Our arrival at the Hosea Kutako International Airport, Windhoek, via Accra, Ghana was a gentle introduction to the marvels of Namibia. One quickly notices the ever present arid terrain and a rousing welcome from the chilly Namibian weather.
The airport seemed pristine and devoid of the usual bustle, a situation that quickly changed with the arrival of tourists’ flights from Europe. As I was being shuttled to the city on a bus provided by Air Namibia, the one is further thrilled at the ambience that pervaded the masterly built city of Windhoek.
This is a general impression a first time visitor to Namibia gets, especially when entering through Windhoek, the nation’s capital. My first adventure to Namibia covered just city life; but this time I ventured into the desert and what I found was fascinating and alluring. I can’t but smile all through my journey.
While in Windhoek, I visited the Christuskirche which remains the most visited and popular tourist attraction in the country. I also went to the National Botanical Garden, University of Namibia and Polytechnics, Geological Museum, Katutura community and Craft Market, Meteorite Display Centre, Train Namib Museum, Auas Mountain, among others.
In my quest for more, I undertook a five hour drive to Sossusvlei, located within the Namib Naukluft National Park, where I savored another memorable adventure – a never to forget one. On the way to Sossusvlei, which I referred to as Sand Domain, I travelled through Rohoboth, another beautiful but quiet town along the highway that leads to Cape Town, South Africa. I also stopped to pay my last respect to the founding fathers and past Heroes and Heroines of Namibia at the well decorated Cenotaphs.
A must visit also was a place along the highway called Dune 45, which is the popular and most photographed dune in the world because it presents itself for tourists to see and climb. I also had a stop at Sesriem Cayon, which is a wonderful enclave for hiking and paragliding.
Remshoogte Pass was a breathtaking view of Three mountains from the top which has been described as the “God’s window from above”. Moving on, I got to Solitaire – a must stop for any tourist heading to Sossusvlei. This is a place for relaxation, refueling and refreshment. While relaxing there, I had a privilege of sharing the world famous apple pie with other tourists at the small town which also serves as a camp town for longer staying tourists.
Sossusvlei presents to me an unforgettable adventure – seeing the tallest sand dunes called “Big Mama and Big Daddy”. The latter is the tallest, measuring 380m above sea level. Then came the climax of my adventure, which was the ascension of a dune measuring 300m above sea level which gave me a scintillating panoramic view of Sossusvlei.
I also had a feeling of reaching into the sky, which also brought another lasting smile to my face. Still at Sand Domain, I was taken to the magical Sossusvlei called Deadvlei – a dead marshland with leafless trees standing independently. I was made to understand these had been in existence for the last 2 million years. The alluvial, I was also told, is the oldest desert in the world with beautiful red sands dunes and their well carved crests atop.
My venture also took me to special spots at the park, witnessing the rising and setting of the sun from the marble mountain in company of fellow tourists from around the world.
On the marble mountain, while waiting for the sun to set, the wind from the East and West conversed to my hearing, telling ancient tales about the desert of which I patiently digested as the sun went to sleep. Stepping out early, I was out to the Namib forest to see the rising sun, listened to birds sing, watched the animals play in their pristine domain and received the powerful touch of sunlight at its brightest, blessing my skin in the land of Sam Nujoma. Little wonder Namibia is called ‘the best kept secrets of Africa’.
Without doubt, Namibia with an expanse of land can only be explored fully by several visitations for tourists to appreciate the benevolence of mother nature and to smile for a healthy living as I did.