Today we are going to experience Hot Air Ballooning in Sossusvlei.

This is a unique, grand, and romantic experience.

It is best to stay the night before close-by, as generally you need to arrive at the Namib Sky Balloon Safaris base early.
A convenient spot to stay is at Le Mirage lodge, which is only 1 km away and the food is very good.

1h30 before dawn (in our case it was at 05:30) you arrive at Namib Sky base for registration and you are then transferred on a 4×4 to the launch site, which was about 15mn away.
Namib Sky Balloon Safaris is a family business. The Owner Dennis is from Belgium and his wife Andrea is Portuguese.
Except for pregnant women and children under 6 years’ old (if their height is under 1.2m), anybody can join. In their case, they can follow the balloon with the ground crew in the 4×4 vehicle and there is a babysitter for children, if required.

The balloon flight in Sossusvlei/Namibrand lasts about 1hr and our bird’s view is magnificent over the orange desert and undulating dunes.

The landing was also fun as we landed directly onto the trailer!!

After the flight, we all gather and enjoy a delicious buffet Champagne breakfast/brunch, in the middle of the desert. It is really top class.

If you have the opportunity, hot air ballooning in Sossusvlei/Namibrand is a wonderful and memorable experience to have.

Kind regards/Cordialement


Good evening everybody

Tok Tokkie Trails is a very nice trip to do, in Namibrand Nature Conservation, South-West of Namibia.
You walk for 3 days in the desert, sleep for 2 nights with the stars on a stretcher, in the middle of nowhere.
You only take your backpack for the day, and they care of the rest.

We have a chef cooking for us, but for the rest it is back to basics.
A little bucket of cold water to wash and an open sky toilet with some privacy.
There was a decent space between travellers to sleep so that and we could enjoy our spectacular room with a view.
The Spanish couple on the pictures came to Namibia for their honeymoon.
Per day, you walk about 15km at a leisurely pace, and, with the guide, we regularly pause to observe some plants, flowers, some small animals of the desert, take pictures, in this magnificent scenery.
Best to be prepared to have good sunglasses, a hat, scarf, suncream and proper walking shoes and trekking pants.

We had good weather for the first night and we got a sandstorm.
It was in June and the weather was cold and then with gale force wind. It happens now and then to have sandstorm in the desert.
The suncream on our faces attracted the orange sand like glue, and we were looking wild and exotic !!
By the second day in the afternoon, they sent a truck to our rescue, and we were taken back to base for the last night.
We continued to suffer a bit as there was only cold water at the base camp, but a hot chocolate did the trick!!

It is a unique experience to be so connected to nature, to discover the variety of the landscape at a leisurely pace, and to enjoy the stars at night, in this grandiose décor.
Tok Tokkie Trails is well organized, we had a nice and knowledgeable guide, the food was good, and it was so nice to disconnect, melt with the beauty of nature and enjoy this little adventure.
Even with the inclement weather, would I do it again?
Yes, definitely. It’s a great hike and adventure for anyone who loves walking and nature.

On special request, next time, I will send you some pictures of animals that I took in Namibia.


Good day everyone. ; Bonsoir à tous

Relating to our last post on Namibrand Nature reserve, on the 203,000 hectares of the Namibrand Nature Reserve, there are Kwessie Dunes Lodge, Wolwedans Collection, with the Wolwedans Dune Camp, Wolwedans Dune Lodge, Wolwedans Plains Camp and Wolwedans Boulders, and talk talkie trails. There is also an old farmhouse called the Hideout.


Next time, we will discover Talk Talkie Trails, where you spend 3 days walking in the desert with 2 nights sleeping under the stars.


Good evening everybody

We will travel to Namibrand Nature Reserve (South West), which is one of my favourite places in Namibia, for its purity, silence and divine beauty.

A German-Namibian businessman from Windhoek, Mr J.A. Bruckner, started to purchase several sheep farms in the foothills of the Namib Desert in 1984. He had noticed that the land was completely out of its ecologic balance due to excessive pasture farming.

He had the vision to return the land to its original state and to create a Private Nature Reserve.

Mr Bruckner bought 16 surrounding farms, the last one in 2016, took down all fences and reintroduced game. There are mostly leopards, cheetahs, zebras, oryx, giraffes, springboks, in the reserve.

