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"There's More to Namibia than Angelina Jolie"

A male ostrich -- eight feet tall and wide as a Hummer -- galumphs in front of our van as we shudder over a hardpan track in the ancient Namib desert. "You don't want to hit one of those mother-roonies," shouts our driver, swearing in German.
Ostrich sightings are just one of the hallucinatory joys of travel in Namibia. From a distance , they look like thatched huts floating on spindle sticks. When accelerating to a lope, they could be escapees from Jurassic Park.
During my stay, no sights or howls or sagey smellsare repeated to reinforce them as reality. I see a lagoon of flamingos from Out of Africa. I see grizzled colonials from The English Patient. I half-expect my passport to be stamped Dream State.
And I have no urge to wake up.
Even when I am bit by a meerkat --- well, actually, a meerkitten, a youngster the color of toast. He appears, chasing his tail, and seems startled to find a gaggle of humans sprawling in camp chairs, enjoying a bush lunch in the shade of a thorn tree. I say hello, lowering my hand and smiling, until I see pinpricks of blood. The only alcohol in sight is a cold German beer , so I dip a napkin and press tight.
"T. I. A.," our guide, James McKenzie, says pleasantly, which is especially nice since it is his beer. "This is Africa."
--San Diego Magazine, May, 2008