7.01.2019

Namibia trip 2018-09

After one year “baby break” we started September for nearly 4 weeks to our first big vacation to the north of Namibia.

3 cars, 6 persons (4 men, 2 women) and all organized by Andrew, whom we know from NSRI Sea Rescue. Each car was equipped with a walkie-talkie, which allowed us to keep in contact with each other.

 

 

From Simon’s Town to Etosha in three days with stop-overs in various camps.

 

Border crossing brought a small problem, as Andrew’s supply car contained chicken goods in the freezer, which wasn’t allowed due to epidemic issues. So he had to dispose of all our chicken provisions and buy it again in the next bigger city.

Etosha itself is a huge nature reserve. Camping sites are booked out months in advance, so we stayed for 3 nights at a camping site, belonging to a well known hotel and lodging agency, some kilometers outside the reserve.

 

 

The nature reserve accomodates of course the Big Five, which you can find specifically at certain water holes.

Elephant herds with up to 60 animals, giraffes, zebras, etc., all mixed and mostly friendly with each other astonished us over and over again. The impressions have been stunning.

At a certain point the air condition of our car refused to work any more, which meant, having to drive from there on with open windows through a sandy, dusty and barren landscape. Temperature daytimes rose up to or over 40 degrees, which brought me twice close to a heat stroke.

After Etosha we visited the Epupa water falls.

Then our trip continued through Kaokoland. For several days we stayed in the wilderness without any supply from the outside world. All had to be considered including the transport of our drinking and non-potable water.

 

For going to the toilet we had to give notice and armed with spade and fire lighter look for a “quiet spot”. Dig a hole, deep enough, and burn your toilet paper. Nature should remain as far as possible in original condition.

Andrew and Kevin, our travel guides, spoiled us with breakfast, supper and dinner, as well as some snacks in between. In the evening we mostly gathered around a camp fire, had barbecue and baked fresh bread.

 

A cup of water had to be enough for a catlick and brushing teeth in the morning or evening. As a treat, every two or three days, we got a full bowl with warm water, offered in a small shower tent, which felt as pure luxery to us all.

Also culturally we got enriched with new experiences. The Himba tribe, who still lives quite originally and isolated in solitude, fascinated us again and again. Like from nowhere the slim and bare-bosomed Himba women appeared with their children at the roadside and try to sell bracelets or other items made out of natural materials.

 

They live in round, dome-shaped huts, covered partially with clay. They sleep on hard ground, their food hanging high at the hut’s dome to protect it from being grasped by animals.

 

Every morning they oil the complete body with a reddish brown clay mixture to protect themselves against the sun. They wear leather cuffs around their shins against snake bites.

As they live in regions which nearl don’t have any water most time of the year they don’t wash themselves with water at all. The few cloths and garments as well as their bodies are cleaned by the smoke of burned herbs.

They collect fruits, hunt, dig water holes at dry river beds and are partially supported with staple food by family members who drive with a buggy in the wilderness. Many of them know neither dried fruits, cheese nor specific fruits or vegetables.

Several days we drove offroad on small jeep tracks through the mountains until we have been rewarded with a fantastic panorama view on top of Van Zeyl’s saddle.

 

The actual 4×4 adventure started thereafter. We had to build a path with loose stone bolders and our guides routed our cars step by step down through this steep and nearly impassable passage. This needed utmost concentration and driving skills.

One mistake and the car could overturn and end many meters below as the picture of a stranded Landcruiser witnesses.

But luckily all went well and we were overjoyed having negotiated this descent without major problems.

We stayed over night in the wild close to wild elephants. Next morning we found foot traces from three elephants just a few meters away from our small dome tent: dad, mam and baby. Nobody of us all had heart or seen anything in the night – really scary.

Slowly our trip approaches again the Atlantic coastline. One sleep-over in a stone desert of an ancient volcano amidst a barren and cold montain region was especially spectacular.

After this we drove through sand desert landscapes up to Skeleton Coast and Swakopmund.

 

Civilisation got us back again and we celebrated our tour and our sound arrival with a dinner at the “Deutsche Brauereigaststube” in Swakopmund.

Retrospect we don’t want to miss a single hour of this holiday expedition and would start again immediately. It has been the most impressive and also most challenging¬†endeavour we did so far.

A special thank you and highest appreciation to Andrew and Kevin who provided us with their preparation, execution and flexibility save and fascinating holidays.

 

Attached a link where you can browse some video clips from our tour:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIJmhBUDuUgZn76FVVAaYdw/videos

 

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