Every year, when the time comes to do the next annual Namibia guide, we just fall deeper in love with our favourite neighbour.
This 2015 special edition includes packing tips for hikers looking to tackle the Fish River Canyon, a restaurant guide to Swakopmund and Walvis Bay; excerpts from the travel diaries of readers who explored places like Damaraland, Kaokoland and the Caprivi Strip by car, motorbike and on foot – and everything else in between.
Then there’s the backbone of this book: an accommodation guide with more than 220 great places to stay across the country – everything you need to know to plan your entire holiday. (We called every single establishment to check their rates and contact details. Sometimes, when I asked a colleague what they’d done with their day, the answer was: “I called Namibia.”)
Without the support of businesses who choose to advertise with us, this edition of go! Namibia would never have seen the light of day. We could’ve called these establishments from our office in Cape Town, but we favour a more personal approach, so we sent a representative to Namibia.
Sanetha Meintjies is part of the go! advertising sales team. Early in 2015 she and her dad Koos (73) hit the road – Sanetha to sell ads, her dad to make sure she got to where she needed to go.
“My dad likes to prepare for every possible situation when he travels,” says Sanetha. “Our red Isuzu was so full of spare parts and tyres that we could have set up a workshop in the bush. We lowered our tyre pressure for sand driving in Sossusvlei, but when we wanted to inflate the tyres for the tar road ahead we broke the air pipe. My dad patched the pipe with duct tape and resumed pumping up the tyres, only for the pipe to break on another section. He fixed it again, it broke again, and in the end there was so little pipe left you could barely tickle your ear with it.”
Sanetha’s grandparents lived in Karasburg and she’s been visiting Namibia since childhood. “You feel free there,” she says. “You can breathe. Even the sand is alive – you just have to take the time to look closely. In Namibia you realise that water from a tap, or opening a fridge to take out a cooldrink, is a privilege. And the people are as honest and hospitable as you’re likely to find. Everyone has a story to tell – not just any story but one that moves you.”
Thank you to all the Namibians who opened their doors and hearts to Sanetha and her dad. To the South Africans and other readers: Enjoy your holiday!