A lot of people, when they visit Namibia, want to visit during the winter because of the cooler weather. But also because when they think wet season, they think European rain… weeks, days of endless down pouring. Grey, dim light and no sunshine. But in Namibia it doesn’t rain like that.

We have one awesome build it up towards rain. Massive big white clouds that loom and just get bigger and bigger. Thunder-and-lightning displays that shoots shivers down your back. And then, when the rain starts hitting the ground; big fat drops that sounds like rocks on the roof. It pours. Sometimes for only ten minutes. Sometimes for three hours or more.

When it stops, the whole earth comes to life. And the smell. Oh my word, the smell. There is no apt word to describe the African earth after the rain. If only I could bottle that smell, I would be a millionaire!

©Mariette du Toit, 2009 – Etosha National Park

Baie toekomstige toeriste maak seker hulle besoek Namibië in die winter wanneer dit koeler is en ek verstaan dit, maar baie besoek ons in die winter omdat die somer Namibië se nat-seisoen is. Buitelanders dink aan reën as weke, dae van grou, nat weer. Reën wat net nooit ophou nie en mens tot die huis verban.

In Namibië lyk die reën ietwat anders. Die wolke bou vir ure op. Sulke dik, wit wolke wat dreig om alles oor te neem. En as hulle genoeg saamgepak het, en die donderweer en weerlig span saam om een van die grootste skouspele ter aarde te gee, dan bliksem die hoendervleis uit my uit. Die druppels wat dan begin val, betree nie die aarde saggies soos ‘n trapsuutjie nie. Die stort soos klippe op die aarde neer en dit maak alles nat van bo tot onder. Dit gooi. (Ons praat ook van dit reën ou tannies met stok kierries, maar hierdie sal net sin maak as jy dit beleef). Soms reën dit skaars vyf minute, soms langer as drie ure. As dit dan sou ophou, kom die hele aarde tot lewe. En die reuk….

Die reuk van Afrika reën. Daar is net mooi geen woord of versameling daarvan, wat dit kan beskryf nie. As ek net die reuk sou kon bottel, was ek dan ‘n millionêr!

As dit net weer wil reën.

Sea gulls have a way to annoy me. Just like certain humans don’t gel with me, sea gulls don’t gel with me. They can’t help it I suppose. Born loud and all over the show, robbers of the first degree and bullies to beat. That is how they survive, and that is the way it always will be.

Generally I won’t even bother taking photos of them. But this gull, just sitting there, grabbed my attention and I took a quick snap shot of him. It turned out to be the one I pretty much-loved.

© Mariette du Toit, 2019, Sea Gulls at Walvis Bay

Ek hou nie see meeue nie. Hulle skaaf teen my grein soos ‘n korreltjie sand onder die oog se lid. Net soos seker mense onder my vel inklim, is see meeue ook net te veel vir my.

Hulle kan dit seker nie help nie. Van nature lawaaierig, die hele plek vol, boellies en bo-baas kos stelers. Dis hoe hulle oorleef. Dis hoe dit was en dit is hoe dit sal wees.

Maar hierdie een wat so eenkant, stil gesit het, het my oog gevang. Ek sal nie gewoonlik my tyd mors om hulle af te neem nie, maar hierdie foto is vinnig besig om een van my gunstelinge te word.

 

This is another photo taken on the morning that I struggled to get enough contrast between the sky and rocks. So I started moving around hoping for the best.

Here the sun just broke through the clouds as I closed in on the main Epupa Falls.

©Mariette du Toit, 2018 – Epupa Falls

Hierdie is nog een van die foto’s geneem op die oggend wat ek gesukkel het met kotras. Die wolke het gemaak dat die lig baie sag is – ideaal vir familie portrette, maar nie vir dit wat ek ingedagte gehad het nie.

Hier het die son net deurgebreuk toe ek naby die hoof Epupa valle self gekom het.

Stok-en-Hoed

I don’t often advertise another service in Namibia, because I have been told that I am bias. Which I probably am. But who can honestly say that they don’t prefer the one place to the other? Or the one coffee above the other.

Anyway, today I will break that rule.

Stok-en-Hoed is a “new” venture in Namibia. They have been around for quite a while but have until now operated “under-cover” but the need for hiking guides have reached their ears and so they have made their passion for nature and hiking “public” and created a website.

Check them out! www.stokenhoed.com 

And I can highly recommend them as I have hiked with them twice and Superman his planning is 4th hike with them. So there you go, get ready to meet some new hiking buddies!

stok-en-hoed

Dis nie aldag wat ek ‘n diens in Namibië adverteer nie. Mens kan baie maklik aangekla word as onregverdig of bevooroordeeld, maar ek gaan my reël vandag breuk.

Stok en Hoed

Stok-en-Hoed is al aan die gang vir ‘n goeie paar jaar, maar het tot dusver net privaat toere gedoen. Dis eers nou onlangs dat die behoefte vir stap gidse hulle oortuig het om die toere aan die publiek te begin aanbied en ‘n webtuiste die lig gesien het. Na ‘n Vis Rivier en Waterberg stap saam met Marius, kan ek hom met alle eerlikheid aanbeveel. ‘n Mense mens wat die natuur rondom hom indrink.

So kom, dis tyd om ‘n paar nuwe stap maatjies te ontmoet. Trek aan daai stewels en gaan ontmoet vir Hansie Slim. Stok en Hoed

Fish River

 

As the wife to a husband that is constantly making plans or building something from nothing, time is very limited. As the mother to a boy who is his father’s blueprint when it comes to making plans, time is very rarely my own. As a photographer, I am constantly editing, marketing, taking photos… that my real love, my love for reading and writing gets horribly neglected.

But then we take the road… and I can breathe. I have time to read. Time to write. Time to just sit and enjoy a hot cup of coffee. And I am restored. Page by page, word by word. Of course, I still take photos. I still wife. I still mother. But out here, in the bush, on the beach.. I am better at being me. And that is why I travel. Always.

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Die genade van reis

As vrou van ‘n man wat gedurig aan die planne maak is, is tyd maar skaars. As mamma van ‘n seuntjie wat die gawe van planne maak ontdek het, is tyd bitter min my eie. Dan is daar ook al die ander verantwoordelikhede van fotograaf wees. Die konstante editing, bemarking, administrasie wat ophoop (nie my sterkpunt nie), en natuurlik ook die foto’s wat geneem moet word. Dis tydens hierdie geharwar wat my behoefte vir lees en skryf partykeer net onuithoudbaar raak.

En dan vat ons die pad… en skielik het ek tyd vir lees. En vir skryf. En koffie drink. O ja, ek moet altyd foto’s neem. Sonder my kamera kan ek nêrens. Maar so, in die veld, in die bos, langs die see… dan kan mens weer fokus. En lees.