South Africa Honeymoon: Namibia
The best part about this trip was that it was planned in early 2015, long before we had even planned to get married, our immediate wedding sort of forced this trip to be our honeymoon, which turned out to be pretty good.
Our flight path put us in three countries: The United Kingdom, South Africa, and Namibia. Our first flight had us layover in the UK for about 8 hours, which was great because our friend Wes, who was on his first international trip, was also there, so we got to pal around with him.
London was cool, I had been before but never really walked around, and done much, so it was a nice layover to have. We went to Big Ben and the Tower Bridge, rode the tube, saw the London Eye, then back to the airport, on to our 12+ hour flight and on our way to Johannesburg.
The flight to Johannesburg was uneventful, I was seated next to a British couple who I took for grumpy, but after my usual persistence, really opened up and we had a very nice set of talks, an uneventful flight, and a great landing. They were headed to Botswana for their third or fourth safari, so naturally that was placed on my list of places to go. I think this was the first flight where I did not stand up at all, I did watch a handful of movies and TV shows on the flight, which was wonderful.
We had a 4 or 5 hour layover in Johannesburg, not really enough time to get out into the city. We tooled around the airport and got food, that was about it. Then we got onto our flight to Cape Town, a flight of only an hour or two. Uneventful would be the word for this flight.
In Cape Town we took the Airport Express bus into town, and walked the few blocks to our hotel and got situated, then headed out. We walked towards the harbor, walked around a very nice park and then back to the harbor. We were supposed to have a kayak trip planned, but we skipped it.
The park had great views of Table Mountain and whatever other mountains there are around Cape town. The harbor was active and nice, great for a stroll along the water.
We then trudged back to the hotel, only going out that night for some snacks, then retiring in for the evening. We had breakfast the next morning in the hotel, and back to the airport for our flight to Namibia. We were on a tiny plane, TINY.
This was a two seats on the one side, one seat on the other; it was a two hour flight at most. We had loaded our trip to be mostly South Africa with Namibia as an afterthought, and while we did have a great time in South Africa, I think some more time in Namibia would have been nice. The more we read about it, the more wonderful places there are to see.
Our arrival in Namibia put us into the smallest airport I have ever been to, Wavlis Bay International. The Customs desk and walls were made of sheets of plywood with razor wire on top, the whole building was the size of a basketball court, andwas made of tin; it was not unwelcoming. The agents were friendly and prompt. We stepped outside to find two steel shipping containers that were made into offices, one of which we rented our car from. They drive on the left there, by the way.
Into our VW Polo and on our way! We had two nights in a bed and breakfast, (no, not an airBNB because those are awful) which was run by a wonderful family who was super friendly. They let us follow them to the grocery store and then cooked food for us. The place is called Omega BNB. If you go to Walvis Bay, you should stay here. We had food and then tooled around town for some night photos. People were friendly. They probably still are.
The next morning we woke up to headto Sossusvlei, which the dad at the BnB told us was about 3 hours away, it was closer to five. The ride was nice for the first 5 miles or so, then it turned into dirt roads, dirt roads, and more dirt roads. Namibia is the second least densely populated country on earth (after Mongolia) and it feels that way. We saw a few cars on the five hour drive, maybe 5 an hour.
There were these rest stops every so often, but not much else. When we got closer to Sossusvlei, we started seeing what appeared to be camping style resorts, so there are options out there.
We arrived at the gate of Sossusvlei and paid our entrance fee; there were paved roads again, too! In the camping area of the park, which is close to the front, I saw a guy from Maryland, small world. Another hour or so, and we got into the park proper. We parked, and I freaked out because I did not think we had enough time to go on and get out of the park in time (I was totally wrong, we had plenty of time) so we walked to hiddenvlei, which was just as exciting.
We walked around this area for a while snapping photos, and fighting because I made a mistake and am a moron, totally my fault darling. Then back to the car, and back out of the park.
We started back on the road a little later than we had hoped, but what can you do? Nothing, the answer is nothing, just keep going. Outside of the park and back on the road, we had a stop to get gas at Solitaire, which is a sort of rest stop-gas station-camping thing with a handful of broken down cars, probably just to give it that dead feeling, pretty cool.
Filled up with gas and some snackos and back on the road. After about an hour we crossed the Tropic of Capricorn, which was cool. We stopped for a photo or two and headed out.
The sun started to set and what should we see but a pack or herd or group or gang or whatever they are called of wild zebras. It was surreal. We had seen gemsbocks all day, and we thought it was just another group of them, but it was not. Quite the shock. My wife got some great photos, which you can see here.
Back into the car, and it started getting dark, and I really mean dark. We stopped seeing cars about an hour before sunset. The sunset was beautiful, but we had to slow down a bit, to keep an eye out for wildlife and the road.
We got into town around 6 or 7pm, and our guest house host was about to come looking for us. He assumed we were lost or dead or something, who knows. We slept well, got up, and back to the airport.
We returned the car, cleared our plywood customs, and headed to our tiny plane, then headed back to Cape Town for our next road trip. My next blog post will be chronicling that. Keep an eye out.