Photographer and tour guide Evan Naudé explored the Tirasberg (page 42), the Khomas Hochland (page 66) and Damaraland (page 74). “Visit Namibia now,” he says. “The tourism industry really needs the support.”
How many times have you been to Namibia?
I visited for the first time in 2014 and I’ve been back every year since, sometimes multiple times a year. I’ve lost count!
How was it different during the pandemic?
The most noticeable difference was the absence of rental bakkies and tour buses on the roads and at the campsites. Usually they’re everywhere. It was great to travel in such a quiet landscape, but it was clear that many accommodation places had experienced a tough year. Some places have closed down, but most survive on the support of local tourists, or by focussing on other sources of income. The Namibians are hopeful, but they’re not sure how long they can survive if the current tourist drought persists.
I saw the odd international tourist in a campsite, but it was mostly South Africans and Namibians travelling alone or in small groups.
I didn’t book any accommodation for my threeweek trip and I always found a place to sleep with rooms or stands to spare. I was often the only camper.
How did the summer rain change the scenery? Seeing water in Sossusvlei was very special. I drove from Windhoek and the veld was green until I reached the Gamsberg Pass. The grass around Solitaire, Sesriem and the Tirasberg had already yellowed when I passed through, but the veld was still happy.
Places in Namibia you’ve never been? The north-eastern part of the country, specifically the area between Tsumkwe, Naye Naye Pans and Khaudum. I’ll visit as soon as I have time.
Your favourite place? The Namib Desert between Lüderitz and Walvis Bay is exceptionally beautiful: dunes, shipwrecks, deserted mining towns, wildlife… It’s a true wilderness.