Trip Log...Namibia

The way that a bee is called to the pollen, so for us, it felt that Namibia was calling our names.  The mystery of the desert, the ghost towns, the open spaces, and the people of the magnificent country beckoned. The border crossing was hassle free and took only 30 minutes. 

Our first stop was going to be Ai-ais, at the foot of the Fish River canyon. Upon arriving we found out that to camp would cost double it had cost for us to camp in South Africa.  R90 for a camp site was just to much, so we pushed on to the Hobas campsite, at the start of the Fish River canyon hike, hoping that it would cost less.

The camp site at Hobas officially caters for 12 sites, but when we arrived, there were 5 Overland trucks, and about 25 other vehicles.  We quickly claimed a spot and headed for a shower. Overcrowding, resulted in a very quick shower.  That was the worst camp site we had come across.  Looking back, we are not sure if we would ever camp there again.

The Aus campsite...The very small town of Aus was our next stop. Initially we had the camp site to ourselves but then a herd of 4x4 vehicles arrived - six vehicles all fully laden with family and kids!  The music blared, and the beers were drunk late into the night.  We were not happy campers!  Aus offers some excellent day walks in the surrounding hills.  Plenty of Gemsbok (or Oryx) are scattered over the hills.

From Aus, we headed west to the sLee-Annepy, windy town of Luderitz.  It was a downhill trip the whole way.  The GPS registered Aus at 1700m ASL and we knew that Luderitz was on the coast - it was a good feeling knowing that we were speeding downhill covering the distance in record speed. Traveling from Aus to Luderitz, one travels through the Spergebied (roughly translated, the restricted zone), which is rumoured to have diamonds just lying on the ground. We took a quick detour to see the wild horses of Namibia.  The scenery was wonderful.  Huge sandy stretches reached far up into the hills.

We just loved Luderitz, with its cheap coffee (R2.50 per cup)  and the mysterious ghost town of Kolmanskop.  It was eerie to walk
through a deserted town and play skittle in the
recreation/town hall.  We also had an excellent tour guide who took us through the history of the town and the people... 

Before heading for Duwisib Castle, we spent the night at the Klein Aus Vista campsite, under the same tree as before.  We have claimed our spot, and when we return, we will choose that tree again!

The Duwisib castle, was built in 1905 by Baron von Wolf for his AmeThe Duwisib Castle...rican wife.  Tragedy resulted in the castle only being lived in for 9 years until WW1 broke out and the Baron was killed in the battle of the Somme. His wife, Jayta,  returned to America and never claimed the castle as hers.  It's now a tourist attraction. In the Knights Hall are 2 chairs
belonging to King Phillip of Spain (year 1585).  We
bush camped that night due to the outrageous camping
fees at the castle. 
In the morning small red sand dunes had formed around the landy due to the wind. The wind had howled that evening.  We had parked next to a dead tree, hoping for some shelter, but guess what: we had chosen the wrong side and so at 2am, the wind was shaking the landy back and forth!! In the morning, all our tracks into the dunes had been erased. 
This was a good stop on route to the well-known sand dunes.  The Sossusvlei was calling, but when we arrived we were greeted by a sand storm and so the calling of the desert has not been answered, as we decided to push on Walvis bay and Swakopmund. Have we mentioned
the wind before........ The past wind were mere fluttering breezes in comparison to Beseda, the campsite we had chosen near the town of Sesriem (Sesriem is the closest town to the dunes). We camped at the ablution block, along with an English man and his son in an attempt to find shelter...attempt being the operative word in this sentence.  Our dome tent acted as a sieve and sieved fine red sand on to us all night long.  As for sLee-Annep.... what's that?????? This was the second time we had used our dome tent.  The first time was at Luderitz.  In retrospect, it was a good idea taking the dome tent with us.  It allowed us to be mobile when staying for more than one night, and allowed us to claim our spot in busy campsites.

The rough Namibian coastal line was just beautiful.  We spent a lovely four days at the campsite between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund, called Langstrand or roughly translated Long Beach.  It was at this camp site were we met Swiss guys Romeo and Beat - little did we know what lay in store for the four of us! 

We had the strangest experience.  Both towns closed for lunchtime.  The indicators were not working, due to a short circuit and when the electrician was halfway through the job, with the dashboard lying in about 50 pieces all over the front of the landy, he left for lunch and there we sat,looking at each other in frustration. Swakopmund is beautiful! German turn of the century architecture (1900 or so...), German culture, food, language.... a piece of Europe in the African desert. 

During this time we had the Land Rover serviced and greased up - all ready for the next leg of the journey.  If you are ever in Swakopmund, and need a good service, visit Harold at the Overlanders Hospital garage! Swakopmund/Walvis Bay seem to be a landy mecca and our
dear old girl did not look "out" for once in her life.

The Namibian coast line is rugged, and beautiful.  Long stretches of beach, filled with shells, and many fisherman, all hoping for that mighty catch.  We The Namibian fog...slowly headed North to Cape Cross, where we visited the seal colony.  Upon returning to Swakopmund, we met Romeo and Beat heading North. The sun had already started to set, so we decided to head directly into the desert and bush camp. Dinner that night was traditional potjiekos (a South African version of English stew), a first for Romeo and Beat.  The next morning we were completely shrouded in fog. The fog bought a wonderful peace to the surrounding countryside.  

Our next destination was the Spitzkoppen peaks.  The Spitzkoppen peaks.The country is flat and then suddenly, the Spitzkoppen peaks jut skywards. We spent an idealic two days hiking and climbing.  This was one of our favourite camping spots in Namibia.

And then finally, we were off for Windhoek and our new founded friends, Romeo and Beat were off to the Etosha pans. 

Upon arriving in Windhoek, we encountered our first begging of our trip. It was not a good experience being harassed after a tiring journey - we had not even parked the Land Rover when the first chap approached us. The campsite at Windhoek offered the best facilities  and to make things even better, Windhoek also had the very best second hand bookshop we have ever seen.  Thousands of second hand books lined the shelves - what a temptation, so fully stocked up on books we left Windhoek for Botswana.  

Farewell, windy and dusty Namibia....

Our trip continues in Botswana, where mud, Elephants and Lion pop into our lives...

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