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Our Daily RoutineWhat was our daily routine as a long-term camper in Daan Viljoen? We woke up at 5:30h. Then it was dawning. No alarm clock was needed because the tourists who were moving on, started packing or the baboons were inspecting the garbage cans. In the second case, one of us ran out and scared the animals away. Half past five is also the perfect time for game and bird watching. So we either went to the reservoir (birds), or we drove the Game Drive (game). At about 8:00 we were back in camp and had breakfast. Since our tent stood in the shade of a large tree until about noon, it was pleasantly cool there in the morning hours. After the washing up we sat on our moon chairs, read or watched the lilac-breasted rollers, horses, baboons or tourists. Or we lay down again and took an early nap. In the afternoon it was too hot in our tent. So we carried the moon chairs, books, magazines, water bottles and binoculars to the other side of the road, where the shadow of our tree now was. Because of the heat, one couldn’t do much more than to sit there, push the chair back into the shade every half hour, read or watch tourists. Tourists were the only creatures that moved around this time of day. On weekends there were day guests in addition to the tourists. We noticed the following phenomenon with them. But before we can tell about it, we have to describe the “main village” in the game reserve, the rest camp. In the middle of the park, at the Augeigas dam, you first encounter the offices, then a road leads to the swimming pool, and after that another to the campsite. The pool and campsite are situated on a large, treeless area. There is hardly any shade and at most the end of the reservoir can be seen. The bungalows that follow are already at the lake. However, the picnic spots behind the bungalows are the most attractive. Each of these picnic areas has shade, a braai area and a table with benches. I often wished that the campsite was located where the picnic areas are, since these areas are idyllic, directly at the water with a lot of shade. Back to the day visitors. Most of them came to the camping area (although it was signposted as such), took the first best braai spot (mostly in the bright sun) and had their picnic there. They didn’t drive down the road to the picnic spots. Often they did not even know that there were picnic spots there. They just took the first thing that looked like a picnic spot. Why didn’t they go on? The road to the picnic areas was wide and well maintained. Why didn’t they look around first? Anita thought it was because the picnic areas were not signposted. But it is a narrow exit to the campsite. Also, everyone gets a map at the entrance, on which everything is marked. Why do many people take the first best area they can use, and thereby miss the excellent picnic spots, just a little onward? The second day we were sitting under the tree in the afternoon when a brand new Land Rover Defender with a brand new off-road trailer came along. The very best equipment! As an ordinary Bakkie owner, you could get jealous. Kaokoland! Kaudom! Kalahari! Untouched wilderness! Everything was possible with this car. The two vehicles had never touched a gravel road in their short life. Of course, they came from Gauteng Province, Johannesburg. In it were two men and two women. They stopped at the sanitary facilities, and a man went to the toilet. Then he got back into the car and shortly afterwards the vehicle stopped with us, most probably as our pick-up identified and as Windhoekers. They asked if we could recommend a better campsite in Windhoek and the surrounding area. We looked at them in astonishment, because we were happy here at the campground. The woman sitting in the back rolled down her window. Most beautiful clothes, make-up, hairstyle, manicure – everything was beautifully done and up-to-date. She said the sanitary facilities weren’t… so clean. And there would be so many Blacks here! She was scared. I thought of saying two things:
- In Namibia, there had been no apartheid since 1978, and it is normal that there are black people in the park and
- Why on earth do they fuss with an all-wheel-drive car and trailer if they would never drive where you would need such vehicles anyway because there would be no hot shower, toilet and electricity there – so why a Land Rover Defender and a regular Mercedes passenger car or something similar?