Thursday, September 26, 2013

Some of the top accommodations along the coast of Namibia.....

Enjoy you're stay at one of these accommodations that is not that far from the Beach and have a blast!!!!

Beach Lodge Swakomund...  is positioned directly on the beach in Swakopmund with sea-views from most of the rooms. Although it is situated some 6kms from the town centre, the shoreline location and lodge restaurant override the extra km. The multi-choice accommodation on offer make it an ideal home away from home in Swakopmund, for individual travellers, families and businessmen alike.Beach Lodge has 19 rooms, each equipped with a telephone, satellite TV with hotel package, tea/coffee station and a small fridge. Most rooms have a roof fan and rooms without fire-places have heaters. 

Sea Side Hotel and Spa...The SeaSide Hotel is a brand new hotel right on the beach in Swakopmund. Each luxury hotel room faces the sea and the sunset has direct access to a stretch of endless beach.Have 30 sea facing rooms and 6 luxury suites. At your doorstep are beautiful coastal walks along the exquisite beaches in Swakopmund.All ground floor suites have direct access to the beach and sea. Each suite has a spacious lounge, and fire place.

Gecko Ridge Guesthouse... Situated in a quiet area just outside of Swakopmund, features an outdoor swimming pool and gym facilities.The spacious rooms and self-catering chalets come with modern décor, free Wi-Fi and bathrooms including a bath and shower. The chalet also has a garden and BBQ facilities.Gecko Ridge is located 15 km from Swakopmund and 45 km from Walvis Bay. Swakopmund Museum is a 15-minute drive away and Palm Beach is a 20 minutes’ drive.


Cape Cross Lodge
... Literally meters from the fertile Atlantic Ocean, presents a unique and serene stop for travellers along this vast untamed, seldom explored wilderness on the Skeleton Coast.Cape Cross Lodge at the Skeleton Coast offers 18 Sea View standard suites, and 2 Sea View semi-suites, classically appointed with attention to detail, yet animate with a rustic charm that is bewitching.

The Beach Hotel Swakopmund- Namibia

Welcome to the Beach Hotel Swakopmund

 Opened in September 2012 after 4 years of planning and two years of construction. The Beach Hotel  have a total of 25 rooms and 8 apartments.Of wich includes: 4 Standard rooms, 16 comfort rooms, 5 family rooms and 8 appartments.... Here is an idea of what you can expect.......enjoy!!!!!!

The luxury appartment: 1 Living Room with an open plain kitchen, a separate bedroom with en-suite bathroom and a large private corner balcony with sea view. 

The Comfort Room: are located on the third and fourth floors. All rooms have a balcony and sea view. Each Comfort Room is individual.   Best choice for singles and couples for a nice stay over close to the beach.  
The Standard Family Room: have two inter-leading bedrooms which share one bathroom. Both rooms have their one balcony. An economically alternative for a family.
Some Activities: Hot Air Ballooning, Swakopmund Dolphin Cruise,   Pelican Point Kayaking, Quad Biking , Tandem Skydiving and so much more.... 
Hang out on the roof top terrace......whilst layzing round in the sun you could enjoy the spectecular view of the atlantic ocean...and cooling of in tnem swimming  pool.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Facts about the Morula Tree-Namibia

The marula is a fairly attractive deciduous tree that grows to a medium-size of around 7-18m. It has a broad, mostly straight trunk and a widely spreading, fairly dense, rounded crown. Old stems are fairly smooth and the bark peels off sporadically in rather large, flat, roundish discs exposing underlying yellowy bark. This in turn colours the old stems grey with yellowish patches.Leaves on the marula are compound with 3-7 pairs of leaflets and a terminal one 30-100 x 15-40mm. On young plants the leaves have toothed margins. The small flowers are pinkish-red in colour, and male and female flowers occur on separate trees and bloom September-November. The fruits are large and fleshy, up to 40mm in diameter and ripen yellow in January-March.

 The marula is a very busy tree indeed. The leaves are browsed by game and the bark is stripped by elephants. The fruits are edible and exceptionally high in vitamin C content and are eaten by livestock, game, monkeys, baboons and humans. They are used to brew an alcoholic drink and they make a delicious jelly preserve. The tasty nut-like kernels are also eaten by humans. The bark is used in traditional medicine and butterflies and moths breed on the tree. The timber is used for carving and firewood and the bark can be used to make a dye. Marula grows in a woodland habitat and can be found in the far north of  Namibia.
Some Lodges where this tree may be found:
Ondangwa Hotel, Oshakati Country Lodge, Ruacana Eha Lodge.

For generations, women in the Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto regions of north-central Namibia have been using it as a source of food as well as for its cosmetic properties. Inside the fruit is a large nut, which reveals two to four locules. When broken open, each contains an oil-rich kernel. With a skill handed down from generation to generation, rural women are able to remove these small kernels and squeeze out the oil. This they then use either as an ingredient to complement the taste and texture of traditional chicken and mahango dishes, or as a moisturiser on their skin.

