During the night of 9 April 2015, a soft and barely hearable light rain was falling at intervals at Namib Desert Lodge. The morning of 10 April, just after dawn, while preparing our day ahead, sipping on a steamy cup of coffee, this somewhat rare occurrence sparked up excitement with more rain coming down.
You need to understand, rain in the desert is like a Christmas tree lined with gifts underneath its branches. It’s a special occasion that only comes once a year. At that point, we were like children waiting to open our presents, filled with anticipation of what we will receive
Later that day, a telephone call from one of the neighboring establishments brought news that had us all flabbergasted: Dieprivier or directly translated to English – Deepriver was flowing! The special part of this was, the last time we experienced the river in flow, was in 2011.
Anja and Jorg (Namib Desert Lodge anagers) immediately hopped in the car and drove to the river.
A mere 20 minutes after they have left, we heard Anja’s voice over the radio: “The River is coming down!” We ran to the riverbed and were just in time to see the water creeping overthe dry river sand.
We did a bit of an investigation to make sure the water couldn’t reach the lodge rooms, but realized a second river had formed and now was blocking the way to the reception. Andries (an employee of Namib Desert Lodge) swiftly took action and with the tractor tried to open the sides of the road so the water could drain away before reaching the buildings.
We received a call that a bus with guests was stuck in the river close to the lodge gate. We immediately hurried there to offer our assistance. With a cooler box filled with beer, juice and water we made sure the guests destined for Sossusvlei Lodge, were calm and relaxed until the 2 Land cruisers came to fetch them. With the setting sun in the desert sky, the bus was eventually pulled out and we headed back to the lodge.
The next morning, with sore muscles from the previous days’ fun, the first thing we went to see was the water level of the river. Unfortunately, the riverbed only portrayed its sandy gems and the water was gone, but it was a special day for all of us.
This story was written by Kerstin Meng from Namib Desert Lodge.
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