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Beachcombing for Agates, and a Quest for Flamingos

March 13, 2018

Agate Beach is a popular spot for the folks of Luderitz, so we decided to make a late afternoon stop to see if we could find any of the lovely stones for which it is named. The docent at Felsenkirche had some remarkable ones he had found over the years, so I think we all fantasized about discovering a jewelry-worthy specimen. Alas, the local folks scoop a lot of them up on weekends, so they weren’t so easy to find; but I did get some, along with some jasper and quartzite that I’ll give to my grandboy.

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We were also on the hunt for flamingos, and Dayne jubilantly found a flock — or, my favorite term, a flamboyance — including some juveniles. I do wish I’d had a longer lens to capture these pink beauties. But I did get a couple flying!

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Next up: penguins! We found a waddle of them standing on a beach, but were too far away to get good shots. I make this entry only to be able to use the term “waddle of penguins.” (That’s if they’re standing around. If they’re swimming, they’re called a raft.)

A three-hour drive with a stop for lunch under the only large tree on this road led us to Ka’Naan N/a’an ku sê Desert Retreat, on over 80,000 acres abutting the Namibia-Naukluft National Park. My anticipation built as we turned off the main(dirt) road onto another (dirt) road, continued fifteen minutes to another (dirt) road, which in 8km delivered us to the small registration building. Then another ten-minute drive to the top of a rocky hill and we were at the lodge, overlooking a sweep of plains, dunes and more rocky hills. Perched a bit further down the hill were seven tents on stilts, our accommodations for the next two nights.

 

Rock Shandys slaked our thirst as we soaked in the view from the lodge deck. (Rock Shandys — our beverage of choice for lunch or a quick refresher for these two weeks — are made with dry lemon soda, club soda and Angostura bitters. Tasty, but even better was Ka’Naan’s Malawi Shandy, a combination of dry lemon soda, ginger ale and bitters. Sort of looks like a desert sunset.) The accommodations qualified as glamping in my book.

We met Kai and Lucas, our guides for the next couple of days, when they took us down the hill to meet KFC and Hannabella, two young cheetahs Ka’Naan rescued after their mothers were killed by farmers for getting after livestock. They were adopted when only weeks old, so will always live in captivity, as they were never taught to hunt. While they are habituated to humans, they’re by no means tame. Armed with cheetah sticks, we followed Kai and Lucas into their enclosure, which I estimate comprised about three acres, to watch feeding time. We’ll have more time with these girls later in our visit.

As the sun dipped lower, the dunes took on a lovely ochre glow, and the fine sand in the atmosphere created a vibrant sunset for happy hour.

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