Namibia

So on Sunday 9 October 2011 (After Bryce Lawrence beat the Springboks) we left for a quick dash through Namibia.
The trip actually came up when my sister & her Boyfriend received a birthday gift that included accommodation in Swakopmund. I thought, “Why not drive up and meet them at the airport in Walvisbay?”, and SWAMBO actually agreed!
So we put a quick trip together.

Day 1
Start: Melkbosstrand
Destination: Abiqua Campsite
Distance: 676 km all on TAR
Comments:
The route follows the N7 from Cape Town to the border.
To get to Abiqua turn left onto the C13 just after the border, left again after 500m and follow the sign.

Day 2
Start: Abiqua
Destination: Klein-Aus Vista & Luderitz
Distance: Abiqua – Klein-Aus via Rosh Pinah 321km, Klein-Aus Vista – Luderitz 122km
Comments:
The route follows the C13 past Aussenkehr, through the Ai-ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park along the Orange River. Beautiful scenery here.
There is only about 140km gravel road.  The road is in very good condition. The bridge at the Fish River was washed away by the floods earlier the year, but repairs are underway and there is a road through. (Not a river crossing)
The C13 is tarred from just before Rosh Pinah all the way to Klein-Aus Vista, and onward to Luderitz.
IMHO this route can be done in a platkar…. NOT SWAMBO’s, but it can be done.

 

 

 Day 3
Start: Klein-Aus Vista
Destination: Hammerstein
Distance: 349km (Only 4km tar!!!)
Comments:
This route follows the C13, then left onto the C27 just before Helmeringhausen (Yes we popped in there). Then Right onto D826 that will take you to Castle Duwisib. We then back tracked to the C27. (There is a filling station and road cafe here; I think it is called Betha)
Made a right onto D827 that took us to C19 and eventually to Hammerstein.
All roads were in good driving condition. The D routes mentioned are in better condition than some of the tar roads in Gauteng! Again, IMHO, you do not need a 4×4 vehicle to drive this route. (When dry)

 Day 4
Start: Hammerstein
Destination: Walvisbay (Long Strand)
Distance: 353km (Mostly Gravel)
Comments:
The route follows the C19 all the way to Solitaire, then left onto the C14 all the way to Walvisbay. There is some amazing scenery on this route!
The C14 is in bad condition from Solitaire for approx 50km. (Mainly due to all the trucks on this stretch I think). Also there are road works for about 10km on this road where you will have to make use of a single track on the left side of the road. Again, IMHO, you do not need a 4×4 vehicle to travel this route.

 Day 5 – 9
We spent this time in Swakopmund. Drove out to Cape Cross (The salt road is in very good condition) & some drives out into the Naukluft Park. All in very good condition.

Day 10
Start: Swakopmund
Destination: Windhoek
Distance: 325km (Mostly Gravel)
Comments:
This route follows the B2 from Swakopmund & then a right onto the C34 (Towards Walvisbay) & then a left onto the C28 (Khomas Hochland) via Boshua Pass to Windhoek.
At the start of the Boshua Pass there is a road sign stating “No Trailers, No Caravans, No Trucks”. I was later to find out why…. there is a very steep section uphill. So if you are going to tow, rather do this route from Windhoek to Swakopmund, and ensure the braking systems on trailers work properly.
Also note that you can take the C32 back to Karibib and the B2 as an alternative.
Although the steep sections were slow going, the majority of this route is in very good condition.

Day 11
Start: Windhoek
Destination: Keetmanshoop (Quiver-tree)
Distance: 504km (Mostly Tar)
Comments:
This route follows the B1 from Windhoek to Keetmanshoop. (Boring day as far as driving goes). Then take a left just before Keetmanshoop onto the M29 to reach Quivertree Forrest & Giants Playground.

 Day 12
Start: Keetmanshoop
Destination: Ai-Ais
Distance: 217km (Mostly Gravel)
Comments:
This route follows the B4 from Keetmanshoop, then a left turn onto the C12 & another left onto the C37. All these roads were in very good condition.

 Day 13
Start: Ai-Ais
Destination: Melkbosstrand
Distance: 782km (Approx 80km Gravel)
Comments:
The route follows the C10 from Ai-Ais, then a left onto the D316 and the B1 to the border. From there the N7 to Melkbosstrand.
The D316 is in very good condition.

