A PHOTO collection by Marco Travis through the now dry and desolate north western parts of Namibia can hardly start to tell the sad story of nothingness the nomadic herders of the area has to deal with.
Mr. Travis travelled 2400 kilometres through the Northwest in eight days and submitted his experiences to be shared, lamenting the sorry state of affairs concerning cattle and donkeys along his route from Walvis Bay.
He drove to Springbokwater, Damaraland, Palmwag, Purros, all the way back via Marienfluss, Oropembe, Opuwa, and to Epupa, where he turned back again to get to Outjo and back to Walvis Bay.
His sojourn on the rough outlaying gravel routes was to find the beauty in nature, but he had to confront the reality of one of the driest years Namibia have seen in almost ten decades.
While most cattle herders moved east and north to look for grazing for their herds and government officials already reporting conflict in the far east around Mpunguvlei in Kavango West, and across the border in Angola, the traveller to the rich cattle fields of the Beesvlakte had precious little in terms of cattle and wild life to see.
Mr. Travis yesterday upon their return to Walvis Bay said that the wind and dust are terrible companions to the holidaymakers on a tour through Namibia.
“We saw hundreds of tourists, and they complained about the wind and dust, but still appreciate our country.”
Being a Namibian citizen in his sixties, he said he never saw the country this dry, and the animals, both wild and domesticated, this emaciated. With the first rains still weeks away, he is convinced that animal losses are going to pile up yet.
From the southern routes, where holidaymakers drive bumper to bumper between Sossusvlei and Walvis Bay, complaints about the terrible condition of the roads, the C19 and C28, are of great concern, while the east wind, this late in the season, also did not spare a single soul, he learned on his way.
An experienced local traveller, Mr. Travis lamented the general condition of the gravel road network in general and admitted that he found road graders along his way, but they were few and far apart on roads so frequented by inexperienced self-drive visitors.
“I strongly suggest better induction training by car rental companies, focussing on skills, tyre pressure,” suggested.