Back in Milan we started thinking about what to write ... "Useful tips or something more romantic?" ... then we decided to write a travel diary that can collect both useful information and our feelings and emotions.
Day One - The arrival in Windhoek
Once again Emirates is money ... a flight longer than the Air Namibia Frankfurt-Windhoek, but on board service, the free dinner at Dubai Airport and ICE ( the in flight entrainment system ) are worth the hours we waited in Dubai and Cape Town. The last stretch from Cape Town to Windhoek is operated by Air Namibia and everything is fine.
The first impression of Windhoek is not that good ... we landed at 6pm, when the sun had already set and the dark was the one of the deepest night. We rented the car ( a wonderful Nissan X-Trail ), the Namibian SIM card and a road map ( all provided by The Cardboard Box Travel Shop ); we withdrew 1000 NAD with some problems ( the ATM machine in the airport at the end of the day can be out of money, luckily there's another machine just outside the airport ) and then we drove to the capital where we arrived in 30 minutes.
Nobody was around, few cars on low enlightened streets and none on the sidewalks ... we parked in front of our b&b ( Villa Vista Guesthouse ) and the owner made us immediately park inside of b&b worried about the luggages. At 9 pm we went to Joe's Beerhouse, a landmark here, where, almost alone, we had dinner trying for the first time local meats ( Oryx, Kudu, Springbook and Crocodile)... really tasty!
Only along the road trip we found out that life in Namibia is based on the sun and that at 9 pm, here, is like 3 am. We found out at the end of the trip that, instead, our first impression about Windhoek wasn't so wrong. Despite what many travel guides say, Windhoek has almost nothing to offer and it's the only place where we felt a bit unease, warned by locals to be really careful with our personal belongings. Having said that, the city is full of shops and none bothered us but, unless you want to visit it with a proper and local guide, a single night at the beginning of your road trip and another one at the end is enough.
Day Two - The colors of the Kalahari
Before leaving Windhoek we stopped by the Mauera Mall, a real shopping centre, where we bought some food and water for the road trip. Finally we are on the road! The clear sky, the big and warm sun, the city that slowly turns into countryside make us feel better and we start to enjoy Namibia and to familiarize with the road!
After 260km and our first gravel road, we arrive at the Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch! The lodge is amazing, surrounded by the red Kalahari Desert that touches Namibia with its Western stretch. It seems to be on movie set, with bright colors, antelopes grazing next to us and an unbelievable landscape!
We take part in the first of many Game Drive - Sundowners, a 4x4 excursion in the game reserve that ends with a refreshment while the sun goes down. After two hours dipped into an amazing environment, we have a quick shower and then we have a very tasty dinner. At 8 pm we're already going to our room for a good sleep, but Nature decides to give us another wonderful gift with a marvelous starry night .... a thing we've never seen before.