Friday, August 19, 2011

Bagattelle Game Farm

Our first wild giraffe sighting on an early morning game drive on the Bagattelle farm. Our guide and driver loved to talk to us about spirituality instead of the animals for most of the drive. It is a spiritual experience in itself to explore the Kalahari desert and be able to photograph these amazing animals.

Kholmanskop Ghost Town

Outdoor bathing in the desert! Kholmanskop was once a thriving town for the diamond mining industry. Now the sand dunes are consuming the old buildings. A great site for photography! Sebastian and stayed so long that the gate was closed and no one was left in town but us.

Desert Horses in Aus

We could not resist trying to get up as close as possible for a few shots of these wild horses near the small town of Aus. More to come when I have easy internet access.

Cheetahs at Hammerstein Game Farm

Love these little soft and cuddly cats! Caesar and Cleopatra have been raised from cub stage to live a pampered life here on a game farm in the south of Namibia. They pur like house cats and when they lick you they give you a little spa exfoliation treatment. Some how I feel like my fear of the big 5 animals has been eased somewhat after lounging with these beautiful cats.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Camping in the Kalahari Desert

Sebastian and I are not experienced campers. The sites we have booked into in advance are amazing 5 star spots. We thought we would give it a try here in the Kalahari desert. Here is a shot of our cosy little pop up tent on the roof of our 4x4. It takes only 10 mins. to set up and is actually very comfortable. No snakes or cheetahs in the tent thank you! Now to be able to start a descent fire and cook a meal! At this point we have dinner in the lodges. Yes vegetarian meals are available here. Odd balls that we are here in carnivore country, everyone at the lodges and game farms are very acommodating.

Desert Camp at Sossusvlei

Here is our first tent camp lodge in Sossusvlei. A very unique experience sleeping in a half tent half concrete accomodation. When the wind blew at night I thought the roof was going to be ripped right off the tent!

Dead Veil

Sebastian and I walked to the Dead Veil salt pan in the Sossusvlei Park after 4 wheel driving 4km through the red sand. We followed the other tourists, walking very slowly in the blowing wind, through the sand dunes to this amazing site that is just out of this world! The winds have built up the sand dunes around this salt pan over the years, cutting off the water supply. The trees have died due to lack of water and remain standing in the dry desert sun. This is the site that drew me into the whole idea of a trip to Namibia.


We are here in Namibia and it has been a wild and wonderful adventure so far! The people are friendly and welcoming, the landscape is spectacular, the weather is ....... warm during the day with the occassional windy day and cold at night. Good thing we have brought a good variety of dryfit layers and marino wool to keep us warm at night.
It was windy while visiting the Sossussvlei dunes. Love this shot of the people struggling to climb the popular dune 45 (45km from the entrance to the national park gate). We did not try to climb it ourselves as we were very keen on photographing the whole area.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

30th Anniversary Trip To Namibia!

It is two days before our departure to Namibia. All our camera gear is 80% organized. Duffel bags are barely filled with clothing. Sebastian has gone to bed. I have to e-mail a few accommodations for final confirmations. With the time difference it is best to contact them between 12 a.m. and 12 p.m. my time.

I have spent many hours researching Namibia on the web in the last 6 months. Very different from our trips in the 90's. We bought a few Lonely Planet guides and off we went! With backpacks loaded we just walked the streets on arrival and found a clean and economical place to sleep. Now 20 + years later, I have scrutinized the web-sites of many lodges in Namibia, looking for amazing landscapes, great accommodations (campsites), potential excursions and of course..... warm and welcoming hosts. Wow what a lot of time on the computer! I miss the total spontaneity of just showing up with guide book in hand. On the other hand, we are wiser now and one should not leave travel - lodging plans up to fate! We have never slept outside because of lack of accommodations. Now I am booking campsites. Very odd in deed! We will be traveling with a trusty lonely planet guide of course.

Tomorrow is Sebastian and I 's 30th anniversary. On the first Monday of August 1981, Sebastian offered to cut my hair in the salon (The Parlour) even though it was officially closed. Hair dressers day off. I was wary since only my sister had been cutting my hair for years. It all worked out and we decided to go to the NAC Cafe for a drink. Beer was on tap, served in a plastic disposable cup. Decor - white plastic tables and chairs. The view of the Rideau Canal priceless! Well ...... 30 years later the plastic furniture has long since been removed from the NAC terrace. I think we will go for a wonderfully fattenning dessert and maybe a KGB coffee tomorrow.
This picture of Sebastian and I is one of my personal favourites. It was taken a few years ago during an amazing driving holiday to the Gaspe region (Perce)in Quebec. We don't take very many pictures of ourselves so please accept this as a true and fair likeness.