Have you been to Chobe River Camp in Namibia?

As I enjoyed my morning coffee on the Chobe River Camp’s deck, distantly I could see the Chobe National Park with its open field and herds of zebras and cows roaming freely in search of their daily nourishment.

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Mornings here were my favourite, cool, quiet, sounds of birds, wildlife and wind blowing against the trees. I call it my lovely infusion of flora and fauna, and this surely made waking up early more interesting and fun.

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Afternoons were pretty hot, I always say here in Namibia the weather transitions from winter to summer, whilst avoiding spring. We booked a boat cruise on the river one afternoon, which I almost arrived late for and fortunately our skipper/guide (Beaven) was not on board yet, so I made it just in time.

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Initially when the cruise was underway all we could see was the birdlife, zebras and cows, therefore we did not anticipate seeing other wildlife.

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After seeing the variety of birdlife my favourite and most intriguing bird was the African Jacana also referred to as the Jesus bird because of its ability to walk on water.

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Our guide navigated the boat further north alongside the river,where we were able to see a wider variety of wildlife, namely; waterbucks, elephants, buffalos, giraffes, a leopard and impalas. Furthermore, one of my colleagues was amazing at spotting the wildlife.

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Upon arrival at the Chobe River Camp I had only known about the Chobe River and no knowledge of the area across the river.

Hence, the boat cruise went from the camp, following the river with Namibia on the left side of the river and Botswana on the right when facing to the north. I would therefore like to believe I was in Botswana for a few minutes, as per my cell phone reception.

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This was one of my favourite learning experiences, so go and enjoy a stay at the Chobe River Camp and be sure to book yourself for the boat cruise.

If you have more travel stories at Chobe River Camp, we invite you to share them in the comment section below.

Author –  I’m Nela, from Windhoek Namibia but born in a small village called Omatunda in northern Namibia. I am passionate about writing, research and photography, as it helps me gain knowledge about people and my country.

 

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Have you ever seen a Monkey Orange Fruit in Namibia?

To be honest for a few Namibians (including myself) the monkey orange is known as the ‘Kavango Lemon’. It is one of the most delicious wild fruits grown in Namibia. When it is ripe, it contains a bright orange colour with a hard exterior. Whereas, on the inside one will find juicy light to dark brown seeds that have a sweet-sour flavour.

The eating experience is mostly enjoyed by sucking the sweet flesh from these seeds, however it gets quite messy. Often the seeds can be sun dried for preservation and can similarly be turned into an alcoholic drink.The fruit can be used for desserts too. After the seeds are removed, the woody hard shell is used to make sound boxes for marimba musical instruments. Furthermore, they can be carved and sold as ornaments.

Scientifically the monkey orange fruit is known to grow on the Strychnos cocculoiddes tree, also known as the Corky Monkey Orange. It is an evergreen semi deciduous tree, with a pale grey to brown bark, which grows to 4m high in dry woodland. It is found in northern and north-eastern Namibia within close proximity to the Okavango River and Rundu area.During October to December small green and white flowers can be seen on the trees.

The fruit (seeds), roots and leaves can be used for medicine. Traditionally,people do make use of the roots, bark and unripe fruit to treat snake bites. The bark and unripe fruit is strongly believed to contain a presence of strychnine and alkaloids that are both helpful to overcome the venom of snakes, such as the mamba.

The strychnine is a vital and powerful stimulant for the human nervous system and is able to fight the respiratory depression caused by the venom of the snakes. Additionally, it is used as a treatment for painful eyes.

When headed to the Hakusembe River Lodge you will find the fruits being sold by the local people alongside the road in the Kavango East Region (easily noticeable due to their colour).

Keep an eye out for these fruit when you are visiting the Hakusembe River Lodge, on the banks of the Kavango River.

If you have more information or recipes on the Monkey Oranges, we invite you to share them in the comment section below?

Author –  I’m Nela, from Windhoek Namibia but born in a small village called Omatunda in northern Namibia. I am passionate about writing, research and photography, as it helps me gain knowledge about people and my country.

 

 

 

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Do you know the origin of the Cape Cross in Namibia?

To most, the name Cape Cross relates to the Fur Seal Reserve along the Namibian Skeleton Coast. However, its origins are rather interesting. During the Great Exploration, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to land on Namibian soil. Namely, Diogo Cão in 1486. Before shipping out, he erected a stone cross in honour of the king of Portugal.

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The crosses served varied purposes. Some symbolized religion, proclamation of ownership of the land and of course landmarks for passing ships. Centuries later the cross was taken down and sent to a museum in Berlin. And replaced with another cross, constructed by German settlers in the 1800’s.

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Eventually the German colonials invested further research into Cape Cross and found the  massive Cape Fur Seal colony. The Englishman who was doing the exploring also found a great reserve of guano (i.e. bird poo). Yes, most of us would not find this discovery all too interesting. However, there was a great need for the product in England to be used as fertilizer.

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Just like that, a concession was granted by the German Colonial power for the English to establish The Damaraland Guano Company. Eventually, the general focus shifted from guano to seal skins. The shift included a change in authority as well. Coming to an end in 1903.

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Finally in 2001 all that remained was demolished to make way for the Cape Cross Lodge and the Reserve was founded. Today, the location serves as an attraction to visitors. It is strange to think how much happened at the site and how things have shifted over time.

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This is a great place to visit while staying at The Delight Hotel in Swakopmund.

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If you have any information on the history of Cape Cross, we invite you to share it with us in the comment section below.

Author – Jescey Visagie is a proud Namibian and is passionate about writing and language. Tag along for the ride as she tries to uncover new insights into Namibia and explores what the country has to offer.

 

 

 

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