The Safari Crowd and Us
Palmwag and Sesfontein, Damaraland, Namibia, 2009-10-31 12:00 by Laerke
At Palmwag we got to live it up and pretend to be a part of the wealthy safari crowd. Palmwag Lodge is an up-market place with cute little cottages with thatched roofs and safari tents, bar and restaurant and 2 swimming pools – and all of it have view out over the bush where wildlife can be spotted. Right next to all this they have a camp site where we camped out, enjoying all the amenities at a much lower price! From our camp we also had a lovely view out over the bush and we could see elephant dung really close by. The site was surrounded by bushes and felt lovely secluded, we even had our very own eco-chic bathroom, bade by natural materials and – of course - also with a view over the bush.
We lazed by the pool while keeping an open eye out for elephants and at sunset we had sundowner on the deck seeing giraffes walking by as the sun set, leaving us with an deep orange sky listing to old men telling big stories about their safari exploits.

From Palmwag we drove further north and deeper into Damaraland, we stopped at Fort Sesfontein an old German fort in the middle of the desert, it has now been made into a boutique hotel and it was really lovely. Unfortunately it was also too expensive for us, but we hung out in the garden for a bit enjoying a cold drink and soaked up the ambiance.

Next stop was to be Opuwo a town further north and in the middle of Himba land. The Himbas are a nomadic people who have lived in Namibia always, they smear themselves and their hair with ochre, the women are bare breasted and they maintain many of their old traditions. Unfortunately they have also adopted a new tradition of waving down cars and asking tourists to take a photo of them in exchange for a few dollars, we chose not to be part of that and just not take any photos of the Himbas. On our way to Opuwo we saw a little Himba village, with their small beehive huts and almost naked kids playing. Some adults were walking by the side of the roads and it is very understandable why people are so keen to take photos of them, they look really beautiful and very exotic!
It turned out our little red Citi Golf had other plans than going to Opuwo, about halfway it started to act up! After a lot of unpredictable behavior from the Citi Golf’s side we decided to head back to Fort Sesfontein and get a mechanic to look at it. Back at the fort the mechanic changed the filter but could otherwise not find anything wrong with the car. In the end we called the rental company, after a lot of trouble with our cell phone running out of money and having to use the hotel’s satellite phone, the people at the rental company (Tempest) told us they would bring us a new car – all the way from South Africa! It would be there tomorrow!

The next day a new car turned up delivered right to our camp site, so we said goodbye to the red Citi Golf and hello to a black Toyota Yaris. The Yaris is really comfortable compared to the Citi Golf, but we still kinda miss the little Golf… Especially its high clearance, Namibia’s many gravel roads are not kind low lying cars. However the most important thing – the Yaris work! And we won’t miss the Citi Golf refusing to start, leaking gas, “jumping” in first gear and the fact that none of the doors would really close, Martin had to tighten the bolts all the time to get them to close… Good times with the Citi Golf.