Flying back home

Today is the last leg of our journey home, the one where we get on a plane to Johannesburg and finally to Amsterdam. It also marks the last day in Namibia, and the last day of our trip to southern Africa. I’m really quite sad that it ends already, as we’ve had an absolute blast over here!

The owner of the game farm has decorated his house with some of the animals he farms, including a full size giraffe. Yes, that picture indeed features a mounted bust of a giraffe. 0_o

The trip to Windhoek airport was rather uneventful, and we fuelled it up without any issues near to the airport. The guys from the rental company didn’t even complain about the absolute state we left the car in: “It’s Namibia, it’ll get dirty over here!” was their response. Yay!

There only was one oddity on the flight to Johannesburg: the meals we were served actually differed from each other. We both had ‘meat’, but one was a pie with chicken, and the other was a beef pastrami sandwich. Being served two different meals which are supposed to be the same on a plane is really peculiar, and we were as baffled as the flight attendants! The flight back home (after a long wait in South Africa) was long and sleepless for me, and was in a plane from KLM Asia. 😉

First time off road in Namibia

Namibia is a large country, despite what some of its inhabitants think of it, and that means travelling tourists. Both a large number of tourists, and a lot of distance to cover.

Today, we have to travel about 350kms from Windhoek to Sesriem, which is the gateway to Sossusvlei. Of that 330kms, only a small portion is tarred, and the rest would qualify as off road. It’s the first big test for our Renault (Dacia) Duster, whose name seems a lot more appropriate over here than it does back home. 🙂

With an estimated average speed of about 50km/h, it would take us about 7 hours to go there, so we had an early breakfast. As Sesriem is pretty far from everything, it also does not have a supermarket, so we went shopping in Windhoek for water, soda, fruit and lunch. Packing 15 litres of water, some lovely bread and apples, we embarked on our maiden voyage in daylight in Namibia. And it was great!

Scenic views around every single bend of the windy road, 75km of tarred road and the rest untarred, it lead us through vast ranges of emptiness, with only very scarcely dotted houses and villages. And only 3 gas stations. Luckily, we drive a diesel, so we’re good for about 850kms. 😉 

Tomorrow, another very early start as we will go to Sossusvlei National Park. They say it’s at its best right after sunset, so we’ll try to get there by that time.

Flying 2016 – part 2

After a short night, where our neighbours had to leave their room for the airport around 5 AM all the while making a racket, we found ourselves enjoying a breakfast fit for kings at the Lodge. Bacon, Boerewors, baked beans in tomato sauce, omelet with mushrooms, I was thoroughly enjoying it.

As we were to fly out at 12, we decided to not take a gamble and leave the Lodge with the the shuttle to OR Tambo at 9, just to be on the safe side of things. And apparently, this was a good thing, as British Airways decided to upgrade their backend system today. They apologised in advance, and made a big mess out of it anyway. All flights were grounded that morning for some hours, after which the delays were numerous and long.

We were met with a huge line at gate 22, which turned out to be the for previous BA flight and not ours. The initial estimate was a 2,5 hour delay to Windhoek, and was now scheduled to leave at 14:20 instead of 12:00. After lunch, we saw that it was delayed another 15 mintes, with an estimated takeoff time of 14:35. Boarding commenced on time, but it took a long time, after which it took another hour to inform us about the plane having some minor technical difficulties. These were quickly fixed, but it lead to more delays…

So, after a delay of 4 hours, we finally embarked on our flight to Windhoek, which only took slightly under two hours as the all female pilot team hit the throttle hard to make up some of the lost time. It shaved 15 minutes off, but it’s a start!

The car was quickly picked up, as was our luggage, and we were off to the first lodge in Namibia, Terra Africa. Diner reservations were made and we found ourselves in the quirkiest nod coolest ever place we’ve ever been to: a German Style Beergarten, but in a true Namibian Style. You’d have to have been there to fully grasp the complexity of the thing, but for now I can assure you that the food is good and the atmosphere is great!

Tomorrow, we’ll have a full day of travelling by car, down to Sesriem. That’s about 350km, and a first taste of what driving in our Renault Duster truly is like. 🙂