10 reasons why everyone should visit Namibia at least once in their life

Africa, Uncategorized

Africa is a big ol’ continent and I’m incredibly lucky to have visited 5 countries within it. As much as I’ve loved each country, Namibia has always held a special place in my heart and I discover new reasons to love it every time I go. As one of the most unheard of and underrated countries, I thought I’d put a little list together to tell you why it’s worth visiting the beauty that is Namibia.

1. People

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Everyone says this about everywhere they go so I’m going to join them and tell ya that the people you meet in Namibia are just so so so lovely. As well as being kind, caring and smart; the friends I have in Namibia are also ridiculously hilarious.

2. Sunrises and sunsets

Get up early (I’m talking like 5am), find a hill or building to climb up and watch the sun rise along the horizon.

Watching the sunset is equally as stunning; the colours change each evening and you’ll feel like you’re in the real life version of The Lion King.

3. Culture

 

Namibia has an estimated population of 2.2 million people, made up of 13 ethnic groups. They are: the Herero, the Damara, the Nama, the San (Bushmen), the Rehoboth Basters, the Coloureds, the Whites, the Caprivian, the Kavango, the Topnaars, the Tswana, the Himba and the Owambo. Visit Opuwo in the north to see how the Himbas use ochre on their skin and hair.

4. Drinks

Windhoek lager and Tafel are brewed in Namibia. Savanna and Amarula are from South Africa but readily available at all times in Namibia. You’ve gotta give them a try.

5. Etosha

Etosha National Park is a game reserve in Northern Namibia and should be on every bucket list. You can expect to see lion, springbok, gemsbok, impala, hyena, giraffe, rhino (black and white), elephant and if you’re lucky; leopard and cheetah.

Instead of following radios and keepers to find the animals, you can self-drive and wait for the wildlife to come to you at a waterhole.

6. Braais

Afrikaans for BBQ, but so much better than a pathetic British attempt at grilling meat outside. Braais don’t take days/weeks of notice and hours of preparation. Just call some friends, bring drinks, meat, make a fire and enjoy.

7. Ghost towns

Vogue photoshoot worthy ghost towns (yass, really), Kolmanskop is worth a visit if you want to fill your insta with artsy pics of abandoned houses and a forgotten town.

8. The landscapes

If you enjoy wide, open spaces then this is the country for you. Namibia is huge (3 times the size of the UK) but with 62 million fewer people living in Namibia than the UK, there are a lot of open spaces. You can drive for hours on end without encountering another person.

From rocks, to bush, the desert – the changing landscape is a major appeal to tourists and photographers from all over the world.

9. Sossusvlei

Who knew a visit to the desert would be so tiring?! Sossusvlei will test your endurance and tolerance to extreme heat. In return, it will reward you with breathtaking (seriously) views, wildlife, a sense of accomplishment and pockets full of sand.

10. Swakopmund

Feel like Mad Max as you speed through the desert to reach the German town. The ideal spot for souvenir shopping, eating fresh seafood, hopping between cute little cafes and getting your adrenaline fix with quad biking and sand boarding tours.

Spot flamingos, climb Dune 7, walk along the jetty, collect shells on the beach and enjoy the cooler weather of the coast.


So there you have it, just a few reasons why I might be addicted to travelling to Namibia.

love, Mary

x

p.s. follow on insta for more wanderlust worthy pics: @girlgotlost_

 

 

Kenya photodiary -Ol Jogi

Africa, photography

Part 8 and the final part of my Kenya photodiary!
It’s been emosh.

Towards the end of our placement we planned a trip to a village about 2 hours away from Nanyuki called Doldol. On the way there we wanted to visit a safari park called Ol Jogi.

We’d had loads of drama leading up to the trip; not all of the volunteers being able to afford the trip, seasonal rains causing floods, general volunteer behaviour (towelgate dun dun duuuun) and not being able to book the safari. Eventually it all came together and we managed to go! We were a little disappointed when we arrived because Ol Jogi wasn’t exactly a safari, more of a sanctuary. Oh well, I was happy because we’d all seen loads of rhinos and giraffes by the side of the road a few weeks before. And I was lucky enough that Ngare Ndare was safari heaven.

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This was apparently was Africa’s only bear 😦 He was rescued from a Russian circus. Untitled
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Check out this crazy canyon thing!

We loved seeing literally the most random animals (they had dogs, a very tame looking cat which apparently wild, mice, rabbits etc etc) but the main attraction were the 3 elephants. A mum, baby and huge dad. I’ll never get bored of seeing African elephants, they’re just so beautiful and majestic.

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This is it for my film photos but I have plenty more updates which I will either publish on here or on my Facebook – Girl Got Lost. Go give it a like if you wanna see more Kenyan adventures and pics from the places I’ve been!

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Kenya, it was real. Until next time.
hadi wakati mwingine

Maz

Kenya photodiary – Tuko nyumbani

Africa, photography

Part 6.

Tuko nyumbani – we are at home.

