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The Route, Our Guides and First Cheetah Encounter

March 7, 2018

For the next ten days or so we were headed in a loop south from Windhoek, then west and gradually north through the Namib Desert, and finally back to Windhoek. Our drive would be primarily on dirt roads, some fairly smooth, others virtual washboards; my guess is that we were on paved roads for less than 100 miles of our journey.

Namibia was part of South Africa until it gained its independence in 1990. It abuts the South Atlantic just north of South Africa, with Angola to the north and Botswana to the east. The part of the country we explored was primarily desert — the Kalahari and the Namib, the latter being the oldest desert on the planet. Germany colonized the country in the 1880s, and their influence is still evident in the place names and cuisine (schnitzel, anyone?) More on that later.

Our fabulous guides are enthusiastic naturalists, Steve a renowned ornithologist and his son Dayne knowledgeable in all manner of geckos, burrowing animals, birds and larger wildlife, as well as an accomplished photographer. As the primary designer of the trip, Dayne knew the best spots for us to capture photos. His daily biology lessons were a real treat.

From Red Dunes Lodge we continued south to the Quiver Tree Lodge, where we had our first cheetah encounter at feeding time. The lodge owner ushered us into the enclosure where two cheetahs were awaiting their evening meal…


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