Mission: Find Namibia’s Orange Dunes

Kolmanskop Ghost Town Adventures
August 20, 2014
Alive and well in the Namib
August 22, 2014

Sossusvlei. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Thomas Blomme, a 27-year-old Belgian high school teacher, fulfilled his dream this year, when his 17 year wish to see Namibias ‘orange’ dunes, came true. Here he shares his story and the amazing images he captured during this journey of a lifetime to Namibia.

Jump, fall & roll. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Jump, fall & roll. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

The view. Grootberg Lodge. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

The view. Grootberg Lodge. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosah, Okaukuejo ... elephants at waterhole. @Thomas Blomme.

Etosah, Okaukuejo … elephants at waterhole. @Thomas Blomme.

Etosha - juvenile male lions testing their strenght in play. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosha – juvenile male lions testing their strenght in play. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Thomas, why did you travel to Namibia? What made you choose this as a holiday destination?

When I was about 10 years old I saw a documentary on Belgian television about orange dunes. I never forgot that image, but I couldn’t remember which country it was.

Moon above dune, Sossusvlei. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Moon above dune, Sossusvlei. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

So I’ve searched the internet and found out that the beautiful dunes are in Namibia. After reading more about Namibia we discovered the diversity of the country. We wanted to travel to Africa and to plan the trip on our own, without any travel organization. Namibia was made for it!

White Rhino. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

White Rhino. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Fish River View. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Fish River View. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Typcial Namibia. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Typcial Namibia. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Horned adder, Namib Desert. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Horned adder, Namib Desert. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Tell us about your trip? Did you plan in advance where to go, did you have a planned itinerary? Or did you just go as you went? Did you travel with friends?

At first it was only me and my girlfriend, Audrey, who were planning the trip. After telling friends about our plans,  two of them – Tim and Martijn decided to come with us.

The first thing we did, was buying our flight ticket and renting a jeep with Value Car (with rooftents).

We had read that the NWR run camping sites were quickly snatched up, so we booked these in advance.

Camping, Sesriem. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Camping, Sesriem. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Fire. Daily braai. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Fire. Daily braai. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

The long road, Namibia. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

The long road, Namibia. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Misty Lüderitz surroundings. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Misty Lüderitz surroundings. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

We arranged the other campsites on arrival and hoped there was still a spot for us 🙂 We’ve made an itinerary after reading several traveler-blogs.

We did the “classic-tour”.

Windhoek – Quivertree Forest – Fish River Canyon – Luderitz – Sossusvlei – Walvisbaai – Twyfelfontein – Spitzkoppe – Grootberg – Etosha – Windhoek.

Warthogs, Namibian road. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Warthogs, Namibian road. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosha - black rhino. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosha – black rhino. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Quiver tree forest. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Quiver tree forest. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Lüderitz, primary school children. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Lüderitz, primary school children. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Kolmanskop ghost town. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Kolmanskop ghost town. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

What was the highlight of your trip?

It’s hard to pick one highlight, because you can’t compare the things we’ve seen.

But if we have to pick our highlights, it would be Sossusvlei, because of the endless high dunes, the sunset and the drought in Deadvlei and Etosha, because of the numerous and various animal species. You can’t explain the feeling you get when you see a group of 40 elephants, a group of 7 lions, etc

Early morning lion sighting, Etosha. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Early morning lion sighting, Etosha. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosha, lions. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosha, lions. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Giraffe. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Giraffe. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Black rhino, Halali, Etosha. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Black rhino, Halali, Etosha. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Noah's arc - Etosha waterhole. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Noah’s arc – Etosha waterhole. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosha, Kudu. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosha, Kudu. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Pumba, the warthog. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Pumba, the warthog. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosha lion. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Etosha lion. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

What do you tell people in your country about Namibia, now that you have been here? What makes this a special holiday trip?

  1. First of all it’s a beautiful country.
  2. I liked the dry air: you don’t get any dew on your tent in the morning/evening.
  3. Namibia has great camping facilities. We also liked the calmness and the silence.
  4. It’s also very safe to travel alone and all of the people are soooooo friendly.
  5. People are worried you could have car troubles, when you just stop to eat a sandwich and everything is OK, people try their very best to find you a place to sleep,…

Would you come again?

We would definitely come again to visit the Himba’s and the Caprivi-region. We would combine this with (a second visit to) Etosha and the Africat-foundation.

What was your favorite Namibian drink?

As I’m a Belgian and Belgium is a beer-country, I loved the Windhoek Lager. My girlfriend preferred Savanna-dry.

Dune 45, Sossusvlei. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Dune 45, Sossusvlei. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Africat, Leopard feeding. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Africat, Leopard feeding. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Quiver tree forest at sunset. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Quiver tree forest at sunset. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Sun setting beyond Elim dune. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Sun setting beyond Elim dune. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Diaz Point, Lüderitz. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Diaz Point, Lüderitz. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Chicken on the braai. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Chicken on the braai. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Yawn ... cheetah cub. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Yawn … cheetah cub. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Your favorite Namibian accommodation?

I would like to pick two completely different accommodations.

First is the minimalistic campsite of Spitzkoppe, where you don’t have much luxury (no electricity, no water,…) but in return you get a breathtaking view and endless stars. You don’t get the feeling you’re on a campsite because of the space between the campsites.

Spitzkoppe. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Spitzkoppe. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

The second campsite is the Lapa Lange Game Lodge in Mariental. It was our first night in Namibia and they made us feel welcome. We also liked it because of the great facilities, the beautiful environment, the waterhole with two rhino’s and the sundowner game drive.

Lapa Lange Game Lodge, Namibia. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Lapa Lange Game Lodge, Namibia. Photo ©Thomas Blomme

Your favorite Namibian animal?

I love the springbok. The animal seems always happy, especially when it jumps in that funny way (you know: the back as high as possible, the legs stiff, head down). It makes me smile!

springbok

Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia is a high-quality glossy Namibia travel and lifestyle magazine tasked with promoting Namibia to the world. With riveting stories, first-hand encounters and magnificent photographs showcasing tourism, travel, nature, adventure and conservation, TNN is the ultimate and most comprehensive guide to exploring Namibia. Travel News Namibia is published in five different editions per year. These include four English- language editions and one German. Travel News Namibia is for sale in Namibia and South Africa.

3 Comments

  1. Roberta Kravette says:

    It was fun to read this report. We took our first trip to Namibia in July and August of this year. It is simply magical. We cannot wait to go back. And yes, we loved the Springbok too – that little jump is precious – but these are amazing animals. So delicate and yet they survive and thrive. We also fell in love with the Steinbok and little Dik-Diks! And the bird life! And the big cats … and the giraffes … and the elephants in Etosha and the miles of open achingly beautiful country, and the dunes and the shore line – and even the termite mounds that made me think of sand castles … and yes the friendly and beautiful people. Namibia is a very special place.

    • Travel News Namibia says:

      Hi Roberta, thanks so much for reading the story and taking time to dot down your own experience! Precious! Hope to welcome you again soon! TNN

  2. Lukas de Waal says:

    Thank you for so much interesting info. I enjoy everything

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