In Maun we stayed at a backpackers that really was a piece of paradise.
Right on the river front, single beds and no bunks, a fine mesh covering the window so there was always fresh air, and magical outdoor showers with vines growing over the walls – we were just like Adam and Eve.
There was a bar as part of the backpackers where lots of locals came, hammocks to lie in under the trees and a constant little fire going so you could cook your own braai. Nom!
The river was full of things to watch. Up there on the list was seeing a crocodile and a kingfisher.
The highlight of Maun was catching up with Mitch, a high school friend and now pilot who organise for a helicopter to take us over the Okavanga Delta.
We spent time at the river meeting his friends, like good old Kevin Gunn,
and this mad guy, who jumped out of the moving truck… twice.
There was also a pretty dog and a late night ride in a truck around the BMX track. Maddess.
Our next stop was Windhoek in Namibia, but getting there proved to be a little tricky with no direct transport links. After exhausting all options, we jumped on a bus to somewhere south east of Maun, got dropped at a supermarket, realised we were stranded in the dark, then out of the blue, we bumped into a pastor who made a few calls and told us someone from a camp site would be along to pick us up. And that exactly what happened. We were picked up, taken to a camp site and we slept it tents in the middle of nowhere, sleeping slightly uneasily as we we’re sure what the surroundings were like and how wild they were. After breakfast in the morning, the owner dropped us back at the end of the driveway and we stood there to hitch a ride.
It took four different vehicles, all day and a significant amount of stress to get there, but by late afternoon, we were in Windhoek ready for some food. We spent two nights here and splashed out on a snazzy dinner to try zebra and other meat we wouldn’t get in New Zealand.
There was also a lady at the restaurant with a baby monkey she was hand rearing. That was a bit of a novelty.
After two nights in Windhoek, we took a small shuttle to Swakopmund on the west coast.
Here we went go carting.
Met the backpackers best buddies.
Drove quad bikes around the sand dunes.
And went sand surfing.
Namibia was quite different to any of the other countries we’d visited in Africa so far, but without a doubt, it was a good time.
Next stop: South Africa.