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Pamela MacNaughtan

The Orange River is out last stop in Namibia, before we cross the border into South Africa. It’s hard to believe that in 2 days, my trip will be over. It’s even harder to believe that I’ve spent the last 6 or so weeks traveling overland from Nairobi, through 8 African countries, to Cape Town!

The closer we get to the end of the trip, the shorter our drives get. In the beginning we had driving days that lasted almost 12 hours. Now, we’re doing to driving only 4 hours. Our truck pulled into the Felix Unite (our campsite for the night) around 11 a.m. As my birthday is tomorrow and there are no upgrades where we’ll be camping, I asked George about upgrading tonight instead.

“Do you have any upgrades?” I asked the woman at reception

“Yes. I have singles and doubles.”

“How much?” I tried to not sound too eager.

“They are 500 Namibian Dollars.”

“Can I see a double room first, then pay?” I don’t mind paying $500 Namibian Dollars for an upgrade, that’s like $70 CND, but I want to see the room first!

The woman from reception grabbed a set of keys and walked towards the river. As we walked down the stone steps, several huts came into view. The huts were round, made of colourful bricks, wood and had thatched roofs. They were also built along the river. This is when I started to get excited. The idea of sleeping in a cabana, overlooking the Orange River, the night before my birthday, was almost too much to bear.

I wanted a quiet spot and lucked out when I was given the option of Cabana 9 or Cabana 10. Cabana 10 was the very last one, so naturally, that was my choice.

I waited until after the woman left and I had the keys to my Cabana in my hand, then let out a little squeal of delight. It was utterly beautiful. I had a large, comfy double bed all to myself! I had my very own bathroom, which was clean and had its own shower. I had air con. I even had a kettle to make tea! Trust me, after 30+ days of sleeping in a tent, all of the above are serious luxury items! The best part of my cabana though was outside.

The view from outside my cabana was spectacular. I could have spent my entire time sitting at the table and looking out over the river. If I wasn’t travelling with a group, I probably would have done just that.

There is not a lot to do at this particular spot. The pool was being painted when we arrived, so swimming wasn’t really an option. I could go sit at the bar, but I don’t really need to drink all day. Relaxing in my cabana seemed like the best option available.

Traveling with a group of people is something I have never done before. I have enjoyed it, but as a solo traveller, I crave my alone time. If you’ve been reading about my trip to Africa, you’ll notice that I’ve found a few times to be alone. For me, that is a necessary part of travel. I like having time to relax and reflect. It’s what keeps me sane.

As one of our last nights on the trip (and my pre-birthday night), I joined the group for dinner and then at the bar. I love that our current group is smaller and closer than the first group. It has made this trip so much better. The age differences never came into play, and the backbiting (which happens when you have such a mixture of ages and personalities) had almost completely disappeared. It. Was. Great.

Thinking of travelling to Africa?

Traveling in Africa, solo can be a scary thought -especially for solo female travellers. I’m not saying it can’t be done, it can. What I am saying is that there is nothing wrong with joining a group tour.

For 45 days I travelled from Kenya (Nairobi) to Cape Town with Intrepid Travel. This was my very first group travel experience. At first, I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into, but as time progressed, I began to relax and fall in love with this type of travel. In fact, I would definitely travel with Intrepid again. 

 

Comments:

  • Chris Walker-Bush

    October 1, 2011

    Love that first photo!

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  • November 14, 2011

    That looks pretty amazing!

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    • November 15, 2011

      Thanks, Kelsey! I still wish I had a proper camera in Namibia. I guess this means I’ll need to go back. 🙂

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  • Hurssel

    November 7, 2013

    Wow! It must be very exciting there. The place is looking so beautiful.

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