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As evening approaches, I admire the desert sunset from a rock perch, swigging fiery whiskey from a hip flask as the sun dips below the horizon.

Battling through the paranoia of being dragged from my sleeping bag by an oversized pussycat, I cook my dinner on a campfire, and set about drinking away the fear.

It works; I slip into a peaceful sleep, though the nocturnal calls of the wilderness travel into my tent and alcohol-addled dreams.

Back in Windhoek, returning the rather beat up 4x4, my reckless driving near Spitzkoppe peak finally catches up with me.

“Have you taken this thing through water?” barks the car rental guy as he surveys the underside of the steaming 4x4 that I hired from him 10 days and 4000 kilometres ago. “The alternator is screwed!”

“Ummm … well … maybe a couple of puddles, but nothing substantial,” I lie. “I’ll have to tow you to the airport then,” he says. He’s not a happy man.

And so, this is how my trip ends, my not-so-trusty steed being dragged along the final leg, one more escapade on a holiday rammed with adventure from start to finish.

It comes as a welcome relief for someone else to drive, just so I can stare across Namibia’s interior and let the previous couple of weeks soak in.

Jonny hired his 4x4 from Aloe, which costs from £43 a day off peak.

natron.net/aloe/home.htm

More on the Otjikandero Himba Orphan Village Project at namibiajjtours.com

Best of the rest: Natural Namibia

Fish River Canyon

The second-largest canyon in the world, behind the Grand Canyon in the US, Fish River features a massive ravine that splits the south of Namibia for over 100 miles.

Most of us would be content peering over the side from the occasional viewpoint dotted along its length, though the more adventurous can spend five or so days hiking through it.

Permits are only issued between May and September to minimise the risk of sun exposure during summer (the temperature can hit 50°C) and flash floods during the rains. There are no facilities enroute, so pack light.

namibian.org

Cape Cross

Home to one of the largest colonies of cape fur seals in the world, Cape Cross makes an interesting pit stop along the Skeleton Coast. 

Be prepared, though; what sanitised nature programmes can’t show is the stench that thousands of mammals in a confined space can make. If you don’t have your own car, book through Charley’s Desert Tours.

namibiareservations.com

Twyfelfontein

If the San rock art in Spitzkoppe floats your boat, Twyfelfontein offers more examples of ancient engravings. Hunter-gatherers scratched more than 5000 images of their lives into their surroundings, including encounters with lions, giraffes and rhino.

It was named as Namibia’s first Unesco World Heritage Site in 2007.

namibian.org

Photos: Jonny Newton, Getty, Thinkstock


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Big trip to Namibia: Hiding from leopards and visiting tribal villages are all part of the adventure
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