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Skydiving, Lunch Date with Crocodiles & Living in the Wild – Catch up on BellaNaija’s Rose Umane’s Adventures in Namibia

Rose Umane

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Moro!
Matisa?

In the Nama language of the Damara people of Namibia, this means ‘Good morning, how are you?. I traveled to the sleepy and beautiful country of Namibia for 9 days and I gladly picked up some parts of their dialect.

One word to describe my experience in Namibia? Exhilarating! Namibia is one African country I have always wanted to visit because of the history, culture, language, people and its various tourist attractions.

Before traveling to Namibia, I had read up on the country and its people, however, I got to know more about Namibia while exploring the country. For instance, Namibia is just 30 years old – it is a pretty new country that initially got its independence from the German empire and in 1990, got its independence from South Africa.

Namibia is a small country with just 2.5million people and a huge landmass of 825,419 km² compared to Nigeria’s landmass of 923,763 km² with a population of 190.9 million as of 2017. The implication is that Namibia has fewer people and so much land and space. This means no traffic congestion, no noise pollution, no overcrowding or insufficient use of natural resources and for me, this was a welcome reprieve from the hustle and bustle of Lagos, Nigeria.

Oh, by the way, did you know Namibians do not need a UK visa? Oh yes, becoming a Namibian citizen is quite appealing as they have one of the strongest passports in Africa.

Now, let’s get into my amazing stay in Namibia.

This Namibia experience was sponsored by CMDTours in collaboration with Namibia Tourism Board and Namibian Embassy in Nigeria.

Day 1 in Namibia – Windhoek, The Hilton Hotel, Otjiwonrongo Crocodile Farm 

I arrived Windhoek, the capital of Namibia via Ethiopian Airlines and checked into the Hilton Hotel, Windhoek, a 5-star hotel renowned for its top-notch hospitality and state of the art rooms. My travel partners and I did a mini-tour of the hotel where we saw the presidential suite, executive suite, accessible rooms, spa, restaurants, and the pool area. It is the perfect place to stay if you are a business executive looking for a hint of modernisation in Namibia.

The first place I visited in Namibia was the Otjiwarongo Crocodile Farm which is Namibia’s first crocodile ranch. At the farm, I got to watch over 50 crocodiles within the ages of 50 to 100 years feed on chickens.

Every Saturday, the older crocodiles are fed over 150 chickens and this will last them for the week. These chickens are specially bred for the crocodile’s consumption and they help keep the crocodiles well fed. I also wondered what would happen if a human being falls into this crocodile den; the ranch guide confirmed that the individual will be consumed by the crocodiles.

With this information in hand. I visited  the crocodile nursery where I attempted to hold a one-year-old dangerous crocodile. It was too scary for me and I feared I held on too tightly to the crocodile’s jaw.

I know I held on too tightly but I let go very quickly. The baby crocodile wasn’t hurt. See video below of the baby crocodile and myself.

Day 2 in Namibia – Etosha National Park, Okaukuejo Camp, Safari Ride

We drove 6 hours to Etosha National Park and lodged into a beautiful camp called Okaukuejo camp. At the camp, I was surrounded by nature with limited access to internet services and no TV.  It’s the perfect place to enjoy some quiet and serenity.

Etosha National Park is the jewel in Namibia’s crown. It is one of the best places in the world to view Africa’s unique wildlife. Lions, springbucks, antelopes, rhinoceros, giraffes, zebras, hyenas, vultures, you name it, live here and I was lucky to see them when I went on a safari ride.

I saw three Lions feeding on an antelope at Etosha National Park

The elegant giraffe in all its glory

After experiencing wildlife in Etosha National Park. L-R: Olive Emodi, Nigerianstraveltoo, Desola Mako, Travellous, TravelKulture, CMDTours, Abay Tours

Day 3 in Namibia – Twyfelfontein, Damara Living Museum, Petrified Forest, Himba Tribe

The highlight of my trip was Twyfelfontein which is such a trove of history and cultural heritage. Twyfelfontein is Namibia’s first world heritage site and it is characterised by over 2,000 rock engravings estimated to be 6,000 years old. It is believed that the rock engravings were created by bushmen and medicine people. Etched into the rocks are drawings of animals seen within that period.

