Find the Authenticity of Nature at EtendekaSeptember 14, 2018
Chasing the Rain to the Nyae Nyae PansSeptember 16, 2018
Camping isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but for those who enjoy it, it can develop into somewhat of a passion. This issue’s Camping Files profile features Emsie Erastus, a passionate young Namibian who fell for camping – hard. Even before discovering the joy of camping, Emsie had a unique appreciation for her country’s beauty. She is a second-generation journalist who makes her money as an online producer and is also involved in the local film industry. She has an eagerness to explore her homeland and spends weekends away whenever she can. Read more about how her love for the great outdoors started and about her latest camping shenanigans.
From a young age, I knew I loved the outdoors. Driving out of Windhoek, I couldn’t help but be fascinated by the vast open spaces of Namibia. The problem was, my family didn’t enjoy camping and still doesn’t, and for me, camping was just those school trips we all had. At university, I went on a camping trip for the first time. Setting up my tent was like an initiation into a new world. That’s when the camping bug officially bit me.
As a fresh graduate joining the working class, I used my paychecks for camping trips, not shopping sprees. It was also at this time that I met cool people who had the same interest as me in exploring Namibia’s countryside, and we formed a little “camping clique”.
I believe life is too short to go to the same place more than once, but I’ve been to Bagatelle in the Kalahari twice. It has beautiful red/orange dunes and lots of activities. However, I think what made me love this place from the start was the great reception we received. The human interaction combined with the experience is what made it so special.
Being a Namibian means that I’m blessed with so many beautiful campsite options in my own country. When I plan a camping trip, the first thing I do is to book the accommodation. Namibia is in demand and space is often quite limited. It also helps to keep all your friends committed to a trip if they’ve paid their deposit.
My camping trips usually last only two or three days, but this year I did something completely different. I went to the Orange River for a five-day rafting trip, where we camped along the banks of the river and slept under the stars. I remember the second night when I was in my sleeping bag, looking up at the billions of stars above me and thinking: this beats all my previous trips.
Rafting the Orange River was magical. Surreal rock formations surrounded us, and there’s this unexplained calmness as you paddle along. Then, the sun sets, and everything is a stunning vivid orange. I packed most of my stuff in watertight zip-lock bags so that they couldn’t get wet. Our tour operator, Amanzi Trails, provided three meals as part of the rafting package and this made it so much less of a stress for us.
This article was first published in the Spring 2018 edition of TNN.