Before my accident, I had intentions of visiting Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. As I learned in Sossusvlei, motorcycles can’t enter National Parks in Namibia, so I either needed to join an organized group or rent a car and camp on my own. I figured it’d be nice to have the company (and guide) afforded by an organized tour, but in the din of San Francisco, I didn’t get around to organizing one before hitting the ground in Africa. Unfortunately, it was now the middle of the high tourist season, and things were remarkably booked up. Cars were readily available, but sadly, camping sites (what I wanted) were also fully booked up. I ended up booking a tour nearly two weeks out. Luckily, I’d made great friends with my guesthouse owner as I’d be here for awhile.
The time passed slowly, with ample relaxing, playing cards, making some easy adjustments and repairs to my bike (chain, mirrors, blinkers, etc.), hanging out with people and animals, and living the local Windhoek life. I learned a new card game. I taught the locals Euchre. We even played a couple games of Settlers of Catan. I made new friends, I talked about life, politics, race, and America. I learned some Afrikaans, and a lot about Namibian history and life.
I discovered that before my accident, a reporter I’d met at the Cardboard Box and corresponded with had written an article about my travels in the most popular newspaper in Namibia (The Namibian), and that it had been put in the newspaper! I managed to snag a couple copies from their office and send them back home. There was even a teaser about the article on the front page!
Before heading to Etosha, I also went to the Düsternbrook Guest Farm with my new guesthouse friends for a couple nights of camping and animal viewing. The place is a few hours from Windhoek, past a giant chicken farm, through a number of farm gates down a dirt road. They’ve got camping spots, chalets, tons of birds, kudu, springbok, hippos, and a few large enclosures with cheetahs and leopards. We camped by a dry riverbed, cooking and drinking the nights away, and drove/walked around looking at hippos and animals during the day. We also rode along for a cheetah and leopard feeding, which afforded close-ups with the impressive cats and tons of amazing photos.
After the camping trip, we headed back to Windhoek, and then it was time to head off on my tour to Etosha.