750 hectares of wild lilies

There is a place in Namibia that experiences a great gift of nature every year. The Sandhof Farm near Maltahöhe and the millions of wild lilies that sprout there in the pan after a required rain. The number of lilies that show up varies considerably. Sometimes it is only strips where the lilies sprout and sometimes the whole vlei is full. If there is too much water in the pan, the grass grows faster than the lilies and then the visual impact is not as impressive. When the sun beats down relentlessly, the lilies wither faster than you can look. In short, it is an incalculable natural phenomenon. If all goes well, visitors have a window of 5 to 7 days in which to see an impressive display. We had always missed this spectacle so far – the lilies show up somewhere in mid-January to mid-February. This year, everything was supposed to work out in our favor. A friend from Swakopmund always kept us up to date and when we were just in Twee Rivieren, we received the message via WhatsApp that the farm opened the gates for visitors.

Perfect timing for the lilies

We planned not to extend our time in Kgalagadi and to leave the park on the 13th of February regularly via Mata Mata. The Wildmoor farm was set as an overnight stop. So we had the possibility to reach Sandhof on the 14. of February. According to the forecast, this should more or less correspond to Peak Day. The re-entry into Namibia went as smoothly as the previous exit. The official was the same and we had again some minutes of fun and laughed a lot. The wild dune site on Wildmoor, without any facilities, was our camping destination. We looked at the cliff camp, which was also recommended and fully equipped, but opted for the solitude on the red dune – what were we self-sufficient for? We enjoyed the solitude with a wonderful 360° view and relaxed with a beautiful, colorful sunset, as Africa so often has to offer.

The next morning we reached Mariental, stocked up on supplies, and continued our drive to Sandhof Farm. We arrived there in the early afternoon, paid the 50 NAD entrance fee per person, and were excited to see what was in store for us. The sight was already spectacular. Seen slightly from above, the vlei looked like a salt pan.

Lilies wherever the eye looks

They were not salt crystals, however, but the heads of well over 50 million wild lilies. As we later learned from the owner, the area on which the lilies grew that year amounted to about 750 hectares – or the equivalent of 7,500,000 m². This magnitude is difficult to capture with the eye, and impossible to capture at all with a camera. Lucky as we were, we unexpectedly received permission to spend the night on the farm. The owner saw our self-sufficient camper and knew that Guido would like to take pictures in the evening and at sunrise and made us the offer. He showed us a place where we were allowed to stand and allowed us to move freely. In addition, he gave us tips where the lilies had remained particularly beautiful, because there the water was still in the Vlei. We were very grateful to him and he enjoyed our joy! In the morning Sonja sat by the lilies in front of the car in the shade, while Guido stalked barefoot through the vlei and photographed lilies in the soft morning light. We had a great time at Sandhof and highly recommend this event!

Return to Lake Oanob

As an ending before our flight to Switzerland we had chosen Lake Oanob Resort. A few days, in our case six nights, to relax at a lake seemed to us the best way to come to rest once again before the European madness will also temporarily seize our everyday life. Corona, war and energy crisis was not an issue for us since May and since we followed only rudimentary news, all this did not play a role in our daily life. We visit our families and stay in our homeland until Easter. What will happen then, you will find out soon. Take care of yourself and celebrate life.

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