Twyfelfontein houses a beautiful country lodge made entirely of rocks. Getting to the main lodge requires you moving through rocks with the rooms overlooking a rocky mountain. The lodge blends in with its surrounding environment. Using natural stone, carefully selected paint colours and thatched roofs, its design compliments the sandstone rock formations with minimum visual impact on this picturesque landscape.

CMDTours CEO, Cecile Doumbe enjoying peace and serenity at Twyfelfontein country lodge


Twyfelfontein is also home to the Damara People of Namibia. I had the pleasure of visiting the Damara Living Museum which is an attempt at recreating the lost culture of the Damara people. At the museum, visitors get to see and experience the fascinating traditional culture of the Damara and this includes their mode of dressing, where they live, how the jewels they use are made, and more. The Living Museum is interesting as it contributes to the preservation of the Damara culture while serving as a source of income for the Damara community who built the museum. If you are ever in Namibia, you should visit the Damara Living Museum.

All through my visit in Namibia, The Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria Hon. Humpfrey D !Geiseb was available to show us the beauty that is Namibia. At the Damara Living Museum, he addressed us and his people saying:

We have shown you Namibia, so that tomorrow we can get more tourists from Nigeria. This is the first time we are bringing a big group from Nigeria to show them Namibia, so they can go back and say we have seen Namibia, we have seen Twyfelfontein and the Damara Living Museum. 

Also within Twyfelfontein is the Petrified Forest, where cataclysmic events millions of years ago deposited giant tree trunks that subsequently turned to stone. Basically, all the trees within that region dried up and turned to stone. I heard diamonds are formed this way if they are left untouched for millions of years.

Another interesting Namibia tribe I came across is the Himba and the Herero tribe. The Himba tribe is famous for their way of living and how much they have been able to uphold their culture. Some interesting facts about the Himba people are that they never take their bath, instead, they apply red ochre to their body. The ochre is made from oxidized sandstone pounded into powder and mixed with cow butterfat. This paste is applied to their hair and body to beautify them and protect their skin from the sun. They also believe the red ochre contains cleansing properties. The Himba Chief can marry up to four wives and he is responsible for praying for the well being of the Himba people. He does this by praying to the holy fire.

The Herero tribe, on the other hand, is a bit more westernised. They dress up in coats and suits with caps that symbolise the horns of cows. The Victorian outfits were introduced to the Herero people when the Europeans (British and Germans) came to Namibia in mid-19th century and since then, they have held on to this culture to date.

Day 4 in Namibia: Walvis Bay, Skydiving, Dune Bashing 

After spending three days in the wild, I headed for a city in Namibia called Swakopmund. On arrival, I lodged into the Strand Hotel Swakopmund which is a beautiful hotel surrounded by the Ocean on three sides with unique and entertaining restaurants, bar, lobby lounge, and sea-facing terraces. It is the perfect place to stay when exploring Swakopmund.

Strand Hotel Swakopmund – surrounded by the Ocean on three sides

The rooms with a view of the ocean

Banquet hall where we had a very entertaining dinner

The first adventure for the day was a visit to Walvis Bay. Walvis Bay is home to a wide range of aquatic animals including Whales, Dolphins, Seals, Pelicans, and Oysters. I went on a boat cruise to see the Seal colony. There are currently over 28million Seals in Namibia and the female Seals are known to spend most of their lives pregnant. They carry their child for 9 months, freeze their embryo for 2 weeks to breastfeed and then they mate and take in immediately for another 9 months.

My next adventure was skydiving and this was a whole new experience for me as it was both exciting and scary. I was attached to an experienced skydiver and a second diver responsible for capturing the whole experience on camera. The whole process of jumping off the plane, diving, opening the parachute and flying across Namibia took less than 7minutes and it was quite an experience. I believe everyone should skydive at least once in their lifetime; plus skydiving in Namibia is currently the cheapest in the world.

