Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The Bat-eared Fox - Hearing beyond comprehension!


The bat-eared fox (Otocyon megalotis)
The name Otocyon is derived from the Greek words otus for ear and cyon for dog, while the specific name megalotis comes from the Greek words mega for large and otus for ear.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Secretary Bird - The Snake Bearer!


This 1.3m tall bird of prey stands out like no other. Its name, most appropriate. Sagittarius serpentarius, Sagitarius is the atrology star sign of the archer and Serpentarius is "Snake Bearer" also commonly associated with the star sign Ophiuchus - a man bearing a snake.

In 1779 English illustrator John Frederick Miller was the first European to describe the secretarybird and it was soon after assigned to its own genus Sagittarius by French naturalist Johann Hermann, but it was not until 1935 that the species was moved to its own family, distinct from all other birds of prey. 

Its common name is popularly thought to derive from the crest of long quill-like feathers, lending the bird the appearance of a secretary with quill pens tucked behind their ear, as was once common practice. A more recent hypothesis is that "secretary" is borrowed from a French corruption of the Arabic saqr-et-tair or "hunter-bird".

Road Trip Namibia, your one stop shop to all of Namibia, Itiniraries, reservations, permits, rentals.

Photo by: Willem Kruger

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Lilly Pan near Maltahohe - Rain brings life to a salt pan!


Namibia is home to the desert and arid places, the land is barron after the winter as drought sets in. A salt pan near Matahohe named Lilly Pan once more lives up to its name. Normally there is nothing to see, but once in 10 years the rains fall just right and Lilly Pan comes alive!

It might be a odd thing for most travelers from Europe, but to us Namibians, rain is celibrated and prayed for, every drop is measured and to see water in the rivers and pans, a delight that is impossible to put into words. Its what is rare to us and perhaps from the travellers view, the vast difference between a world of green and water in Europe to a dry desert.

Dont miss your chance to see a once in a live time evnt like Lily Pan coming to life!

Road Trip Namibia, your one stop shop to all of Namibia, Itiniraries, reservations, permits, rentals.

Photo by: Dirk Heinrich

Friday, February 10, 2017

A Halfcollared Kingfisher - Terror from above!


As a guide I have learnt that many times whilst traveling from one destination to the next, you many times wont see much. This is because most people only look for wildlife and fail to notice that there is a vast wealth of bird life. When you realize that there is about 600 different types of birds in Namibia and that they all look different and have differnt habitats and habits, it is then that you start developing a fond appreciation for the little things in life.

Birding is a wonderful hobby, at first glance I thought this to be a malachite kingfisher looking at the top of the head being blue, but I wasnt certain so I picked up the Roberts to confirm that in fact it wasnt! I then noted that they dont have black bills and then confirmed that the only blue upper head with black bill was the Halfcollared Kingfisher. Birding is like an investigation!

In namibia you will find the Kingfishers all in the Caprivi. Some more rare than others. Yet always a treat when you spot one. Normally on a branch not to high away from the water, studying the surface for fish like the little mister in this photo.

Dont miss out on value added to value to your travel experience by not having a hobby, be it photography, birding, studying animal tracks, they all help slow you down, to take a moment to observe something unique whilst catching your breath in mid hike. 

Is birding your cup of tea?
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Hoba Meteorite - bigger than you imagined

Have you ever went camping and looked up the night sky with all its stars and all of a sudden you see a bright strip shoot across and vanishing? Most meteorites never make it to impact, they travel so fast that they burn up in the atmosphere. Scientists recon that the Hoba Meteorite did infact reach or rather slowed down all the way to terminal velocity on impact and is why there is no crater. It remains a curiouslity that its shape is so vastly different to other meteorites found thus far.

The owner of the farm at the time in 1920, Mr. Jacobus Hermanus Brits, encountered the object while ploughing one of his fields with an ox. During this task, he heard a loud metallic scratching sound and the plough came to an abrupt halt. The obstruction was excavated, identified as a meteorite and described by Mr. Brits, whose report was published in 1920 and can be viewed at the Grootfontein Museum in Namibia.

