As summer is fading away, why not waking up some fantactic memories ?
This report was first published in its French version.
After two weeks wandering around the dusty gravel roads of Namibia, time has come to drive back to Hosea Kutako’s.
Namibia is a world of its own where the visitor loses all his familiar references among wild life and desert landscapes. Therefore, I am happy to share some of the moments I will never forget.
The cheetah looks out in the Na’askuse wild life orphanage where injured animals or abandoned cubs are offered shelter.
Further away, brother Leopard would enjoy to taste the white tourist’s flesh ;-)
This wild dog looks so cute !
Shortcuts are at own risk.
Tar roads only link major cities as the Namibian road network is mainly made of gravel roads.
Our discovery of Namibia starts in the Namib Desert, especially the Namib-Naukluft national park famous for its red dunes.
Panoramic view from the top of « Big Daddy » some 280 meters high. Deadvlei’s pan on the foreground, Sossusvlei at the back.
At the bottom of the cracked pan, some 600 year old fossilized acacia trees.
Who is watching out ?
The colors palette is part of the magic show.
Dune 45 stands at the 45th kilometer on the tar road that drives through the park.
Mysterious and majestic vastness.
The wind shapes the sand once come from the Orange river valley.
The rare trees can survive with a few rain drops a year and the humidity of the morning dew.
In winter time, sunset starts at 4pm.
A lonely Oryx on his peaceful trek. To some greener pasture?
Driving Northward, we cross the Tropic of Capricorn.
Next to Usakos, Philips cave is famous for some Bushmen’s paintings. Among them, the white elephant.
Further away on the Grootberg road, Twyfelfontain is a UNESCO heritage site. Among the bushmen engravings, the white lion.
Girafe and human feet. I had heard and read so much of Twyfelfontain that I was a bit deceived. There is not that much to see.
At the top of Grootberg pass is Grootberg lodge, flagship of a regional sustainable development project funded by the EU. The lodge helps raising funds for the local community, gives qualified jobs. The most interesting issue is the will of sharing water between farmers and their cattle and the desert elephants. From the top of the pass.
After hours tracking the desert elephants we get our rewards..
Elephants and villagers have to live together, thus they must share the water resources.
The Himbas and the Hereros are cattle feeders. The latter have been more influenced by the German and Afrikaan pastors whereas the Himbas keep a traditional way of life. A Herero woman ;
A Herero teen ;
Young Himba girl ;
Young Himba child : the plait on the forehead means she is a girl.
He is a boy !
Traditionnel piece of jewelry.
Young nubile maid who has not been married yet.
Young boy hoping for a bright future.
A beer for the road to end this Namibian extra.
Time has come to drive back to the airport, some 40 km east of Windhoek.
Here we are !
The airport area is always jammed. You have to make your way in the hassle of the shuttle drivers, car rentals, luggage… It is not that bad anyway but after 2 weeks in remote areas you get used to quiet atmosphere.
There is not much traffic to and from WDH. The number 1 destination is South Africa. Air Namibia also offers flights to Accra and Frankfurt. This latter is a kind of historical heritage.
Let’s try to check in as no post shows our flight.
The only open SW counter.
My dusty suitcase.
Behind the check in line.
A narrow corridor leads to Immigration and security inspection.
The waiting line may look long, but we do not wait that much.
The airside area is overcrowded when 3 flights are waiting for their boarding calls. Thus, it is not that comfortable. The duty free shop is not the place to buy anything as prices are 30 to 50% higher than in JNB. There is a lounge but as I am a Y PAX today, I have to try to get a seat in this human jungle. There is no real seat left. Why not going for some shooting? BA Comair.
A319 de SW. The company owns 4 of them.
A319 V5-ANM we flew on the outward journey.
A319 V5-ANL was born on the 11th of December 2007. SW bought it from Air Berlin on the 16th of September 2011.
A US military service.
SW owns 2 A340 for the twice weekly service to/from FRA.
There is no jetbridge or paxbus. We walk to the plane. Some policeman tells me off when I try to take some pics. First pic from the cabin. Winglet and control tower.
The legroom is very decent for this short flight.
The complete A319 fleet is now at home.
We take off on schedule.
The crew starts the service with the drink offer. I choose the Windhoek beer.
I try some shooting from the air but the light is not that good.
Inside the cabin. SW A319 are new and clean.
I was taking the last sip of my beer when the crew came back with the hot meal tray. Far too late after the drink was served !
The same, topless ;)
As I plan to have dinner at Tribe’s, I do not want to eat in the middle of the afternoon. But I wanted to complete my report with the food offer. Honestly, it is much more decent than what you are given on an European route.
I did not want to have anything…. But I tasted the chocolate cake. Tasty.
The sun sets.
We have already started our descent for a while.
JNB is not that far.
The last air views suffer the lack of light. ?
We had a kiss landing.
On our way to the terminal : Virgin A340, Air Scones and a MS tailfin in the background..
The immigration waiting line is as deserted as a Namibian gravel road.
We are on time. Here is the proof.
After some duty free shopping, we walk to the luggage delivery area.
The luggage come very quickly.
It is now time to check in at the guesthouse before visiting Tribe’s.
Thank you for your attention.
Windhoek - WDH
Johannesburg - JNB
This WDH-JNB service was on time.
The crew did its work very efficiently. They even had to cope with two women trying to scrounge one seat in the business cabin.
Even if I was not hungry at that time of the day, I really appreciate the meal service offered on that 1.45 hour flight. Nevertheless I regret drinks served 15 minutes before the meal.
WDH waiting room is not big enough to accommodate too many passengers. The building itself is new and clean, but there are not enough seats.
SW is a very good alternative to SA when flying to Namibia, except if you are a *A FF.
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