When we finally found two seconds to pin her down, we Caught Up with Kate about her latest trip to Namibia which saw her go on one of the tours available through Solo Travellers. Here’s what she had to say!
What were your pre departure expectations?
I was hoping to see as many animals as possible. I had no idea what the country itself was going to be like, I think especially because the only place I had travelled to previously in Africa was Morocco, and let’s face it, the two are thousands of miles apart. So, overall, I really didn’t know what to expect. But I was excited.
What was your first impression of the country?
BUGS! We landed very early in the morning, and oh my goodness, the number of huge-flying-crazy-locust-looking things! It was like something out of a horror movie. So my first impression was, ‘oh boy I hope it’s not going to be like this everywhere!’ And I imagine you’ll be pleased to know, it wasn’t.
What was your most and least favourite thing about the country?
I can’t possibly pick just one thing so my favourite things would be our guide, the animals, the landscapes, the group, the local people, and controversially for me, the camping.
My least favourite thing was getting to the airport on the way home and realising we had left the most beautiful antique map of Namibia in the hotel. So gutted. Let that be a lesson to you all – if you buy something when you’re there, make sure to bring it home!
Was there one thing that really stood out for you?
There are some moments I will never forget from this trip. These would have to be watching the sunset on a gigantic pile of rocks in the middle of Damaraland, witnessing an African elephant rolling around in what little water there was in Etosha National Park, and watching the sunrise over the dunes of the Namib Desert.
What is your opinion of Namibia since you’ve returned?
I think Namibia is an undiscovered gem. I overheard a man in a restaurant saying that he’d been to South Africa, Botswana… and never seen a lion. And then he came to Namibia and saw three. Namibia is a country that has so much to offer and I am an especially huge fan of the amount of conservation work they are doing to help protect their big cats.
What were the people like?
Incredibly friendly. And funny.
What is the food like?
Namibia doesn’t really have its own cuisine. I asked what a typical Namibian dish was and our guide told me it was a porridge-y type dish. But don’t worry, Namibia has some fantastic restaurants and you can expect to see a lot of interesting meats, oysters, and fresh fish on the menus. Whilst we were on the road, meals were cooked for us by our lovely camp assistant, and he cooked all kinds of delicious food; curries, spaghetti bolognaise, barbeques.
What sort of excursions did you do?
We started our trip with a visit to the AfriCat Foundation to learn about what they were doing to protect Namibia’s big cats. This also enabled us to get up close to a couple of cheetah’s and a leopard, which are hard to spot in the wild.
From here, we travelled north to Etosha National Park, one of the best places in the country for game drives. You can check out all the animals we spotted there on our Photo Diary Blog.
Our next stop was in Damaraland, an absolutely stunning area in the northwest of the country, where we sat back and watched beautiful sunsets over the mountains in the distance; this was a big highlight for me. LOVE a good sunset.
The end of our trip was spent in the Namib Desert, another highlight. Waking up early and climbing one of the tallest dunes around to watch the sunrise over the seamlessly endless desert was something I’ll never forget. You must go and experience this country for yourselves! You won’t regret it.