We always visit Namibia whenever we are on a long trip. Sometimes even twice! We made good progress through the Caprivi, westwards from our entry point at Katimo Mulilo, and chose to stay at N’Gepi again instead of trying one of the campsites on the Kavango river near Rundu.
The SA schools were on holiday and our favourite stands were already taken. We got the Hippo site with wash up area and a good view of the river. The river was very much higher than in January.
We stayed for two glorious days and caught up on photo editing and our blog while chilling.
Rundu is an odd town that has an infrastructure left behind by South Africa during the bush war and now it’s a mixture of a border town and modern supermarkets and malls. After topping up data and buying provisions we returned to the older African border town section where Solveig bought more chitengas from the stall holders at the street markets. We then continued our trip southwards to Roy’s Camp, nearer to Grootfontein. We love the quirkyness of Roy’s.
It was quite full, mostly from South Africa, including a family of first time tenters, that usually caravaned. We watched with amusement as they assembled their camp site. We met Kenyans on their way to Windhoek and had a lovely contact with them also.
We could not leave out Okahandja and the Closwa butchery for their fantastic biltong and vacuum packed Namibian steak from our schedule either. We ended up camping there at the Ombonde Campsite, part of the Okahandja Country Hotel just north of the town. One of the nicest camps we’ve stayed at near Windhoek. We visited Windhoek the next day but returned to Ombonde for another night.
In Swakopmund we tried out the Mile 4 camp just outside town as we really wanted to be next to the sea again. We’d just completed the crossing of the continent.
A week had passed since entering Namibia and staying in lovely campsites. Now we chose one of the worst camps we’d ever stayed in! It looked like a cemetery. Can you imagine how dreadful it gets around Christmas when full!
The next day we were off to try our luck in Walvis Bay after looking at alternative places in Swakopmund. Alte Brucke was fully booked. The only place with space available was over R500 per night to camp!
We enjoyed our day at the Walvis Bay lagoon but the camping wasn’t great there either. We’d made the move from a huge bleak camp in Swakop to a cramped site here.
We decided that we’d be far better off wildcamping, so set off into the desert the following day through a dust storm near Walvis.
We wanted to camp at Mirabib in the Namib Nauklauft but needed a permit, only obtainable in Swakopmund, so continued towards Sesriem.
On the way the dust storm turned into a massive thunderstorm and the rain bucketed down accompanied by lightning and rainbows.
The road turned into a river and we had to be extra cautious. The evening light was amazing!
By having to slow down because of the rain we realised we’d never get to Solitaire by dark and looked out for a place to stay. The Kuiseb canyon didn’t look too inviting as it was still raining hard and there were no camping signs in all the nice spots.
It was evening when we reached the Gaob river canyon and decided we had to camp here. We drove off the road into the river bed and proceeded up stream.
The main river had pools of water, and debris from a recent flood trapped in trees about 3 meters above the river bed, so we turned back and drove up a short tributary which was dry. I decided we’d be safe from any storm here.
The next morning there was no sign of rain and everything was dry again. We realised that we had spent the night at the Tropic of Capricorn.
Joe and Pam Stallebras had stayed at a campsite near to Solitaire at the summit of the Spreetshoogte pass for a few nights and really enjoyed themselves. We were always open to exploring suggestions fellow overlanders made. We headed there after a detour to Solitaire first, as we had plenty of time. The campsite was named Namibgrens. The Spreetshoogte pass is extremely steep and is paved with concrete bricks to assist you with your ascent.
On arriving at the farmhouse where we booked in we found this oxwagon which brought back memories of Balfour and the good times shared with our friends Chris and Mandy.
The campsite was well worth the effort in getting there. There were 12 campsites and a number of chalets too. The camps had individual ablutions located amongst the rocks as well as canvas kitchen shelters and tents, although we chose to sleep in Twiga of course!
We spent two night there and most of the day in the rock pool.
After leaving we carried on passed Sesriem canyon and Sosusvlei because of the school holidays…We prefered to camp on our own or with just a few campers and hoped to reach Aus that night.
Again we drove through the incredible Namibian landscape which we’ve become to love so much.
We realised we would not reach Aus so stopped early at Betta near Duiseb where we met two incredible cyclists from Nederlands, Alice and Jaap. They were 68 and 70!!
We enjoyed a tea break at Helmeringshausen, and a treat! Namibia is well known for its Apple pie and it was on the menu at the only hotel in the small village, so we ordered two… did we get a surprise when we got the bill…R50 each for the pie and there was no cream either, just castor sugar!
Another day enjoying the beautiful landscapes….
There were animals along the route too…..
We arrived at Aus too early so we continued towards the Gariep River on the border instead.
We wildcamped in an abandoned campsite along the Gariep.
There are not too many places one can do that anymore, especially during school holidays!
Just another 50 kms to Noordoever and a Wimpy breakfast!
We left the river for awhile and were back in the desert once again…
After breakfast, a quick and efficient border crossing followed by Springbok!