Museum presents ‘Namibia by rail and bus’

Museum presents ‘Namibia by rail and bus’MATURANGO MUSEUM — Janet Westbrook will present a travelogue about her trip to Namibia on Wednesday April 12, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 23, at 3 p.m.

“Namibia (former German SW Africa, independent since 1990) is a desert land on the Atlantic southwest coast of Africa, just above South Africa,” said Westbrook. “It doesn’t get many US tourists, but it should!

“There are many ways to visit this land of wonders, lots of animals, and few people, but I chose to go by Rovos Rail, the Shongololo Express, from Cape Town, South Africa into Namibia and finish at Windhoek, the capital. The train trip itself is an adventure — narrow gauge, meticulously restored rail cars, top-notch staff and experience. We explored from the train on buses, since most places involved dirt roads and places where tracks don’t go.

“This summer in Namibia is setting records for rainfall — so what is usually barren desert was green, green for us — the Kalahari, the Karoo and even parts of the Namib desert on the coast were green with happy trees, bushes, and tall grasses and lots of ponds of water.

“That makes it difficult to see animals, but we did see lots of animals — oryx, giraffes, ostriches, wildebeests, lots of impala and smaller antelopes, zebras, etc.

“But the outstanding attractions in Namibia are the coral pink sanddune fields, which are red in the morning light! Amazing tall reddish sand dunes!

“And Fish Canyon, comparable, (kind of) to the Grand Canyon, but much older. Bushman pictographs. Diamonds. I’ll be emphasizing ecological equivalents — plants that looks the same as ours, but are definitely not related. A desert defines what can live there.”

Westwood said she traveled 3,200 miles in all and saw many other amazing sights.

Lectures are always free and open to the public.

Pictured: Dunes of Namibia captured photographically by Janet Westbrook

Story First Published: 2017-04-07