Today, Namibrand is the largest Private Nature Reserve in Africa, covering a total of 203,000 hectares.!!

In this protected and huge playground, there are mountains, savannahs, and gorgeous orange dunes, which make your heart melt.

There are also the fairy circles, which throughout Africa only appear in Namibia. They are round circles without any growth amidst the desert vegetation with a diameter up to 12 metres. Until today, there is no scientific explanation regarding the formation of these circles.

To make the Nature Reserve economical, viable and sustainable, Mr Bruckner allowed 5 tourism concessions.

Concessions are a means of providing access for tourists to parts of protected areas that are normally not accessible.

In this case, these concessions are lodges, namely Kwessie Dunes Lodges, Wolwedans Collection, an old farmhouse called Family Hideout ; activities such as Tok-Tokkie walking Trails, Namib Sky Adventures for Hot air ballooning and a non-profit environment education centre NaDEET, for Namibians to learn about sustainability.

A sustainability levy is charged for each day of your stay or for your activity, which is paid to the Concession to keep the Nature Reserve profitable.

The rules of the Reserve prescribe that there are only 25 guests’ beds in one location and that the lodges are at least 1000 hectares apart.

They are also bound by their concession agreements to respect and maintain the natural resources of this pristine area.

Here are some pictures of Namibrand.

Next time, we will visit together some of the lodges of the Namibrand Nature Reserve.

Otherwise, if you have family or friends who would like to join the group, let me know and I will happily include them.

Welcome to Namibia.

Winter is at 6am, Spring starts at 10am, Summer is at 2pm, and Autumn is around 5:30.

  • When packing for your holiday in Namibia, you need to prepare for all eventualities.
  • While it can be very hot in the summer, often reaching 40 degrees in the desert, it can also cool down considerably when it rains.
  • And although our winters are mild and sunny, we can experience both hot days and frost occasionally both within the same week!

Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring
As we are in the South Hemisphere, December is in summer, and August is in the winter.
In Namibia, we don’t experience the typical three-month seasons.

  • Summer is long, running from October, November, December, January, February, and March (6 months).
  • This is followed by a short Autumn in April and May (2 months), although most leaves drop from deciduous trees only from late May.
  • Winter is relatively short, beginning in June, July and usually ending in August (3 months).
  • Then September constitutes a very brief Spring (1 month).

Inland versus Coast

  • Temperatures also vary across the country.
  • Inland areas and more northern parts of the country tend to be milder than the southern and western desert areas.

The Coast of Namibia has a climate of its own:

  • Dependent on the cold Benguela current coming up from Antarctica, the Namibian coast is persistently cool, often misty, or cloudy.
  • We generally get 4 seasons in one day. A typical day would be foggy in the morning, sunny at midday, windy in the afternoon and cold at night!
  • The temperature can drop to 7-8C in the winter, and it is unusual if it reaches 30C in summer.
  • On the coast, the best weather is generally between January and April.
  • Surprisingly, in the middle of the winter, when we have East wind, which comes from the desert, the temperature can reach 25C-30C at times!!

Rainfall in Namibia

  • Rainfall in Namibia is normally limited to the summer months of October to March, sometimes extending into April and early May.
  • The heaviest rains normally fall from January to March.
  • Rainfall also varies across the country from south-west (lowest rainfall) to north-east (highest rainfall).
  • Most of the rain falls happens in the evening and at night.
  • You may see fewer animals in the rainy season as they no longer need to go to the waterholes and tend to go further .

So, by now you are probably very confused about the climate in Namibia and wonder when the best time is to come on holiday.

Anytime of the year is good, and like anywhere else in the world, the weather is quite unpredictable from one year to the next and even from one day to the next.

I would say that if you can, avoid the month of August, as it generally gets very busy and if this is the only convenient time for you, try to book 8 months to a 1 year in advance to secure your first choice of care hire, lodges, and activities.

One day in Walvis Bay.

Recently we were invited for a full day of adventure (09:30 to 18:00) with the tour company Mola Mola, in Walvis Bay.