Marula Self Drive/Self Catering-Namibia

The Marula is a 9 day self-drive accommodated tour that visits the highlights of southern Namibia. Accommodation is in a combination of comfortable lodges, guest houses and self-catering establishments, taking into account the varying days of either long drives or the cross-country route which eventually leads to the Namib Desert. One particular species of Marula, Sclerocarya birrea, a member of the mango family, produces aromatic resin and some are poisonous and can cause severe skin irritations. 

Accommodation in Luderitz & Sossusvlei has been chosen for self-catering purposes. This is the perfect option for those early morning starts, picnic lunches and sundowner drives without sacrificing flexibility, value for money or a good night's sleep. Beginning in Windhoek there is a long drive on well-maintained tarred roads to Fish River Canyon,the 2nd largest of it's kind in the world. Stand at the edge on the main viewpoint and admire the stunning views. The Fish River is generally dry, but can change quickly into a raging torrent once the rains commence.

Some cross-country driving follows for the shorter journey to Luderitz, a former trading post, fishing and guano-harvesting town that exploded with the discovery of diamonds in nearby Kolmanskop in 1908. The ghost town is only a few km drive from Luderitz and was once a bustling little centre, providing shelter for workers from the harsh environment of the Namib Desert. It soon resembled a German town with large, elegant houses and a comprehensive array of amenities.

 Canyon and coast make way for dunes and desert as you head to Sossusvlei, one of Namibia's most spectacular sights and the country's 2nd most popular tourist attraction. It is a clay, almost circular, hard-surfaced depression that is virtually surrounded by beautiful sharp-edged dunes. Beyond lies a formidable sea of rolling sand, stretching in unbroken immensity all the way to the coast. During exceptional rainy seasons such as in 2011, Sossusvlei will fill with water, although usually it is dry.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The National Botanic Garden - Namibia

The National Botanic Garden of Namibia is a 12 hectare nature reserve in the heart of the City of Windhoek, where you can see and learn about Namibia's fascinating plants.

The garden initially began in the early 70s as a nature park when the area was fenced off, paths were laid out, a dam was built and some of the first trees were planted. When the funds became depleted and full-time staff members could no longer be employed, the garden was closed.
Thus it remained until the 1990s when a herbarium was opened on the premises.
The herbarium staff members asked the Ministry permission to develop the botanical garden. They were given the go-ahead, and when the herbarium subsequently became the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), they continued to administer the garden. 


 Golden and tawny during the dry winter months, the Botanical Gardens, unlike others in the world, hasn’t been landscaped, planted with lawns, or adorned with exotic plants – it remains purely and proudly Namibian.


Enjoy walks and birdwatching in an relaxing environment!!!!!

Plants, Trees and Flowers - Namibia

The Welwitschia Mirabilis -   As its name suggests one of the most amazing plants you will see. You can spot it in several areas in the Namib Naukluft Park, or as we did, in the Petrified Forest. An adult welwitschia consists of two leaves, a stem base and roots.  Its two permanent leaves are unique in the plant kingdom. They are the original leaves from when the plant was a seedling, and they just continue to grow and are never shed. They are leathery, broad, and lie on the ground becoming torn to ribbons and tattered with age. Their estimated lifespan is 400 to 1500 years.

Bottle Tree - These striking trees are distinguished by their thick bottle-shaped trunk, which is almost branchless until the top. The branches are few and covered with thorns up to a foot long. The flowers appear in the spring, when the tree is leafless, which is why they look so dramatic. The Bottle tree is an endemic species of Namibia, growing in semi-desert areas and dry bush, especially Damaraland.
The makalani palm -Breaks up an otherwise treeless landscape in the northern part of Namibia.
The makalani grows quite tall, up to 20 metres high. Aside from looking beautiful with a blue sky behind and when the sun hits their leaves, the makalani is used by locals. Their leaves are cut into threads and used to weave baskets that can be found for sale around Namibia. They are also the source of two alcohols. Palm wine is made from the terminal bud, but, as this kills the tree it is against the law. This law is apparently flouted however. Less devastating to the plant is the distillation of a local brand, ombike, which is made from fermenting the fruit of the makalani. The seeds are often carved and sold as decorations and are also used as fuel for fires in this country where wood is at a premium. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Gateway to Epupa Falls & the Himba culture, Opuwo is the capital of the Kunene region in north-western Namibia. Population 12 000.
The growing town is stituated about 720km north-northwest from Windhoek.
Opuwo is connected to Kamanjab and Windhoek with an excellent paved/tarred road.

