Photo Credit: Rhoda Mushokabanji Imonda
Traveler Story: I Visited The Only Place In The World Where The Ocean Meets The Desert, In Namibia
Rhoda Mushokabanji Imonda is a 29-year-old teacher with a passion for exploring the continent of Africa. However, despite her homeland of Zambia, sharing a border with Namibia, she had never considered visiting the country.
Like many others, she was unaware of the nation’s endless beauty, natural wonders, and worthwhile attractions; she didn’t think of it as much of a tourism destination. After scrolling on Instagram and watching travel vlogs on YouTube, Rhoda’s perception of Namibia changed.
“Through these posts and vlogs, I learned about Namibia’s hidden gems, and it instantly went on my bucket list. I traveled to the country over the festive season for two weeks, from December 21 to January 6.”
Rhoda spent two weeks exploring the beautiful nature Namibia has to offer. Boarding a boat cruise from the Atlantic Ocean in Walvis Bay, she saw seals, penguins, dolphins, pelicans, and seagulls, and enjoyed feeding some of these animals.
“My activities included flying over some of Namibia’s iconic wonders with Sossusfly. The views from the sky are spectacular. I highly recommend it. Swimming in the Dead Sea was also an unforgettable experience. The water there is filled with underground minerals, and it has a very high salt concentration, causing you to float.”
The Sandwich Harbor tour was another remarkable experience Rhoda had the pleasure of enjoying. On this tour, she was able to see wild flamingos, the pink salt lakes, and the striking landmark where the Atlantic Ocean meets the desert. Namibia is the only place in the world where this phenomenon occurs.
However, the highlight of her trip was visiting the beautiful Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest conservation area in Africa. It was there Rhoda was able to see a bucket list location, the famous Sossusvlei and Deadvlei.
One of the most well-known attractions in Namibia, Sossusvlei is surrounded by large red sand dunes nearly 400 meters tall, making for a gorgeous landscape that appears almost otherworldly.
“Deadvlei is surrounded by one of the world’s highest dunes and sits on a beautiful white clay pan with skeletons of trees that died around 600 to 700 years ago. Being there was so memorable for me. It felt like I was in a beautiful painting.”
Rhoda found the people of Namibia to be incredibly polite and friendly; her experiences interacting with the locals were pleasant from the moment she arrived at the airport until her departure. The food there also exceeded her expectations.
“Before traveling there, I did some research on restaurants to try out. A notable restaurant I went to was the Wreck Restaurant, which has a stunning view of the sea with the perfect Instagram-worthy ambience. I tried some traditional food at Hafeni Traditional Restaurant in the cleanest township I had ever seen. The food was delicious. The food at Seaside Hotel and Spa also never disappointed. I had numerous meals there, and I must admit, they had the best food in the whole of Swakopmund with top-notch service.”
One thing that shocked Rhoda was the German the town of Swakopmund. She was surprised to find a large white population living there, and the German flag being flown on several facilities.
“Everything from the architecture of the buildings, the names of streets, and the language spoken made it feel like a German summer holiday destination in Africa.”
During her trip, Rhoda learned that the largest breeding seal colony in the world is also in Namibia. She was able to visit Cape Cross and see the seals. She also learned that the women of the Himba tribe found in the northern part of Namibia do not bathe with water; instead, they smoke themselves to maintain personal hygiene and smell fresh.
“Travel is informative! Another thing I learned was that some Hollywood movies, such as Beyond Borders, Mad Max: Fury Road, Flight of the Phoenix, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and others were all filmed in Namibia. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s daughter, Shiloh, was born in Namibia. And Prince Harry and Megan Markle had their honeymoon in Namibia.”
An unforgettable trip, Rhoda highly recommends everyone visit the Southwest African nation. A rare beauty with surreal landscapes, it is one of only a few countries that can profess such incredible features. From the red dunes, diverse wildlife, iconic cultures of the San and Himba tribes, the oldest living desert in the world, and beautiful coastal towns and resorts, Namibia has much to offer tourists.
“A special thanks to my lovely tour guide, Samuel Hilundwa of Sammy Tours Swakopmund. I now have all these priceless memories of Namibia that I will never forget and am looking forward to my upcoming trip to Zanzibar this month. Morocco, Mauritius, Mozambique, and Egypt are also at the top of my bucket list as I continue exploring the beautiful continent of Africa.”
You can follow Rhoda on Instagram at @rhodazzle.