Highlights of Namibia are too many to count (like zebra round a waterhole, they’re all so dazzling), and in fact every tour for me has something completely new and exhilarating, but here are a few that stand out:-
- Hearing the hum of the dunes
- Painting at a waterhole at Okaukuejo in Etosha National Park – gemsbok, springbok, wildebeest, ostrich, giraffe, elephant, jackals, pied crows, plovers.
- Spotting lions on the edge of the Etosha Pan – and once (!!) a caracal hunting nearby
- A sun-downer in Damaraland, sitting on a rock, feeling the days heat subsiding and talking about the days’ activities
- Sitting in the shade painting ancient rock engravings at Twyfelfontein
- The views from the top of the mountains in Damaraland at sunrise
- The meerkat game – who is the first to spot them on the drives from and to the coast, tiny upright sticks in the grasses that suddenly run!
- Oysters and fizz on a boat in the sunshine at Walvis bay, accompanied by seals
- The cafes, restaurants and wine bars of Swakopmund
- Catching the light and the shadows in the Sossusvlei Dunes
- Spending time on a farm, walking with the shepherds and sketching the flock
- Sitting with a cheetah, sketching whilst scratching its ears, putting down the paint brush occasionally to pull the burs out of its fur.
When we drop our guests at the Hosea Kutato Airport at the end of a tour, we know that the genuinely mean it when they say they would like to start the whole safari all over again!
I first visited Namibia in 2001, ten years after I had first visited Africa from the UK. I had been used to the rivers, lakes and mountains of the lush green central African region of Malawi, so coming to the deserts of Namibia was a complete change for me. Namibia’s stunning landscape is awe-inspiring and hugely inspiring for an artist. On that first visit I used all the reds, yellows and purples in my paint-box, and never tire of filling them again for new visits!
I’m looking forward to being there again next February for Rainbows in the Dunes, Art Safari, 13 – 27 Feb 2014. Join me if you can.