I was luckily enough to spend New Year’s weekend 2011/12 on the banks of the Okavango river in Mupapama, Namibia. We stayed in basic houses with no electricity and the water used in the house was pumped from the river ~ not safe to drink. River water was heated using a ‘donkie’, which is Afrikaans for donkey. Don’t ask me where the name comes from. It’s basically just a big metal drum or cylinder that you can make fire under to heat it up. Cold water comes into the one end, warm water out the other :) There is a picture of it when you scroll down. The one thing I will never forget is the heat. I’ve never been so hot in my life. It’s extremely humid there and I think the fact that we camped under trees on the river banks did not help. I was sweating like someone who was sitting in a steam room. The sweat ran from my head into my eyes. If it wasn’t for the beauty of the place I would’ve passed out! Remember: there’s no electricity. So net even a fan to relieve you from the heat a bit. Cooling down in the river and walking around with wet clothes was my only salvation. I will tell you more with each as you scroll down…
Here is the spot we stayed at on Google Maps:
No body stayed in here, it was just for storage near our kitchen/dining area:
Sunset on the first evening.
On the 2nd day I bathed right here, very close to the river bank. There was a tree to my right, slowing down the flow in that spot, making at kinda safe to swim :) Why did a bath in the river? Well, the water was nice, we wash with river water in the house anyway and most of all: to say I washed my hair in the Okavango river!
Fire for dinner…
This is our sleeping area. My bed is the mattress on the floor under the stairs. There is a 2nd floor, but the floor is a little dodgy up there and it’s super creepy on your own in the dark.
The little kitchen area in the house.
The house from outside. The top right ‘window’ has no window in it, only a frame with mesh. Made me think of a chicken coop :)
The 2nd floor of the house.
The other house. The family that invited us stays here often for holidays.
The kitchen/dining/lounge area. We joined another family.
A little friend. This one was small in comparison to the ones in the shower! The next day I washed myself in the river. Spiders where crawling all over the bathroom. YUCK!
Water boiling for coffee :)
Water container for the river water that is collected for each house.
My mum with the fire wood for warm water and food. We had to keep an eye on her because she loves burning wood for fun :)
Where we collected drinking water.
Most of the people here lives in little huts like this…
Local shop: buy your mobile credit here.
I was really tempted to join these children! It was so hot!
Shell of a river snail.
A big hollow tree trunk.
Our river ‘cruise’ on the 31st December 2011. Me looking very glamorous ;)
The banks of Angola… it felt so weird knowing that I was looking at Angola right in front of me. During times of war people swam over this river trying to escape death…
Animals drinking water upstream from people bathing.
The ‘donkey’ I wrote about in my intro.
Sun setting on our 2nd night, 31/12/2011.
Local shops and bars.
Thanks for sticking till the end :) Love, Heline x