Saturday, 9 May 2015

Namibia Travels: Part 2

Day 1 and 2: 
Frosty and I recently went to Namibia for his cousin's wedding and we used the opportunity to take some leave and see a bit of Namibia (luckily we only needed to take 3 days of leave in order to have a wonderful 10 day holiday, thanks to the two public holidays in one week).

Our biggest constraint was that we had to be at work on Friday and be in Windhoek for the wedding on Saturday. Luckily we managed to work a bit of overtime during the week and both of us manages to get off work at lunch time. We packed up my car (an adventurous little Ford Fiesta!) and by quarter to 1 we were on the road. Since it's quite a drive from Cape Town to Windhoek, we decided to stop over at Savanna Guest Farm for the night, which is about 2.5 hours from the Vioolsdrif/Noordoewer border post (I think it's one of two 24 hour border post between SA and Namibia).

One of our biggest pre-trip tasks was getting all the different documentation ready for presentation at the border post. We ended up taking more than we needed. For those who are interested, here is the list of what we took* (the items in bold are the ones we were asked for at the border post):
  • Passports.
  • Drivers Licences.
  • IDs.
  • A copy of my Car Registration Document (it looks similar to the piece of paper that your car licence comes on every year).
  • A copy of proof of travel insurance for my car, including confirmation that Frosty would be covered for driving my car and the dates that we would be in Namibia for.
  • A letter from the company that finance my car, confirming that I am allowed to take the car across the border post and the dates that I would be in Namibia.
  • Medical Travel Insurance papers.
  • Address of the place we were staying in Namibia (we just gave the place that we were camping at over the time of the wedding).
  • A magnetic ZA sticker for my car. We weren't asked for this, but we stuck it on at the South African side of the border post and only removed it when we got back into South Africa.
It took us about half an hour to get through both the South African and Namibian sides of the border post. We just got our passports stamped on the SA side and on the Namibia side, we filled in some forms, got our passports stamped and paid R220 for road tax, which included a permit that you must keep with you at all times, as it gives you permission to drive in Namibia. Another thing that is always useful is a pen. Let me repeat that - take a pen with you, as there were no pens for us to use at the border post. At the time that we were travelling, April/May, Namibia is an hour behind of South Africa, so remember to turn your watch back an hour when you cross the border post!

It was a very straightforward affair to get into Namibia and our total travel time from Cape Town to our overnight stop Namibia was about 9.5 hours, including the time we spent crossing the border. Savanna Guest Farm was a welcome break to our drive (we booked it through SafariNow, which is a great site for finding accommodation when roadtripping and I've used it often). 

The second day, we were up at 4.30 am Namibia time, on the road by 5 am and arrived in Windhoek at Arebbusch Guest Lodge 6.5 hours later. I was a bit concerned about finding the place, because Frosty didn't really know where it was and neither of us had roaming on our phones, so we were thinking of winging it a bit and maybe finding a sim card so that we could call or find out where the lodge was. Luck, however, was on our side! Somehow, as we were driving in to Windhoek, I noticed the sign on the left at one of the sets of robots, so first time lucky, we were able to pull in and surprise everyone a bit earlier than we had anticipated. We even had time for a shower and lunch and catch up with various family members before it was time to get ready for the wedding!

Bubbles at a wedding
Fun with bubbles after the ceremony
Bubbles at a wedding
Blowing bubbles
Bride and Groom looking wonderful!
Don't the bubbles make for a beautiful atmosphere and picture?
Red, orange and purple sunset in Namibia
Sunset overlooking Windhoek
The wedding was lovely, can you tell I really loved the bubbles? As the bride and groom exited the church everyone started blowing and there were just bubbles everywhere. I didn't get any snaps at the reception, however it was good fun and the food was incredibly tasty - don't even get me started on the wedding cake, it was a variety of chocolate truffles which were without a doubt the best I've ever tasted! We missed the cousins that weren't there, but it was good fun all the same and once we got back to the camp site, we carried on the party for another hour or two before heading off to bed!

* This is not an official list, so please do a bit of research yourself! The most useful website for us was the AA website.

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