It roughly weighs 60 tons . he meteorite is composed of about 84% iron and 16% nickel, with traces of cobalt. It is the most massive naturally occurring piece of iron known on Earth's surface. The Name is dirived from the farms name, "Hoba West"

Want to see the outer eartly Hoba Meteorite?
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Photo by: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/PIxjQhULvrY/maxresdefault.jpg

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Desert Lions - Vanishing Kings of the Namib


It is a bizzare thing to see the desert and wonder how anything can survive, let alone a lion and more so, a pack of them. Like many, when i was junger who have never though that such a thing would be possible until one day, my father and I went camping around Brandberg and came apon lion tracks. It was some time later that I found out about this pride. The film "Vaishing Lions" tells of a lioness and her 2 female cubs who amoung them gave birth to 5 male cubs. These 5 brothers led by a 17 year old matriarch lioness take on the the oldest desert in the world, the Namib.

Despite a lifetime of dedication in reseach to these desert lions, Dr Philip Stander and his filming crew, after having made such a fantastic internationally aclaimed nature film and having donated all proceeds to the desert lion conservation programm, came apon the dead bodies of three of these lions in August 2016, after much investigation by the ministry of enviroment and tourism, it was determined that they were poisened.

The dilema of human wildlife conflict is a on going one. In the communal areas, locals dont keep their cattle with in fenced areas like the rest of the country, instead the cattle roam into areas where wildlife is found. Then when the locals find their cattle killed by lions, people take the law into their own hands, all be it criminal to kill wildlife without concent from the ministry and then things like the tragic killing of desert lions which is already so rare it could be considered a "phenomena"

It remains a ongoing challenge to educate people on the value of wildlife and the conservation of nature. Every success made in the name of concervation comes with the help of people like yourself who delight in the wonders of this world, who travel to places like Namibia and stay at a rest camp to see wildlife. 

The desert is home to the Desert Elephants and even rhino at save the rhino camp. Should you wish to aid in the conservation of animals like the lions, please look up the respective conservation foundations and make a donation or come visit and see the animals first hand.


Want to experience the wonderfully adapted wildlife of the Namib desert?
Road Trip Namibia, your one stop shop to all of Namibia, Itiniraries, reservations, permits, rentals.

Photo by: http://www.ultimateafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/VanishingKings_5-e1429915380435.jpg

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Ongongo Hot Springs - An oasis in Kaokoland

A short distance from Sesfontein is this little jewel for the road worn traveller in the midst of their trip on roads less traveled. It is remote enought that most Namibians would not be familiar with it. In years past places like this were just there, undeveloped, unknown. Today Namibia has a strong community driven nature concervancy programm, as a result today there is a campsite and facilities and the place is well kept, travelers enjoy some comforts and in doing so they help uplift the comunities in these remote parts and aid in making the conservation of the enviroment possible. With the country being as large as it is and being the second most sparesly populated country in the world, Namibia has many note worthy landmarks located in far of remote corners that unfortunatly only a few get to see, this is one of them.

Want to take a dive in Ongongo Hot Springs?
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Photo by:https://www.umfulana.de/img/w692-h461-c692x461/806309.jpg

Messum Crator - life in the harshest of conditions


Messum in the photo is the formation toward the bottom left with Bradberg, the highest mountain in Namibia, some 30km away. During about 1850 a British merchant ship under Captain William Messum visited Cape Cross. Captain Messum was in search of commercial opportunities along the Namib coast and spent a few weeks exploring the hinterland, probably up to the Brandberg area. He humbly named the dry river course and the mountains after himself. 

During the years just before their epic escape into the Namib during WWII, the German geologists Dr Henno Martin and Dr Hermann Korn (“The Sheltering Desert” – “Wenn es Krieg gibt, gehn wir in die W├╝ste”) spent some time investigating the “Messum Igneous complex in SWA” situated to the south of the Messum river, west of the Brandberg massif. They first recognized the crater structure (1936/7) and coined the name ‘Messum Crater’. It was not actually named by Captain Messum. It is also very unlikely that Captain Messum himself was ever inside the crater. However it has since come to light that Messum is in fact not a crator, it is a colapesed volcano that had much to do with the seperation of Africa and South America from the former super continent.

Want to see Messum Crator?
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Photo by: Google Earth

Monday, January 30, 2017

Sesriem Canyon - A geological wonder!