I arrived at my second Kenyan host home about a month into the placement. Late to the party as ever. My mum, Peris is the househelp which means she cooks and cleans and generally is a great mother figure. My host dad, Stanley is a retired beekeeper and now an advocate for people with disabilities as well as helping the community access clean drinking water. They are both some of the greatest people I’ve ever met, let alone live with.

It’s not until I really think about it that I realise how many crazy good people there are in my life. Success is measured in different ways and I would class both Peris and Stanley as extremely successful people. They took me in as a ‘volunteer refugee’ and made me feel like I’d always been in their little family unit.

We had bees that lived in the walls of the house because Stanley ‘liked having them around’ and he’d happily let them sting him because apparently it helped with his arthritis. When the honey was processed, towards the end of the program, we helped to heat it, separate it from the cone then Jonathon would assist with the packaging. This meant a house full of honey and happy Mary and Sophie in the mornings when we could just help ourselves to as much as possible. Peris would sometimes just scrape the bottom of the barrel and feed us with a spoon like a bird feeding her chicks. GOOD TIMES.

I didn’t get any photos of Stanley with my film camera because he was always busy with the bees or community projects. But this is Peris.
Untitled Check her out, separating the maize she’s picked from the shamba (farm) Untitled

This is the fire room where we’d heat water for our morning showers. We did have a fully functioning normal shower connected to the main water supply but it was broken half of the time. So not really functioning then. Andrew and I both loved this room; it was so dark, dingy and cold but the perfect place to sit and chat when there was a power cut. It’s also where we sat and stirred honey in the evening.
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If you hadn’t guessed yet, I’m a dog lover. My best mate in Makutano was Shifter.Untitled When I arrived, his paw was split in half because he’d got it caught on barbed wire so Andrew and I bandaged it up using our first aid kit supplies. Unsurprisingly the dressing was gone by the next morning but luckily it all healed up well. Dogs are not domesticated in Kenya and the idea of your dog sleeping in your bed or even coming in your house is a bizarre thought to most Kenyans. Untitled
Shifter’s mum. Nameless
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Shifter’s little sister. She was underfed so resulted in eating 7 baby chicks. Her owners were not happy
Say Jambo to a few of our friendly cows.
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Post run death. Running in Kenya was like a rite of passage for me. I knew the altitude would be a problem (1905m by the way compared to a modest 122m in Hertfordshire) but I didn’t realise what a massive problem it would be. I planned to attempt 10Kms a few times a week. I managed about 2Kms at a time. Oh well, at least I didn’t pass out or anything.

That’s all for Makutano home life. It’s a beautiful thing that we can be so adaptable to move countries, houses and families and feel so at home so quickly. That’s one of my favourite things about Kenyans, is how hospitable and welcoming they are.
2 more posts to come; Ol Jogi safari and Nanyuki town

Hiya Addo – 9th May 2014

Uncategorized

Arriving at Addo Elephant Park was fab, our lodges in Matyholweni camp were so nice and homely but we quickly got back in the car to go on our first mini game drive round the park. Although we didn’t see any elephants that evening we did see warthogs on their knees (very weird sight), a huge buffalo, kudu and a jackal. The jackal was basically a glorified fox but unlike in the case of seeing a fox, we stopped the car, excitedly whispered and took an unnecessary amount of photos. It gave us a full display of it’s talents; scratching, sniffing itself, digging, sitting in the middle of the road and then howling. Well done jackal, you impressed us.

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Mary x

 

 

 

Running with Dolphins – Holidays in South Africa – 9th May 2014

Africa

I love a good beach. If you’re my friend or follow me on facebook/twitter/instagram/tumblr/pinterest you’ll probably have already grasped this fact…

I love swimming in the sea (I can chose between 2 oceans when in Cape Town which never fails to amaze me), I love playing bat and ball, I love watching the surfers and I could spend all day sunbathing. If being a beach visitor was a sport I would be a professional. On 9th May we stumbled upon a pretty little beach at Plettenberg Bay. We didn’t plan to stay long as we were travelling from Knysna to Addo Elephant Park and just wanted to stretch our legs and take a few photos before heading off again.

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As well as being a total beach bum I’m also very good at being the last at things; the last to exit the car, the last to finish a meal, last to decide what to have from the menu. This day I was the last to turn away from watching the ocean and in the distance I could see fin like shapes bobbing up and down in the water, not too far away. One side of my brain was about to explode with excitement – loads of wild dolphins just a few metres away! The other side of my brain was doubtful – surely they would’t be this close, just jumping about like dolphins in movies?! My mouth just went ‘kerjfgnjdhgsgjn DOLPHINS, GUYS COME SEE!! aakjdnbsjvbfjhsv’.

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admittedly my photos aren’t great but I was way too caught up in the moment to care too much

Trisha, Bill, Callum and I just stood and watched as about 30 wild dolphins swam, surfed the waves and jumped about in front of us. And we were the only ones on the beach! Amazing. As they moved along the water Callum and I couldn’t resist running along the beach next to them. We were running on a gorgeous, empty beach so close to a pod of 30 dolphins in Africa. Can things get any cooler?! I felt like I was in a cheesy film about love and freedom… It was great. 

 

We also saw a double rainbow that day. What is up with the universe?!

 

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Mary x