Of the 44,000 km of roads in Namibia , only 7,000 km are tarred. The rest of the roads are made for adventure, roads of gravel, sand and even salt lead one to amazing places with amazing names like Otjiwarongo, Katima Mulilo, Okaukeujo and don’t forget Katopekomungoro. The very names themselves conjure images of adventure and that is exactly what one encounters at every turn while traveling through this beautiful country. The roads lead through unbelievably steep mountain passes, flat baking stone deserts, compacted windswept salt roads, rugged 4×4 terrain through wild animal kingdoms, through the worlds highest dunes and lush green forests, and everywhere one looks there is a beauty that simply assaults the senses.
Along the way rural villages lost in time greet the passing traveler, offering a glimpse of a life long forgotten in the west. A life ruled by the elements, by the turning of the seasons and the favours of the weather gods. Here life is not about the latest and the newest, life is simply about survival. Stop a while, contemplate the scenes, absorb the reality and let it alter the way forward.
There are dunes so high they tower like mountains, ever shifting, ever changing but always impressive. Created by sands of the world’s oldest desert the dunes of Sossusvlei are truly one of nature’s most impressive creations. Towering up to a thousand feet high these dunes are center stage for a twice daily natural light show. As the sun rises and sets, incredible shadows are cast, every second, all around the colours change from beige, to golden, to orange to burning red as the suns rays rise and fall.
As the suns’ rays finally fade the brilliant blue skies turn inky black. Without the slightest traces of human pollution the air is pure and the skies so clear that the milky way sheds a gentle glow over the earth. The Southern Cross, Orion’s Belt, Scorpio, Taurus, Mercury, Mars and Saturn all play out their roles in this most brilliant of night skies.
Beyond the dunes lie more dunes and beyond that more, until they are brutally cut off by the unforgiving waves of the Atlantic Ocean . This area is not for the faint hearted, it is brutal, harsh, unforgiving and spectacular. This coast is littered with shipwrecks, abandoned harbours reclaimed by the dunes, beaches rich in diamonds patrolled by scavenging hyenas and inhabited by vast colonies of seals. In the few calm enclaves along the coast humans have settled creating surreal scenes, with traditional German churches and houses standing guard over the Atlantic waves and towering dunes in the background.