Archive for the 'Namibia' Category

Hello Namibia

Monday, April 16th, 2007

I arrived in Namibia via plane. It was cheaper than the train plus a bus, and anyways I can travel through South Africa later when I’ve unloaded my bag a little.

Upon arrival, I was directed into the red customs line, and some Ghanaian fabrics I had upset the customs officer. He really wanted me to tell him they were gifts for people (taxable), but instead I told him I was going to have shirts made out of them, and wear them home (not taxable). After leaving the customs area, I was expecting the standard harrassment for ridiculously overpriced taxis, but instead I was greeted with a shuttle service with a standard price for transportation into the city. Nice work, Namibia.

I’ve been staying in Windhoek since Thursday, and on the first day I found two Peace Corps volunteers, one of whom I’m staying with now. I’ve got a cell phone – the number is +264-81-328-8852. We’re working on a quick project – PCV Connections – which will allow volunteers send emails to any other volunteer who might be interested. Volunteers can also register to recieve any emails sent whose subjects fall in selected categories.

I think around Tuesday I’ll be headed up to the North of Namibia to see my old family and friends, and I really look forward to that. It’ll be a homecoming of sorts.

Flying to Windhoek today

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

I’m flying from Jo’burg to Windhoek today. My bags are too heavy to carry across South Africa, and the plane is cheaper than the train/bus combination I was planning. I’ll be able to travel through South Africa after Namibia, when my bags are lighter. See the contact page for contact information.

Finding a boat from Ghana to Namibia, part 1

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007

I’ve got this great idea to travel from Ghana to Namibia by boat. Any kind of boat. I expect it’s cheaper than traveling by air, and far safer than traveling overland. (Consider the countries D. R. C. and Sudan forming a land barrier between Northern and Southern Africa, and choose one to pass though…) So I went to Ghana’s major port town today, Tema, to see if I could get information on how to go about this.

My first place of call was a shipping company that a friend had recommended I check out. I talked with a gentleman about what I wanted to do, and he told me that his company didn’t ship anything in that direction, and also that he thought this sort of thing wasn’t allowed any longer. I persisted to get any information out of him, and he referred me to a few other shipping companies down the road.

After trying some other shipping companies, I finally found one that shipped goods directly from Ghana to South Africa. They received me well, but informed me that passengers were not allowed on their cargo vessels at all. I thought that if only I could talk to a ship’s captain that I could strike up a deal or something, but they weren’t ready to provide such information. They did seem to enjoy the adventurousness of boat travel though, so they referred me directly to the shipping company Maersk Line, which owns and operates its own cargo ships.

At Maersk Line, I talked with a gentleman and started to tell him that I wanted to travel south, and he immediately tried to shut me up and get me out the door. I quickly explained that planes were expensive, and that going overland would be putting myself in danger, and he warmed right up. Still, he had no idea of the possibility of such an adventure, but he referred me to the operations office of the company. Since it was around 5, I went home with a lead for next time.

I’m starting to realize that there are no sailing ships here, and the only boats are huge barges that store those large metal rectangular containers. In fact, a couple of enquires of “Where are the sail boats?” have been met with “What is a sailboat?” If this is really the case, I might need to look into other options…