Oh Lord bless this bus. The journey to Windhoek, Namibia


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After a lengthy prayer by the our  hostess, an even lengthier one from one of the passengers and 10 minutes of singing praising the Lord, we finally set off on an 23 hour epic bus journey from Livingstonia in Zambia to Windhoek in Namibia.    InterCape has become a success story of South Africa.  Started by a Good Christian man, it provides a safe, reliable, cost effective service between many of the Southern African countries.

It is a great service but success seems to have gone to the CO’s head that has set himself up as a preacher of the gospel.  Videos of him reading from the bible and then interpreting it in very strange ways are played on the overhead screen to the bus’s trapped audience.   This is often followed up by a few hours of religious songs interspersed with videos shows/films preaching Christian morals beliefs and values on marriage, family, divorce, abortion and religion.

All very well for those who believe and like to have some reinforcement but it felt  like brain washing to me.    Hours later, two borders crossed no sleep and the recommencement religious theme a reverse psychology set in and at that point I would have happily converted to any other religion to spite him.  It was my first trip with Intercape – I will be better prepared, if there is a next time, and buy ear defenders.

All the annoyances, the stolen money by one of the border guards who searched our hand luggage at the crossing and lack of sleep faded as the sun rose in a the country.  The sunset was awesome.

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Namibia has one of the lowest populations in Africa and as we  travelled to the capital in its central highlands, we passed through vast tracts of unpopulated land.  Many people have migrated  to the cities in hope of work only become homeless and unemployed.

Driving into Windhoek was pleasant surprise.  Well ordered wide clean streets, blocks sunny well kept houses, good infrastructure, shopping malls, and restaurants offering a variety of good food from different continents.  Gingerbread houses, sugar spun churches and German speaking residents reflects the German influence that dates back to early 20 century.

We were here for one reason.  The Namib.   One of the oldest and driest sea deserts of the world.   Some of the highest sand dunes in the world, a UNESCO world heritage site and a photographer’s play pen.

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Having arranged a 3 day safari to the Sossusvlei for the week after our arrival we settled in to enjoy some relaxation and  respite from the trials of travelling.    Swimming in the pool, eating good food and watching the sunset from the Hilton Hotel with drink in hand featured heavily on the agenda.   And so well watered, fed and rested and we set off for what has to be one of the most memorable experiences of my Southern African trip.  Covering most of Western Namibia, the  32,000 km sand sea desert is one of oldest and driest ecosystems in the world.  We were off to see the  Sesriem Canyon and Sossusvlei and photograph the star dunes.

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28 thoughts on “Oh Lord bless this bus. The journey to Windhoek, Namibia

  1. I can’t wait to see your photos. We visited Sossusvlei in December 2012 and it was 43°C at 10am!! I loved Namibia even though December is not the ideal time to visit because of the heat. My next trip to Namibia will focus on the Caprivi and then head off to the Okavango.

  2. i love the pictures. I don’t love the “forced Christianity” though. I am a christian; but stuff like that bus incident… annoy the crap out of me! I reckon God shakes his head too.

    Dear Namibia, I still want to come visit you…

    • We had a vague plan, but the political sit in Mozambique diverted us to Zambia and Namibia. We always listen to other travellers experiences and that often leads us to new experiences

  3. Sue, you had my hubby and I rolling in the aisles reading this. 😆 Thanks for the warning, just in case we ever decide to travel by bus in Africa. Your pics are amazing. I haven’t been to Namibia, but it certainly looks worth a visit. The theft at the border post doesn’t surprise in the least. Some things never change. 😦

  4. VERY interesting to read some of your sentences. Years ago when I travelled on the same bus line (intercape) they were even then pushing the religious stuff when you were onboard, so nothing has changed. That was at least 10 years ago.

    Even more interesting to read is that the border guards are STILL doing the money removing at the border. They know that when you cross the border at 0300 that you will be tired and not with it, so probably catch a lot of people. So nothing seems to have changed in all the years. They tried that with me, and very nearly got away with it to.

    So the more that things change, the more that they stay the same. Namibia is great for holidays though,

    jeritilley.wordpress.com

  5. many buses in ecuador have highly-violent movies === or just when you think you’re going to have a nice quiet ride, someone steps up to the pulpit  and attempts saving our heathen souls for the next half hour, then steps off to torment the next bus heading in the other direction.   sigh.     last year i was surprised when one gal stood at the front of the bus and sang about four songs.  she was peddling her cd!

    thanks for taking us on this journey –  and i’m glad to have read the post via my inbox, as the internet is not strong enough here to open the post.

    buen viaje – enjoy the rest of your journey!

    z

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