Sesriem canyon on the Tsauchab river. Named by Afrikaaner settlers who needed six lenths of leather riem made of oxen skins tied together to draw water with a bucket. It is a natural canyon carved by water through the ages through layer apon layer of sediment deposits which eventually when deep enough were turned to stone which now form the walls of the canyon. Its a short pleasant walk come afternoon after visiting Sossus Vlei, a truely unique geological formation.

Want to see the Sesriem Canyon?
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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Climbing Big Daddy Dune - Worth while memories often come with a little effort


Namibia is host to the largest dunes in the world, perhaps the most well know one is Big Daddy next to Dead Vlei. Despite not being the tallest dune in the world, which honours goes to Dune 7 outside Walvis Bay at 383m, this little guy goes up 325m. It is difficult for most whom have not climbed dunes to comprehend the feat, but for those familiar in its ways will well know, for every two step you make forward you sink 1 step back as the sand breaks away under foot.

The view from ontop is fantastic, the rest after the climb even more so. Running down the side of this dune into Dead Vlei is really something neat, the sand makes a most curious noise as your feet plunge in and "whoooop whooop" as they come out. It is a most memorable activity. To climb you must not tarry, get there as soon as possible and climb whilst the sand is cool, come to late and it will prove most unpleasant as the sand can get very hot. Take enough water and remember to catch your breath, its not a race so slow and steady works just fine. A hat is a must. Photos dont really do the experience justice, you dont get nearly the idea of the scale. The tree in Dead Vlei are mere specs from above and walking back across the pan really hits home the scale of it all. A total must see!

Want to see the Dead Vlei of the Namib?
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Photo by: http://www.static-18.themodernnomad.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Sossuvlei-008.jpg

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Wild Horses of the Namib


The wild horses of Garub in the Namib Naukluft National Park, their origin a mystery, speculated that either they are reminants of a clash between German colonials and the invading South African Union forces in WW1 or that they were owned by Mr. Luderitz and had been abandoned and hence became wild and migrated to the permanent waters at Garub and or a combination of both.

Want to see the wild horses of the Namib?
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Photo by: http://www.namibian.org/travel/namibia/pictures/horses/thumbs/Wild_Horses_tmb.jpg

Friday, January 27, 2017

Dead Vlei - A place like no other


The Tsougab river use to flow through there but a dune cut it off in a dry spell some 800 years ago by the scientist's measure and hence all the Camel Thorn trees died which at the time of their death were already roughly 300 years old. Visitors to the Dead Vlei can walk amongst these millenium old trees in a vast clay pan and perhaps if they are keen to climb the massive dune "Big Daddy" that forms its one side.

Want to see the Dead Vlei of the Namib?
Road Trip Namibia, your one stop shop to all of Namibia, Itiniraries, reservations, permits, rentals.

Photo by: http://whenonearth.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/deadvlei-namibia-woe1.jpg

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Welcome to Road Trip Namibia - A site under construction


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I have been doing quite a bit of work on the Birding in Namibia page. One doesnt realize the scope of the work until you realize that there is 206 different classes of birds in Namibia and that there is a couple of each type coming around to a massive 600 odd birds that need to be cataloged. I managed to put up all the post yesterday and add some 80 birds worth of photos. It seems it will take a few days just to add a photo for each and then comes the even bigger task, writing some information like latin name, afrikaans  name, german name, size, habitat, migration and so forth fr each and evry one of them. This is not the end of the work, tags must be added, links and references must be put in, its alot to do but I look forward to the day its complete, it will be the closest thing to an actual bird book but in a digital platform.

I have reworked the look Road Trip Namibia website to make it feel more engaging and illistartive, I trust you will enjoy it.

Apart from the birds page and the main page and the facebook page, I am yet to touch all the othere tabs like history, reptiiles etc. Please continue in future to read this post as I will update it on any news pertaining new content.

There are many photos on this website, I take no credit for them, they all belong to their respective owners and I give full credit to them.The material on this site is purely for educational purposes in helphing travelers to Namibia. I think in due time I will make a trip of my own through all of Namibia to obtain most of my own photo material in conjunction with my life long friend JP from Blueflamestudio.net

Please be patient whilst the site is still under construction, if you have any comments, do please feel free to email me at roadtripnamibia@gmail.com

Your intrest in this page is appreciated tremndously!