I’m now in Swakupmond, Namibia.Â It’s said to be the adventure capital of Southern Africa.Â After sandboarding and going quadbiking in the desert I can see why.Â Photos from Namibia are up and include shots from Etosha National Park, Cheetah Park and Swakupmond. Make sure to check out the photos section and click to
Etosha National Park
The first thing we did after entering Namibia was head for Etosha National Park. Located in northern Namibia it is typically very dry and desert like. However, we went after they received an unusually large amount of rain so everything in the park was pretty green. The first hour of the game drive was VERY successful and we saw tons of animals. Lions, springbok, elephants, giraffes, jackals, oryx, wildebeest and so many more. It was a really neat experience. For a while we saw a large pack of lionesses with their cubs and we thought that we might be able to witness a kill as there were tons of zebras around – watching the lion’s every move intently. But as the heat of the day set in the lions got a bit more lethargic and just headed into the bush. Actually all animals seemed to get more lethargic and the only thing we really saw after the first hour was the occasional springbok. In fact, I started to fall asleep too after a while. Most people on the truck had seen many of the animals before several times, so it was not as great of an experience for them. I had a great time though!
On our way down to Swakupmond from Etosha we stopped at Cheetah Park, a park for orphaned cheetahs, home to roughly 22 in total. There are 3 tame cheetahs that we were able to pet and spend some time with. It was SO cool to be right up next to a cheetah petting it while it is purring. They purr similar to house cats, just MUCH louder. I noticed that cheetahs mannerisms were also much the same as house cats. After playing with the cheetahs we went on to watch a cheetah feed, which was more or less a couple guys tossing some meat to “wild” cheetahs. The cheetahs were inside of a compound and they were fed daily, so it’s difficult for me to say they were truly wild. However, with cheetas being one of my favorite animals, it still had to be one of my favorite moments on the trip so far.
We arrived in Swakupmond on thursday night, just in time to go sandboarding on friday morning. Sandboarding was almost identical to snowboarding except that it was more like snowboarding in heavy wet snow. It has been a while since I had been boarding, but it only took a run or two to get comfortable again. There was no ski lift so hiking up the dune in snowboard boots was the only way up. By the time you reached the top you were a bit tired, but it wasn’t too bad. I hit the jump a few times and while some of the pictures might look pretty stylish I can assure you that the landing wasn’t! With stand-up boarding we also got to do lay-down boarding and that was really fun too! The big run sends you flying at 45-50 mph down the dune and then launches you off a jump at the bottom. On my first run I tried a 360, which turned out to be a 180/injured tailbone. The second run I went for the Superman pose and the cameraman got a sweet picture – see the photos section. The landing on that one was a bit harsh as well as you can see from the following picture.
Yesterday we went quadbiking in the early evening for 2 hours in the dunes. It was SOOO much fun! I loved it! Flying up and down the dunes was amazing. I don’t know if anyone else has the book ‘Our Dumb World’ by The Onion, but the section on Namibia is entirely consumed by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie coming to visit. It cracked me up when there was loads of photos of the two plastered everywhere in the office where we began the quadbiking tour. By the way, if anyone wants to laugh – get that book!
That’s all for now. From here I think we head on to Fish River Canyon a massive canyon in southern Nambia – more to come!