A different landscape again became apparent as we approached Spitzkoppe. If you have been to Disneyland and seen the ‘boulders’ they have there on rides such as Thunder Mountain, I’ve now seen the real thing! Our lodge was brand new this year and consisted of individual semi-permanent buildings set amongst the boulders. Decorated absolutely beautifully, everything there was impressive and gorgeous.
The service was personal and nothing was too much trouble. We were taken in a golf cart (and picked up an hour later) to a spot where there is a ‘small’ rock arch. It was quite a climb to get up there and I always think that going down is worse than up, as you can see the danger if you slip!
As our rooms were a five minute walk from the reception and main areas we were also transported there with our luggage in another golf cart. I walked into my room and just exclaimed out loud – ‘Wow’.
Before dinner we sat by the small swimming pool set into the boulders and watched another spectacular sunset.
Dinner was gorgeous, with the most delicious starter of tuna roulade, followed by Kudu steak which is the best red meat I’ve ever eaten.
After dinner three of us drove out away from the lodge to photograph the stars. We needed an area where we wouldn’t see any artificial lights, and after turning off all the car lights including the interior ones we stood outside and chatted whilst waiting for the long exposure that was needed. We eventually had to take refuge inside the car as Deborah was being attacked by mosquitos and the air was blue with her swearing at them! It was all worth it though and we were quite pleased with the results.
The following morning I was awake at 4.30 and watched the sun rise from my room.
I also saw the two guys out taking photos so went to join them and watched the sun creep over the horizon. The whole area has these giant sized bugs that look as if they come from outer space and are the size of the palm of my hand!
At 0700 we went out with a guide who took us to the ‘big’ rock arch, which was the reason for going to Spitzkoppe as I’d seen some amazing photos of it on the internet. Some serious scrambling up the rocks was needed to see it and it was really windy once up there but it was worth it. Getting down was harder and quite scary as you could see the drop in front of you – not good for anyone suffering from vertigo, and only possible when the rocks are completely dry and wearing footwear with good grips.
I have to admit that I didn’t like looking down !
We also made a quick stop at Zebra pool,(named because that’s the waterhole that the resident zebras drink from) which had a great reflection of Spitzkoppe mountain.
Our guide also showed us the rock paintings which were done by the San Bushmen, some as long ago as over 800 years ago. They used the paintings to communicate messages to other groups of bushmen, and showed directions to water and how many people were in their group.
On the way back to the lodge I spotted another interesting formation, and as I asked him to stop he voiced what I was seeing – the head of a baboon.
We were sorry to leave Spitzkoppe and could easily have enjoyed another day pottering around there.
I’m running another tour of Namibia in September 2018. If anyone is interested in joining me check out the details here. You can come to learn how to take better photos as I’ll happily teach you how to use your SLR or mirrorless camera creatively, or just come with me and see all these great locations.
“The trip that Julie arranged to Namibia hit all the right notes. Her attention to detail ensured that we had a perfect itinerary with lodging that at times was nothing short of decadent. One could not imagine a better guide and Julie’s preparation was meticulous. You will find no better or encouraging tutor if you are looking to improve your photography skills. Among her many gifts, Julie never forgets that taking photography should always be fun. If you want a once-in-a-lifetime trip to an amazing country with opportunities to visit breathtaking landscapes and see extraordinary wildlife, I whole-heartedly recommend a journey with Julie.” Gary – Tennessee, US.