At 09:30, we boarded a boat at Walvis Bay Waterfront to go around the Bay where pelicans and seals happily jump on-board, to the joy and surprise of the tourists. It is a safe, unusual, and a fun encounter.


As we navigate along around the Bay of Walvis Bay, the skipper gives local knowledge about the local industry, the oyster farm, the fishing industry, some facts about birds, fish, and if you’re lucky, you may see some dolphins swimming at a short distance from the boat. Free drinks are served on-board.

Then, about lunch time, we disembark onto Pelican Point beach for a fantastic braai. (barbecue). On the menu, there was crayfish, meat, local oysters, and delicious salads. Champagne and other drinks are also included.

At our own pace, a guide awaits us in a 4×4 vehicle to take us to Sandwich Harbour, which is a protected site, where the high dunes meet the sea and merge around a beautiful lagoon which is generally a meeting point for birds.

You normally reach Sandwich Harbour through the dunes or drive on the beach, depending on the tide.

On the route, our guide regularly stops the car for us to take pictures or to discover little animals living in the dunes, like geckos, Tok Tokkies, etc.

Mola Mola is more expensive than other local operators, but it is top quality and service.

If you ever come to Walvis Bay, it is really a very enjoyable trip to do for adults and children alike.


Kind regards



So let us talk today about Kolmanskop, the famous diamond mine, 10km away from Luderitz, which is located South West of the country.

The great diamond rush was mostly between 1908 and 1914. In 1912, Kolmanskop was producing a million carats a year, or 11.7% of the world total diamond production. The diamonds were small but of high quality.

The Germans shipped most of the equipment/material from Germany, in particular to build houses in Kolmanskop. There was a butcher, a baker, a post office, an ice factory, they had a little train that would deliver the ice and lemonade to the houses every morning.

Fresh water was brought by rail. They also had electricity, a police station (camels were used frequently for their patrols), one of the first X-Ray machines (for medicinal purposes and also to check that they did not swallow diamonds), a skittle alley.

European opera groups even came to perform. There were avant-garde for the time, and it must have been quite an eccentric life in the middle of the desert. There were about 300 Germans, 40 children and they employed 800 local Namibians who were living further away.

To have a feel of what life must have been back then, Marianne Coleman, who was a little girl at the time, and the daughter of a foreman at Kolmanskop, recalled:

“One of my early childhood memories is of labourers being sent out with empty jam jars, a small spade and a hand broom, returning later in the day with jars filled with diamonds.

We had a post office there, and that was our link to the outside world. Post was delivered late on Friday afternoons.

We did not have refrigerators but cooler chests. I remember the ice man doing his rounds delivering ice blocks every day.

The butcher was Mr. Zirkler, and the baker was Mr. Brechlin. Every morning on his way to work, father would drop off his daily order at the store, bakery, or butcher. Fresh bread or rolls, meat and other groceries were delivered before noon. Mr. Zirkler made the best smoked Vienna sausages you could imagine. In the store one could buy home made fudge and toffees. Behind the store was a playground for the children. There was a large workshop, a huge depot, a carpentry shop, offices and stables.

We had a painter from Germany who painted the insides of the houses with fabulous patterns and designs. We had a seawater swimming pool. The water was pumped all the way from Elizabeth Bay. The overflow water was used on the plant and for cleaning purposes. There were bathing huts around the pool, birthday parties were held there, and on Sundays, weather permitting, the band played and we all had a jolly time.

There was a primary school with a playground complete with swings and merry-go-round. At the top of a sand-dune hill was a reservoir which served a dual purpose. It provided the mining plant with water for the washing and treatment operations and was also used as a swimming pool by the residents of Kolmanskop. Sea water was pumped through a long pipeline from Elisabethbucht 28 kilometres away.

In 1910 they built a central power station in Luderitz to supply electricity to the diamond fields.

Housing, electricity and fuel were provided free by the company, which also maintained a well-built hospital. The hospital had one of the finest X-ray plants in Southern Africa.

The hospital also had its own wine cellar. The wine was moreover used medicinally. One of the two resident doctors Dr. Kraenzle, believed that patients recovered more speedily if they received some stimulation in the form of a little wine or Champagne.

