Road trips
Issue 1 (November 2007) Every year dozens of intrepid travellers drive the length of Africa, a journey that can take months. Here, taken from some of their on-line diaries, are some highlights and tips from their time in Namibia.
“Checked out the small Daan Viljoen Game Park and was surprised to find that it was centred around a small dam which made a fine backdrop for the small camping area and the self-catering chalets. Located only 20km from the heart of Windhoek it would make a pleasant and handy stop over. There were even a few animals - mountain zebra, wildebeest, hartebeest, springbok and giraffes.”
“We stopped in Outjo, for provisions and for a divine coffee and cake at the German bakery there. Namibia used to be a German colony and they seem to have left behind some excellent cake chefs. Picking up a few provisions in the supermarket, we saw a number of Herero women, who wear 18th-century style dresses with three-pointed hats, quite unusual.” 
Bill and Claire Hombersley found it raining in the desert. “Our next stop was at the dunes of Sossusvlei. Normally it’s recommended to take plenty of water into the desert but this year was the exception and you were more likely to drown than die of thirst. The road was severely flooded and the last 5kms to the dunes were closed, as it no longer resembled a 4WD track but a raging river. It was a surreal experience to be wading knee deep in water in an area normally bone dry. The dunes were covered in grass and flowers.

“We then spent a few days in a log cabin in Aus and did some hiking in the surrounding hills. Pete, the owner of the lodge took us on a guided 4WD day into the dunes locally. The steep climbs usually required a good run up from the older cars and on one occasion entailed a long section downhill to get the momentum to make it up the other side.”
Ally and Rob Ford found solitude in bush camping. “Busoa Pass, on the C28 from Windhoek to Swakopmund. Feels good to be back on the road again. Last minute stock up on sausage (but alas, no beer. No alcohol is sold here on holidays or Sundays). Took the dirt road towards Swakopmund. Awesome scenery, a lot of nothing. Stopped for the night on the Bosua Pass, west of Brandberg mountain. Continued towards the rocky outcrops of Spitzkoppe, seriously impressive red-orange rock rising up out of nothingness. We decided to push on through to view the Brandberg mountain at sunset (which was lovely) and stopped there for the night. Not one single car has passed us all day! Made a cool fire and decided to make full use of our potjie. (An African black cast iron pot used to make stews on the fire.) Tucked into a yummy wholesome garlic and vegetable potjie.”
Kate Bowness and Gareth MacRae spent time with a Bushman community. “Having left Grootfontein, we enjoyed a very relaxing stopover at Roy’s Camp 50km northeast of town. The manageress, Inga, recommended we take a trip out to a historical, working San Bushman village about 80km along the gravel road east towards Tsumkwe and a further 6 km along a thick sandy track. And it was there, at the end of this track, that we stopped at the sign that simply read, ‘Please park here and wait for your guide’. So we did. Within a minute, Mr Thomas appeared, introduced himself in fluent English and guided us through a menu of traditional activities listed on a wooden board that we could take part in. Despite all of the wonderful things we have seen of Namibia so far, nothing has come closer in importance and value - let alone in providing enjoyment, fascination and lasting memories - than our visit to a Bushman community.” 


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