As part of my gap year, I had an amazing opportunity to work with Save the Rhino Trust in Namibia. This organisation works on a shoestring to conserve the unique desert-adapted black rhino, in one of the largest and most inaccessible regions of the world. You can go out with the trackers by Landrover, on foot or even on camel, one of the best ways to get across the mountainous Kunene region. There is nothing more special than spending the day wandering through a boulder strewn moon-like landscape in search of mythical looking creatures, then relaxing around a fire at night under the African sky. Unless of course it is knowing that it is all for a really important cause.
It's a modern lodge, beautifully decorated, on the edge of the Namib Desert. Perfect for trips into the spectacular dunes. Friendly staff, great food and a very relaxing atmosphere.
Units are built with adobe bricks typical of Arabian villages and tents similar to those of the Bedouin.
Khaudum National Park is in the North East of Namibia on the border with Botswana. It is a fantastic wilderness with not many visitors as it is quite remote and anybody going there will have to make sure they have everything they need as the facilities are very limited. A 4x4 is a must! This is all made worth while by the abundance of wildlife and birdlife. Large herds of elephant roam the park and we even spotted wild dogs one morning. Some photos on our trip can be found on www.wildlifephotoandart.co.uk
The former German town of Swakopmund is bordered by the cold Atlantic Ocean on one side and the hot Namib Desert on the other. Its architecture is reminiscent of Germany in the 1930s, restaurants feature German meals and even the language is invariably German.
On the Atlantic coast of Namibia
The owners of this lodge have succeeded in establishing a touch of luxury in the Eden that is Etosha. The chalets are superbly appointed and the food first-rate. The attention to detail in the decor and furnishings is remarkable. One of the most pleasant stays we have had anywhere.
Small informal cafe in the Old (German) Fort. Sit on the long museum verandah for a fine view over the city centre away from the crowds. Good selection of snacks and African meals. Interesting displays and history of independence.
Alte Feste, Robert Mugabe Ave. Windhoek. 5 mins walk from Independence Ave.
Info at www.namibia-travel.net/centralnamibia/windhoek.htm
Converted Liverpool-built steam tug boat that plied its trade in Cape Town, now forms a stylish, excellent restaurant and bar, specialising in great local seafood, with views to match.
Positively cheap by European standards.
Seafront at Swakopmund, a delightful historic german port and popular seaside resort to get away from the desert heat
A wilderness oasis on the edge of the magnificent Namib desert with 10 kulalas (thatched chalets) in the middle of a 46,000-acre private reserve. We saw oryx, springboks, warthogs, mountain zebras, buzzards, hornbills, ostriches and baboons, with none of the jeep scrum you get in many safari destinations. Nearby, you can look out on a sea of golden dunes at Sossusvlei.
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