Heine's Ramblings and Rumblings

Possible itenary for our next trip (Reproduced without permission from Mike Bands)

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As the short reports I sent regularly from my cellphone from Namibia did not all reach you guys I have complied a complete report as follows:

Arrived Ai Ai Sunday for 2 nights, roads great, very little traffic, campsite half full. Visited Hobas, campsite good. Viewed canyon. Visited Canyon Roadhouse, very nice, a must see, great campsite too. Next, Aus via the Northen bank of the Orange River through the R’veld and Rosh Pinah, great. Camped at Klein Aus Vista at Aus. Very good.

Left there next morning for Luderitz  and saw about 200 wild horses en route. No wind at Shark Island. Tomorrow Kolmaskop.

After a cool and windless night at Shark Island we did the interesting Kolmanskop tour then left for Duwisib via the scenic D707, a secondary road in need of grading. We camped at Duwiseb the night, very nice campsite with good ablutions.
Then we drove to Tsauchab River Camp. Excellent private campsites on the river with the best bathrooms yet seen at a campsite. Left there and on the way to Sesriem, visited their Wild Fig forest which also has a very nice campsite. Arrived at Sossus Oasis where we are camping the next two days. It’s very windy and hot here. Campsites nice. Woke up to a completely overcast and cold day, very bad for photography. Went to the Vlei however which still has a lot of water. Very nice. A lot of water in the depression across the dune from the Deadvlei as well.

From Sesriem we went to the Namib Naukluft Mountain Zebta Park. Campsites reasonable. Nice mountain scenery with lots of mountain Zebras, Kudu, Klipsringer, birds korhaan etc.

Next day a very scenic drive to Solitaire where we had a huge chunk of apple pie, right out of the oven. Very nice. Then the busy road to Windhoek until we turned of to Mirabeb. This is a group of huge rocks in the middle of the flat desert, all covered in yellow grass after the good rains. There are a number of campsites around the rocky hills with longdrops only. Then we carried on to the D2186, which runs along the Kuiseb to Windhoek. There are huge dunes all along the SW side of the river and flat desert on the other side. Amazing and beautiful to see. This road is a bit rough, about 60km/h travelling.

We slept at Langstrand that night, rather disappointing. There doesn’t seem to have been any upkeep the last years and there were contractors staying there and using the bathrooms of course. The traffic was also very noisy.  The bar at the end of the jetty was closed. We had supper at a good restaurant called Burning Shore.

Spent the next three nights  at Sophia dale campsite, 12 km outside Swakop. It is a good enough place, but very dusty. Visted Walvis, rode quads over the dunes and did Swakop. A new Food lovers Market opened there that day and has the same good food at the same prices as Pretoria. Meat is cheaper. Cymot/Greensports has all the camping stuff as well.

Left Sophia Dale on Saturday morning in a terrible duststorm. Drove to Spitzkoppe against the howling east wind and climbing a thousand meters. Bad for fuel consumption. Spitzkoppe was very nice, camped under big trees against the huge rocks out of the wind. Only facilities are a lot of longdrops. Many flies, probably breeding in the open longdrops. Campsites all full by evening.
Left Sunday morning for Aba Huab against the wind again with dust storms predicted over the Namib and 35 degrees at Swakop.
Halfway to Uis we were met by a ‘Road closed’ sign, where the D1931 joins the D1930, so we had to take the 1931 detour of about 50 km. A quite rough road through some nice landscapes though
At Uis we heard that the bridge over the Omaruru was damaged therefore the closed road. Four wheel drives were however reported to be able to cross. The garage at Uis marked on t4a as out of service has been rebuilt and is back in service.
Arriving at Aba Huab we got the ‘exclusive’ camp site. Own bathroom, huge trees on river bank. Very nice. Very noisy African disco nearby in the evenings.
Monday, very hot, reached 32, did Twyfelfontein, organ pipes & burnt mountain.

Left Aba-Huab Tuesday and drove the Petrified Forest route. Visited the official site and saw huge petrified trees, a worthwhile place to see. Bought nice cake at the German bakery in Outjo
Camped at Etosha Safari Camp just before Anderson gate. Very nice camping, thick green lawns, good bathrooms etc. At sunset Overlander trucks/busses arrived as usual with the passengers overrunning the place.

Next morning entered Etosha and drove to the Moringa forest (Sprokieswoud) to find most of the trees flattened, presumably by elephants, as a camped off piece of the forest is ok. Saw black Rhino, lions and hundreds of other animals at Okondeka.
Saw 8 lions and lots of game at Nebrowni.
Next two nights camped at Halali, campsites very small, very dusty and overcrowded.
This morning saw lots of water, game and lions at Goas. Elephant herd came to drink at Nuamses.
The pan is still full of water at Etosha Llookout with big flocks of Pied Avochet and Lesser Flamingo. A very nice place.
Thursday evevening two herds of elephants at Halali’s waterhole. Sunset over the ellies. Very beautiful. Friday, Namutoni. Campsite more or less grassed, no fine powdery soil like Halali, ablutions in poor state. Saw lots of Damara dikdik on the Dikdik drive.
Saturday left for Waterberg, had great cake and coffee at Sindano Court Cafe in Tsumeb, then to Hobas meteorite via the Grootfontein road. It’s an amazing chunk of approx 80% iron and 15% nickel. Well worth seeing. Carried on to Waterberg via Rietfontein on the D2512, a good gravel road travelling through bushveld and cattle farms approaching Waterberg from the N East.
Some of W’berg’s campsites are grassed under huge trees with good refurbished bathrooms. Spent the morning botanizing and birding and lazed about in the afternoon.

As we prefer the roads less travelled we left Waterberg for Windhoek via the C30 to Hochfeld where we had the best capuccinos in Namibia at the local lodge/restaurant/store/filling station. From there we turned onto the D2166 then the M53 to Arebbusch in Windhoek. Nice quiet roads through cattle country. The camp sites at Arebbush are fine powdery soil with shadeports and the ablutions are good. The traffic is very noisy though. That night went to Joe’s for supper. A remarkable place for a great meal. Next morning saw the sights of Windhoek, then packed up left for Gobabis. Nice campsites here at Goba Goba Lodge. Next night slept at Kalahari Rest camp, nice place then home to Pretoria.
Mike Bands.



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