After 4 months of absolute mayhem, due to a certain virus – which we don’t give any credit to by mentioning its name – I came dangerously close to having a straitjacket as my daily outfit! Now that was no option for me! One, white or cream is not my colour (I mean, my wardrobe consists out of 50 shades of black) and secondly, they say white makes you look fat. And seriously, who wants to look fatter than they already are? Being fat is one thing, but looking even fatter, no “bleep” way!!!

So, I just had to do something that would keep me out of that jacket!

And the best, natural antidote (and which I can highly recommend to all of you) is a combination of “Get in your car” + “Hit the road” + “Travel”. Now, of course, all medications have some sort of side effects, but other than me becoming addicted to it and gaining a few pounds (at least in my own shade of black which I must re-iterate, has a slimming illusion … and unless you stand next to me whilst daring the scale and you see the actual numbers, this does not count) – I am cured and sane and safe from that unflattering jacket!

So join me today whilst I share my “Road to Recovery” and hopefully inspiring you to get some TLC and enter the amazing world of Travel Rehab!

Cheetah Conservation

With the car being packed, we departed Windhoek and headed towards Otjiwarongo where the first rejuvenation injection awaited us after a 3 hour drive at the Cheetah Conservation Fund.  Well, if you think we have it bad in life, imagine being a Cheetah and being blamed for every livestock kill and being hunted and killed, whilst being innocent. The work, research and education the CCF Foundation does are fascinating, just as fascinating as the animals they protect. From the Field Research & Education Centre, through to the Cheetah Museum and participating in the activities, every aspect of the Conservation programme is astounding! After our visit and having met some of the resident cheetahs, such as Livingstone and Bella, we once again realised what a privilege we as Namibians have to live in this country!

Saying goodbye to these felines after seeing them feed and chomping away on lekker, huge meaty bones, we continued our journey further north with a few site inspections on route (of course one has to do some work in between … and really, it is not work if you enjoy it this much!). We reached our first overnight and upon arrival at our lodge, we were presented with a life lesson right there and then.

Uris Safari Lodge – Family Photo

No matter what life throws at you, no matter what happens, if you fall, you stand up. And when you stand up, you are stronger than before. As the words go “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, Stand a little taller … What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter”. That is Tourism; that is Namibia and its people; Resilient as “Bleep”. (I do apologise for the bleeps … people that know me, can confirm that “bleep” is part of my daily vocabulary”.

During 2019, disaster struck at night and Uris Safar Lodge burnt down to the ground. No words can describe the feeling of utter sadness when you walk through the site where the lodge once stood proud. But the newly built lodge is absolutely beautiful. And with Sunsets and sunrises like these, what more do you want?

Uris Safari Lodge – View

The next 4 days we spent gallivanting around through the Etosha National Park, being welcomed by Rhino as we entered the park, followed by a Hyena family. Needless to say, these were not the only encounters and definitely not the only exhilarating ones! Seeing Mufasa from a few meters away, whilst growling away and looking you in the eye, let me tell you, fastest I ever closed a window and covered in goose bumps! YouTube moment indeed!

Etosha National Park

And sitting at Okaukuejo’s waterhole at night with a G&T or a steaming hot chocolate, no words can truly describe the experience and feelings rushing through your body whilst observing rhino’s, giraffes, elephants and lions coming for a last drink before bedtime in dead silence, the only sounds being the sound of water being slushed up, hoofs over stones and mommies calling out to their young.

Leaving the park … we headed into Damaraland. An area of Namibia I have not been to for many moons, but very fond memories of family travels! Our 2nd day was indeed an adventure … we went searching for the very much elusive desert elephant! Took us about 2.5 hours to find them, tracking their spoors, deliberating with our guide which way they went … and at last, magically appearing in the river bed, these humungous creatures … just like that.

Poof, a family of 4 in front of us. But the most placid animal I have ever came across, not a worry in the world and walked right past us as if we did not even exist! Sticking out my hand, I could give a nice slap on the bum, but I am sure Mama would not have been so placid anymore!

Famous Desert adapted Elephants

Well, with newly made memories, we moved on as the Erongo region was awaiting our arrival. And don’t ever think the Erongo region is boring! With mesmerising scenery, our last day was spent learning more about the flora and Bushmen culture and I was amazed at all the hidden facts of this intriguing region!

And so my road to recovery came to an end, heading back to Windhoek, with a new attitude, revitalised and no threat of being put in a straitjacket! And that my friends, is why I would recommend “Travel Rehab” … you will return fully recovered, rejuvenated and stronger than ever (although now, addicted to Namibia and travelling all over again! But oh, so worth it)

Afternoon Game Drive in the Etosha National Park.

About the Author: Tanya van As

“The one, who says the sky’s the limit, is short sighted.”

Born in Gauteng, Tanya’s family moved to Windhoek during the 1980’s. She initially wanted to follow in the footsteps of her father as an orthotist/prosthetist but the road took her into Tourism instead and after having completed her Diploma in Travel & Tourism in Cape Town, Tanya started her career as a Junior Tour Consultant at Oryx Tours. Both company and individual have grown over the years and after more than 20 years together, she believes that the past happened for a reason as Tourism and Sense of Africa was and is her destiny!

Family is the essence of Tanya, whether her own or the Sense family whilst travelling and reading (with a Gin & Tonic of course) calms her soul… Today and after many years, she is the Reservations Manager at Sense of Africa Namibia.

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