It was time for our organized tour with Acacia to begin. The first real stop was at the Fish River Canyon which is the second largest canyon in the world behind the Grand Canyon. It was a big hole in the ground, similar to the Arizona version, but significantly smaller (160km vs. 446km long, 27km vs. 29km wide, and 550m vs. 1.6km deep), and with less majestic colors (in my humble American opinion).
Namib-Naukluft Park, the red sand dunes of Namibia, was awe-inspiring. We climbed Dune 45 at sunrise, which overlooked all the iron-rich dunes in the area. Absolutely amazing scenery.
Swakopmund is a very German town that Brad and Angelina made famous. It is known as the extreme sports capital of Africa. We went sandboarding, which is like snowboarding but on sand, which hurts much less falling than on snow and ice. We also rode down the dune on a piece of polished wood on our stomachs, much like sledding. I somehow managed to get the least air resistance of anyone doing it that day and had the fastest clocked speed at 75km per hour sliding down the dune, before crashing headfirst into a sandbank (I am still finding sand everywhere). We also went quad biking around the dunes, which allows much faster speeds than typical 4×4, it was ok, but nothing too spectacular except the views of the water.
We made a brief stop at Cape Cross to see the quarter of a million seals residing in area. They managed to create one of the foulest smells I have ever witnessed. Despite the stench, it was a sight to see with so many seals either laying on the rocks or swimming in the Atlantic Ocean.
Etosha National Park had a lot less density of animals than Kruger, so it was kind of a disappointment in that respect. They did however have a watering hole at the campsite that was light with floodlights all night which allowed good viewing of rhinos coming to drink past dusk. The coolest part was how close the animals came to the viewing stands though. In the middle of the night I was woken by very loud lions roaring at the watering hole. I of course jumped out of bed in time to see them wandering/laying around. I was hoping they were going to be hunting the zebra also at the watering hole, but they weren’t hungry I guess and just kept to themselves.