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  • Ndapanda Haininga

Visiting Popa Falls Resort.

Updated: Oct 20, 2018

Namibia is so beautiful, quite possibly one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and I'm not just saying that because of my obvious bias. We have the best landscapes, the best meat, the best people, and despite what they said in Black Panther, the world's best sunsets are here too, Wakanda could never.

I've had dreams of travelling my country for as long as I can remember, seeing each corner for its unique beauty, the contrast between the different regions, the dryness of the South Vs. the greenness of the North, just stunning!

So two years ago, I made the conscious decision to see my country, to stop over-planning and just go, one of the best decisions I have made to date, second only to putting Popa Falls Resort on my must see lodges list.

I will never forget how pleased I was with myself when we got there. Everything was so beautiful, and green, you can't miss the green.

Check-in went smoothly and we were assigned a room. We had booked ourselves into a River Chalet which was amazing! We not only had a great view of the river but we were also only a minute's walk to the both the pool and the bar, that was perfect mostly because cocktails and bikinis are the best thing about being on vacation, obviously.

The Chalet was stunning, modern decor and beautiful artwork on the wall. What I loved most though, was how spacious it was. I'm a morning person who likes to sing and dance, space, as you can imagine, is very important to me, and we had more than enough of it to move around.

We had a mini kitchen too, kitchenette, I think that's what the learned folk call it, that was a lovely surprise.

Although stunning, our stay at the resort was not sunshine and rainbows.

We wanted a full experience so we booked an early morning game drive (only because we had already done a boat cruise at a different lodge.) Sadly, the drive was a let down. Half of it was us driving through what felt like an empty and endless forest. The guide tried to make the experience fun but I had checked out of it and into a glorious nap, a small victory, I suppose.

'I can smell the elephants..'Yeah, okay, but where are they Joe?

He was nice though, shame, and he really did try.

That was only the first of a series of glitches. We couldn't pay for the game drive because the speedpoints were out of service, that meant we needed cash (which we didn't carry because, who still does that?) so, in the middle of nowhere, with not one ATM in sight, they asked for cash. Fun.

The network was terrible, 'climb on top of the tree and still not get enough reception to log onto Twitter' terrible. That later worked in our favour, because.. tranquillity. How was I supposed to stunt for the gram though?

The food wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either, with the exception of breakfast which was delicious, they offered a lot of variety, there was something for everyone and I appreciated that. The service had it's moments but the bad ones were forgivable.

Popa Falls is an NWR resort. I should have started with that, that means they work on a buffet system and it did not come cheap. Here's a hack, carry your own food and drinks. Carry as much food as possible because it would be quite the drive to get to the nearest supermarket. We did not know this when we went but you know, live and learn.

Was our experience perfect? No.

Would I go back?

Yes, and here's why.

Firstly, and as cliche as this may sound, there really is nothing quite like waking up to the sound of the river against that of wind moving through a forest of trees and birds cheerfully chirping, nothing. it was perfect, the mornings were always perfect.

The staff was really friendly, and helpful. I've never met a kinder lot than Kavango people guys, everywhere you go in Kavango region, people are nice.

The aesthetic! Goodness me, is the place stunning, and the sunsets? Magic. Trees everywhere, green grass and perfect view of the Kavango River. One of my favourite things to do was sit on the veranda of our chalet in my white gown, tea cup in hand and just take it all in. A rich bxtch aesthetic, you dig?

All in all, money well spent on a beautiful New Year's Eve experience. I have since carried a cooler box and stock of food to every NWR resort I've been to because like I said, Live and learn.

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