Our trip seems to be following a biblical theme. We've passed wars in the Middle East, famine in east Africa and now we have pestilence. Southern Namibia doesn't have much big game but it more than makes up for it with small creatures in big quantities.
From Ameib our next stop was the Namib Desert. After a wonderful few days exploring the dune fields at Homeb we camped the night at Mirabib, a very remote un-staffed campsite in the shadow of a huge granite outcrop surrounded by miles and miles of flat parched grassland. The only facility was a long drop toilet pit, so Nick set up our own personal open-air shower by hanging our travel shower from an overhanging rock. He was waxing lyrical about the joys of showering in nature whilst splashing away when things took an unpleasant turn. Nick seemed to hold an inexplicable attraction to a colony of wasps who were gathering around him and the shower. Evidently the desert wasps were desperate for a drink. Unfortunately for poor Nick even after he left the shower they were still attracted to his wet hair - think Candyman! I tried not to giggle as he sprinted off into the desert trying to loose his thirsty friends.
Nick had the last laugh though a few days later when a large flying insect decided to take cover from my swatting by burying into my ear hole! One of the least pleasant experiences of my life! Nick very kindly pulled the beast out by its wing tip and no damage was done to ear or bug.
Next stop was the Nakluft mountains where we did a couple of beautiful hikes, stopping during the heat of the day to swim in pools under waterfalls - it was heavenly. We shared this wonderland with swarms of white butterflies. It was incredibly beautiful seeing the air thick with fluttering white wings.
On our way down south we stayed at a few lovely campsites on private ranches. At one ranch we helped the farmer locate a swarm of baby locusts about 10m across. Luckily at this age they only hop and can't fly so can actually be herded! The farmer explained to us that in Namibia it is a criminal offence to not kill locusts if you find them on your land. Apparently this was a very small swarm (a few years ago they had a swarm 2km across!) so would be easy to kill with an insecticide spray once they were at a safe distance from the campsite.
At another campsite we shared our pitch with a colony of tiny Sociable Weaver birds. Most species of weaver build individual nests out of strands of grass, but this species have joined forces to build one enormous city of a nest with space for up to 40 birds (see photo). One of these nests was situated in a tree near our tent and the ingenious weavers had taken to drinking water straight from the campsite tap and would appear in large numbers whenever we had bread or biscuits. At one point Nick had 4 of them sat on the palm of his hand squabbling over biscuit crumbs.
We finished off our time in Namibia with a visit to the Fish River Canyon - the 2nd largest in the world after the Grand Canyon. It was a truly magnificent sight.