XI. Namibia

As with most of our journeys, we were on a very tight schedule. To catch our flight back home, we needed to take a domestic flight to the capital of Windhoek first. We got on a small Cessna flown by a young and cocky pilot. Right after takeoff, we got caught in a massive sandstorm. Because we were trying to make our connecting flight, instead of flying around the weather, our pilot flew straight into it. The second we hit the storm, everything went dark around us. The whole plane – and us inside - was thrown around like a toy that gets tossed around by an angry child.

"Clearly, trying to fly through the storm wasn’t such a good idea after all"

With all his might, the pilot turned the plane around and steered it out of the storm. When we looked back, it was like we were caught in a scene from The Mummy. An enormous roaring mass of sand was right on our tail trying to catch us. We had to find a place to land and fast. Without an airstrip in sight for miles, the pilot added some extra drama to our already adventurous flight and landed the plane on a road. Once the adrenaline had subsided, we got a lift to Windhoek where we arrived some fifteen hours later and made our flight home. 

Himba

Himba

Namibia

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The Himba are a community of semi-nomadic herders, many of whom still live and dress according to ancient traditions. They speak Herero and since the 16th century, they have lived in scattered settlements throughout the region of the Kunene River in north-west Namibia and south-west Angola.

“Don’t start your farming with cattle, start it with people”

The Himba number is estimated 20,000 to 50,000. As one of the last semi-nomadic people of Namibia, their culture, identity and way of life have come under threat from land reform, severe droughts, famine and political conflict. Despite rapid changes in their environment, many Himba have managed to maintain and preserve their traditional lifestyle.