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AFRICA -  DAY TWENTY + TWENTY-ONE - SOSSUSVLEI TO SWAKOPMUND

Previous Blogs: Day 1 Pretoria | Day 4 Dinokeng | Day 5 New Years | Day 6+7 Umdloti | Day 8 - DumaZulu | Day 9 Hluhluwe | Day 10+11 PE to Knysna | Day 12 Ostrich Farm | Day 13 Hermanus | Day 14 Hout Bay | Day 15 Cape Point | Day 16 Table Mountain | Day 17+18 Namib Desert | Day 19 Sossusvlei | Day 20+21 To Swakopmund | Day 22 Cape Cross | Day 23 Luderitz | Day 24 Walvis Bay | Day 26 To Windhoek | Day 27 Katatura | Day 28+29 Zambezi | Day 30 The Falls | Day 31 Chobe | Day 32+33 Going Home

Click photos for a larger image...

Last night we had dinner at the hotel for the first time.

The menu for dinner was truly unique.  In addition to the usual meats such as steak, chicken, lamb and pork, you could choose from a variety of game meat which was then cooked right in front of you to your liking.

This included warthog, wildebeest, ostrich, eland, impala, oryx (the crazy beast that charged Wendy the other day!) and blesbok.

I settled on the warthog (which tasted like tough pork) and wildebeest which was tender and similar to a good steak! Not gamey at all.

The outside dining area overlooked a waterhole which was floodlit so we could see the animals coming down for a drink at night.

 

Next morning we had not planned any activities and I had a little website work to get caught up on, so this was my office for the morning.

Not too shabby.

Tomorrow we move on. We are not leaving the desert just yet, but moving over to the coast which is still in the Namib Desert to a different base.

 

But first we have a date with a Quad Buggy 4x4!

 

Automatic transmission with a lot of torque

and acceleration. Goes anywhere!

 

Steering is very direct, a real fun to drive

on the soft sand tracks.

It's a dusty ride!

We did stop for a refreshment break - no alcohol this time! We're driving!

 

Then it was time to fly to Swakopmund.

This time in a Quest Kodiak 100

 

The aircraft seats 10 - 8 passengers

and two pilots.

The flight starts off with red dunes (red due to iron content - basically rust!)

Then the dunes change color to a more white sand the closer we get to the Ocean.

When we get to the sea, the dunes turn pure white. This is after 100 miles of sand dunes.

 

Then we took a left turn to fly north

along the coast line.

Along the way we saw ship wrecks. There are several THOUSAND shipwrecks along Namibia's coast. It's called the "Skeleton Coast" for that reason.

 

We flew over Walvis Bay, Namibia's largest

(and to be honest ONLY real) port.

Then finally we approached Swakopmund, our base for the next few days. A pretty German coastal town in the desert.

 

This 3500-hectare salt-pan complex, supplies over 90% of South Africa's salt. These pans concentrate salt from seawater with the aid of evaporation. They are also a rich feeding ground for shrimp and larval fish. It's one of the three wetlands around Walvis Bay (35km from Swakopmund where we are staying) which together form Southern Africa's single most important coastal wetland for migratory birds.

 

After landing we picked up our rental car and drove to our AirBnB, a lovely 2 bed apartment just 2 minutes walk from the beach.

Not that we intend swimming, the sea temperature here, even though it is mid summer, is 63 degrees. FAHRENHEIT!!

 

And finally...

 

Here are some things you might not know about what's opposite in Southern Africa...

 

1. Toilets (and sinks for that matter) swirl in the opposite direction to those in the Northern Hemisphere.

 

2. Speaking of toilets, the flush handle is on the other side of the toilet.

 

3. Light switches are opposite - DOWN is on!

 

4. You cannot see the North Star. We do have the Southern Cross down here which is the right way up in Winter and upside down in Summer!

 

5. The moon is "upside down" as are the other few constellations you see in the North that can be seen in the Southern Hemisphere. Orion (3 sisters) can be seen in both and even though it is upside down, you can't tell the difference!

 

6. 90% of the entire world's population lives in the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE.

 

7. 90% of the Southern Hemisphere is sea.

 

 

Tomorrow...we're not sure where we're headed yet.  But it'll be awesome!!

 

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