What inspires me

What inspires me

What inspires me, are the different cultures and the landscape, being Namibia’s defining natural asset, vast, endless, magnificent, and unimaginable. You have to experience it yourself, be astonished, than encourage others to experience Namibia.

Windhoek, the capital city is located at the geographic centre of the country surrounded by rolling mountains. The influence of German colonization is still present in language, architecture and restaurants where one can savour traditional dishes, bread and beer. Due to Namibia’s complex and intertwined history, you will notice people of all colours and cultures, from the fairest blond to striking women in traditional dresses, all seem to possess a wonderful sense of pride, hope and ambition. It’s a crowded mix of people from different cultures, living together in peace and harmony.

Etosha National Park was claimed Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907. Its eastern territory is dominated by a vast, shallow pan of silvery sand while the rest of the park is covered with sparse shrubs, grassy plains and hilly Mopane woodlands. Seeing vast herds of game against this backdrop, referred to in the local vernacular as “the great white place of dry water”, makes the game viewing experience truly unique, with the full quota of wildlife, including elephant, rhinoceros, lion, and many more. The mammal count is an impressive 114 species and the birdlife is equally impressive with 340 species on record including a high proportion of raptors.

Damaraland a beautiful, but arid and unforgiving, attractions near this area have names like Skeleton Coast, Petrified Forest and Burnt Mountain. Home of desert-adapted elephant, rhinoceros and lions as well as gemsbok, springbok and hundreds of bird species.. Damaraland is at once beautiful, unique and fascinating with rocky mountains, grass-covered plains and every conceivable range of brown from dark russet to golden bronze, except the sky which is invariably a deep vivid blue, every square mile of uninhabited, scenic splendour.

The Skeleton Coast National Park’s landscape ranges from wind swept dunes to rugged canyons with walls of richly coloured volcanic rock and extensive mountain ranges. The park’s name is well earned given the scores of shipwrecks littering the beaches, the work of the Benguela current, dense fog and rough surf.  You’re best to fly-in, see everything, especially the vast display of shipwrecks, but you can also enter between the Ugab and Hoanib Rivers and enjoy the coast’s superb fishing area.

Swakopmund  resembles a small German town and manages to create a feeling of timelessness with its palm-lined streets, seaside promenades, restaurants, cafes, art galleries and museum. And while there’s plenty to do within city limits, the real action happens in the surrounding desert, quad-biking, sand-boarding, sand-skiing, parasailing and dozens of other guided adrenaline inducing activities are available by reservation from many of the adventure companies. There’s nothing like an adrenalin rush to sort life’s priorities from life’s trivialities.

The Namib Naukluft Park, the vast basin of the Namib Desert with wide open spaces framed by purple-blue mountains and impossible sunsets, make this a place of singular beauty and peace. The only sound you’ll hear is the gentle breeze and time seems to stand still as though the clock stopped circa Palaeocene.

Sossusvlei means “the gathering place of water” though seldom will you find water there. Instead you’ll find the highest sand dunes in the world and perhaps Namibia’s most outstanding scenic attraction. Here the wind continuously shifts the sand further and further inland, reshaping patters in warm tints that contrast vividly with the dazzling white surface of the large deflationary clay pans at their bases. Sossusvlei is thus the endless sea of rust-red dunes, the bleached white pan and its gnarled ancient trees. And from the air, in a hot-air balloon at sunrise, the landscape just beggars belief.

Lüderitz, probably the most unique southern town in Namibia,  a colourful fishing harbour town with many interesting early 20th century German art nouveau buildings. The nearby world renowned Kolmanskop Ghost Diamond Town allows you the opportunity to see and experience what life was once like in this harsh desert landscape.

Fish River Canyon is the second largest natural gorge in the world and the largest in Africa. Set in a harsh, stony plain dotted with drought resistant succulents, such as the distinctive quiver tree, the canyon is a spectacular natural phenomenon. The place is a vast and empty land blissfully untroubled by humans.

Kalahari Desert, no it is not a desert, thanks to a modest measure of rainfall the landscape is well vegetated with a variety of trees, shrubs, camelthorn and other acacias. In springtime the plains are covered in blankets of flowers and grass while the summer rains bring a fair share of greenery. This physical beauty only enhances the real, true allure of the Kalahari, the liberating silence and solitude found in so much open space with red sand dunes, swaying golden bronze grass and endless blue skies. The Kalahari is not without its share of wildlife including lions, gemsbok and those adorable meerkat bopping their heads and chirruping at each other all-day, it is a place of beauty and contemplation.

Caprivi, protrudes from the rest of the country like a finger and shares borders with 4 other countries, Angola, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This is the wettest region and consists mostly of extensive wetlands, floodplains, woodlands and rivers, like the Okavango and Zambezi. Spectacular herds of buffalo, elephant, reedbuck and lechwe are among the highlights of any game viewing experience. But be careful, the waters are also home to five-meter long crocodiles and families of hippopotamus, which venture onto the floodplains at night to feed. Enter the Caprivi and its off-the-beaten-track wilderness. On massive perennial rivers and dense floodplains, the safari lodges offer an experience of the African bush you’ve probably pictured in your mind since watching The Lion King.

I am motivated, encouraged and inspired by Namibia’s friendly cultures, traditions, scenery, wildlife, birdlife, tranquillity and luxury, every bit – to every detail. Namibia is a place like no other, its home!

Suzanne Dunes

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