 

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So, couple of weeks ago, I went skydiving in Namibia and it was a very different experience for me. . All through the process of getting ready to skydive, I was pretty confident until I got on the plane and it was time to jump, I became too scared and had one million thoughts running through my mind. I kept asking myself ‘but who send you message now’, ‘if the parachute doesn’t open on time nkor, what will you do’, ‘what if the harness breaks mid-air’, ‘did you properly say goodbye to your mother’… I was still thinking when we jumped. . Jumping felt like I was falling endlessly, and it just felt weird until the parachute opened and I had some semblance of balance. . However, the experience was mind blowing. I had a sense of fulfillment. Will I want to do something as dangerous as this again? Probably ? . I promise I am not an adrenaline junkie, I just have a list of things I wanna do while I am still young and before I say goodbye to this world and I plan on conquering my fears one adventure at a time?. . Also, do you know that Skydiving in Namibia is the cheapest in the whole wide world ? . Wanna know how much I paid to skydive? Meet me in the DeeEmm? . I want to specially thank Ambassador @humphreygeiseb, @cmdtours and @nigerianstraveltoo for an opportunity to experience this. . Meanwhile, I am no longer y’all mate until you have gone skydiving ?. Yes, I am now very proud ?.

A post shared by Ehinomen Rose Umane (@rose_umane) on

Finally, we went dune bashing which is basically climbing up the desert mountain to the other side. It is very picturesque and entertaining.

After a long day of adventures, I lodged into the Delight Hotel, Swakopmund which offers 54 colourfully designed rooms. I stayed in over 8 hotels in Namibia and this hotel was one of my favourite because of how colourful and homely it felt.

Just before we left Swakopmund, The Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Hon Humpfrey D !Geiseb treated the whole team to traditional Namibian delicacies ?.

Mohenga worms. This is similar to termites or edible worms we eat in Nigeria.

This is wheat meal similar to the semovita we eat in Nigeria

This is goat head called a Smiley in Namibian language. In other words, this is Isi-ewu

Day 5 in Namibia – Windhoek, Networking

My last day in Namibia was spent in the capital city – Windhoek – where we met with the Deputy Prime Minister of Namibia Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah and other Namibian dignitaries. The Prime Minister spoke to us about Namibia’s willingness to welcome Nigerians to the country. She also said structures have been put in place to ensure easy access of Nigerians into Namibia.

With this reassurance in place, are you thinking what I am thinking? Is Namibia our next travel destination? ??

And this marked the end of my amazing stay in Namibia.

Exploring Namibia was awesome for me and here are 5 reasons why I will be going back to Namibia for a beautiful vacation experience;

  1. Namibia is very picturesque and gives awesome social media content. You don’t believe me? Check out the hashtags #IDeyGoNamibia and #BNInNamibia on Instagram.
  2. Namibia is a sun, sand and sea destination. You get to experience all three types of nature in Namibia.
  3. Namibian people love Nigerians. From music, to movies, to various places in Nigeria. Talk about acceptance.
  4. Namibia is home to a lot of history and culture. There is always a story to be told when you visit any place in Namibia.
  5. Namibia is very relaxing. It is a travel destination for you to unwind and unplug from the realities of life especially if you stay in one of the busy cities in Nigeria.

If you would like to visit Namibia and enjoy the amazing experience I had, you are in luck because there is a mega trip coming up in May organised by @CMDTours in collaboration with these travel agencies: @nigerianstraveltoo, @a_baytours, @travelkulture, @travellousdotcom, @koshilaconcierge, @marilla_travels, @fhemfeltravel and @etaktravel

This package includes flight (to and fro), accommodation, breakfast, and tour within Namibia. Activities includes boat cruise (to see the Pelicans and Seals like I did), dune bashing, safari ride, beach party and more.

To be a part of this, all you have to do is reach out to these travel agencies via email, DM or simply click on their names in this post and ask for details about The Namibian Mega Trip.

It’s been real guys, I hope you get to visit Namibia and share your experiences with me via Instagram on @rose_umane?.

2 Comments

  1. Travellous

    March 5, 2020 at 11:26 am

    Very well written Rose. Photos are fabulous! Namibia is truly beautiful and I can’t wait to go back. Please send a dm to @travellousdotcom on Instagram or email [email protected] if you would like to join in on the next trip from May 22 – 29. It’s going to be even more amazing cos we will be going a winery too ?

    1
  2. Olive

    March 5, 2020 at 11:58 am

    I absolutely loved reading this piece; very descriptive, entertaining and will definitely make anyone want to go to Namibia?

    1

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