I hit the snooze button for what feels like the hundredth time. Unable to avoid it any longer, I get out of bed, shower, and meet the others at the hotel reception at 6am.
Once everyone is inside the shuttle, our driver heads towards Walvis Bay Waterfront, a half an hour drive from Swakopmund.
The itinerary promised adventure and sightings of seals, pelicans, and seagulls. If lucky, we would spot dolphins and whales. Johnathan Morgan, a tour guide for Laramon Tours, talks us through the safety procedures and other important rules we need to know before we venture out to sea. Soon, the catamaran sails off for the three-hour adventure at sea.
Minutes into the trip, we meet Nicholas, the dominant male seal who loves being the centre of attention. A seal named Nonni tries to enter the boat, but his dominating spirit scares the passive seal away. Nicholas loves the camera and puts on a show for our group. Tired, he jumps back into the water, savouring the stillness of the ocean below.
It’s not long until a pelican flies onto the catamaran, watching his audience from above. As the weather is overcast and chilly, Morgan pours us a cup of Namibian coffee, which is code for sherry.
“It will warm you up nicely,” he tells the group as he pours the fortified wine into our enamel cups. The pelican flies onto the main deck for his morning breakfast. He doesn’t mind the cameras capturing his antics, and at one point puts on a strange dance.
A seagull above us tries to steal the fish that a staff member is feeding the pelican, but fails dismally. Satisfied with his meal, the pelican flies away, leaving the group to take in the beauty of the ocean. Morgan and skipper Jannie Nolte make the tour interesting, offering insight on oyster farming and about Pelican Point, which is home to a large colony of Cape Fur seals.
We spot a lonesome jackal on Pelican Point, who lazes near the shore, and many seagulls are prancing along the shoreline. Once we drift away from Pelican Point, Morgan announces that lunch is served. Platters of delicious snacks are displayed in the lounge, and guests have the option of indulging in a glass of champagne or two. After we fill our bellies, we enjoy homemade ‘melt in your mouth’ cupcakes. Nicholas arrives back on the catamaran for lunch and more photographs.
The tour is a perfect morning activity that offers plenty of interesting animal sightings. It’s worth adding to your Namibian itinerary when it’s safe to travel again. Visit www.laramontours.com
By Clinton Moodley