In 1927 a magnificent new recreation centre was built where many functions and forms of entertainment were held. It had perfect acoustics, designed by an expert from Germany. There was also a gymnasium and film showings, a bowling alley, a casino and a theatre. Theatre groups, musicians and artists came regularly.

Working hours on the mine was nine hours every day for six days a week, with only special days like Easter or Christmas, New Year, etc, being given off. In the early days church services were held in the school building.

Wages were good and virtually everything was free, including company houses, milk deliveries and other fringe benefits.

It was difficult to keep a pet, but we had an ostrich which pulled a little sleigh over the sand. An ostrich is not a docile beast and I remember the terror from housewives as we careered along. The ostrich stopping every now and again to pinch and eat anything that it could find. Nevertheless, the ostrich and sleigh was used at Christmas time to bring father Christmas and some presents…”

Unfortunately, I have not found a picture of Marianne or information about her life afterwards.

Today Kolmanskop is a little treasure for photographers and history lovers.

Intensive mining depleted the area by the 1930s when new diamond fields were found further South. People left in droves, abandoning homes and possessions. By 1956 Kolmanskop was completely abandoned.

Today there are still some diamond mines but most of the production of diamonds is from marine extraction.

Namdeb Diamond Corporation (Pty) Limited is owned in equal shares by the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers.

De Beers conduct marine-based diamond recovery around 120 to 140m below sea level in the Atlantic Ocean off the Namibian coast. They operate a fleet of 6 vessels, capable of exploring for and retrieving diamond-bearing materials from the seabed and processing them to a diamond-rich concentrate.

On De Beers website, it says that Namibia has the richest known marine diamond deposits in the world, estimated at more than 80 million carats.

If you fancy coming to Namibia and would like to bring some diamonds back home, only cut diamonds are legal.

Kind regards

So, continuing our family trip, we will explore tonight Luderitz, with a little bit of history.
Luderitz is a small coastal town in the Southwest of Namibia.
It is the second commercial port after Walvis Bay.

Luderitz is notorious for its wind blowing more than 300 days in a year.

The town of Luderitz was previously named Angra Pequena (Narrow Bay), when the Portuguese Navigator Bartolomeu Dias step foot here in 1487 and erected a stone cross, on Luderitz Southern Peninsula.

To understand Luderitz better, let me give you some historical context:
German Southwest Africa was a colony of the German Empire, under Bismark from 1884 until 1915, although Germany did not officially recognize its loss of this territory until 1919, with the Treaty of Versailles.

You will see on the map dated 1915, that Namibia was invaded by the Germans, and Walvis Bay, was part of the British Empire.
In 1883, Adolf Luderitz, who was one of Germany’s first prominent colonialists, signed an agreement with Chief Joseph Frederick of Bethanie, in what is now Southern Namibia. The treaty gives the German businesseman rights to the area around the strategic harbour of Angra Pequena, which he renamed Luderitz.

In those years, Zacharias Lewala, who was a worker in a diamond mine in Kimberley, South Africa gained experience in the recognition of rough diamonds

Later, he worked in Luderitz at the maintenance of the railway under his German Superior August Stauch.

In 1908, while he was working near Kolmanskop, which is 10km from Luderitz, he discovered several stones which he suspected to be diamonds.
Zacharias Lewala dutifully reported it to his Boss.
Mr Stauch and his friend Nissen, as they realized they were diamonds, initially kept the knowledge secret, and only announced it after securing about 35 hectares around Kolmanskop to continue diamond searching.

Afterwards, realizing that the area was full of diamonds, the German government then prohibited entry to almost the entire extent of Namibia’s Southern Coast, declaring it the Speergebiet, meaning forbidden zone, where no one can enter without a permit.

It was the start of the diamond rush, the town of Luderitz observed an economic boom between 1908 and 1914. Luderitz was at the time known, as Africa’s richest town.

For the anecdote, Zacharias Lewala apparently received nothing for his find, not even some form of gratitude; while many, like August Stauch made a fortune, which he later lost through bad investments and the Great Depression.

The 30 years of German colonialism made a big imprint in the country, in many ways. In Luderitz, it can be seen today in the beautiful architecture of some houses.

In the next blog, we will be visiting the Diamond mind of Kolmanskop and the glittering lifestyle they had at the time.

Kind regards