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Africa for the first time…

Dunes in Namibia

How we ended up in Africa? Because of COVID! Sometimes the lack of choice can lead to places you have never thought of.

Searching through travel ban websites and news on the latest restrictions it was clear — there is only one country which offered the SUN, beach and NO visa for us (traveling with a passport from a third world country is not easy).

All the search queries led to Namibia. 

We rushed to get rid of the winter clothes and moved on with the flight. 

Namibia is one of the least densely populated countries in the world, ranked #5 in 2020. And there is only one way to get to Namibia — via Frankfurt Airport. And it took 25+ hours to get to Windhoek.

On the way to Namibia

There are three things to know before getting to Namibia:

  • Namibia is a big country. It’s 2.3 times bigger than Germany. The population of Namibia is only 2.5 million. Germany’s population is around 80 million.
  • Deserts cover most of Namibia’s territory.
  • Namibia is a former colony of Germany. 

And it’s really interesting that after we left the country, in May the German government officially recognized the genocide in Namibia in the 20th century. Here and here you can read more about it.

Thousands of German settlers grabbed land and cattle from local residents. Even today, many German tourists visit Namibia, especially Swakopmund, a city on Namibia’s Atlantic coast, where the restaurant menus serve German food and beer, and where well-preserved colonial-era buildings line streets named after German chancellor Otto von Bismarck.

German settlers encountered the fiercest resistance from two ethnic groups: the Herero, traditional cattle herders, and the Nama. To quell the opposition, Germany dispatched Lothar von Trotha, a military commander who had earned a fierce reputation in Germany’s possessions in Asia and East Africa. In Namibia, he led what was known as the “Schutztruppe,” or protection force.

~NYTimes

All these things make Namibia different compared to other African countries. We explored the capital city Windhoek, Swakopmund, and small towns on the West coast. Initially, our plan included famous Namibian tourist attractions like Etosha National Park, Sossusvlei, and Deadvlei. But we ended up staying in Swakopmund for a couple of weeks. And there was a reason for that.

You will read more in the upcoming chapters.

Coming back to our first experience, so we landed in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia. From -3 degrees to +33. ^)

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