 This exciting town is the gateway to the friendly and very interesting Himba People, the Epupa Waterfalls, the Marienfluss, Desert Elephants, Van Zyl's pass (where you need a good 4x4), Traditional villages of the Himba, Herero and Dhimba people.

 You can walk around in one of the most interesting towns in Africa and experience it's diverse people, sights and smells. Buy some cultural ornaments from the street markets and support the local economy. Drive to Epupa waterfalls (180km north) or a nearby traditional village (10 to 20km west, south or north)

The town has well stocked grocery shops, Internet Cafes, Post Office, Banks, Petrol & Diesel, a hospital, lots of churches, 4 schools and many regional offices (veterinary, Labour, Education, Police, etc). Local craftspeople selling hand-made jewellery and other crafts can be found on street and at the open market.


Ovahimba People, Namibia

The Ovahima people is found in Northern Namibia. An interesting fact is that they never bath or wash themselves with water at all. They have a very interesting cleaning ritual, which takes a couple of hours. They start cleaning themselves very early in the morning by burning wild herbs and sit in the smoke. They also clean their leather clothes with the smoke.

The Ovahimba have kept to their culture despite persistent pressure that came along with the advent of civilization. 

Their skins rubbed with red ochre, have the appearance of having been forgotten by the rest of the world, but this is only as a result of their extreme isolation and conservative way of life. They derive originally from the Herero nation, collecting in the mountainous regions of the Kaokoland.
Long spells of drought forced them to live off the land, collecting wild friut and digging out roots. The Nama raided the majority of the little livestock that remained and most of the Himba fled across the border into Angola. The Himba in later years, hearing that the war between German forces and the Herero nation had ended, moved back into Kaokoland where they remain today.
Many of the younger generation have accepted some of the changes and are being educated in the Namibian national system, and will in time, abandon many of their older customs and traditions. However, most of the older generation still cling to their traditions and when their children return from school or visits to town, strongly encourage them to dress or undress, according to traditional style, and to live like a true Himba.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


A'Zambezi River Lodge

A'Zambezi River Lodge is located in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 25km from the airport, nestling on the banks of the mighty Zambezi river within the periphery of the Zambezi National Park. The imaginative architecture with its sweeping curve of grass thatch blends well with the lash green lawns. Azambezi is the perfect retreat to relax and unwind in the quiet ambience of the African wild life and nature.

A’zambezi River Lodge Rooms

87 well appointed and air conditioned en-suite rooms including 2 luxury king suites, 2 luxury queen suites, 44 standard double rooms, 37 standard twin rooms and 2 standard paraplegic rooms (one twin and one double). Nonsmoking rooms available. Majority of the rooms have balconies facing the river and swimming pool whilst the rest face the National Park and the gardens.


Guided Tour of Victoria Falls, Boat Cruises on the Zambezi River, Elephant Back Safaris and Elephant Interaction,Flight on the Angles - Helicopter Trip over the Falls,Lion Walks,Game Drivers,Game Walks,White Water RaftingCanoe Trips,Bungee Jumping,Gorge Swing,Crocodile Farm



 Zambezi River means the “Great River” in the local Tonga dialect

  • The Zambezi  is the fourth longest river in Africa, after the Nile, Congo, and Niger Rivers.
  •  It is the longest east flowing river in Africa.
  • It flows through six countries on its journey from its source in north-western Zambia to the Indian Ocean, an amazing 2 700 km.
  • This river evokes mystery and excitement with few rivers in the world remaining as pristine or as little explored.  
  • The source of the mighty Zambezi River lies at about 1 500 m (4 900ft) above sea level in the Mwinilunga District, very close to the border where Zambia, Angola and the Congo meet.
  • From there it flows through Zambia, Angola, Namibia and Botswana then back along the border of Zambia and Zimbabwe finally discharging into the Indian Ocean at its delta in Mozambique. The area of its catchment basin is 1 390 000 square km which is half that of the Nile.

The river can be divided into three section :
 The Zambezi River provides visitors of some of the best of Africa, including its scenery, wildlife, water sports and water falls.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Aloe Grove Safari Lodge

(Aloe Grove Safari Lodge)


From the word go, you will receive true Namibian Hospitality and unparalleled service to ensure that you will return again and again.

Sample our superb cuisine (Vegetarian and Vegan meals – available on request), in our excellent dining facilities with open fireplace, or lounge around Al Fresco and enjoy a fireside chat by the outdoor braai…

Aloegrove is known for its unique hospitality and we aspire to make you feel at home, as well as one with the wild.

We specialize in small private groups and can accommodate up to 12 (twelve) guests in which each and everyone will receive undefined personal attention. Guests are accommodated in 6 (six) en-suite bungalows, each with its own balcony.
We are 1,630m above sea level and have a 360º view over our vast savanna and the Waterberg Plateau. Watch a spectacular Sunset or Sunrise and during the heat of the day – relax by the sparkling pool.

