To many, Namibia is a country that has more colour in its history than its landscapes. To others it is an insignificant blotch on the map of Africa, and is of little consequence. To Namibians, it is a place of such raw, stark and spectacular beauty that it can “make a stone weep” [Jim Corbett; 1875-1955 – conservationist, naturalist, photographer and hunter]. It certainly brought tears to my eyes on several occasions, and only some of it was because of the sore knee.
The Namib desert is one of the oldest, hottest, driest deserts on the planet. It forms a significant portion of the country, and specifically the Namib-Naukluft National Park; which is the largest game reserve in Africa. People die here from any number of causes.
Of the more exotic causes of death, sandblasting certainly ranks amongst the more unusual. If this is the way you want to go, Namibia’s the place, because the highest wind speeds ever recorded on earth were plotted in the Sperrgebiet (http://www.met.gov.na/Documents/Sperrgebiet%20National%20Park.pdf) . If the heat, sand, isolation, cold or flood don’t do you in, there is also terrifying selection of creatures, all ready and willing to inflict a wretched, agonising, grisly death on the unwary. Any decision, therefore, to get a pedestrian’s eye view of such a country ought to be taken with a goodly dollop of care, research and preparation; and, of course, a sizeable wad of cash.
Thus it was that we divided our areas of preparation into the following categories:
- Food & water
- Camping & accommodation
Mindful that you may want to embark upon a similar adventure, your writer will be devoting some time to these topics in future posts so save you research time.