The Other Side of Windhoek

We made it! We reached the end of our self-drive safari in Namibia. This was an epic road trip covering over 3,000 miles hitting Namibia’s star attractions: the odd looking quiver and welwitschia trees, largest canyon in Africa, surreal landscape of Dead Vlei and spectacular Etosha. And we survived the Avis Fails, Evil Jane, broken tents and personality quirks that added another dimension to this trip.

Eat at Xwama’s

On our last day in Namibia we had lunch at Xwama, a place that serves local Namibian meals and located in the township of Katutura. We had tried to come here for dinner before we left on our self-drive safari but were warned not to come at night. So now that we were back we hired a taxi to take us there for lunch and then to do a short tour of the local township afterwards.

The food was absolutely delicious. We had Marathon Chicken, a chicken dish prepared with gravy, two types of mielie pap (similar to grits but stiffer), a side of wild spinach and bread. We weren’t brave enough to try the goat head or mopone worms.

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Mielie Pap (L).                              Marathon Chicken (R)

We ate with our hands using the mielie pap as a spoon to scoop up the chicken, gravy and spinach. Afterwards our server using a metal pitcher and basin poured water on our hands so we could wash them. Our only disappointment was that we didn’t come here sooner and more often.

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Kim ready to dig in
Katutura: The Place Where We Do Not Want to Live

Afterwards we did a quick tour of surrounding township. Our driver explained that Katutura township was created in 1961 after the forced removal of the black population from their former location. The name Katutura translates to “the place where we do not want to live”.  As we drove past rows of corrugated steel shanties and shops, our driver gave us a brief history of the area and the issues that the people who live here are facing: illegal settlements, sanitation, crime and diseases. Through it all he kept saying “but what are you going to do but keep living”. We wished we had more time to take a more in-depth tour which would have allowed us to walk around and stop in some shops and meet the people who live here.

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Katutura Township
One Final Avis Fail?

We dropped off the truck to Avis surprisingly intact despite the threats of near head-on collision, sandy and gravel dirt tracks and all the Avis fails. We did have one final truck issue during our stay in Okonjima where the alarm kept going off for no apparent reason. We checked the doors, windows etc to try to figure out what kept triggering the alarm. Another Avis Fail? Finally referencing the truck manual we found out that the truck has an internal security sensor that gets triggered if movement is detected inside the cab when the doors are locked. A moth trapped in the truck cab was triggering the alarm. G chased the moth out and that solved it. Was that feature introduced by a parent with teenagers? Ultimately we were just happy that nothing more happened to the vehicle during the rest of our trip.

The journey ends here for Kim but continues for us as we head off to Botswana to visit the famed Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park.

Accommodation:

Guesthouse Terra Africa
Room 7
http://www.terra-africa.com/gh_terra_africa.html

We stayed in the main house this time.  Our rooms weren’t as nice as the first time we stayed here. There were mosquitos in the room, the most we have seen in our whole time in Namibia.

Eats

Xwama Cultural Village and Traditional Restaurant
http://www.xwama.com/index.php
Katutura Township
Windhoek, Namibia

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