Lüderitz (Photo Diary)
We reach Lüderitz, where the seas of sand meet the glittering Atlantic! Lucie gets radioactive highlights, Bow Wow plays with a jackal and our perception of hyenas is changed forever.
Brown Hyena photographs are courtesy of The Brown Hyena Research Project.
Condos in the sky on our way to Namibia.
Communal weavers are not in to bungalows. These social birds much prefer to join their nests together.
Very cosy, however, there is the danger that a snake might crawl up inside and feed on their eggs, making its way from nest to nest.
Lucie thought that this was hilarious. She didn't realise it was a warning to a wide load.
In the old colonial German town of Lüderitz we camped at Shark island, not an island exactly but a peninsula jutting out into the Atlantic.
Bow Wow was thrilled to be back beside the ocean.
He launched himself in to the waves.
The town was founded by a German merchant called Adolf Lüderitz...
and is full of colourful German architecture.
We love the way that this ship sundial (made in 1909) appears to be setting sail, just as vessels like this did in the past.
The imposing Lutheran Church...
watching over Lüderitz.
One man and his dog.
The abandoned whaling station...
and the bedraggled pier.
We often wonder what Bow Wow dreams about.
Morning bay view.
Bay View hotel.
Lucie used an organic seaweed shampoo in Mozambique which acted like henna and turned her sunkissed (with-a-bit-of-help) locks an unflattering shade of Irn Bru.
We stumbled across this kitsch looking hair salon in Lüderitz.
Word on the street was that Mel G knew his stuff...
and so Lucie asked for 'Swedish blonde' and a trim.
With his gold tooth glinting, Mel G set to work, balancing the foils on his Juicy Coutured tum.
Lucie was thinking 'Sienna Miller' but Johnny Rotten and Cyndi Lauper had other ideas.
That smile would soon be wiped off her face.
Looking great, basking in Lucie's radioactive glow.
Thankfully, Lucie's Lady Gaga cartoon hair went well with the town's vibrant colour scheme. Unfortunately, elsewhere she resembled a failed hooker.
Lula the Landy had clocked 10,000km so we had her serviced in the capable hands of Helmut, the 4th generation owner of Pleitz mechanics.
All Lula needed was an oil change, new air, oil & fuel filters and a touch of diff & gearbox oil. Brake pads would have to wait until Windhoek.
We were fortunate to meet Dr. Ingrid Wiesel who lives in Lüderitz, protecting and researching the brown hyenas of the Namib Dessert. The Brown Hyena Research Project http://www.strandwolf.org.za
Brown hyenas are the rarest of all hyenas and truly extraordinary creatures. Dr. Ingrid Wiesel let us in on her passion for these often misjudged carnivores. Photograph courtesy of The Brown Hyena Research Project http://www.strandwolf.org.za
The Brown Hyena Research Project has collared some of the hyenas with GPS collars to learn more about their behaviour... Photograph courtesy of The Brown Hyena Research Project http://www.strandwolf.org.za
and they have set up camera traps but sometimes the brown hyenas are a little too inquisitive. Photograph courtesy of The Brown Hyena Research Project http://www.strandwolf.org.za
This particular population live by the coast and hunt cape fur seals. Photograph courtesy of The Brown Hyena Research Project http://www.strandwolf.org.za
Unlike any other carnivore, every group member in a brown hyena clan feeds the cubs. Female brown hyenas will even give their milk to strange cubs. Photograph courtesy of The Brown Hyena Research Project http://www.strandwolf.org.za
Poor hyenas, unfairly, have a bad reputation. Female hyenas' genitals look like those of a male and so in the past it was thought that male hyenas could get pregnant and give birth. This freaked people out and they assumed that hyenas were the work of the devil. Photograph courtesy of The Brown Hyena Research Project http://www.strandwolf.org.za
Disney didn't help matters when they cast hyenas as villains in The Lion King. Photograph courtesy of The Brown Hyena Research Project http://www.strandwolf.org.za
They are not related to dogs or cats. They are totally unique and so complex that, socially, they are compared to primates rather than other carnivores. Photograph courtesy of The Brown Hyena Research Project http://www.strandwolf.org.za
Brown hyenas have an anal pouch (located under their tail and above their anus) which exudes two separate pastes, one white and one black. They rub these pastes on to grass to mark their territories and to communicate with one another. Apparently you can use the paste as a lip balm but Ingrid assured us that she doesn
Brown hyenas have been knocked down and killed on the road that runs through the dessert to Lüderitz.
The Brown Hyena Research Project has put up signs warning drivers to slow down for these precious animals that we are only beginning to understand.
At Dias Point, 20km south of Lüderitz, we slept in this old boat...
surrounded by roaming jackals and brown hyenas who marked their territory all over Lula's tyres.
Bow Wow and this jackal showed us that the language of play is universal.
Headscarfs until we reach another hairdresser.
The lighthouse at Dias Point where in 1487 Portuguese explorer, Bartholomeu Dias, became the first sailor from the old world to round the southernmost tip of Africa.