An oasis of silence
by Jeannette van der Merwe
A trip to Nubib Nature Camp is rather like visiting long-lost relatives who have left the city to live in a desert paradise. People usually picture paradise as a place with white beaches, palm trees and the scent of frangipani blossoms in the air. Nubib is not exactly like that. The soil is fiery red, dotted with camel-thorn and quiver trees, and the smell of stinkbos taints the air. How can this be even likeable?
Well, for a city dweller like me, silence has major appeal, and Nubib is an oasis of silence. At night the sky isn’t dulled by streetlights. The darkness of the desert reveals millions of bright stars and the constant barking of neighbours’ dogs becomes a distant memory. Only the occasional howl of a jackal is heard. Birdsong rather than frustrated hoots by early-morning drivers wakes me, and a deep breath of fresh morning air revitalises my soul.
The hosts of the camp, Rust and Antoinette Brand, are friendly and talkative, making you feel like part of the clan. Rust describes himself and his family as real people’s people. Coming from the city themselves, they tell me how they fell in love with the wide-open spaces.
The camp accommodation evolved from plain canvas tents to the ten rustic, comfortable bungalows of today. The farm lies next to the orange Nubib Mountains. Looking across the grassy plains scattered with trees and seeing the diversity of animals, it’s hard to believe that the Namib dunes are just behind the mountains. The Nubib Mountains curb the harsh climate of the west, giving abundant life to the environment.
Zebra, springbok, kudu and gemsbok live in the valley. Huge grass nests built by Sociable Weavers hang in the camel-thorn trees. Other birds also move into the weavers’ nests, such as Pygmy Falcons and Lovebirds. Leopards are found in the mountains and cheetahs occasionally move through the farm.
The Nubib Mountains, named after a Nama headman, are rich in history. The Thirstland Trekkers also moved through these mountains. In their desperate search for water, they dug a well deep into the rock. It was several metres deep and their hard work paid off, as an underground fountain filled the hole, saving them all from a thirsty death.
Whether looking for a silent retreat, spectacular nature scenes or historical sites, you are sure to find all of these at Nubib. It might not be your conventional paradise getaway, but beware, you might just lose your heart there.
This article was made possible by Cymot Namibia
This article appeared in the Dec ‘07/ Jan ‘08 edition of Travel News Namibia.