We had been forewarned the previous night that it would be an early departure from Fish River Canyon to make the 600km journey to Sesriem by nightfall. This drive was to be the longest of the entire twenty-day tour.
I woke up before 6am and put my personal items back onto the Nomad Adventure Tours overland truck before most had even gotten up. I also took the opportunity to sweep out the truck because the aisle was starting to look like the beach! By the time I had finished sweeping most had gotten up and had started to make themselves coffee and breakfast. I joined in also enjoying some breakfast and by 7am tents were down, the truck was packed and everyone had taken their seats.
Harrison pulled out of camp and we drove along eyes peeled for any animal sightings. Within minutes we spotted our first herd of springbok in the distance. We stopped to take pictures of mountain zebra, wildebeest, ostriches and their 25 babies as well as a few oryx in the distance. After a while, we stopped stopping every couple hundred meters to take pictures and just drove.
The big drive days are long and I have a tendency to get a little stir crazy, so once fun music came through the speakers I was on my feet and dancing up and down the aisles to LMFAO’s I’m Sexy and I Know It. Wiggling any chance I got became MY thing- ask anyone who was on tour with me! Unfortunately I was the only one brave enough to get up and dance like an idiot and despite trying to get people to join in, they all sat in their seats giggling as I made a fool of myself.
We stopped around noon to make some lunch on the side of the road. It never ceased to amaze me that within minutes of pulling over we were able to have our big table set up with 18 chairs all ready to have a proper seated meal. Typically two people help Shingie prepare the vegetables and sandwich stuff and put out the condiments on the table while everyone else takes pictures of our surroundings and stretch their legs. Once everyone finishes up eating we all wash up our own dishes and help put everything away.
It was back on the truck with not much to do but watch out the window for any animals that may be in sight, and watch the miles and miles of vast emptiness roll by.
We pulled up to Sesriem around 4pm and were brought to Sesriem Canyon – much smaller and shallower than Fish River Canyon. Shingie led us into the canyon and we were able to walk around the bottom and wander about taking pictures as we pleased. As daylight started to fade, we got back on the truck and headed over to camp, where we saw the most beautiful sunset I’ve seen in a long time. The desert grass swayed in the breeze and the sun setting cast a salmon glow over it for as far as the eye could see. It was truly a breathtaking sight.
As we put up our tents a few people decided to take the opportunity to shower, while a few there decided to go get some drinks from the campground’s bar. Shaun, Anja and Ivan joined me in this important pursuit of alcohol. As we navigated our way through the darkness, we stumbled upon a springbok a mere 2 meters away from us. It was so cool to encounter the wildlife at such a close distance.
Once returning to our designated campsite, beers in hand, we found at dinner was nearly ready. We sat down and enjoyed Shingie’s latest dinner creation. Shortly after dinner I ensured all of my electronics were safely plugged in on the truck and made my way to my tent- in preparation for the next morning’s severely early wake up call. The early hour didn’t discourage me, as I was far to excited that in mere hours I would be checking off another item from my bucket list – Climb Dune 45 at Sunrise. So with one last look at the beautiful night’s sky -so dark and illuminated solely by the millions of stars overhead- I got comfy in my sleeping bag and before long was sleeping like the dead.
**DISCLAIMER: While Nomad Adventure Tours did provide me with a discounted tour, all expressed thoughts, opinions and experiences remain my own.**
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