I did not know where Namibia was on the map until 2015 when our friends shared the pictures from their trip. I could not even pronounce it correctly. I kept calling it “Nambia”, like Zambia, with an N. Nuh-mib-ee-uh is the actual pronunciation. And for those who can read IPA (the speech therapist in my can’t resist): /nəmɪbiə/.
I now know this country better than I ever imagined. While we could be better acquainted with more time, 7 days with this beauty was all it took to fall in love!
Nights 1-3 – Etosha National Park
After landing in the capital city of Windhoek, going through customs and picking up our rental car we were off, driving north to Etosha National Park. The paved roads leading to Etosha were rather desolate. As we found out a few days later, this road was “busy” compared to other roads in the country!
We spent three nights in the national park where we did not stop oohing and awwing at wild animals in the wild. It was everything I ever imagined Africa would be, and more! A travel tip for Namibia’s Etosha National Park is to visit during their dry season. This means that animals will gather near the sparce water, promoting optimal viewing of wildlife.
Night 4 – Swakopmund
A jaunt out to the coast was a fun stop over. The coastal town of Swakopmund is a sprawling metropolis for Namibia. Again, it is all relative, but we found internet cafes, beautiful waterfront dining and lots of German expats. We also rode ATVs in the Namib desert. I hated this experience – but Mike loved it.
The things you do for your spouse!
I feel that the ATVs disrupt the desert’s natural state, so I am not a fan. Plus, I was certain we were going to crash and spend a few unintended (and expensive) nights in a local hospital. Thankfully, we didn’t, but I would not repeat this ride, ever, if given the chance.
Nights 5-6 – Sossusvlei National Park
The roads between Swakopmund and Sossusvlei were not paved. We drove for 4 hours that day and saw a handful of cars. It was scenic, slightly scary, and necessary to see some of the neatest landscapes on earth. This red sand desert is home to ponds, sand dunes taller than buildings and petrified trees. Stop for apple strudel in Solitaire, hike Dune 45 and do not miss Deadvlei – they are simply must-sees when in Namibia.
Night 7 – Windhoek
Our early flight out on Day 8 required a stay near the airport in Windhoek the night before. We did not see or do anything in Windhoek because we were dealing with the credit card company on the phone. Big bummer! Buuut….but seeing erroneous charges when you are traveling is scary. Luckily, we flew out the next day.