Heine's Ramblings and Rumblings

2018/12 Namibia

Please check back soon , I will finish this report ASAP


 

We were at Marakele National Park in September when we bumped into Gregg Howard and his girlfriend (shame poor woman) Lauren. I hadn’t seen Gregg in about 9 years, so it was a nice surprise. He had also moved over to a Crooza , so it was OK to be seen with him in public again and we invited them to join us at our site.

During the course of the weekend we made plans to join them on a trip at the end of the year . A little while later Gregg mentioned a trip to Southern Namibia , as both he and Lauren hadn’t been there . We had also not been in a long time  so we were keen on the idea. We decided to wait until after Christmas and left on the 26 December .

 

Day 01 December 26 Home to Bushcamp North of  Kang, Botswana

We met at the Shell Ultra City in Midrand , the idea being that we would head towards Zeerust and cross over at Skilpadshek Border post and probably stay at Kang Lodge .

We had a very quick and easy crossing at the border and stopped just after the Botswana side for breakfast at about 11 AM .

We reached Kang Lodge at about 4 PM , but decided to keep going as it was still a bit early to stop and besides it was pretty warm outside . After refuelling we hit the road again deciding to start looking for a suitable bushcamp from about 6 PM onwards .

I had always followed the belief that it was better not to use aircon during the day while driving , as it meant you would acclimatise better . Part of this belief was caused by something I read somewhere and also back in my Landy days when it didn’t make much difference if your aircon was on or off :-0 .

All I can say is what utter crap. You just get a lot more tired and thirsty . As you can see in the picture above the difference inside the car versus out was huge . Also why spend the heat of the day with the windows open , when typically by the time you stop driving it should be a lot cooler. Lesson learned .

We kept going until about 6 PM and then went down a side road off the A2 to find a suitable place to stop for the night. We had Mandy’s world famous butter chicken curry for supper , which set the tone , and expectations, for the rest of the trip .

 

Distance 852 KM

 

 

Day 2 December 27 Bushcamp to Ondekaremba (Windhoek)

After a pleasantly cool night’s sleep the day started like this :

Once we were back on the tar , we stopped and plugged the tyre. After that we headed to Zelda Guest Farm for a lunch .

Lunch over , we headed towards Windhoek , where we would fins somewhere to stay for the night . Unfortunately we didn’t get very far before the tyre went flat again. I decided to put on the spare and get someone to look at the tyre once we reached Windhoek. We decided to stop at Ondekaremba Farm next to Windhoek Airport for the night. The campsite was full , but they allowed us to camp next to one of the chalets and gave us the keys so that we could use the bathroom .

 

Distance : 569 KM

 

Day 3 December 28 Ondekaremba (Windhoek) to Solitaire

We headed into Windhoek had a quick breakfast at the local Wimpy and then stopped off at the Supa Quick to have the tyre repaired and put back onto the vehicle . (I don’t believe in having a repaired tyre used as the spare , because you never know how reliable it is , so I always put the repaired tyre back to use) .

 

We then started heading south down the C26 towards Solitaire . We stopped to let our tyres down for the sand roads and pretty soon were back to this .

 

We where soon on our way again and enjoying the awesome scenery (from the coolness of an air conditioned cab)

 

What was really awesome was the variation in landscape. Over a relatively short distance we went from this

 

To this

After a brief stop at the Tropic of Capricorn for a photo opportunity , we headed on to Solitaire Desert Farm , arriving at about 4.30 PM .

Distance : 322 KM

 

 

Day 4 December 29 Solitaire to Sossus Oasis

We had a late start to the day with a sampling of the apple crumble at MacGregor’s Bakery in Solitaire.

The original plan was to do a later afternoon trip to SossusVlei and the dunes , but once we arrived at Sossus Oasis we decided it was still too hot and that we would rather go early the next day. The day was spent parking off around the campsite and the pool .


Distance : 93 KM

 

Day 05 December 30 Sossus Oasis to Betta Campsite

We were allowed into the Namib-Naukluft Park through the Sesriem Camp Gate at 6 AM on our way to SossusVlei even though the gate only opened for visitors at 7 . To speed things up we were just given a number and told to come pay at reception on the way back. Quite a nice touch I thought .

 

 

We decided to detour to Dun 45 first , but Gregg and Lauren kept going – They were probably scared they’d have to climb it .

We did indeed climb it and I could now tick an item off my bucket list .

Quite an amazing why to get your morning quota of steps done. After we came down we headed towards SossusVlei , to join up with Gregg and Lauren .

We then retraced our steps back to Sesriem Camp and after paying the park fees we had a quick lunch at the campsite restaurant,before heading south through Namibrand Nature Reserve .

 

 

We decided not to try for Aus as originally discussed , and ended up staying at the Betta Campsite and were even treated in the late afternoon with an awesome if short-live storm .

 

Distance : 280 KM

Day 06 December 31 Betta Campsite to Aus

We left Betta at about 7.30 , with Luderitz in mind as our next campsite. I mentioned that we had stayed at Shark Island last time we were in Luderitz , but moved on after one night because of the wind . We decided to keep Aus as Plan B .

After a uneventful drive , with a brief stop at the lookout for the feral horses  , we arrived in Luderitz and went through to take a look at Shark Island campsite. It was way windier than the previous time I had been there , and there was not a single person booked in at the campsite. 

 

After heading back into town for some essential New Year’s Eve supplies , we decided to try out luck just outside of town , because as per iOverlander there was a beach campsite that was meant to be less windy. After a bit of interesting driving , we reached the spot which was unfortunately just as windy , so after a quick family meeting we decided to head for Aus .

 

 

 

 

We stooped briefly at Kolmanskop , but by now the wind had pretty much reached gale force , so we moved on .

We stopped off at Klein Aus Vista Campsite first , but it was fully booked so we headed into town to Aus Haven . This campsite won the award for best facilities on the trip , not that this is a criteria for us .

We actually used my very nice collapsible braai that Gregg had organised me and had our first braai of the trip. After that we hauled out the beers and prepared to welcome in the New Year , but barely made it to 11PM before retiring for the night .

Distance 495