We continued our travels from Klerksdorp to Upington, a boring long stretched road which reminded us of the Nullaboor in Australia. Upington is situated along the Orange River which was starting to burst out of its banks because of the heavy rains. Some campsites were even closed down, but luckily we were still able to find a spot near the fast flowing Orange River (we found a campsite with two spots left, the rest was taken by the river).
We made a quick visit to the Augrabies Falls to see the Orange river crushing down. It’s the world’s sixth-tallest waterfall and quite impressive with this much rain. From Upington we headed to the borderpost Nakop. It didn’t take long to collect the stamps we needed on the South-African. Although it took a little bit more patience on the Namibian side.
The heavy rainfall did a lot of damage to the roads. The normally good, tarmac road was completely washed away at some places. We heard that quite a lot of roads were flooded and not accessible for a while. Even the road we drove from the border had been closed for a while and just re-opened the day we crossed it. A day earlier and we were not even able to get in to Namibia. Sometimes luck is on your side.
The first night in Namibia we spent on a campsite in Grünau. We decided to call it a day because of the heavy rain, lightning and thunder. Apparently this is quite normal for this time of the year.
The following day we decided to visit the Fish River Canyon, the second largest canyon in the world. We didn’t do some hiking since Jenn was still recovering from her twisted ankle. But the views at the viewpoints were amazing. That night we went for a Game steak, which was ‘baie lekker’! To justify this expenditure we camped along the side of the road. The following day we had to make a D-tour, since the staff from the restaurant told us that the route was flooded with some of their guests still stuck.
With a stop-over at Keetmanshoop, where lightning struck again several times and Helmeringhausen, which is nothing more than a restaurant/lodge/campsite a local shop and a gas station in one, we drove to the famous red sand dunes of Namibia; Sossusvlei.
The road to Sossusvlei was amazing. Sandy gravel roads, with lots of game. We could drive for hours and not seeing anybody. No wonder since Namibia only counts 2 million people.
We decided to camp in the park so we could wake up at 4.45 am to see the sunrise at Sossusvlei (the outside gates opens an hour later so it’s impossible to experience this if you camp outside the park). For some reason most of the tourist stopped at Dune 45. So when we arrived at Sossusvlei we realized we were the only ones to get to see this beautiful phenomenon. Even more special because of the fact that heavy rainfall had created a small oasis in the middle of the dunes.
From here we drove towards the coast crossing Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. Namibia, a former German colony, still has quite a few German influences. It showed even more in Swakopmund where majority of the people still talk German. We spend almost the whole day getting rid of all the dust and sand in our Landy, it was still like having a sand dune inside.
The trip went on from here to see the seals at the Cape Cross Seal Reserve. Apparently more than 100.000 smelly seals are staying here. Even on our way to Spitzkoppe we thought we could smell them, until we found out that the nasty smell got into our clothes.
From Spitzkoppe we went down to Okahandja, spend a day in Windhoek to get a repair done and stock up before heading up North to Grootfontein and Rundu. We could notice the difference in poverty while driving up to the Northern part of Namibia.
Right now we are at the Caprivi strip camping next to the Okavango River where the crocodiles and hippo’s are spotted regularly. We haven’t seen any, but we do hear the hippo’s when we’re lying in our rooftop tent. A nice way to fall asleep…