Greetings from Pretoria South Africa>
Due to the slow and unstable internet this will be short.
Swakopmund was a special place, an oasis in the Nami desert. It is a German town as Namibia used to belong to Germany but
they lost it to Britain after the war but the Germans who were there kept on living there. The town is just like Germany
with the buildings, lot of German spoken, the houses and buildings, food, etc. It is a popular destination for Germans
and Europeans and it is a good place to explore some of Africa. Most Europeans get one month of holiday and many get 5 or
6 weeks so they travel a lot.
In the Netherlands there are 400 people per square kilometer and in Namibia about 1 per 4 kilometers. It is the least
populated in Southern Africa and much of it is very arid. It basically never rains in Swakipmund! We enjoyed some great
German pastries here. We visited a township where 5 different tribes live, they are very poor, in the section where they
are waiting for a loan to build a tiny house they live in shacks made from materials from the dump. We visited the people
and ate some traditional food. The kids sang for us and as the world over were very friendly. There is a beautiful beach
at Swakopmund on the Atlantic ocean.
Our next stop was north at Cape Cross where sailers from Portugal landed early on and here we also seen 1000's of fur seals.
From there we started to leave the barren dessert and went into the mountains. At Brandburg we seen the highest mountain
in Namibia. I think about 6000 feet and seen ancient bushman drawings. One is well known as the white lady where
legend has it that there was a white lady who could heal people and help them. At Tywfelfontein we seen hundreds of
Bushman drawings and we also seen burnt mountain and the organ pipes which were colorful rock formations. This was a
primative camp with wood fueled hot water heaters with gravity water pressure. Next we seen a plant that is only found
here that is supposed to be 3000 years old. It is in the dessert along with petrified trees. Dessert elephants are also
here. They are like normal elephants but have learned to get along with less water.
On the dessert we seen Gemsbok and Springbok and a few Impala. We reached Etosha Wildlife park and immediately seen
elephants, zebra and giraffe. We all got very excited taking pictures and soon we seen Kudu and of course Gemsbok and
Springbok. The next day we did another game drive and seen a water buck, The CG here were nice and we met our friends
from another travel group. There are six of them of which 2 are from the USA and are the ONLY USA people we see on the whole
trip. USA people here are just not to be found. I am getting audio recording of the animals and we are also enjoying the
lighted water holes at the CG and seen some Rhino's! The Jackels have become camp robbers and come right up to a few feet
The night stars are fantastic and we see the southern cross and pointer stars every night at the south end of the milky way
and determine where south is. During the day one has to get used to the sun tracking across the northern sky rather than
the southern sky. These game drives has been great because Charlie our S. African guide has came from the cab into the back
part where we ride and has given us lots of informations about the animals we are seeing. Edith and I have been on duty
now twice helping cook and clean. Actually Edith helps everyday as Charlie and Tips the driver and assistant cook speak
English as their first language so she visits with them. Otherwise you sit around listening to people speak Dutch. I have
found about 4 people who are willing to speak English and do it well so often I visit with them. I have lots of interesting
animal details but due to the shaky internet connection I will put them on the web site when I get home but one example is
that elephonts like humans are either right or left hand determinet. You can tell by which tusk is more worn down.
Look for Part II the Okavango Delta
Ed and Edith