It is Christmas Eve and we are enjoying a delicious, buffet dinner on the Zambezi Queen. We are on the northern half of the Chobe river, which means that we are in Namibian waters, as the river is split (lengthwise) between Namibia and Botswana.
Namibia is a predominantly Christian country and so most people celebrate Christmas. Namibian Christmas celebrations are actually very similar to the German traditions. The reason behind this is that Namibia was actually a German colony from 1884 to 1915. While many of the few thousand immigrant that lived here returned to Germany after the two world wars, some stayed and raised families. The old customs and traditions were then passed down through the generations.
At each place setting around the table is a little German grain sack, stuffed with chocolates and nougat and the crew have planned a surprise for us. As we are finishing our desserts we hear the sound of drums and one by one the crew members make their way into the saloon wearing reed skirts. Some of the ladies start to sing and then they all perform a traditional Namibian dance for us. Soon the captain and some of the guests are up dancing too.