On Friday morning we left Etosha, heading for the coast of Namibia. The car was filled with clothes, camping equipment, cameras, a tent and a madras. I had brought my bikini and two dresses, hoping for warm weather and sun the whole weekend. Unfortunately, that wish didn't come true.
As we came closer to the coast, the vegetation started changing. From seeing a lot of trees and tall grass, to having desert, small bushes and no grass at all around us! Finally, after hours of driving, we could see the ocean. We drove to Swakopmund and filled up the gas. Then we headed towards Langstrand (Long Beach) which was situated between Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Here we were going to spend two nights. On our way there I saw the red and amazing dunes! They were so beautiful, they looked just like postcards! I was really excited to explore them more! Langstrand was a camping area close to the ocean, and it was really nice there! We found our perfect spot and set up our tent, before we headed in to Swakopmund city for dinner. We ate at a nice restaurant close to the ocean, and I tasted oryx for the first time. It was really nice!
We woke up early the next day, after a relaxing sleep in the tent listening to the waves from the ocean. Outside it was really foggy and cold, very different from the Etosha weather. Before our trip, Gottfriedt had booked a boat trip for us. So after a shower and breakfast in the car (we forgot our chairs!), we headed towards Walvis Bay. The fog still hadn't left the sky and we were a bit worried that the boat trip was cancelled. Luckily, the weather was a little bit better in Walvis Bay.
While we were waiting for our turn to climb the boat, a beautiful white pelican came flying towards us and landed graciously on the water. The beck was really big and it was so cool to see this animal. Soon after, a big seal came swimming too, I think both of them were waiting for their morning fish from the boat! The seal was really smooth and beautiful, and its eyes were so big. It followed the boat for a long time, jumping and making a show for us. Unfortunately for him, he didn't get any fish, and went back to the bay.
The boat trip was really nice, despite the bad weather. It was foggy the whole trip, windy and quite cold. We saw seals (in the water and on land) and many dolphins. They were a bit shy, they only showed us how they swim, and not any jumps! Our shipper was a nice Namibian woman who was really funny and new a lot about the ocean and wildlife there. When the tour was over we settled down at a quieter spot, where we were served Namibian oysters and other foods. It was both me and Gottfriedt's first time to eat oysters, and we both liked it! As we were eating, the sky cleared up and the sun showed it self. It was a perfect ending to the boat safari! But more perfect was it going to be, when two pelicans came flying next to us, and our shipper hand fed them fish! They were so beautiful, gliding through the air.
The rest of the day, we spent in Swakopmund city, walking around the streets and buying souvenirs at the tourist shops. In Swakopmund you really get the feeling that you are in Europe. There are old German houses everywhere, and the city has a nice but different appearance, compared to the rest of Namibia. In the evening, we had dinner at a restaurant on a pier. It was really romantic, eating while we were watching the sunset! I tried the springbok, it was really good, my favourite game so far! The rest of the evening we spent in the tent, watching a movie from my laptop and eating Norwegian milk chocolate! Couldn't get better than that!
We slept long the next day, but we still woke up to a foggy weather. We walked little by the beach, collecting sand and looking at debris and garbage, washed on the shore line. Then we packed up our tent and drove from Langstrand. We were headed more north, towards the Skeleton coast. But before we drove away from Langstrand and Swakopmund, we decided to visit the dunes. We climbed a dune close to the road, and when we reached the top, a blanket of dunes appeared. It was magnificent! The wind had made different patterns in the sand, the dunes had different sizes and colours. It was really an amazing experience!
We drove to Cape Cross seal reserve, a reserve close to the skeleton coast that has the biggest colony of fur seals in the whole Southern Africa. It can be up to 100 000 seals there! It was really cool to see all the seals, it was an indescribable amount of seals! The seals sounded like sheep and the smell there was just horrible. When we were walking around (on marked areas), we saw dead seals, hurt seals, week seals and healthy strong seals. It was very difficult for me to see the week and hurt ones, and I just felt so helpless. As a vet nurse, I just wanted to go in and help these animals, and it was hard for me to not be able to do anything. But I also understand that that's how nature is, and we need to except that, no matter how hard it is to witness. The cool thing that I discovered at the seal reserve, was that seals are really curious and they have cool personalities! They were looking at us, wondering who we were and what we where doing. And when I took a picture of them with my blitz on, they were really strange! Namibia has a huge population of seals, and unfortunately this effects the amount of fish in the sea. That is why Namibian government need to cull a lot of seals every year, just to maintain a healthy population for the seals them self, for the fish and for the Namibian people.
On our way back to Etosha, we drove up some of the Skeleton coast. The coast is known for its many ship wrecks stranded along the coastline. We stopped at some of the wrecks and took pictures. It was really cool to see it, and to think about how it must have been like being the sails men on these boats. It was a really far drive to Etosha, much longer than we expected. We drove through beautiful Damara land, where the landscape was so different than any other place I have seen in Namibia. It looked like America's Grand Canyon with big red mountains and green grass and trees. There I also saw Namibia's national plant, the welwitchia. It has 40 meter long roots and only two leaves. It's really cool. Damara land was really pretty. But the roads there were horrible!
We had a nice weekend by the coast, and I hope I can visit the coastal towns again. Hope all is well with you!