Gottfriedt and I left Okaukuejo on Friday afternoon. We wanted to spend my last weekend in the North in a small town called Tsumeb. It was situated just an hour away from the park (from Namutoni), but we had to drive the long way to Namutoni first. On our way to Namutoni we saw a rhino right next to the road. It was so beautiful! We stopped to look at it and to take pictures, but it seemed that it wanted to charge us, so we decided to continue driving. They can be very dangerous! We had booked our two nights camping at a lodge close to Tsumeb, called !Uris Safari Lodge. The drive to the lodge was ok and when we arrived at our camp site for the weekend we were little tired and very hungry. Unfortunately, the lodge didn't have any other guests that night, so they had closed the kitchen for the evening. Luckily, we talked to the manager at the lodge and he was very service minded. He went back to the kitchen, heated up some kudu lasagne, sausages and cauliflower for us and came with it to our camp site, free of charge! It was really nice, and we felt very welcomed.
The next day we woke up early, took a shower in the sun and went for breakfast at the lodge. They had made a buffet with toasted bread, salami, cheese, jam and yoghurt with fruit. We got tea, coffee and juice. It was really nice! When we didn't think it could be any better, they asked if we wanted egg and bacon. Of course!
The lodge was indescribably beautiful! It had a high roof, big launch, big eating area, a nice garden, a chapel for weddings and a small waterhole for birds. The interior was all Moroccan with dark colours, a lot of pillows, candles, old and wooden furniture and small pots for tea and sugar made by steal. It was such a luxurious atmosphere and Gottfriedt and I both agreed that we had to come back here. The staff was also very nice, and made us feel really at home. Our camp site was really cool. We had our own toilet and shower and they had made really interesting solutions. The area is an old mine area so they had used old things of metal and decorated the camp site in a mining style. It was really cool!
After a nice breakfast, we headed in to Tsumeb town. I had read in my tourist book that Tsumeb had a cultural village that was Norwegian-backed, so I really wanted to visit that. When we came there, the first thing we saw was a big room filled with Namibian traditional clothes, pictures of important people for the museum (among them the previously mayor of Elverum) and a lot of articles from a Norwegian newspaper about the relationship between Namibia and Norway. It was really cool to see! The woman by the counter told us that "Namibiaforeningen" in Norway started the cultural village in the early 90's, with the mission that tourism should benefit the local community there. But in 1995, "Namibiaforeningen" handed the village to the town of Tsumeb, and they are continuing the good work.
The cultural village had a tour outside that showed different houses of the different tribes of Namibia. We went with our tour guide to look at all the houses. Many of the houses in the different tribes was made similar to each other, but often the difference was the way they were arranged. It was really interesting to see! After the tour we looked in the curio shop they had, and I was so surprised by the prices there. It was much cheaper than any other place we had been to around the country, it was really reasonable. So I found a lot of gifts and things for my self.
We drove into the "city centre" of Tsumeb (it's actually just a main street!) to look in shops and check out an arts and craft shop. It was nice to just relax and walk down the street. It was a calm town and I felt really safe there. I have felt a different vibe from different towns and cities in Namibia, some towns I have felt very safe at, others I haven't. But Tsumeb was definitely one of the nice towns to visit as a tourist. At the arts and craft shop we met a very nice woman. She sold baskets, jewellery and table cloths with African pattern. She explained a lot about the different items and all the craft was made by local people. The prices was very reasonable! I really recommend tourists that come to Namibia to wait with the shopping until they come to a small town. You can really save a lot of money! And if you want to buy something off the street markets, make sure you try to negotiate a price, because the price they first tell you is way too high!
In the evening we ate dinner at the lodge. It was a three course meal and we also had a bottle of red wine. The lodge had now a few more guests, which was nice. The dinner was nice, and the whole meal was ended with a cake with warm vanilla custard, just like at Harnas. It was so good! I definitely have to try to get the recipe and bring the dessert home to Norway! We had a nice evening at the lodge. The evening ended with Gottfriedt pretending he was drunk which made everyone laugh, he can be quite funny sometimes!
We woke up early the next day and had breakfast at the lodge. Today we wanted to buy our food for the week in Tsumeb and then visit Lake Otjikoto on our way back to Etosha. Many years ago, the lake was actually a cave, but at one point the roof of the cave collapsed. The Lake was really beautiful, but the scenery around was unfortunately poorly maintained.
When we came back to Etosha we came over a big male elephant on the road. He was walking towards us. We but the car in reverse and drove backwards. The elephant continued to walk towards us, waiving his ears. He was really interested in us, and Gottfriedt thought maybe the elephant thought we were another elephant to greet, since we have a grey car. After a while, the elephant walked out from the road and continued his journey. We also found lions lying at different waterholes. They looked very well fed and was sleeping in the sun. It was so cool to see so many! In all, it was a nice weekend, and I will definitely go back to Tsumeb and !Uris Safari Lodge another time!