Arriving in Swakopmund, we left the blue skies behind and were greet by an overcast sky that didn’t let us see much of a sunset. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the fresh sea air and amazing seafood for dinner. It’s a very popular coastal town where Namibians and tourists like to vacation. The old part of the city has many beautiful German colonial buildings. The overcast sky did help us create more moody pictures, especially of the shipwreck we saw on the Skeleton Coast on our way up to Damaraland. Our main stop was to visit ancient rock engravings in Twyfelfontein believed to be between 2000-6000 years old. I had seen rock paintings a few times but never engravings. It was pretty amazing to see not just how many but the variety. Our guide pointed out circles that they believe were maps to let people know where water could be found. They were found on a jumble of boulders that we can only assume were once in a cave or cliff that eventually crumbled. While not a difficult hike, there were a few places where you had to climb up to see the engravings but there were even some ladders and platforms to make it easier.
We still had a long drive to our lodge but had a great meal, a good night’s sleep and the next morning we were greeted by a beautiful sunrise facing Vingerklip – which means finger rock. It’s a very cool rock formation and the namesake of our lodge. It was a beautiful spot indeed! From there, we drove out to a Himba village. The women make a paste with ochre to use on their skin and braids, giving them a very unique look. It was interesting to learn more about their culture and traditions. Even their ankle decorations are more than just fashion, they serve as a way to indicate how many children a woman has (one vertical line = one child) and the metal beads also protect the area where a venomous snake is more likely to strike. It was neat to see that the school used the very clever soda bottle as a skylight. The village has its own little craft market so make sure to bring some cash. Lots of lovely jewellery and carvings.
Next stop: Etosha National Park. Click here for Part 3!
Missed Part 1? Click here.