Stayed: Cape Town & Windhoek Duration: 2 weeks
When: March 2009 Good For: Historical/ Scenic Trip
My cousin got married to a man who’s job entails them to travel often. (a job paying me to live around the world all the time, where can i sign up right.) After missing out on their move to Egypt I was determined to go to their next stop. That stop just happened to be Namibia, a country located in the southwestern part of Africa, and apart of this trip would also be to stay a portion of time in South Africa. At this point I had traveled a lot of North and Central America, but going to such a huge place, with so much history, and so many things I’ve never gotten to experience before I was beyond excited and ignorant for what to expect.
In Cape Town I’m pretty sure we stayed at The Westin; In a very touristy area, but very accommodating. There were souvenir shops lined on the street, street vendors drawing, and performing, and pretty close to many of the attractions in the area. I went in March, and (this is where the ignorance sets in) I assumed it would be hot, but as you’ll see in the pictures I have my fleece on in most of them.
In Windhoek, I stayed at my cousin’s beautiful home, in a very nice quiet residential neighborhood. It was a lot less touristy in Namibia, which (as you’ll see me make reference to often in this blog) I prefer.
OH my gosh the food. All the meat was so fresh and clean tasting if that makes sense. Like once I tasted the food in Africa I knew things wouldn’t be the same when I went back to America. To the point where I fell in love with their ketchup, lol. Like I don’t even know how to explain it. I would swear they took fresh tomatoes and pure sugar cane and put it in a jar that morning just so I could dip my fries in it. I tried a bunch of different type of food , which I always suggest when going somewhere new. ALWAYS GET SOMETHING YOU CANNOT GET LOCALLY AT HOME, or that is native of where you are. Fuck a hamburger, don’t order a hamburger in a different country, unless it’s a Kudu burger (look it up). Have your medium-well steak, long as it’s ostrich meat. Beside’s Kudu, and Ostrich as I just mentioned I also ate for the first time Zebra and Crocodile, and other things I can’t remember. And I’m not going to say Crocodile was the best thing I’ve ever tasted (at least not until I tried it in NOLA) but it was something I needed to give a try because it was native to where I was visiting.
The Club Scene
I was 17 with a fake ID saying I was 18 (back then thats how old you needed to be to go to the clubs in NYC) on a family vacation with my way older aunt, 11 year old cousin, my pregnant cousin and her strict husband. No one was bringing me nor accompanying me to the club lol. SOOORRRRRYYYYYYY
Robbins Island was such an amazing experience and one that I demand you go to if you visit. You get an extremely authentic tour of the grounds because the tour guides are ex-prisoners of the maximum security prison. They give you first hand accounts of what took place there, and are very open to answering questions you may have. They show you Mandela’s cell and give you a very in-depth timeline of the island history and uses. Table Mountain is another huge tourist attraction that is a geographers dream. We took the cableway to the top of the mountain and climbed a little to get to the top point which is about 1,086 metres (3,563 ft) above sea level. (views from the top on the left). Next was Cape Point, located at . I was told it was the most southern tip of the African continent you could get, so essentially being at the bottom of the world, I’ve learnt more recently that there is another tip that’s just a tad bit more south. At the point they show you a post with major cities, in major countries and how far you are from them (of course NYC was on it 🙂 ) and they point out where in the ocean the Indian Ocean meets the Atlantic Ocean, you can actually see the color change. We also took a boat tour that rode by the Seal Island which was basically just an island off the shore that housed colonies of Cape Fur Seals. They had a few (probably trained) Seals come onto the boat for petting purposes and photo opportunities (which i obviously took advantage of from my picture above lol).
In Namibia we went up North to Etosha Game Reserve and spent 3 days on game drives and then headed to the coast for 3 days and road on quad bikes, did a boat tour, and a township tour. When I first heard “game reserve” I was so confused as to what it was and why I’d want to do it lol. Come to find out, that’s the term they use for what we’d think of as Safari’s. It was probably the most interesting and intense and beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Now don’t think Zoo, don’t think Six Flags Great Safari, (as shown below) we were in small, open jeeps, in the open wild. Granted these were reserves BUT they were huge land masses where the animals had moreorless free range to roam. They were given fresh meat to eat and raised families on the territory. Certain animals on certain reserves were kept a bit secluded for peoples safety but more as for most of the animals they were close enough to get those pictures below.
The township tours were very insightful and fulfilling. We got a small glimpse into a typical Namibian township and learnt a bit about their cultures and traditions. Quad biking which is pretty common anywhere you go was fun as usual, but this was my first time doing it on sand. A rush. The sand sucks you in, so I don’t know about anyone else but to me that just meant go faster. Great time, then afterwards I was able to climb sand dunes (as pictured above). How hard can climbing a pyramid of sand be right? … wrong. I’ve never done something as hard as that ever in my life. It was hot, and the sand was sinking under my feet, and i’m climbing up a steep hill (check out the side profile above) half way up I was ready to let it go lol. But was convinced to just get to the top.. fine.. got to the top, the view was beautiful I felt accomplished and was happy… till they told me how to get down.
you have to run -_-. you have to run down hill… seriously.
I was trying to find all possible ways to not have to do that. Slide, walk, anything.. but no running was the only way. Scary because you feel like you’re just going to tumble over and fall to your death or break something, but the good thing with sand is that because it pulls you down you won’t fall. Anyway .. I’m still alive with no broken anything lol so I guess eventually I did get off that dune…