Saturday, 3 September 2011

Count Arthur visits the Namib Desert

Well, I finally arrived in Namibia after a week in South Africa and couldn't believe it as the plane landed.... there was only sand and scrub to be seen for miles and miles around! Windhoek is the capital city of Namibia and Mrs Conway went there to hire a 4 wheel drive car (well it was more of a truck actually). The man in the garage showed Mrs Conway how to drive in sand and gravel (as there are hardly any tar roads in Namibia) and I got a bit worried when he then explained how to protect the car during the frequent sand storms on the coast. I got even more worried when the man went on at great length about what to do in an emergency when an animal, like an elephant, collides with your car, and all the items he gave us in the first aid kit and talk of snakes and baboons. I'm only a little llama after all.

We started our adventure into the Namib desert the next day and it was a little creepy as we drove on dusty sandy or gravel roads and only saw 3 other cars and 4 farms... It took us all day to get to Sossusvlei, which is the home of the world's largest sand dunes, and I was very excited to see all the wildlife that was running about around us. We saw oryx, baboons, warthogs, mongoose, ground squirrels, springboks and lots more. I was just nodding off, as it was very very hot in the car, when I was THROWN OUT of my seat (on the front passenger side in a little pocket Mrs Conway had made for me so that I could see out the front... I am only a little llama, but unfortunately this meant I was not wearing a seat belt.) A zebra had come flying out of the scrub and ran right across the road infront of us. Thankfully this was near the end of the journey so I managed to recover by the side of the pool when we arrived at the ranch.

Driving in the sand was quite tricky, you have to take a lot of the air out of the tyres or you get stuck in the sand, and the wind blows the sand all over the place so you can't really see how deep the sand is until your tyres get stuck in it. I tried to be brave though as it is a very very wobbly drive and I didn't have a nice steering wheel to hold on to.

The sand dunes were even taller than some of the hills in Yorkshire, I couldn't believe it. We spent about 5 days in this desert driving around and we even went as far as the coast and the german town of Swakopmund. This was a lot of fun as we went quad biking up and down the sand dunes and sand boarding too.

Unfortunately, as I am only a little llama I wasn't allowed to have my own quad bike like Mrs Conway's children as my arms were too short and couldn't reach the brakes so I had to go on the back of the quad bike but it was still a lot of fun. At least it was, until the guide pointed out some interesting marking on the sand and said we should follow them. Guess what we found..... I was NOT a happy llama.