Written by Cameron Brand, 30 November 2019
Our journey to Namibia started on a stormy morning in the Western Cape, glad to be heading North in search of sun, African bush, and some time to relax.
A few days later, we entered the Caprivi Region of Namibia – a unique part of the continent where so many different worlds meet. One where stop signs and traffic lights are replaced with warning signs of elephants crossing. Several large perennial rivers fed by rain in the Angolan Highlands cut through rich African bush and flow into some of the world’s natural wonders.
Thankfully, vast areas in this region are still protected and within these, there are scattered lodges where one can enjoy the peace, serenity and wildness of Africa from the comfort of a deck chair.
Turning off the B8 just after the town of Kongola (that has a craft shop worth a visit), we arrived at our first stop.
Sunset drinks on the deck overlooking the Kwando river were followed by a hearty buffet dinner under starlit skies – a welcome refreshment after being on the road for several days. This part of the world has a quietness to it, something calm that helps you slip into ‘African time’.
As we planned our day over breakfast the next morning, we absorbed the mesmerizing views of the river and a kudu, ever so graciously, coming down for a drink. We basked lazily in the African sunshine, surrounded by rich birdlife and some monkeys going about their day.
Normally, lodges in this area of Namibia offer daily guided boat cruises and game drives. Or you can self-drive through the surrounding national parks such as Nkasa Rupara or Mudumu, which is what we did en route to our next stop.
Relaxing was the only thing on our agenda. Afternoon light beamed into the main bedroom through the balcony doors, of which ours were normally left open to enjoy the view of flowing water, birds, and the occasional hippo on the opposite bank. A recipe for rejuvenation.
Afternoons are a special time on the river, as if the natural order of things is preparing for the night. Birds and animals all begin to move about, local fishermen return on their mokoros, as do those that went on guided fishing excursions.
Mornings in the bush are fresh and crisp. Over breakfast, we watched the life surrounding us take shape – as if the gearing down of the previous evening was reflected in the morning’s preparations for the day ahead.
Days along the river can be spent in many different ways. You can keep busy with tiger fishing excursions and boat cruises, or as we did – spent relaxing in the African sun, reading, and listening to the Zambezi lap the river bank. Time loses its grip and the commitments of the usual grind are long forgotten.
Feeling rather lazy, we spent our last evening on a sunset cruise. Floating along the Zambezi with a G’n’T in hand, we watched the sun disappear behind the trees – a fine way to round off an African holiday.
If you’ve been dreaming about that truly African holiday, contact us. We’d love to help you start planning!