Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Desert Rendesvouz, HentiesBay Namibia

Welcome to Desert Rendezvous! A Luxury Guesthouse situated in the heart of Henties Bay, Namibia.
For the tourist and holiday maker the guesthouse offer stylish, modern and friendly facilities. Come relax and be spoilt after a long and tiring day in the desert!
Breakfast is served daily.
Henties Bay is the fishing mecca of Namibia, and also the gateway when touring to the Skeleton Coast, Damaraland, Kaokoveld, The Etosha Game Reserve, The Caprivi in the north, Sosssusvlei, Sesriem, Naukluft Nature Reserve and Solitaire in the South.

     Skeleton Coast Room
Luxurious Bedroom with Double Bed & Private On-Suite Bathroom

Sossus Vlei Family suite
2 Stylish Rooms with 1 Bathroom.2 bedrooms with with 2 single beds in each Room

Light House Room
Elegant Room with Double Bed and On-Suite Bathroom

Monday, October 28, 2013

Facsinating Wild Horses of the Namib

Origin: These horses are not indigenous, because originally there never were horses in southern Africa. They were first imported by Europeans in the 17th century. Therefore the Wild Horses of the Namib are the descendants of domesticated animals which, similar to the mustangs of North America, have adopted a feral existence .
Survival in the Namib Desert: The adaptation of the Namib’s Wild Horses to their habitat is not 
genetically evident. Reports about extraordinary resilience may safely be
relegated to the realm of myth as well: many of the animals which were caught during the drought of 1992 and taken to farms succumbed to horse-sickness and other ailments. Adaptation can rather be seen in their behaviour: patterns of feeding and drinking, resting and playing match available grazing and prevailing temperatures.
Work' and 'Leisure' During dry conditions, when grazing becomes scarce, the horses basically have to ‘work’ for the quantity of nutrients they need. Then they cover vast distances, feed wherever possible and rarely play. Visits to the drinking trough are put off for as long as possible.
'Dung as Supplement:
Apart from grass the Wild Horses also eat their own dry dung. This does not mean that they are desperate - it is natural behaviour, also seen in domestic horses if they have access to dry dung. The dung of the Wild Horses contains almost three times more fat (1.99 percent) than the area’s dry grass (Stipagrostis obtusa – 0.7 percent) and almost twice as much protein (6.1 instead of 3.1 percent). Since horses are no ruminants, eating dung is the only way to absorb nutrients which have been excreted undigested and in concentrated form. The dung, however, is merely a supplement; less than 1 kg of dung is eaten for every 7 kg of grass. Thus there is no danger of harmful substances accumulating in the horse’s system.
Breeding groups and bachelors: The Wild Horses have a complex social structure. The core of the herd is made up by so-called breeding groups which consist of up to 10 animals – usually one or two stallions, several mares and their foals. Other stallions form casual bachelor groups. In normal years the age and gender structure is about 70 adult to 30 young animals of up to 5 years, 55 stallions to 45 mares and 50 group stallions to 50 bachelors. The Wild Horses have a complex social structure. The core of the herd is made up by so-called breeding groups which consist of up to 10 animals – usually one or two stallions, several mares and their foals. Other stallions form casual bachelor groups. In normal years the age and gender structure is about 70 adult to 30 young animals of up to 5 years, 55 stallions to 45 mares and 50 group stallions to 50 bachelors.
Ladies' Choice:
Hierarchies are not very prominent; fights are rare, and if they do occur they are usually just for show. The reason: there is hardly any competition. To a large extent food is scattered evenly in the vastness of the Namib; water is available in sufficient quantities and the horses are drawn to it at different times. And fighting for females is of little consequence because in the social order of horses the ladies take their pick: without a mare's permission a stallion stands no chance.    

Friday, October 25, 2013

Kolmanskop Ghost Town, Luderitz - Namibia

Kolmanskop (Afrikaans for Coleman's hill, German: Kolmannskuppe) is a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia, a few kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz. It was named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement. Once a small but very rich mining village, it is now a popular tourist destination run by the joint firm NamDeb (Namibia-De Beers).

