Namibia Expectations

This trip had been on my bucket list for quite some time. I looked forward to photographing the great red dunes of the Namib Naukluft National Park that I have seen over the years on the cover of every major travel magazine. Further research in Namibia had me interested in the great white pan of Etosha National Park and its wildlife offerings.  Visiting a traditional Himba village was intriguing. Also, being able to travel to the exclusive rugged northern Skeleton Coast where only a few people in the world would ever set foot was mind boggling.

I was intrigued by the contrast that Namibia could offer to the other 6 African countries that we have visited.  In retrospect the difference was like comparing the sub-tropical Hawaiian island of Maui with the volcanic Big Island of Hawaii. 

Namibia is a huge very dry country.  It is approximately 3 times larger than California.  The country is mostly desert with some mountains.  The majority of the river beds were dry.  It is amazing how elephants, oryx, giraffes and lions adapt to this harsh terrain. The total population of the country hovers around only 2 million people. Hell, we have more folks than that in the Tampa Bay area!

The distance that we would need to drive (on the left) between towns and services was a little bit scary. The few folks that had been there all said "fill up whenever you see a gas station. Some stations might just be out of gas. You might even consider carrying 5 gallons of fuel with you just in case".  We didn't take the extra gas can, but we did top off our tank frequently. Gas was cash only.  No credit cards.

We were aware of the German influence in Namibia before we traveled. We ran into few people, many of those that we did talk to had returned to Namibia after their first visit. The large majority of the travelers that we met spoke German. As a matter of fact we heard German and Afrikaans spoken much more frequently than English. We only ran into 3 other American during our  trip!

Our 3 week trip would be underway during most of the month of November. Our traveling companions would be Kathy & Dick Browers. We did our first Africa safari with the Browers in 2004.  That trip was also 3 weeks in duration.

I hope that you will enjoy my photos and comment.

-Dave Hutchinson-