Namibia: Indigo Dreams & Diamonds In The Sky
Posted on April 29 2019
Precious stones love to hide in the most exotic spots of the planet.
Some of the finest Demantoid Garnets, Tourmalines of most desirable shades, Amethysts, Jeremejevites and other colored gems and minerals can only be found in Namibia, a gem treasury in southwest Africa.
The land God made in anger.
Whoever dubbed Namibia this way, got me puzzled and baffled.
For 21 days of this journey, I tried to capture the signs of God’s anger with all my senses, and here is what the senses revealed.
Children bathing in Epupa FallsA driver’s paradise, Namibia prefers its roads paved and its vehicles tented. On the long and soothing way up north, your eyes experience all kinds of delight, gazing at the ever-changing landscape in all colors of rare gemstones. White sand and blue skies last for few minutes, before you see bushes and clouds, decorating the vastness below and above. Suddenly some hills start to rise ahead, and the horizon takes curvy shapes. The emptiness goes on, and then you spot one lonely tree with its branches dried out and frozen in a mysterious crook. Few minutes later, the soil turns black and your eyes begin to stare intensely, as the mighty Brandberg Mountain elevates in the misty skyline, marking the famous Damaraland. A lonely bird flies across the road. Some taller and greener trees start to emerge, reaching out their branches to the sky, that has by now covered in fluffy clouds of flamingo pink and lavender.
How many passing cars would bother this cinematic performance? Exactly one car per hour, just like you’d expected from the least densely populated country in the world.
On the roadYour ears in Namibia hear something like never before - the clicking language of Damara people is simply enchanting, the moans and chirps of local birds cannot compare to any tropical birds. The roar of Epupa falls is terrifying by day and lulling by night. My personal favorite though is the clattering hooves of oryxes, elands and other antelopes as they come to the waterhole right in front of your lodge. And the music, ethnic African music and songs...
The smell of fresh air - infinite oxygen - is the most precious and exclusive perfume one can afford nowadays. Wouldn’t that be a reason enough for a peaceful retirement? Neat palm-studded hills of wealthy Windhoek translate the hedonistic sensation of Los Feliz, whilst the ocean breeze of chilled and refined Swakompund sweep you away to Santa Monica.
Taste-wise, Namibia is a seafood nirvana. The oysters, crayfish and king prawns in Swakopmund are something else. And even far from the coastline, all local fish here - hake, kingclip, and especially kabeljou - is one of the best fish we’ve ever tasted. The American and Ukrainian members of our team also confessed they’ve never tried more delicious bread.
Your tactile senses get overwhelmed with the climate alone. Dry and mellow, warm by day and cool by night, the weather is simply perfect. A little rain in savanna feels like sprinkle from heaven. Sand dunes feel like almond and sugar flour, coming together for marzipan. If you’re lucky to make a friend of an Ovambo girl, try patting her on the shoulder: her skin feels like a bar of dark chocolate.
Greetings from Damara peopleAll in all, the five senses gave me no answer why god would be angry with Namibia. Perhaps the sixth sense can explain the nickname then. Perhaps, god was angry with people for treating their homelands badly, so he created Namibia with all its marvels, but allowed only a limited number of people to live there, to make the rest of the world envy? Well, most likely - and very luckily - we travelers can never sense it to the full, how severe and furious an African neverland can be. After all, it is the harsh geological character that enriched Namibia with rare gemstones, fine minerals and precious resources.
A rainbow of Victorian-style Herero dresses, twinkling like a handful of multicolored Tourmalines;
Blinding sparkle of Demantoid splitting the light in an intricate pattern, just like the leopard skin split in patches;
Meteorite crash power of Himba men;
Rare and delicate grace of Jeremejevite crystals resembling that of a wild giraffe;
A wild giraffeSpectacular crystal formations of Amethyst, elevated tall and strong like the mighty Spitzkoppe rocks and granite arrays;
Myriads of diamonds in the sky, so close and so countless;
Fluorite-colored sunsets, rivaling those in Bali and Santorini;
The silence and stillness as clear as the soothing blues of Lagoon Tourmaline... the crystal clear silence, luring you back to Namibia.
by Samanta Yavorskyy
Stellar Photo Memories thanks to Stephen Wayda
Special thanks to Terri Low (Roof of Africa), Jaco Smith and other Gem People from Namibia.
#namibiatravel #africatravel #wildnamibia