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Part 2 - Guide to Discovering Namibia: A 10-Day Adventure Between Nature and Luxury

Dear readers, here we are at the second part of our journey in Namibia (read the Part 1). On August 13th, with a tear in our eye, we left Zannier Sonop for a long 500km drive. The hotel was fantastic, and they prepared a lunch box for our meal that included delicacies of all kinds. The first part of the road, about 200km, was the road we had taken on the way there, but then we started traveling towards the coast in the direction of Swakopmund, which is a small town known for its German colonial-era buildings, a cool coastal climate, and its position as an adventure sports hub.

During the journey, we crossed a sort of canyon and a green hilly landscape; the beauty of Namibia is that in just a few hundred kilometers, the landscape varies a lot and never ceases to amaze us. Even just staying in the car and looking around, you see extraordinary landscapes.

The day passed quickly, and by evening we arrived in civilization! We stayed in a hotel in Swakopmund and ate in an excellent seafood restaurant on the coast. The ocean is really impressive here, and the dunes reach the sea, merging into an incredible landscape.

August 14th was another memorable day. It was my birthday, and I knew we would sleep in a tent that night, but the surprises did not fail to appear. We left to head towards Damaraland, the journey was beautiful, during the road we stopped to see a colony of sea lions, and dozens of merchant shipwrecks that over time have run aground due to the harsh conditions. While we were stopping, we saw giraffes and elephants walking by the roadside and almost didn't meet anyone, not surprisingly it's called the Skeleton Coast. In the evening, we arrived at what has been the most beautiful camping I have ever done. The Hoada Campsite is a unique place. It is located in a vast fenced area to keep predators out, but you are completely alone and have the impression of being immersed in the wildest nature. The pitches were isolated and far from each other. They had a giant BBQ and a bathroom carved into the rock. Above the fire was a sort of boiler that, thanks to the heat of the fire, heated the water for the showers. In the evening, we settled in and cooked some meat on the BBQ when, at a certain point, the campsite owner arrived with a cake to celebrate my birthday. My boyfriend had organized everything, and they had brought the cake from the nearest village, which was even 200km away! Unforgettable. In the evening, we gathered around the fire, and looking up, the spectacle was incredible; I had never seen the Milky Way so clear and so many stars...they seemed to move, and I couldn't stop watching them! Sleeping in a tent in the middle of the African nature is really special; in the distance, you can hear the roars of lions and noises of all kinds of animals. The birthday was

simple but beautiful because it was completely unexpected.

On August 15th, we left for the much-awaited final stage of this trip, the Etosha National Park. Covering an area of over 22,000 square kilometers, Etosha is one of the most accessible and spectacular game reserves in Africa, where large concentrations of wildlife gather around the waterholes. Its name means "Great White Place," referring to the Etosha Pan, a large salt pan that lies within the park. The park offers various activities, including guided game drives and bird watching. Arriving at the National Park, we had two days to tour it; August is the best time because it's the dry season, so all the animals gather around the waterholes to drink. We went searching for all the waterholes in the area, and at each one, there was an incredible show, hundreds of animals of different species and types were gathered around the water as if in a sort of demilitarized zone. In our journey, we were very lucky because we saw cheetahs, lions, rhinoceroses, groups of elephants, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, and many other animals. It was a natural spectacle and an incredible beauty to see all these animals in their habitat. Every second there was something to photograph and see. At one point, an elephant crossed the road and decided to stop there, occupying the whole road, and there was no way to pass! Those two days were incredible, the last two before departing once again to conclude our journey towards Windhoek. Our flight was in the evening, and with a breathtaking sunset, we took off to return home.

I can't say what I liked most about Namibia because it was so full of emotions that it captivated me from the first second to the last. The beauty of this unspoiled nature so different, the animals, the solitude of not meeting anyone for days, and the starry sky were perhaps the

most incredible things. But also, the contrast between the incredible luxury of the Zannier hotels and the nights spent in a tent immersed in nature. I know it will not be a goodbye but a see you later!


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