Heine's Ramblings and Rumblings

2011/10 Namibia and Botswana

The idea for this trip came about after Cath Morris invited us to attend her 50th birthday in Etosha. Phillip Sprules left a week before me , and I left with Nick and Hester Coetzee . Due to leave constraints , Mandy flew into Windhoek to join us a few days later

Day 1 27 October Home to Motse Lodge

Left Nick’s house at about 12.30. Which wasn’t bad, by his standards, as we were meant to leave at 11 😛

We went via Zeerust and  through Lobatse Border Post.  Our original plan was to bush camp just past Kanye, but as we were all hot and bothered we camped at Motse Lodge instead.  I had my first introduction to mosquitos for the season.  I had decided I wasn’t going to take any anti-malaria tablets, as they all make me have weird dreams.  Maybe not so clever. Watch this space

Distance 395 Km

Update 18 November

Did end up with malaria after all , but I suspect it was at Itumela . Fortunately remembered the symptoms pretty well (hard to forget), so 3 days of Coartim and some shivering and fever and I was OK . Must remember to add it to the first aid kit .

Day 2 28 October Motse Lodge to Zelda Game Lodge

One of the most boring days I’ve had on a trip!!!  We left at about 8 AM after a early night.  We stopped at the Kang Ultra Lodge (is everything called a lodge around here?)  to refuel and have lunch.  Not a very pretty area,  but quite nicely done under the circumstances.

Nothing much else to say about the road itself,  other than it was long and boring.

Originally we were planning to head to Gobabis, as we are meeting up with Phillip there, after he has picked up Mandy at Windhoek airport,  but we ended up at Zelda Game Lodge,  just over the border.  Very nicely set up,  and they even have a semi tame leopard called Tornado and 2 cheetah.

We were also befriended by a meerkat , which is one of many they have there , but is the only one who manages to get out of the cage every day to bum breakfast .

Distance 731 Km
Total 1127 Km

Day 3 29 October Zelda Game Lodge to Xain Quaz Rest Camp

After  breakfast we left for Gobabis.  I made contact with Filly again and we agreed to spend the night in Gobabis,  with the main mission being to find somewhere suitable to watch the Currie Cup final.  After inspecting both Goba Lodge and Die Dam campsites,  we settled on Xain Quaz Rest Camp about 10 km outside of town.

We met up with Filly and Mandy soon after and went to get pizza at the local Pizza Hut,  but they had closed for the afternoon  and we had to settle for Wimpy.

We went back to the campsite for a while and then went to watch the Lions demolish the Sharks at Erni’s Bistro.  I also won 5 cases of beer on the game.  After the game we stayed for dinner and I finally got to have my pizza.  We went back to camp and sat around the fire for a while before having another early night

Distance 161
Total        1288

Day 4 30 October X to Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary

We were woken up by room service. Quite a nice touch I thought

After a short drive we arrived at Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary.  They claim to be rehabilitating wild animals like cheetah,  leopard,  lion,  wild dogs, baboons and caracul,  but to be honest to me it just looked like a big zoo.


Having said that,  it was great to be able to play with baby leopard and cheetah. We were also molested by the local ostrich flock,  and I almost died laughing watching Filly trying to chase them away with his umbrella. I personally preferred slapping them with my slops.

We finally took something out the freezer and had a braai.  Another early night,  I can’t believe how much we are all sleeping.

Distance 115
Total        1403

Day 5 31 October Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary

Went on a drive along while the animals were fed.  After speaking to the guide,  I have even more misgivings about what they are doing here.  According to him they have only released 3 leopards into the wild,  and all 3 were killed in quick succession.  The lions are apparently also too tame to release into the wild and ditto with the cheetahs and the wild dogs. Some quick maths also seems to indicate that they make a fortune off the “volunteers”.  They pay about R5000 a week for the pleasure of “volunteering” and there seem to be about 30 at any given time. So that makes about R600 000 pm over and above donations and other sources of income, like  film crews,  game drives etc.  I hope I am just being over cynical here?

Distance 0
Total       1403

The world's dumbest cow

Making tortoises ?

Day 6 1 November Harnas Wildlife Sanctuary to Waterberg Plateau Park

Nothing much to report other than getting a flat tyre while driving in.  Could have been worse,  as I managed to get it repaired at the park workshop.  Very scenic area with nice facilities, but not much more than a stop over location

Distance 356
Total 1759

Day 7  2 November Waterberg Plateau Park to Halali Camp Etosha

After driving through Grootfontein and stopping for lunch at The Dros in Tsumeb (crap food and worse service),  we decided to head to Etosha a day early.  We thought we would book in at Namutoni for the night, but it was full, so we headed on to Halali. We managed to move our booking forward a day,  which was great, because I couldn’t stand the thought of 4 days in one camp.  It also now gives us an extra day somewhere else.

