Namibian Road Trip: Part 1

Last March, John’s sister Brittany spent three weeks visiting us in Namibia. We took her on the nickel tour of Windhoek (parliament building, Andy’s, national museum, etc.) and then we embarked on a self-drive tour. We covered nearly the entire country, with the exception of the Caprivi.

Although we originally planned to rent a simple 4-door sedan for our little road trip, Namibia was in the midst of celebrating its independence and nearly all of the rentals were taken by various African dignitaries/warlords. Luckily, we scored this sweet 4×4 Toyota Hilux!

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Etosha

Although our trip got off to a bit of a rocky start (I won’t go into the details, but I will tell you it involves a fender bender with a Land Rover), we were thrilled once we arrived in Etosha. We really lucked out with our wildlife sightings here. Not only did we see all the standards (zebra, wildebeast, springbok, etc.),we also chanced upon a pride of lions, a number of rhinos, and a spotted hyena…all during the day!

That night, while we rushed to see a black rhino at the watering hole, a pack of jackals thieved off with our sausages, buns AND a jar of mustard. The little jerks left the mustard unopened at the edge of our campsite.

Damaraland

I think it took us about 6+ hours of driving on empty gravel roads before we finally arrived in Damaraland. This part of Namibia is incredibly remote and difficult to access, which is such a unique experience for anyone visiting. We camped for one night at a charming little campground along a dry riverbed. The next morning, we had breakfast at the Wilderness Safaris Doro !Nawas lodge with our friend Mark Stephens. After that, we headed out to Twyfelfontein to check out the paleolithic rock carvings.

We hit the road that afternoon, ripping through the Namibian back-country in our totally cool 4×4 bakkie.  

Spitzkoppe

John and I had been wanting to camp here ever since we moved to Namibia. It’s the one of the coolest geological formations I’ve ever seen. The Spitzkoppe is a granite outcropping that, over the past 120 million years or so, has been worn smooth by the gritty desert wind.

We spent an incredible evening sitting by the fire and stargazing. It was all very primordial. The next morning, after we had a relaxing breakfast and coffee, our tent blew away.  As our tent vaulted across the campground in giant somersaults, I raced after it in my underwear and watched as it launched into an acacia tree. I really thought I could catch that thing, but man it was quick!

We continued our adventure with a quick stopover to refuel, reconnect and re-supply in Swakopmund. More on that in part 2, so stay tuned…

 

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