Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Swakopmund

Try saying that three times fast!

Actually, Swakopmund is a *lovely* city on Namibia's Atlantic coast, the country's second largest city, after the capital in Windhoek, and a prime vacation spot for Namibians, black and white.

It's easy to see why. This city - really a large town - looks like a piece of Germany that has been plucked out of Europe and set down amid palm trees and seashore. Germany's influence (it was the colonial power until the end of WW I) is evident in the architecture and the food - especially crazy yummy pastries in shop windows.

To get here, yesterday we drove through some of the most barren desert on earth. That was after visiting an amazing region of Namibia known as Damaraland, which is sometimes called the Arizona of Namibia. It DOES look like something out of a Western movie - with vast valleys, broad mesas and crazy-cool colors in the rocks. We spent the night at an amazing oasis, a lodge called Vingerklip, named after the Rock Finger that stands a kilometer away, and then went to see some 5,000-year-old rock paintings that you can visit after hiking under the hot sun up a dry riverbed.

Every day has been amazing. And of course, Birdcouple has been birding all the way along. We have identified 101 species since arriving in southern Africa. Here in Swakop, as locals call it, we saw Pied Avocet, which has a crazy upturned bill; Greater and Lesser Flamingo; Common Waxbill; Orange River White-Eye; and the massive Great (Eastern) White Pelican...

Lisa says....

You can tell Cute Husband has acclimated to Namibia.... he is talking kilometers, rather than miles! Speaking of kilometers.... it was incredible fun driving across the barren moonscape yesterday via a dirt road going about 120 kilometers or 75 miles per hour. The fridge in the back of our new home was rocking along with our cool hut on top. Pictures .... soon.

Tomorrow, we head to the REAL desert! The Namib Desert has some of the most beautiful dunes in the world and we hope to ID each of the types along with some dry climate-loving birds. Looking forward to the star gazing.....

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad you got your luggage - don't get eaten by a lion... kids were excited to hear all about the animals you have seen - hope your having fun!! Heath - AKA Betty

Namibnat said...

I would have loved to know what else you saw in Swakopmund. It is a good spot for various specials, such as Grey's Lark.

I hope you enjoy the desert. I was working at Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge in the desert until a few days ago, and now live in Swakopmund. So I'm interested in your trip.