The Drive to Wereldsend
February 28, 2014
By Emma Griggs (University of British Columbia ’18)
Yesterday morning, we got up to write our final internet-connection goodbyes to everyone back home as we prepared to leave our hostel home in Windhoek. After packing up our room, giggling with excitement, we rushed through breakfast, threw our bags in the car, and sat down to relax for a bit before our oncoming 8-hour drive. After a brief delay, we were on our way! As we left the city, Vehi warned us to look around and ‘appreciate the green’— warning it won’t be as colourful in Wereldsend.
The numbers of trees continued to go down as we got farther and farther from Windhoek, and we were all on the lookout for any wildlife. Before our first stop, we caught a few baboons fleeing the road as our cars scared them away!
Our first stop was Okahandja, where those of us without them picked up some maps and we four girls grabbed some phone credits to use in the next few weeks whenever reception decided to make itself available. Soon after exiting Okahandja, we left the main highway and turned onto a dirt road—or as Vehi described it, ‘the real Namibia.’ After a short stop for lunch and some bush bathroom breaks, we continued on for about 3 hours straight. Right by the road, we almost missed a pack of Oryx, which had of course dispersed before we managed to back up and get a better look.
The dark clouds we’d been keeping an eye on all day finally gave in, and it began to pour. There were a couple five-minute showers, as well as a good 20 minute downpour. The sound of the rain on the roof and memories of home that the rain brought on slowly lulled me to sleep in the backseat, and when I woke up the green was almost completely gone. We had officially entered the savannah! After a quick pee stop and a climb up the pile of rocks by the road to get a better view, we pushed through the last 2 hours. Though we did stop one more time to climb a sand dune.
Finally getting to Wereldsend, we all ran around a few times laughing and yelling, celebrating our arrival. After settling into our tents, we had a yummy meal of pap and stew around the campfire, though it was almost ruined by our crow friend, Carl, who tried to get into our food. Halfway through dinner, Vehi and I turned to each other, freaking out slightly, because we thought we had heard a lion nearby. After asking if anyone else had heard it, Molly claimed the sound as her own, saying that her stomach had been chatting to her since the plane ride. After waking up this morning, we were told that there had in fact been a lion around camp, and all turned to Molly accusingly. We’re still looking for the lion…