Sunday, October 27, 2013

Wild Horses, Ghost Towns and Canyons of Southern Namibia

Over the long South African 'Heritage Day' weekend, David and I hit the road to Namibia for some adventure and a new stamp in our passports.

The South African - Namibian border is about 8 hours from Stellenbosch. We spent our first day traveling north and watching the scenery change from mountains covered in rain clouds to the dry, sunny desert. We crossed the Orange River, the natural border between the two countries, late that afternoon and rested up for another long day on the road the following day.

We set out bright and early Saturday morning along a long dirt road that hugged the Orange River before heading up toward the town of Aus. Aus is known for a herd of over 100 wild horses, possibly abandoned by the German army during the first World War.  We were lucky enough to catch them just at the right time as they crossed over the road, one by one, in front of us.

After watching these horses for a couple of hours, we continued on our way, through the wind and sand, to the coastal town of L├╝deritz. 

Sunday we visited the ghost town of Kolmannskuppe, a German diamond mining town abandoned over 50 years ago when bigger and better diamonds were found further south. It was absolutely amazing to walk through these houses and town buildings that were once full of life but now are only home to sand dunes and a few desert animals.

The next day we took the long road back to the border so that we could swing by the Fish River Canyon. It is the second largest canyon in the world; second only to the Grand Canyon.

I even learned to drive our standard rental car as we took in all the sights of southern Namibia. For a spur-of-the-moment and relatively short trip, our Namibian adventure far exceeded our expectations.

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