Distance 409
Total        2168

Nick making friends

Day 8 3 November Halali Etosha

Went for a early game drive, but didn’t see much of interest.  Turned out to be the hottest day of the trip so far with the temperature reaching 43 deg.  Spent quite a bit of time at the pool.  Bud and Cath and the rest of the guys arrived at about 5.30. The wind came up,  and we had quite a big dust storm,  but only a few drops of rain.

We stayed up until midnight to see in Cath’s birthday,  which we did at the floodlit waterhole.

Distance 65
Total        2233

Day 9 4 November Halali Etosha

Went for a game drive again in the morning.  We were lucky enough to see a pride of 6 lion,  and later on a lone male still on a zebra kill.  He was so full and so lazy that there were about 12 jackal sharing the kill with him.  As an added bonus we saw two  jackal pups in their den as well.  We then went back to the campsite and spent a lot of time at the pool as it was too hot to do anything else.

Supper was Cath’s birthday bash at the restaurant.

Distance 69
Total        2302

Day 10 5 November Halali Etosha to Shamvura Camp Caprivi

Left Halali about 8.30 to meet up with Phillip at Namutoni at 9.  Because we were going to be late,  I was rushing a bit.  A grader was busy in the road,  so I had to go around it on the right.  As I came back to the left, I went over a large rock,  which fortunately didn’t do anything to the underside of  the car which is very well protected,  but it did manage to rip the tap off the trailer tank.  Not a big deal really, because we have lots of other water in the tank on the roofrack and the trailer jerries,  but it does illustrate the importance of not having all your eggs in one basket – or all your water in one tank 😉

After stopping in Tsumeb,  so that Nick could buy another fridge at black market prices,  we headed to Rundu,  while Nick off to see the meteorite near Grootfontein.

I refueled at the Engen and soon after the car started missing and wouldn’t idle,  but fortunately it sorted itself out.

We decided stay the night at Shamvura Camp just outside the northern road entrance to Khaudom,  as we had stayed there 2 years ago,  and I wanted to visit Bokkie.


Distance 632
Total       2934

Day 11 6 November Shamvura to Ngepi Camp Caprivi

Drove the short distance to Ngepi.  We did the booze cruise and then made supper (braai) for a group of dutch fellow travellers.  I’m seriously starting to consider either some sort of camper, based on either a cruiser or patrol bakkie.  Or maybe even just something with a canopy and a rooftop tent.  The car / trailer combination is just too big and cumbersome, and is really overkill for just 2 people. Also I want to start doing more hardcore trips,  so it will be better suited.  I want to go for a very basic,  bullet proof diesel, so hence the interest in the 2 vehicles

Distance 88
Total   3024

Nick making more friends

I must admit that I find Ngepi to be one of the nicest camp sites I’ve ever stayed at . We stopped going there for a while , as the management was full of shit , but things seem to have gone back to normal.

Day 12 7 November Ngepi to Audi Camp  Maun

Basically the trek home has begun.  Maun was incredibly hot with the temperature still at 38 deg at 5.30.  Audi camp was as before,  but the noisy neighbourhood has gotten worse.  Time to find somewhere else to camp in Maun.

Easily the most hot and humid night on the trip so far.  Didn’t get much sleep.

Distance 465
Total       3489

Saw this set up while filling up near Ngepi . WTF ????
Rooms ?
Good luck finding somewhere to park this bitch

More about it here

Day 13 8 November Audi Camp to Itumela Palaype

Again just another “liaison stage” . We went through quite a few vet gates , but were only stopped at one . Decided to have Nando’s for supper. The camp-site was very noisy , and might also require a rethink for future trips

Distance 596
Total       4085

My thoughts on the campsite

Day 14 9 November Itumela to Home

Again nothing to report, the border crossing at Parr’s Halt was a doddle as usual and we where home just after 2PM

Distance 517
Total 4602

In closing , although this was an enjoyable trip (anything is better than work) , I definitely am going to ditch the trailer and look at going back to a camper or rooftop setup , or maybe even on Oztent ? .

The only other thing to report is what seems to be a bug in the latest version of T4A when searching for P.O.I. ‘s , in that it seems to miss quite of few of them . I compared my version to Phillips ,and as you can see his finds, for example , a vet gate while mine doesn’t (he is on one version earlier)

Mine – as you can see the map shows me at the gate
But nothing when you do a search
Phillip’s at the same point

Phillip’s Trip Report

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