Heritage Travel Namibia 13 SAND SPRINTERS BY DAN MEAD Far away and sprinting - that was the kind of ostrich sighting Dan was used to in Namibia. Then, late one morning, on a dried- up riverbed on the Skeleton Coast, he came across a lone ostrich chick. It was struggling to keep up with the rest of its family some distance ahead. The mother was in the lead, scouting, and seemed to have judged the situation - a straggling chick, a strange vehicle, a vulnerable family - because her next move took Dan by surprise. " She suddenly turned sharp right and headed straight up the nearest dune," he says. " It must have been 100m high and at an angle of 30 degrees. The sand slipped away under their feet. It was an amazing effort". At the top, the mother waited for her family. The little straggler fi nally caught up with its siblings, and the whole family disappeared over the crest of the dune.
14 Travel Namibia Moro >> News · views · people · places · conservation · community · wildlife · culture purr- fect After filming for the ITV series Cat Woman in Namibia, Joanna Lumley said, " It's the absolute business. I fell in love with it." For the series, Joanna travelled around the world to uncover the history of the cat. She visited Egypt, Japan, North America, Belize, Mexico and Belgium, as well as Namibia. Namibia was her favourite. " I was blown away. I knew where Namibia was and I knew it would be dry and like a desert. What I didn't know is that it's two and a half times the size of France with only four million people in it, so it's empty. I didn't know that it would have such a scrubby and violent landscape. A great assortment of savannah and prairies and deserts. And all over it are warthogs and wildebeest." Every three to five years an incredible phenomenon occurs on fields close to Maltahohe. After heavy summer rains early in the year, a vast pan or vlei of 800ha fills with about 40cm of water. A few days later lilies that have lain dormant for years push their way through the flood and bloom. It is an incredible sight. But, be warned, it lasts no longer than a week before the flowers wither, and are feasted on by an army of elephant beetles. Windhoek photographer Roy van der Merwe took this truly fabulous shot in February 2009 - the last time the lilies bloomed. Maybe, just maybe, they will bloom again in 2010. if they do. you should be there During her visit, Joanna spoke with conservationist Dave Houghton, from the charity AfriCat. He persuades farmers to contact him when they need a cheetah removing from their land, rather than just shoot them. Dave then traps the threatened cheetah and brings it to AfriCat's 10,000 acres of protected bush. While she was at AfriCat, Joanna groomed the coat of a sedated cheetah before it was released again into the wild. She said: " They gave me a big wire brush and said, " Comb the cheetah". And I was combing out burrs and fleas from this unconscious, but beautiful and fabulous animal. And then it looked so clean and shiny, with its great black tail." Namibia has a new fan: actress Joanna Lumley ITV GOT 2 BE THERE Namibia Joanna Lumley's Absolutely Fabulous actress Joanna Lumley visited Namibia for a new TV programme. She is now a huge fan of the country.