Safari and the Wild Life in Namibia
The first time I had an opportunity to hit Africa I chose Namibia. In the 90s, it was off the tourist radar, it offers the largest dunes in the world and it has everything one could ask for in safari opportunities.
In Kenya I’ve heard about the long lines of safari trucks that spoil the mood of being out in the wilds. Not so in places like Zambia and Namibia. You will see more wildlife than sunhat and sunglasses-wearing tourists.
I remember my first sighting of a large African beast in the wild. It was from the window of the safari vehicle, the giraffe’s slender neck poking above the branches and leaves of a tree. We all clamored to make the driver stop so we could gawk and take photos. “We will see hundreds of giraffe up ahead,” he said, watching us all cluster about the left windows. It didn’t matter. For most of us in that truck, this was the first exotic animal we have ever witnessed outside of a zoo. For a moment, my guts were jellied with the awe of a giraffe eating leaves.
The driver was right. Once we left the lone giraffe behind, the wildlife floodgates were opened over the next few hours. In the wilds it is the same as the city: If you want to check out the local scene, you head to a popular watering hole. Everyone who’s anyone drops by. Even the lions.
When choosing your safari operator, you have options between roughing it in tents or living it up in luxury lodges. I’m a tent man tight with his dollars. I can assure you that nothing claws its way through your tent in the middle of the night. But you poop in a hole in the ground.
On the coast, we paid a visit to the cape fur seals. They’re cute dogs with flippers instead of legs. And speaking of poop, they smell awful. But they’re a riot to observe. Unfortunately, their pups are legally hunted for their fur. Here’s that sad tale.
I always tell people to do a safari at least once in their lives, even if you have to save up for a few years for a couple weeks of travel. Live in a tent and poop in a hole. You’ll see elephants, the lions and everyone else.
They might be gone before you are.