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Explore Southern Africa's Hidden Treasure

Our guest Travel Editor, Diane Audrey Ngako, Journalist & co-founder of African tourism platform ‘Visiter L’Afrique’ interviewed Lee Litumbe: 26 year old Cameroonian-American creator of the online travel and lifestyle destination SPIRITED PURSUIT about her travels in Namibia

DN: Tell us a bit about yourself ?

LL: My name is Lee Litumbe, and I’m a 26 year old Cameroonian American currently based in Atlanta, GA. After graduating from college and working primarily in Business & Finance, I realized my life needed balance. I was in desperate need of a creative outlet at the time, and longed to produce work which was a true reflection of the things I am passionate about such as travel, photography, and design. Thus I created Spirited Pursuit, an online travel and lifestyle destination which works as a visual daydream and inspiration source for the travel obsessed. Heavily influenced by my own personal interests, I publish dynamic stories and captivating photography surrounding the adventurous, cultural, and international experiences from both myself and a community of spirited world travelers.

Although I was born and spent my childhood in Douala, Cameroon, I moved to The States at the tender age of nine and did not go back for another twelve years, which left me somewhat displaced and isolated from my culture. Finally returning at the age of twenty-one, the experience served as a grand awakening to my spirit. Reconnecting with the most authentic version of myself, rediscovering forgotten yet familiar foods and syncing back to the chaotic yet rhythmic speed of day-to-day life in Douala helped me realize there had been a gaping hole within me that was finally being filled.

DN: How would you describe Namibia?

LL: Namibia is a southern African country with a rich cultural history as well as a plethora of contrasting landscapes qualifying it as an ideal travel destination. From endless sand dunes in the Namib Desert, to the stunning sunrises and piercing night skies in Sossusvlei, followed by the expansive amount of game in Etosha National Park, it’s no wonder most who travel to Namibia are rendered speechless. The people are also incredibly welcoming friendly and generally go out of their way to ensure that visitors are left with a positive lasting impression of their homeland.

DN: Where is a must to visit in Namibia?

LL: To be honest, all of Namibia is a must visit. For highlights I'd suggest spending time in Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Etosha National Park, Walvis Bay, and Kolmanskop. There are an endless set of activities like skydiving, sandboarding, riding hot air balloons, or quad biking for the thrill and adventure seekers.

DN: What did you pack when going to Namibia?

LL: I don’t like to carry a purse when I travel (my purse was once stolen in a Mall), so I always pack a small cross body pouch I can keep my essentials in. Aside from that and my camera, everything else is irrelevant because I would strongly suggest that you pack for your own itinerary.

If you anticipate visiting the desert, bring sunscreen, sunglasses, comfortable closed shoes, and loose fitting clothes made from light fabrics. If you plan to visit clubs while in cities, pack what you like to wear to clubs. If your goal is to visit the beach, bring a bathing suit. If you hope to camp or safari, pack cargoes, khakis, and a light jacket for the cool breezy nights. There is so much to do and see while in Namibia, so the contents of each person’s suitcase may vary depending on their interests.

DS: What about food? What would you recommend?

LL: For traditional foods, Herero bread was a personal favorite as well as porridge which is made from corn and has a similar consistency to what is more widely known as fufu. During my visit to Katutura Township in Windhoek, I learned most locals also enjoy eating Kapana, which is grilled beef served with a chili pepper sauce. Since I’m vegetarian, I did not try it for myself, nor did I have any biltong (a dried and spiced beef jerky) or the various amounts of grilled game available like oryx and kudu. I’m sure they are all delicious, so I’d recommend trying all of them if you are a meat eater.

DS: How do you choose your travel destinations?

LL: My curiosity is sparked primarily by countries I consider “off the beaten path” or those I feel are improperly represented by the (Western) media. Any country where I can expose myself to a new culture, language, or religion is one I would likely consider. I ultimately choose my travel destinations with the hope to expand both my and my readers’ knowledge on a given place; though a naturally beautiful landscape or the promise of good food doesn’t hurt either.

DS: What hotel do you recommend?

SD: I don’t particularly enjoy staying in hotels because I find them somewhat impersonal and generally too expensive. Bed & Breakfasts, hostels, or guesthouses are more my speed because they fit my budget better and allow me to connect with locals in a more organic way. I’d highly recommend the Hilltop Guesthouse in Windhoek, the Windhoek Game Camp, the Namib Naukluft Lodge in Sossusvlei, and the Desert Breeze Lodge in Swakopmund.

DN: The best place for…

SD: For an authentic experience while visiting any new country, it is imperative to see what the locals see and do what the locals do because I believe the spirit of a country is embedded in its people. That said, I found that the best place to connect with the culture of Namibia were in places like Katutura Township or the beaches in Swakopmund where locals gather and socialize amongst themselves.

Written by: Diane Audrey Ngako - Visiter L’Afrique
Photography by: Lee Litumbe - Spirited Pursuit


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