11th and 12th August

Monday 11 August

We leave Sarien and Dennis’ place at 8h30 to take the bus. It’s again Intercape, and this time, we do not have a box. So we decide to wrap the bikes together in a cling film. It has the advantage of protecting the bikes, preventing them to make other luggage dirty, and gathering the moving parts! We become the attraction of the street, and many passers-by come to help us.

Unfortunately, wrapped like this, the bikes are 10cm too long to fit in the bus baggage hold. So, as the first bus we take won’t be full, we are proposed to take the bikes inside the bus, to the last row!

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We have a connexion in Okahandja, avoiding going to Windhoek. In the bus, we endure the same catechism and Christian/family friendly programs.

Finally, we arrive at Bagani, it’s 2h30 am. Well, the bus does not even leave us in a village, but in a gas station, with a small supermarket. And there is a police station in the surroundings. We had contacted a camping, some 15km away, which should send us a car, but there is no one here, and the phone does not get through anymore. So we decide to try our chance at the police station. They accept that we put the tent in the inner patio. Perfect! We’ll sleep in a safe place till the morning.

Tuesday 12 August

We get up in a greenhouse! The sun has risen two hours ago already and has heated the tent. The weather is much warmer here than in the centre of Namibia. After breakfast, we leave for the Popa falls camping, only 5km away. It’s our first pedalling in North Namibia, and the atmosphere is totally different: it is not as dry as before, there are more trees, domestic animals like cows, goats and chickens, and a lot of adobe/straw houses scattered along the road. Finally, we feel like being in Africa, and you expect to see Tintin appearing, with his colonial hat.

The camping is very nice, with more comfort than we hoped, and friendly and helpful staff. We book a safari in the nearby Mahangu park for the afternoon. Our guide for the safari is John. Thanks to him, we see many African icons in the park: birds, many bucks, ostriches, hippos, monkeys,giraffes, and so on. We’re so lucky!

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The lilac-breasted rollier (coracias caudatus) the national bird of Botswana and Kenya

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The Burchell’s glossy starling (Lamprotornis australis)

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A male ostrich with babies. Males are black (easier to hide at night, when they take care of the eggs) and females grey (easier to hide during the day, when they take care of the eggs)

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The giraffes and… did you see the tick bird on its neck?

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Here comes the real danger! After the people and the insects, the hippo is the most lethal animal in Africa (several thousand people killed every year)! It’s very territorial, and does not hesitate to attack… look at the scars on its skin

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The Greater Kudu (mmm it’s very tasty), and the Impala

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Some beautiful baobabs

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Just at sunset, we spotted the elephant, and the warthogs

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At night, we enjoy the comfort of the camping and its restaurant.

Here is the video (French listenners, enjoy the comments…):