previous day but it was still a great stop near Windhoek.

The end of our trip in Namibia was drawing to an end, we needed to decide what to do once we returned the car in Windhoek. We were hesitating between Zambia where we would continue the camping roundtrip lifestyle or Ghana for a different culture and few weeks on the gold coast with our feet in the sand for Christmas. We voted for the latter due to the complexity and extra cost of leaving the car in Zambia.

The last three days were spent in Windhoek relaxing and waiting for our PCR test results that were needed before boarding the plane. I am currently in the plane as I write this on my way for a layover in Ethiopia.

A friend I made.

My closure : Namibia has some of the most dramatic and apocalyptical landscapes I’ve seen. There is beauty in it’s desolation and I especially like the south of country for the geology and driving views. With global warming, more places will deal with the challenges of Namibia soon : several years long draughts, dried out lands too poor to farm and extremely warm temperatures.

It’s the perfect country for a roadtrip either with friends or as a couple – very safe and with many accommodations. However, I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to Namibia again, after having it all to ourselves and enjoying its nature while it was empty.

Keep in mind that Namibia isn’t cheap: we spent 5000$ CAD in a month while often doing camping.

  • Food : 1250$
  • Transport : 1850$
  • Accommodations : 1150$
  • Activities : 600$
  • Others/donations : 218$
  • PCR: 100$

Average cost per day : 160$

Our roadtrip music : The Midnight, Hall and Oathes, Gorrilaz, Bee gees, Best of 80s, Best of 90s, Rock Classic, Pink Floyd


My name is Paco and I traveled more than 70 countries in the past 10 years. Currently trying to balance traveling to new places, working and being the father of a beautiful little girl.

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