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NAMIB DESERT, NAMIBIA

Sand dunes, camel trekking, chameleons & many other desert critters

sunny 22 °C

At the southern edge of Swakopmund is Desert Xplorers. From there I rented a camel and went on a short trek into the desert. For $300 Namibian Dollars ($37 Canadian) I rode a camel for 45min in to the desert. (There were various options for shorter / longer treks too).
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My grumpy camel!
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A hug made him happier :)
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Cheeeeeeese!
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If you've never rode a camel before, its definitely something to cross off your bucket list, but let me warn you, it'll be the most uncomfortable ride of your life!
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Another day I went on a 4x4 jeep safari, booked threw Living Desert Tours. I did the half day tour for $600 Namibian Dollars ($75 Canadian). My guide was Chris, who was fantastic, and an expert on all things desert-y.
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The Namib Desert is massive. Over 2000km long! A single dune can be up to 32km long & 980ft high!!!! I would have really loved to have gone to Sossuvlei (where those really, really big dunes are), but only having 3 days here, I only had time to visit the 'small' dunes of Dorob National Park (the outskirts of the Namib, between Swakopmund & Walvis Bay). If you've never seen sand dunes before, the 450ft tall dunes here are still incredibly impressive!!
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'Road' through the dunes.
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This is Chris with a Horned Adder, an incredibly venomous snake!
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I cant remember the name of this dune beetle, but it stands on its head in the early morning so that the dew runs down its back and into its mouth. Clever.
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An itty bitty Shovel Snouted Lizard
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Scrub Hare. We also saw a jackal, but I didnt get a photo of it.
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My fave desert discovery was this pregnant Namaqua Chameleon!!!
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Curly chameleon tail :)
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Chris put a worm in his hand, and the chameleon climbed right in! A completely wild chameleon! We also got to see her change from light pink to dark grey right before our eyes! Amazing!
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Then Chris put a second worm in his other hand so we could watch her super long, super fast tongue in action!
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Then he put the chameleon back on the sand, and placed another worm a few feet away, and we watched as she stalked her prey, lol.
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Her tongue was just too fast! i couldnt capture it!
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Chris had an amazing way of finding creatures out in the desert! When you look at the the dunes, all you see is sand. But we'd be driving along in the jeep, and all of a sudden he'd slam it into park, jump out, run up a dune and start digging, and voila ... an adorable Palmetto Gecko!
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He even got his very own photoshoot :)
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I absolutely love the patterns & ripples in the sand!
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We made a stop at the base of a 450ft sand dune, took off our shoes, and all ran to the top!
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Views from the top ...
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Our last stop was atop a dune overlooking the Atlantic Ocean ... world's biggest beach thats for sure!!! You can barely see the road, but that is the hwy from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay, and onward to the airport. Quite a scenic drive with sand dunes & ocean the whole way!
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That's it for Namibia. Three days is most definitely not enough time. I only saw a tiny portion of this amazing country. Some day I hope to return and see the massive dunes at Sossuvlei, Fish Canyon, visit the Skeleton Coast, hike in Spitzkoppe, and go on safari in Etosha. Still so much to see & do there!
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Posted by ChantelleS 21:25 Archived in Namibia Tagged desert wildlife sand safari lizard dune jeep gecko chameleon Comments (0)

SWAKOPMUND, NAMIBIA

A beautiful town with old colonial architecture, flamingos, stunning sunsets, and the Himba tribe.

sunny 23 °C

From Johannesburg, South Africa I flew direct to Swakopmund, Namibia. I was sad to leave South Africa, but very excited to be heading to Namibia ... I love moving around when I travel, cuz when one adventure is ending, a new one is just beginning ;) Arrving in Swakopmund and stepping out of the airport, the first thing you see is sand dunes! It was instant love!!
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I had a very short time in Namibia, only 3 nights, which I spent at the Sandcastle Apartments in Swakopmund, located only 2 blocks from the beach! The drive from the airport to Swakopmund is a very scenic 45min ... Atlantic Ocean on the left, endless sand dunes on the right :)
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My patio door opening to a nice terrace
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It had a full kitchen with dishes and all appliances. The nice owners kindly showed me to the nearest grocery store.
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Living room ... it had a tv, free wifi , and A/C
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The town is incredibly clean! I didnt see a piece of trash / litter anywhere! For real! The downtown area had a lighthouse and beautiful colonial buildings.
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The houses were surprisingly modern - sharp edges, angled roofs, loads of windows, and very large! I wasnt expecting that at all! This is not a store, Its a house!!
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There is a paved path that runs parallel to the ocean. It went on forever. Everyday I took the scenic path from my apartment all the way to the lighthouse. I never timed the walk, but its probably a 20-30min leisurely walk. Along the path are public beach areas, public washrooms, beautiful flower gardens, restaurants, etc. Locals & tourists alike were walking / jogging, kids were riding bikes, ppl walking their dogs, etc. I felt 1000% safe here! I forgot to take a photo of the paved path, but here are some photos of a path threw one of the flowered areas to get to it.
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Near the lighthouse were some women & children dressed like members of the Himba tribes that live in northen Namibia. Whether or not they are actual tribe members, or just in costume, I'm not sure, but I really wanted to visit this tribe and knew I didnt have time to travel north, so I paid a few dollars to buy a souvenir from them and was then allowed to take as many photos of them as I wanted.
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This tribe is known for covering their skin & hair with otjize - a mixture of ochre & butter fat.
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If you keep walking past the lighthouse, heading south, you will come to a lagoon on the edge of town full of flamingos!! I've always wanted to see flamingos in the wild! (Theres also flamingos at the beach in Walvis Bay).
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So beautiful, yet so awkward when taking off, lol!!
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Mama flamingo with her babies.
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I just love their colors!
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Mama Cormorant and all her babies.
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Swakopmund faces west, so every evening I walked the few minutes from my apartment to the beach to watch the sunset ... a wonderful place to take everything in, and just be thankful I'm in such a wonderful place!
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Sunset view from my apartment window :)
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Posted by ChantelleS 20:25 Archived in Namibia Tagged sea desert ocean trek sand africa namibia lion jeep flamingo chameleon Comments (0)

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