7. Tell us one story/memory that you have while working at Wilderness:
In 2018 the then MD for the Zambezi Region, the late Ron Goatley, was impressed by an article I wrote and rewarded me with a dream trip to Namibia. I had always wanted the cultural exchange and experience to see and meet the Himba people. To date, this is probably one of the major highlights in my almost nine years of service with Wilderness.
It was a very long trip, starting off with a 24-hour road trip from my hometown of Kariba to Vic Falls. From Vic Falls I crossed over to Livingstone to catch a coach to Windhoek. It was another very long road trip. When I got to Windhoek, plans had already been made, and I was met by a Tours staff member who whisked me to the airport. I was running late but almost everyone along the way knew that I was coming and were waiting. The plane was also delayed from Windhoek to Doro Nawas. I felt like a VIP as everyone wanted to know who this guy was who could make schedules change just for him.
The flight was amazing. I just fell in love with the view from the sky as we flew above the beautiful landscape. Halfway through the flight to Serra Cafema, we stopped at Doro Nawas for a change of planes and a bit of a meal. An hour-and-a-half later we were met at Serra Cafema airstrip by a very welcoming and jovial guide who took us to camp. Occasionally we stopped along the way to enjoy the breathtaking, panoramic views of this lovely country. My first sight of the Kunene River from the dunes was just spellbinding and I was lost for words to describe the feeling.
Arrival in camp almost brought tears into my ears. I am used to welcoming guests in camp with some singing and dancing, but at this juncture, the tables were turned and I was the guest receiving the treatment that I normally dish out. Lovely smiley faces singing and dancing made me just the king of that moment. The most amazing welcome I have ever got was bestowed on me in Namibia and I immediately loved the atmosphere and vibe at that camp.
Two nights went past very fast but I managed to meet the Himba people and went to their villages and learnt all about their lifestyle and culture. The interaction I had with these beautiful nomadic people left a mark on my heart, and if I have to go back to Namibia, I won’t waste time to even pack my bags.
Serra Cafema is considered one of the remotest camps in Africa. Once you get there you feel that it’s all worth the journey.
Thank you for sharing your story with us Eddie!