Namibians are a funny lot. When it starts to rain they get a strange look in their eyes, jump into their vehicles and start driving around. The more torrential the downpour, the more active they become. They want to see the rivers flow, the dams fill and experience the rarity of rain firsthand.
This no doubt comes from living in a desert. Most people in more temperate climates avoid rain and find shelter. Not Namibians. They must feel it, smell it, taste it and most of all, be out in it. Since rain calls for celebration, events are never cancelled in Namibia because of it. And as Namibians will tell you, the first rain of the season, falling on the dust and dry grass, produces a distinctive smell that is delicious and memorable.
If you're fortunate enough to visit Namibia when it rains (we know that sounds odd), you'll find that the roads are more crowded that usual. The increased traffic is due to Namibians driving around to see as much of the wet stuff as they possibly can. Apart from perennial rivers on the southern and northern borders, Namibia’s rivers are ephemeral, flowing only during good rain years for a few hours or days at most. And when they flow, people gather to watch them.
Namibians are not content to wait for the weatherman to tell them how much rain has fallen. Most have a rain gauge in their backyard; farmers as many as a dozen scattered around their land. The day after it’s rained, Namibians will check their gauges and enter the figures into their Rainfall Book. Next they telephone their neighbors. “How much rain did you get?” It’s a friendly competition, but you can bet the guy with the most rain feels smug.
So when it rains, if you want to pass yourself off as a Namibian, get out into it, taste it, smell it and start dancing in the rain!
Click here to find out how you can to experience an adventure on one of Namibia's rivers in the rainy season!