I was at Johannesburg airport, about to head to Namibia and I got into panic mode, yet daydreaming about climbing sand dunes in Namibia.
I had itchy feet to explore Windhoek.
I was panicking because I couldn’t buy an onward ticket out of Namibia and it had nothing to do with money or an internet connection because Joburg airport offers you free Wi-Fi for at least 5 hours; I have transited through there so many times to know. Rather, my long overdue Botswana visa wasn’t ready, through no fault of mine. I had no real explanations why. And I needed to know because; I could either stay in South Africa or go to Zambia or Zimbabwe, which were all on my list for later.
And as silent travel rules go, you should always have your exit ticket before you enter a country, because, if you get asked and you don’t have it, you are at the mercy of that immigration official; who can decide whether they let you into their country or ask you to go back where you came from, and you better have an entry visa and money for a ticket back!
I took the risk, stayed positive and had at the back of my mind that, 90% of the things we worry about don’t happen. I booked a hotel and got on the plane to Windhoek, Namibia.
I truly didn’t need to worry and overthink it, because I got through immigration smoothly.
It was all women at the counters and it was the first time I had seen that. Very smart confident women.
Women helped me pretty much my entire time in Namibia.
A woman advised me to possibly book another hotel because the one I booked was out of town. She used her own phone to call other recommended places in my guidebook. In the end, I slept in a complete stranger’s bed. The very woman who was helping me get a hotel in town. It was one of the best beds I had slept in, in my entire life.
She was my guide without going places with me. Her name is Alicia. I will talk about her later in an upcoming book.
Another woman, Agnes, helped me find my way to the dunes safely.
She got her brother and wife to drive me to the dunes.
Agnes wasn’t sure it was safe to get regular taxis to take me. The wrong guy could rob me. She encouraged me to climb to the top and was my photographer and videographer too. I couldn’t have done either without her.
I loved Namibia and I can’t wait to go back. I should have known when I got the phone call from the Namibian Embassy in Ghana within 24 hours after I submitted my visa application instead of 3 days, that I was going to have an amazing experience.
Did I say, I love Namibia? Please go to Namibia if you haven’t or put it on your list.
Namibia is a very clean country, probably the second cleanest country in Africa, after Rwanda. But that is just my opinion.
I saw a petrol station attendant took pride in his work and even picked litter off the floor.
The landscape and colours are stunning by the way.
There was so much about Namibia that reminded me of Iceland. You probably have to see both countries to draw your own conclusions.
You will find train tracks through beautiful mountainous landscapes.
This is a country where the Trans Kalahari Highway goes through sand dunes on one hand and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.
The roads are great, which means over-speeding is a major issue.
An interesting fact is they drive on the left side because it was from colonial times, but the Gold Coast, now Ghana was a British colony, yet we drive on the right and I noticed that in most countries on the continent. It was a mix of left and right-hand drive even though they were British colonies.
The Internet makes you think when you get to Namibia you easily see the San people
or the Himba tribe, particularly the women.
I didn’t see either. I only saw a few Herero women.
Namibia is not a small country like Togo or Benin or The Gambia. All those countries I reckon can easily fit into Namibia. A huge part of Namibia is uninhabited.
The Namibians I met were lovely and kind people. I didn’t experience any negative incidence, but locals advised that I stay vigilant and have my wits about me.
And as far as elements of cultural similarities go, I noticed they hold funerals on Saturdays like Ghana. That was the story at least in Windhoek. It can be a whole weekend affair I heard. Just like us. Away from the morbid and back to life, shall we?
The sunrise and sunsets in Namibia are epic! I saw the most remarkable and awesome sunset ever in my life. It was beautiful and scary at the same time, in an Armageddon kind of way.
My time in Namibia was spent in Windhoek the capital, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Friends saw photos of Swakopmund and asked if I was in California. There is a huge German population here by the way.
I couldn’t believe the immense beauty I was surrounded by in Walvis Bay. I climbed Dune 7 and loved every minute of it.
I didn’t feel the need to get to the summit. I am saving it for next time. And next time, I hope to ride a quad bike on the dunes and go check out the views in a hot air balloon.
Namibia, I am coming back to get to know you and explore you better. I know you have loads of wildlife too.
Next stop? Vamejo to Botswana, don’t miss it. It is full of drama!