A drive from Swakopmund to Skeleton Coast in eastern Namibia offers an insight into why Namibia is known as the land of the brave, PAKO LESEJANE writes.
For a very long time, I wondered why Namibia was known as “Land of The Brave.” It did not take a long time to figure that out. A drive from Swakopmund to Skeleton Coast located on the eastern side of the country had answers for me.
The drive on its own offered amazing views of natural wide-open spaces that could not compare to anything I had seen before.
The long salt roads we drove on offered a view of the Atlantic ocean with rough crashing waves, strong blazing winds and on the other side, endless sand dunes that were complimented by rocky hills.
Driving across these plains that offer two worlds that one may not wish to get lost in, one gets to wonder if the ocean really covers 70% of the earth. Looking as far as the eye could see on the endless waters of the Atlantic, then another look on the endless desert dunes.
I had sounds of Elemotho, Namibia’s very own born musician who sings in Setswana language mixed with Namibia languages, helping me appreciate the majestic ancient open spaces.
After a couple of hours on the road, we reach Skeleton Coast National Park. This is where we stopped to celebrate the 1st 3000km on the road.
Upon arrival, we hear of a car that crashed a few hours earlier and killed two people. We get our permits and proceed inside the national park. For some reason the place feels very strange. I get a feeling that someone is watching us. The first shipwreck we discover is in Toscani named shipwreck Montrose II that sank in 1973.
The nuts and bolts on the wreck are shining like new pennys. The ropes are still intact but the body of the ship is destroyed. We capture images at twilight. We proceed again racing against time and to discover the Toscani mine. It is not a surprise that there was a mine here. The oily soil sticks to the vehicle wheels and anything that comes in contact with it.
A couple of kilometres ahead, we discover yet another shipwreck named Shipwreck Henrietta that sank in 1968 along Palgrave Point. Under the cover of darkness, we spot jackals crossing the desert heading for the waters of the mighty Atlantic Ocean. The winds seem to pick up as we proceed on the gravel roads heading for Terrace Bay.We arrive in Terrace Bay and setup camp. It is windy and cold and I was feeling hungry. Tuna fish was dinner with some bread and couple whiskey shots to warm myself up. I had a peaceful night under the stars while my companion; Mpho Tlale could barely sleep as the Skeleton Coast spooked her.