Some Trip Stats
Total distance travelled: 4864 km, Approx 1200km gravel
Total fuel bill: R6863.63
Avg fuel cost: R10.02/l
Cheapest Fuel: R9.68/l (Swakopmund)
Most expensive fuel: R10.56/l (Springbok)
Avg Fuel consumption: 11.3L/100km
Tyre problems: NONE

As I don’t have the patience and writing skills of most on here I will just post some pics and short commentary of our trip.

The Start (Actually this is a sign on the N7 on the other side of Malmesbury already)

Our Campsite at Abiqua

The arrow (at the reeds) indicates the water level during the floods they had in Jan 2011

Aaah Sunset!

Day2 started early

Now was this not supposed to be a gravel road? (C13 to Rosh Pinah)

Some scenery along the way….

“You are going to grow what in the desert?”

“O some of that”

O, here it is. NICE! This is an awesome route

 

They are fixing the bridge…… and not just standing around.

Ai, nou verlang ek klaar terug!

SWAMBO asked me why I wanted this picture…. I said because it is a nice tree…. She looked at me funny and explained that when she grew up they had these in their back garden.

Yes that was the only shade available

Some compulsory pics

 

Then there were horses….

 

Camping at Klein-Aus Vista. (If you can, try to get site no.10)

 

 

Where to next? We checked the “GPS”

Nice day…. No tar today! (C13 from Aus to Helmeringhausen)

Fill me up Scotty

The Museum @ Helmeringhausen

Betta (Traffic jam)

Guess where……

The shade @ Hammerstein (and the compulsory beers where welcome….)

What you looking at?

Skaap Moordenaar

“Lazy Horse”

“Hunt Lazy Horse”

Time to go to bed……

Keep a lookout for pedestrians

You know why I took this pic … right?

It was still early…. but look at that temp!

Entrance to NNP

Now just look at that! MAGNIFICENT!

No words needed here either!

At the Tropic.

Back to tar (At this point we have done 740km of gravel road & no punctures yet)

What dust problem?

While staying in Langstrand we took a day drive. Here are some random pics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a plant…. let’s move on!

This was disappointing…. Should be called “Dump 7” not Dune 7

 

Sunset view from our balcony

Ok, will do!

We left Swakopmund behind, taking on the C28 via Boshua Pass to Windhoek. Awesome drive!

Before we entered there was a sign that read “No trailers, No Caravans & No Trucks”

This steep section is paved! Pic just doesn’t do it justice. Had to engage LR just to make it up this incline. (Maybe also because I stopped half way up to look at scenery)

 

Views from the top.

 

 

 

The side windows on the canopy closed itself. But I did not care…. as I was heading to Joe’s for lunch!!

 

And then…. What a nightmare! Joe’s was closed!

So I asked some guys at a filling station where to go & the pointed me to Baurn Stubbe. It was EXCELENT!

So from Windhoek we travelled south to Keetmanshoop on the B1. Our overnight stop was Quivertree Forrest & also a visit to giants’ playground.

Hey…. Wat kyk jy?

More of them trees…..

 

Our camp

Our Neighbours

 

 

We also visited Giants Playground. I wondered who won this round of “Giant Jenga”

And then I realised we are not alone…….

 

And this made me think of a game of “PIGS” in the distant past!

Sunset….

We left Keetmanshoop behind en route to the Fish River Canyon.

Is this Namibian’s favourite past time? (Tongue in cheek…)

Gondwana

And then, as we went over a blind rise there were 8 kudu cows in the middle of the road…. SWAMBO was only fast enough to get this one pic

We stopped at Canon Roadhouse for some nice coffee. (We were too late for breakfast)

 

 

 

And then there were these…

 

A word of warning: Do NOT open these boxes if your wallet isn’t full of cash!

The Fish River Canyon.

 

More of the national past time!

Approaching Ai-Ais

The camp site

 

Our last supper in Namibia (Baie Moeranties…)

We rose early on our last day in Namibia. We had to make it to Piekeniers Pass (Citrusdal) before the closure for blasting (3pm).

Die LAASTE pomp

Scenery change all the time….

And then eventually we crossed back into SA.

We made to Citrusdal with plenty of time to spare…. we thought! The closures (every weekday) are actually from 14:00 – 15:00. (We got there at 13:45) Spent 15 minutes waiting on oncoming traffic and were sent on our way

Only for this to halt our homeward journey for another 45 minutes

 

The end…….

Next year I will be visiting the North of Namibia. This time round though I will not make any bookings (I go when the brats are at school) as there is plenty to choose from. Travel plans are also more flexible then.

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