Our final GP & Specialist Medical Conference for 2016 took place from 20 – 30 November.
At first glance, Namibia seemed like an odd place to visit. It is certainly one of our planet’s most desolate places. We witnessed ancient deserts, parched salt pans and a windblown shoreline littered with the weathered hulls of foundered ships. Amongst all of this thought was amazing wildlife – big and small and a landscape whose rugged beauty will not be quickly forgotten.
Utilising a fleet of private aircraft, our itinerary started in Windhoek and took us first to Etosha, one of the most interesting game reserve regions in the world. Combining dried lake salt pans in the north and grasslands, dense brush and open plains in the south, this area is home to 100 large mammal species, among them the elephant, giraffe, zebra, leopard, cheetah, lion, kudu, spotted hyena and black-backed jackal. It is also an important stronghold for black rhino. The recent rains diminished our viewing opportunities but we did have a very memorable lion sighting and plenty of other wildlife.
We then flew to Opuwo in northern Namibia to meet and interact with the Himba – a semi-nomadic, pastoral tribe. Our expert guides explained all about their intricate traditions, customs and beliefs. After an amazing sight-seeing flight down the Skeleton Coast we landed near the colonial town of Swakopmund. Located on the coast, it was a distinctly German place, populated with plenty of old German-style buildings. Unlike much of the country, Swakopmund had a cool, moist climate and provided a good base for us explore the surrounding region and enjoy a number of activities on both land and sea.
We then moved onto Sossusvlei – an area characterised by sand dunes of vivid pink-to-orange colours, an indication of a high concentration of iron in the sand. These dunes are among the highest in the world – with many above 200 metres and some as high as 380 metres.
Thank you to all who joined us in Namibia for this tour and to our keynote speaker Mr Allan Swan.