Aloe Dichotoma

(Aloe Dichotoma)

These remarkable trees are found in the dry and arid areas of Namibia and the Northern Cape of South Africa as they prefer rocky or hard terrain for their shallow root systems.  They store water in their stems, leaves or roots to enable them to survive for months without rain.  You can see from the various photos in this blog which of the trees has received the most water.  Those that receive little or none are very ‘lean’, whilst the others are positively bloated!

The stems of quiver trees are decorated with golden brown flaky scales and beautiful vertical patterns which make them very photogenic.

Quiver trees can grow up to nine meters tall.  They bear spiky yellow flowers during the winter months of June/July, but not before they are at least twenty years old.  The trees produce a fine white powder that acts as a sunscreen by reflecting the harsh desert sunlight.

Seen standing alone in a vast barren landscape, they have an almost eerie appearance, but to me they represent the desert that I love so much.   They are usually seen individually, dotted here and there on open plains or hillsides, but there are a couple of quiver tree forests that are well worth visiting.  The famous quiver tree forest in Namibia is near Keetmanshoop down in the south of the country, and there is another beautiful one on the short-cut between the Onseepkans border post and Kakamas in the Northern Cape.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Namibia Captured in Purple

Elephants at waterhole

Thunderstorm Swakopmund Jetty


Capture Namibia: Photography Tips from Richard Bernabe
Flamingos Walvis Bay Lagoon

Epupa Falls
Plains near Aus
Roller, Purple

Queen Purple Tip Butterfly in Namibia

Because Queen Purple Tips (Colotis regina) are relatively fast they are not easily netted unawares unless they have settled on a flower. Males look for females by flying around larval host-plants trees. Small koppies and hilltops are favoured locations. One of Namibia's most widespread and common butterflies, the red tip, flutters around the Fish River Canyon. The larvae of other species of tip such as Queen's purple and Doubleday's orange use the leaves of caper bushes and shepherd's tree to feed on. Kalahari orange tips are common from October to March.

Distribution: Etosha National Park , Epupa Falls, Ruacana Falls, Kavango River region, Caprivi Strip , Damaraland , central and northern Namibia, Kalahari Desert , Fish River Canyon.

Breeding/Larval food: Eggs are laid on caper-bushes (Capparis spp)shepherd's tree (Boscia albitrunca) leaves.

Colouration: Regina refers to its 'majestic' appearance. Pinkish tinge underneath with the purple patch of the female is broken by a row of black discal spots.

On the wing: Throughout the year.

Wingspan: Male and female: 55 to 60mm.

Namibia's Purple Brandberg Amethyst Crystals

Brandberg Quartz is unique to Namibia.  They are named because of the mountain range they are found in. Brandberg Mountain is located in Damaraland, in the northwestern Namib Desert, near the coast.  Brandberg crystals are all mined by hand without the use of any power tools or excavation machines.  They are found in beds near to the surface.  Compared with normal quartz, Brandbergs don't get that large. Brandbergs over 2 inches are rare.

For me, they are liquid light and people are just drawn to them like a moth to a flame. Their energy is bright and clear, like a beacon or a lighthouse light calling you home. They radiate light and power and often call you into a meditative state effortlessly just by looking at one.  They are sooo luminous and always get a response from people of oohs and aaahhhs.
They are most prized for their super glassy sides, stunning clarity, Amethyst and Smoky phantoms filled interiors. They often have Enhydros, Rainbows and Lepidocrocite which makes them almost playful and just adds to their magic.  Then some have Goethite, even Epidote.  Even the crystals that are not so glassy on the outside can have the most amazing inner worlds.

Energetically, Brandberg crystals bring balance, peace and then bliss follows.  They transport you to the space that is always present in your heart that we often forget is calling us.  Though our messages can be ignored by our daily busyness, holding a Brandberg crystal opens us to that space, the Divine presence, creative genius that is our Source and you recognise it in you, as yourself.  The longer you sit with one of these amazing crystals the bigger the space becomes and states of bliss, laughter and down right silliness can come forth as your child like wonder, fascination and curiosity surface.  Expansion, joy and ease are the blessings that flow out of these magical crystals.

Vibrant purple Amethyst phantoms, with smokey-colored phantom wisps are suspended within a bright and clear Quartz natural crystal point with beautiful crystal structure. The violet to purple Amethyst is the most important and best known gem variety of quartz.

A gorgeous Brandberg Amethyst from Namibia!

Metaphysical Properties:
Birthstone: February
Astro Sign: Aquarius

Helps user achieve higher states of awareness by cutting through the illusion of this plane. Promotes healing, inspiration, divine love, and intuition. Has strong protective as well as calming qualities. Can help free the self from addictions.