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This website is something like a personal corona diary 2020 concerning Onjala/Namibia.

In mid-February 2020, one of us (Paech) flew to Namibia in the hope of being able to carry out a similarly successful observation program as in 2019 on Onjal by the end of October. The coronavirus was already being heard about in Europe, but how dramatically the situation would come to a head in just under 6 weeks was not foreseeable ...

Middle of February 2020 ... Arrival in Namibia in the middle of the big rainy season. This was very productive, I had never seen the landscape on Onjala so green in almost 7 years.

The Nossob is flowing
Chamäleon house and "dirty devil"
vor dem Affenberg
The 3- and the 4m dome (after a repair of the RA drive) were quickly ready for use and also the potable mount, the MACH 1 from Astro Physics, with the Pentax refractor and the guidescope was quickly set up and ready for upcoming, planned observing programs.
Around mid-March, the situation began to escalate extremely, both in Europe and in Namibia. The Air Namibia cancels all flights to Germany and Namibia has a quarantine for entrants from all over the world. My wife was supposed to come on March 20, we cancel the flight immediately.

My return flight was planned for the end of August, a decision had to be made: Stay and wait or fly back to Germany. On March 20, there are only flights with KLM to Amsterdam, onward travel to Germany uncertain. I decide to fly home and register at the German Embassy and the Foreign Office for a return flight through the Federal Republic.

The tour operator Chamäleon Tours from Berlin brings all tour groups traveling in Namibia centrally back to Onjala Lodge. Around March 20, Namibia closes the borders to the
The Covid-19 Corona Virus
neighboring countries - also to South Africa - and is preparing a strict lockdown between the individual Namibian provinces. Chameleon Tours is trying to organize a charter flight to Frankfurt for March 25. There are difficulties to get a landing permit for Johannesburg (South Africa), where Chameleon groups are also still traveling. The very last KLM flight - out of Namibia - leaves on March 24, I decide to take the Chameleon flight, because it goes to Frankfurt and not only to Amsterdam.Translated with (free version)
On March 25, in the morning, about 75% of Onjala employees are laid off, many have tears in their eyes because they do not understand at all what is going on. The lodge is completely closed.

The Namibian lockdown is a fact and in the morning all Pack Safari buses are used to drive the Chameleon guests - and also me - to the airport and the dismissing Onjala staff to Windhoek.
At the airport more or less chaos, The boarding passes were distributed, none for me. I learn that I am - for whatever reason - removed from the passenger list. A helpful employee of Pack Safari ensures at the "Super Visor" immediately that I am put back on the passenger list and get a boarding ticket. Pure stress, I do not have to experience again in my life.

The airplane - after intermediate landing in Johannesburg extremely full - was a Spanish airline. Hardly any service except for a coffee and a sandwich - but on the way to Frankfurt.

P.S. The German Foreign Office and the German Embassy had probably forgotten about me. I did not receive any emails for a return flight. If I had not taken care of it privately, I would have been stuck in Namibia until October ...
our spanish airplane,
last flight leaving Windhoek
from Johannesburg extremely full ghostly, the long distance train station
at Frankfurt airport
At the airport on entry, no indication of Corona, except for distance markings on the floor.

Last stage, the ICE to Hannover. In the compartment together with Laila, a social pedagogue, who wanted to work in the kindergarten on Onjala for 3 months.
After 14 days all-clear, no infection with Covid-19 in the fully occupied plane - WITHOUT to carry a mask

At the end of September, the RKI, and thus the German Foreign Office, removes Namibia from the travel list. Covid-19 illnesses and deaths remain within limits in Namibia.

From the beginning of October, Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings will again offer flights from Frankfurt to Windhoek 3 times a week. Entry requirements for Namibia: A negative Coronatest, not older than 72 hours and new - a proof for a travel insurance, which also includes Covid-19 diseases. Now more than ever - NO RISK NO FUN

I am booking a flight for October 15 ...
16 hours with mouth and nose protection only a few passengers ready for takeoff in Frankfurt
Arrive in Windhoek at 7am in the morning Distance, distance and distance on entry Welcome at Onjala
In mid-October the sun is almost at its zenith hot, up to 38 degrees in the shadow selfie at sunset
Our house gecko
our portable, ready for use ... ... with Pentax and guidescope
the 4m dome
new staff - Training for Stargazing the 3- and 4m dome
Testgamedrive with Nathie without guest
Stuck in the revier The Giraffes are still there
meanwhile there are 16 animals
View to the lodge and the 4m dome
Sundowner with Bianca and clouds
First rains of the small rainy season The nights were mostly cloudy
A 360 degree sun halo ...
... and spectacular sunsets

           Few panoramic views
View from the sundowner place towards the lodge
The observatories ...
... under a spectacular sunset
The last evening before my return flight on November 16 showed clear skies and a 2-day-old crescent moon above the 4m dome. The following night I sat on the terrace at 28 degrees and a big glass of beer under a brilliant starry sky. The Magellanic Clouds high in the southern sky. The constellation Orion rising, the Pleiades and Hyades in the northwest, Sirius rising in the east. And close to the horizon - over 90 degrees latitude - thunderstorms fulminate with incessant cascades of lightning, somehow a surreal sight.Translated with (free version)

The next morning at 7 a.m. I leave for the airport, 17 hours with mouth and nose protection await me. The last through ICE from Frankfurt to Hannover leaves at 8pm. I reach it thanks to a very timely Lufthansa flight and am around 1 o clock in the morning in Hanover.
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