Erindi Game Reserve: the most impressive campsite ever! From there we saw game, African Wild Dogs, elephant and hippos and searched for lions (I found lion when in desperation I went on a game drive one afternoon). And then by chance we headed to the San Village for a tour one morning – fascinated with this nomadic tribes way of life. By chance the big storm came later that morning as we drank coffee at the Lodge and watched hippo and crocodile move through the water and respond to the massive electric storm overhead – and then by chance we were entertained by three elephants who arrived at the watering hole – an experience for us all. The elephants knocked crocodiles out of the way and into the water. Then the elephants pushed each other into the water and continued in some ritual which was either playful or in order to decide the pecking order – we were never sure which.
The rain poured that night, with lightning everywhere around us – so much so we pulled the boys out of their damp tent and popped them in the back of the land cruiser to sleep – which really pleased them – another ‘first’ on the list of experiences. Gerhard and Fanie attempted to keep the braai burning so that we could cook the meat for dinner (fuelled by alcohol to keep warm); we ate dinner perched on chairs in the shower and toilet (with plenty of wine!).
From Erindi we headed into the desert and onto Swakopmund – which despite clearly being a significant town (second largest in Namibia) I found it rather odd. There’s a constant cloud/mist that hangs over Swakopmund. It’s on the edge of the desert with the most fabulous dunes (including the infamous Dune 7 – well done Hugo for scrambling up that hot one bright sunny morning).
Swakopmund was very German (as per colonisation) and so many of the houses have a very German look and there are some fabulous restaurants serving humongous size portions of delicious food (put off the diet for another week then…and let the belt out another hole!). But it all looks a bit dishevelled and in need of some tlc. I was assured that it shines during the summer months when it ‘buzzes’ during the holiday season …it is Namibia’s only coastal resort….but I still felt a bit intrigued by the place.
However, the boys found friends to play with in the play park and ate well. We rode camels and quad bikes.
Hugo (who I wondered if he would struggle with the height of dunes ) travelled on board with his Uncle Fanie. My fears came to nought! Hugo had hold of the throttle and wasn’t giving it up.
Oscar rode with his Dad – and had to hold on with his knees as Gerhard had him holding the camera in order to capture the descents and ascents on video.
They had such a ball that they returned two days later – for a ‘boys ride’. Gerhard assured the gorgeous guide that he could take them wherever he wanted (no cautious Gilli along with them this time). Apparently the guide grew horns and took them on the wildest ride ever – so steep where some of the slopes that Oscar kept hitting his head/helmet on the front of the quad bike. All four boys came back with huge grins!
The camel riding was less eventful and we weren’t sure we really liked riding the camels – they didn’t look particularly happy. However despite the expense and the lack of enthusiasm on the part of the adults the boys had a ball and thought it was brilliant – so what more can you ask for?!