The noise! The smell!

We drive north along the skeleton coast this morning and see one of the shipwrecks that give the coast its mysterious name (I think there are more further north). Some people have assembled a vaguely human skeleton on the sand using random bones, but they obviously have a dubious knowledge of anatomy.

Shipwreck on the skeleton coast

After less than 2h of driving, we reach cape cross, which is known for two things. 1) it marks the location where the Portuguese Diogo Cao landed in 1486, thus being the first European to visit the region. 2) It hosts a gigantic colony of cape fur seals. According to some sources, there are more than 100000 seals in the colony. The stench and noise of thousands of seals are beyond what the wildest mind could imagine. Even back in the car, the odour follows us for several hours.

That’s a lot of seals!

It is interesting to point out that about 95% of the cars in Namibia are white, and that most of the cars rented by tourists look strikingly similar: a kind of pick up truck with a hard cover over the bed. Therefore, it shouldn’t be too surprising to learn that we attempted to enter a car that wasn’t ours at the seal colony parking lot. But seeing an unknown woman looking at me from the inside of the car told me that something was definitely odd.

Back in our own vehicle, we retrace our steps back to Henties Bay and then continue inland towards Damaraland. The landscape starts being very flat with sand, but soon mountains start to appear we enter a truly beautiful area. Our stop for the night is at camp Kipwe, which is located among boulders. It’s by far the nicest place we stayed at during this trip. The bathroom is outside, allowing to watch the stars while on the porcelain throne.

Rock engravings at Twyfelfontein

We leave with the lodge for a visit of the surroundings, with the most interesting stop being the rock engravings of Twyfelfontein. We are back just in time for a sundowner cocktail at the lodge bar which is located on top of the hill around which the camp is built.  They have a cocktail named Welwitschia: I must try it. The sunset enjoyed from the top of the hill is epic, and the dinner that follows is excellent as well.

Enjoying the sunset from the bar at the top of the hill
The sunset from Camp Kipwe


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