We disembarked from our aircraft at 12:02AM, the hour of Midnight's Children, to the familiar humidity of Mumbai drenched in ghee and garam masala. The skies were pitch black, but the warm glow of cooking fires and precariously strung electric lights from the slums surrounding the landing strips welcomed us.
Our final resting spot in Africa was at the Okonjima Lodge , home of the AfriCat foundation private reserve. AfriCat is a family run, non-profit organization that works towards the long-term survival of Namibia's carnivores, namely cheetahs, lions, and leopards.
We drove north from Sossusvlei and out to the Atlantic coast, passing the Tropic of Capricorn, to spend a couple of nights in Swakopmund, the second largest town in Namibia. Industrial buildings sit among small golden sand dunes in the land surrounding the town. The town itself is a bit like a Disney rendition of a german village.
We landed in Windhoek, Namibia in the afternoon of Sept. 4th to sample some of the serious heat that we were to face in the following days. Woodland Hills had trained us well, and our endurance was about to be put to the test. The customs line was unwieldy: a lot of German was being spoken rather than the Afrikaans to which we had accustomed our ears in South Africa.
The original reason that I wanted to go to South Africa from the very first time Alexis and I started talking about doing a round-the-world trip some 10 years ago was to surf at Jeffrey's Bay. It was a given that it was going to be part of this trip, and we managed to plan it to coincide with my 42nd birthday.