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.
. a zebra with no stripes " I've just come back from a trip to Namibia with my eight- year- old daughter. At the Cheetah Conservation Fund I read a copy of Travel Namibia. In it there was an item about the all- white black- backed jackal - the so- called phantom of Etosha. Co-incidentally, whilst on a game drive through Etosha the previous day, we came across an all- black zebra. Perhaps he is playing count to the jackal's phantom!" ANDY DONALD Travel Namibia 15 DID YOU KNOW: When a cheetah runs he touches the ground every six to seven metres . the website tourbrief. com. It's aimed at people working within the travel industry, but don't worry, it's a mine of information for tourists too. Expect to get lost in its pages, which contain everything from what to pack for a birding trip to where to grab a cool beer in Windhoek. Rock art etiquette Namibian rock art is believed to have been carved or painted by the ancestors of Bushmen thousands of years ago. With your help, it can survive thousands more. ? Trying to increase the visibility of the art using powders or liquids ( even distilled water), causes damage. It also makes dating and further research impossible. ? Researchers believe smoke can damage the art. Please don't start a campfi re close by. ? Natural body oils are a further threat, so don't touch. ? The best examples of rock art are in the Brandberg, Twyfelfontein and Erongo. ? Time your visit for early morning or evening as the art is easier to see and photograph when the sun is low. ? Sketching the carvings and paintings is a lot of fun, but don't try rubbings, which will damage the rock. SPOTTED! The rare all- black zebra The Maltahohe lilies in bloom ROY VAN DER MERWE INSTANTEXPERT