In 1908 the worker Zacharias Lewala found a un usual shiny stone (a diomond) while working in this area and showed it to his supervisor, the German railway inspector August Stauch. After realizing that this area was rich in diamonds, lots of German miners settled in this area and soon after the German government declared a large area as a "Sperrgebiet", starting to exploit the diamond field.
Driven by the enormous wealth of the first diamond miners, the residents built the village in the architectural style of a German town, with amenities and institutions including a hospital, ballroom, power station, school, skittle-alley, theatre and sport-hall, casino, ice factory and the first x-ray-station in the southern hemisphere, as well as the first tram in Africa. It had a railway link to Lüderitz.

The town declined after World War I when the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954. The geological forces of the desert mean that tourists now walk through houses knee-deep in sand. Kolmanskop is popular with photographers for its settings of the desert sands' reclaiming this once-thriving town. Due to its location within the restricted area (Sperrgebiet) of the Namib desert, tourists need a permit to enter the town.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Giants Playground - Keetmanshoop,Namibia

The Giants playground is situated on yhe farm,Gariganus. It's called the Giants playground because of the way in which the massive dolerite boulders have apperently been placed one on top of another by some gigantic force, creating strange rock formations and a series of mazes. You'll have to keep your bearings when exploring the maize site. You can easily find yourself a few hundred meters from where you thought you should be.The rock formations make for a couple of hours of interesting hiking,plus you'll get some good 

The formation: About 180 million years ago during the early jurasic epochm the tetonic plate movements within the great single land mass known a Pangaea were begining to cause the supper continent to seperate and divide into the continent of Laurarisia to the North and Gondangwa to the South . The earth's surface, in many places, was subjected to enormous upheavals. In the area around Keetmanshoop molten magma pushed it's way through long cracks in the overlaying rock. Over 10 millions of years, the deep layers of sedimentary rocks through which the dolerite had intruded were eroded away exposing the harder rock that can, in many places be seen as the dark backbone like formation running along the top of a row of hills. These are called dolerite  dykes and are usually between 3-10 metres in width and can run from a few hundred of metres to more than 20 km in lenght.

The dolerite dykes and surrounding area while at sub surface were subjected to 'spheroidal weathering', caused by water flowing through the cracks and fissures in dykes. In later times when the rocks has been exposed they futher experience millions of years of ongoing temperature weathering that also caused the rocks to crack.Wind blow and soil erosion also helps with the polish of the rocks.

Zabubega Country Cottage - Keetmanshoop,Namibia

Zabubega Country Cottage offers a fully furnished thatch cottage on a farm near Keetmanshoop in Namibia. The farm is an ideal destination for people who love nature, peace and sunny days.
The cottage is fully equipped for four guests and has a double bed and two single beds. Quality linen and down duvets for the winter are provided and the bathroom consists of a shower only. The lounge has a TV and DVD player and the cottage opens onto a private garden.
  The lapa has a fully equipped kitchen with an oven, a fridge-freezer, all kitchen utensils, tea and coffee facilities and an open-air fireplace.
 There is a bush Jacuzzi and cozy hammock reading nook for guests to enjoy. Children of all ages are welcome and covered parking is available.


 Walking trails with info boards along the way of indigenous plants, birds and animals.
Picnic place under big Camelthorn Tree near waterhole with rich bird watching . 
Scenic drives which include game such as Springbuck, Oryx, Kudu, wild Ostrich and Steen buck.    Canoeing and paddling in raining season, January – May
Bicycle paths
Beautiful photographer opportunities especially sunset in the red Kalahari dunes.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Haemanthhus (Amaryllidaceae)

Haemanthus is a genus in the Amaryllidaceae family confined to South Africa and Namibia. The 22 currently known species are characteristically fleshy, often hairy plants, well known for their compact, brush-like inflorescences. Their specialised fruits are berries which contain a few large, moisture-rich seeds. Species are found both in winter and summer rainfall regions.
Haemanthus dasyphyllus is native to Langberg and Kubiskouberg, north west of Loriesfontein and is found in localized populations. The leaves are light green, lanceolate with a covering of long soft white hairs on both surfaces, the abaxial surface or the edges only. The leaf blades are erect, usually twisted and speckled with red at the base.
Haemanthus pubescens is found on the sandy coastal plain from southern Namibia to Cape Town. In habitat it flowers March to April, occasionally earlier and is in leaf from March to October. It has 4 to 5 large fleshy spathe valves which surround the bright red or sometimes pink flowers. There are three subspecies.  Haemanthus pubescens ssp. arenicolus is distinguished from the others by having soft pubescens on the undersides (abaxial) of the leaves, sometimes glabrous. The leaves are channeled and recurved. The small populations of several individuals each are found in the coastal plains of southern Namibia.

