Flamingos at Walvis Bay
That day, our butts hurt. We left the gorgeous Namibian desert early in the morning for the long drive up the coast to the German town of Swakopmund. We tried sleeping, we tried culling pictures on my computer, we tried to relax, but we couldn't. The road, if such a thing as that strip of rock and sand could be even called a road, was riddled with potholes. We bounced up and down in the seats like PopRocks on the tongue. By the time we reached Walvis Bay for our late lunch, all of us were ready to be off the overlanding truck.
Flamingos in action
It had been only six days since we had seen the ocean or rivers, only six days since we entered the desert, but when Peter, our driver, parked the truck in Walvis Bay, we acted as if it had been weeks. We walked along the beach, avoiding the giant jellyfish, and admiring the pink and gray flamingos that made Walvis Bay their home.
I know that pink flamingos are more popular but I kind of preferred the gray/black flamingos with the hint of pink at the end of their wings. (Random but interesting: did you know that the pinkness of a flamingo depends on its diet? Based on the amount of carotenoid pigments in the plankton and animal protein they eat, the flamingos' plumage varies from gray/black to a bright ruby red.)
Cape Cross Seal Colony
We stayed in Swakopmund for a day and a half, reveling in its civilization: washing our clothes in laundry machines, sleeping in a bed in a room, eating at restaurants, walking through the shopping area, and using the internet. We went quadbiking through the small dunes outside Swakopmund, took naps, and relaxed. When we left Swakopmund, we were ready to see more wildlife. And, boy, did we.
Seals, seal baby, seal posing, seals
We gathered our long telephoto lenses and binoculars to visit the Cape Cross seal colony, thinking that we would be looking afar at a few seals. Instead, we arrived at a place that disgusted our olfactory senses, ripe with the mingling odors of bird poo, rotting fish, animal feces, and salt water. Hundreds . . . or perhaps thousands . . . of seals lay on the beach, jumped into the water, and waddled past each other.
We took a shocking 400 photos in the one hour we spent there but we couldn't help ourselves.
Just look at these faces. Don't they look huggable?
Seal with fin up
This guy is my favorite. I love that mischievous little smile.
Of course, I wouldn't actually hug a seal, what with that nasty fish breath and big teeth.
I wouldn't hug this guy either even though I like snakes (remember when I held that big ol' snake in Australia?).
Brandberg Mountain rock paintingBut, we were in luck! We went to the Brandberg Mountains to see the White Lady, a bushman rock painting.
Meerkat at Brandberg White Lady Lodge
At the campsite there, we met this cute little guy. We circled around the meerkat at the campsite, pulled out our cameras, and rapidly took shots of him standing, sitting, and crouching. Then, our tour group leader Jacques laughed, told us that he was the owners' pet, and picked him up. And that's the story of how our sore bums led to a meerkat lovefest. Ummm . . . or something like that . . . .
*Our trip was sponsored in part by Africa-in-Focus but they did not ask us to write this post or any part of this post. As always, our opinions (both good and bad) are our own. If you are interested in our perceptions of the expedition in general, check out our Overlanding 101 post where we provide a detailed review of the trip.