Destination Series Namibia - the Coastal Strip
Remote. Hostile. Uninhabitable.
These are words associated with over 1500km of Namibian Coastline. Not a poor soul stuck on some uncharted island. Not a restricted radioactive zone.
The combination causes my brain to glitch like one of those old computers. Suddenly the screen goes black except for a single word – alluring. Wildly unique, it is refreshingly peaceful in a world infected by time-driven-madness.
Relax. Close your eyes. Breathe in.
Do you hear the heartbeat of the ocean? Do you smell the saltiness on the breeze?
Breathe out. Let go.
Open your eyes to the quiet beauty of the desert and the feel of velvety sand between yours toes. This is paradise. This is a world of wonder.
Lüderitz - History, Architecture and Ghost Towns
In the Southern part of Namibia, a town is settled in a small bay between the Sperrgebiet National Park (the most biodiverse region in Namibia) and a Marine Protected Area, specifically for whales, dolphins and seals. At first glance it`s just another quaint little town, but as you wonder through its streets, something curious unfolds.
Rich in German Art Deco architecture, Lüderitz was initially known as Angra Penquena. Thereafter the town was founded and named after a merchant, Franz Adolf Eduard Lüderitz, who purchased it and surrounding areas in 1883. Since then, it has witnessed the rise of whaling, diamond rushes and destructive consequences of war. Lüderitz has flourished in riches and survived while its neighbors dwindled to ghost towns. Today it is still a popular destination for tourists offering a wide variety of attraction.
Travel back in time to find remnants of forgotten era, ghost towns like Pomona and Kolmanskop, battling the invading desert. Take a guided desert-experience tour to places such as the Bogenfals Rock Arch or cruise along the banks of the Orange River. If your lucky, you might spot wild horses roaming the surrounding desertscape.
Northbound is the Namib-Naukluft National Park which spans over 49 000 square kilometers. It is therefore the largest National Park in Africa and notorious for the wall of dunes colliding with the Atlantic Ocean. Amongst its many treasures is Sandwich Harbor – a secluded lagoon home to over 200,000 birds.
Iconic Coastal Towns - Walvis Bay and Swakopmund
Even though Walvis Bay does not possess the allure of its German-Colonial-Filled neighbor, it has its own appeal. Prepare for stunning catamaran cruises and kayak to Pelican Point and its harm of seals lounging on the peninsula. Train your lens on the rosy-pink pans of Walvis Bay Salt Works, dancing flamingos and soaring pelican. Otherwise, test your mettle against the tallest giant in Namibia, Dune 7.
Swakopmund is a holiday mecca for both tourists and locals with great restaurants, spectacular sundowner spots and a myriad of activities. Whether you chose to admire the Kirstall Galerie (a museum showcasing the gems and minerals of Namibia); take a winding stroll along the beach walkway with an Ice & Spice ice cream in-hand; pedal or sandboard your way across the dunes or simply enjoy a cold beer at a local tavern, the options are endless.
It is, however, the surrounding landscape that beckons tourists beyond the town`s borders. Discover a hidden world during a living desert tour or pause to ponder the eeriness of the Moon Landscape. If pondering alone isn`t enough, take to the air and skydive – a thrilling, breathtaking and glorious moment.
The Ragged Beauty of the Skeleton Coast
Again, descriptions like “hostile”, “cold” and “unpredictable” steal the show. And, yet again, we can`t seem to stay away.
Claiming a large part of the Northern coastal strip, the Skeleton Coast is accurately known by the San people as “The Land God Made in Anger”. Often referred to as the world`s largest ship cemetery due to its foggy weather, stormy seas and unpredictable currents, the shores are littered with shipwrecks and bones – animal AND human. It seems dangerous and more than a little intimidating, but despite the biting winds, soft sand and rocky bunches, there is life to be found.
Many desert-adapted animals like the desert-adapted elephants, rhinos, brown hyenas, jackals, oryx and lions can be observed. There are, incredibly, plants such as welwitschias and lithops, or “living stones”, flourishing in the rainless climate. Tourists continually find themselves surprisingly entranced by the untouched landscapes. Diverse in its cascading dunes to rocky outcroppings and chiseled canyons, it is picturesque and the perfect place unwind.
Stop. Put your worries aside.
Bask in the hashed calmness only found in a place so impervious to the world. Become aware of the blissful content snaking through your veins.
And then, simply enjoy every moment.