Back in Nam
Trip Start Mar 20, 2012
30Trip End Oct 16, 2013
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We rose excited about the Etosha National Park, but first on the agenda was to check out the world’s largest meteorite; given the name Hoba after the owners of the farm it was discovered on. Hoba was discovered in 1920 when a farmer ploughed over it. Still in its original landing spot, now weighing an estimated 60ton, after significant erosion due to Oxidation; Estimated to be 80,000 years since it tore into our atmosphere and found its resting place
Etosha was another world from the other game parks we had encountered; the rest/camp areas offered a bar, pool, shops, restaurant and a waterhole to sit and watch animals that may pass through. During the day we would drive around, seeking out interesting sights ensuring to be back at camp by sunset as they shut the gates and distribute fines for those not back. With the park being so dry we found most animals congregating around the waterholes. All the different parks we have visited, even each waterhole, offered a different experiences. (Here’s a link to a video from Etosha; check out the giraffes in the background
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCTvorxDWoc ). After dinner we would take our blanket and head to the side of the campsite to have a nosey at what animals would grace the floodlit waterhole; elephant, hyena, black rhino, giraffe and jackal
We embarked on our last game drive, spotting a pride of 17 lion out in the pan on our way to exit Etosha and made our way to "Cheetah Park". There are so many cheetah in Namibia it is legal to shoot them if they make a nuisance of themselves i.e. killing livestock. In this case the farmer shot one of these cats only to find she had 3 cubs, further deciding to bring them up as pets. After a while many farmers heard of this and would instead of shooting, simply catch the trouble making cheetah and take them to this farm leaving them now with 14 wild cheetahs roaming a giant enclosure. We relaxed at camp until the owner collected us. We had seen a cheetah inspecting the fence line next to our camp which excited us incredibly. Once collected we were taken to the main house to interact with the 3 domesticated cheetahs. With their sand paper tongues they licked us and enjoyed a pat along with their fellow jack russell (whom I’m pretty sure thinks he is a cheetah as well)
Unfortunately without our cheetah cub we exited the farm down the road to visit a Himba Village. As we pulled up there was another overland truck parked, causing my expectation of commercialism. We met our guide who took us to the entrance, explaining they originated in Angola migrating into north west Namibia, with some moving to this village as one woman got sick so the farmer bought her south for western medicine. We walked around the circle of huts greeting in their language and playing with the children, puppy and kids that resided there. Our guide informed us that the woman have extensions and clay put in their hair every 3 months or so as a sign of beauty and wealth and male teens have their front two teeth knocked out for beauty reasons
As we ticked up bunches of kilometers along the straight dusty roads without passing as much as a small village we realised how vast this county is. Namibia’s population is a whopping 2 million and its boarders give it an area 3 times bigger than New Zealand, making it the second least populated country in the world. After a day of driving, some giant rocks began to protrude from the horizon. These mountain sized rocks was where we set up camp, a place called Spitzkoppe. With time to spare we set off on a climb to the top of one of these humungous stones. These towering rocks that are a pastel orange colour under the Namibia sun are a sharp contrast to the flat brown plains that stretch out around them. We watched as the sun started tip toeing out of the sky, showing off its glowing brilliance as it disappeared. It was a cold night so we huddled around the fire, under thousands of bright, twinkling stars that graced the sky.
Half a day of driving put the coast line in our sights. We drove parallel to the sea along what is called The Skeleton Coast. It was given this name because of the many boats that became victims of this ragged stretch of coast over the years. Survivors of the ship wrecks then found themselves in a harsh desert with no help for miles around so would end up succumbing to the unforgiving elements