Haemanthus sp. nova ex. Aus
is possibly a new species from the region near Aus, Namibia. The leaves are a very bright green, uprightly arching, thick, and shiny with a recurving leaf margin. No markings are present on the leaf undersides. The leaves in the picture were photographed at only under half of the length they grow to each winter. It might eventually be determined to be an H. coccineus, but more study is necessary.  

Haemanthus sp. nova ex. Huib Plateau is most likely a new species from the Huib Plateau in Namibia. Its miniature stature, light leaf colour, and thin leaves combined with its markings and hirsute margins make it very unique. The brown leaves surrounding it are on average 6 cm in length.
Haemanthus sp. nova ex. Lüderitz is most likely a new species from the area of Lüderitz, Namibia. Its ovate, glaucous appressed leaves make it unique. Additionally its inflorescence is somewhat diminutive and thin.

Haemanthus sp. nova ex. Namuskluft is very likely to be a new species. It is from the area of Namuskluft, Namibia. It's a miniature species (see finger for scale) with thick appressed leaves that are very densely hirsute. The markings on the leaf undersides, in combination with the aforementioned foliar attributes make this unique.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Namibian -Culture - Tribal dishes

In Namibia there is different types of tribes each with their own tradition and traditional food/tribal dishes.

The Herero people

You will always find "vet koek" at a Herero wedding. These are translated into Enlish as fat cakes. They are lovely with meat...another
 staple food of the Hereros.A meal without meat is no meal!!traditional drink (satisfying that can be used as any meal replacement) called "Omaere", this is sour milk. Milk used is that of cows, of which most hereros farm with. Its stored in a calabash and a root of a certain shrub is added as taste.
 The Nama people:

The wedding preparations cаn tаke up tо оne year. The family оf the groom makes а gift tо the bride's mother, traditionally а cow аnd а calf, fоr she has raised the bride аt her breast. А bargaining process accompanies the gift thаt cаn tаke weeks іn itself. Оn wedding day, both families provide animals аnd оther food аnd bring іt tо the bride's home. The wedding itself takes place іn а church. Festivities afterward gо оn fоr several days. 
The Owambo People:

This is collective name for a group of tribes in northern Namibia and southern  part of Angola. In the middle of 16 century these tribes which belonged to Bantu group moved southwards from the great lakes area in the East Africa and settled between Kunene and Okavango rivers.There are eight tribes of this group in northern Namibia at present with a total population of around 700 000 which represents almost half of the

population of the country (45%).Some their tribal dishes includes, mopane worms, mahangu etc.

           The Damara people:

The total population of Damara people, one of the oldest cultural groups in the country, is approximately 90 000. They cultivate corn and vegetables, with livestock production playing important role as a source of income. The area in the north - east of the coast with an area of about 5 million hectares and  an administrative centre in Khorixas was proclaimed as Damaraland in 1973.
Today it is a part of Erongo region.

The Himba people

The ancient tribe of semi-nomadic pastoralists occupied Kunene region of the country. The Himbas (who are relatives of Herero) are an extraordinary people who have resisted change and preserved their unique cultural heritage.
The Himbas were impoverished by Nama cattle raiders in the middle of 1800's and then forced to be hunter-gatherers.

The Reboth Basters

The Basters regard themselves as a separate community from the Coloureds. The population of the Basters is approximately 60 000 people. While they are 
traditionally stock and crop farmers 
nowadays many of them are involved in building trade.

The coloureds

As a Rehoboth Basters, originally this group came to Namibia from Cape Province of South Africa. Most of them live in towns and found in a wide range of professions. They speak Afrikaans as a home language. 

 The Bushmen/ san 

The total population of Bushmen in Namibia is about 27 000 people. This hunters - gatherers occupy remote areas in the east of the country and Kalahari desert in Botswana.

San (Bushmen) constitute about 3% of Namibians. They belong to the Naro, Kxoe/Mbarakwengo, Heikom, /Auni and /Nu-ken tribes. Most live in Bushmanland and very few still live as they once did.
                The Whites 

There are about 75 000 inhabitants of Namibia with European origin. Around 60% of them are Afrikaans-speaking, 25% are German and the rest are English and Portuguese.