Namibia Roadtrip Day 12 & 13

on Monday, February 7, 2011
Day 12.

WEATHER: Hot sunshine/Cloud.

Tsauchab River Camp gets our vote as the best campsite so far of the trip. There are lots of private pitches along the riverbed each with its own private facilities, a member of staff lights the hot water boiler every morning and night, and even comes around in the evening to light the area with candles as there’s no electricity; it’s simply beautiful. The owner Johann also has some lovely walking trails over his land up into the hills, so this morning we took the Eagle Viewpoint route and enjoyed the view until lunchtime. We must have been quiet as a herd of kudu were behind us grazing and it wasn’t until we turned to go that we noticed them; too quick for the camera but a great experience nevertheless. We returned to the camp and admired some of Joann’s very original iron art sculptures, and as the rain clouds were beginning to accumulate decided to have a cooked lunch just in case. We lazed away the afternoon doing our washing and reading and soon Ibrahim came down to light our candles and the fire. The only thing praying on my mind this evening is the rain; please hold out at least until the morning I thought, as we still have the worst river crossing to complete.

Day 13.

DISTANCE: Gravel road 70.3km, tar road 130km
WEATHER: Hot sunshine/Breezy.

Up early this morning and thankfully there was no rain during the night. Today we head for Sosssusvlei and some of the highest sand dunes in the world. The third river turned out to have subsided after a day without rain, so we crossed it easily. The dunes are only an hour’s drive away and so we decided to make our way straight for the park as only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun. By 10am it was already baking hot and the climb up Dune 45 was about as much as we could stand. Most people arrive here at sunrise but now the place was deserted and it was extremely peaceful. We continued to Deadvlei and onto the most famous part Sossusvlei where we had lunch under a huge camel thorn tree. There was no one about until….four men arrived in an English registered Land Rover. Remember those mad dogs and Englishmen?…they decided to climb the dune in the baking heat. Now, we had tried walking through the sand and the heat on our feet was unbearable, so walking up a huge dune must have been madness, but I’m sure they were either trying to prove something, or maybe on a very tight schedule! One of the great things about coming to the dunes in a 4x4 is that you can drive in on your own; visitors in 2 wheel drive cars have to do the last 5km in a 4x4 shuttle. This morning was Jeff’s favourite drive, it takes a quite lot of skill to drive through deep sand, and it’s a good job the rear view mirror was still on the back seat otherwise I think it might have smashed, with all the bumping about. We decided to head back towards our campsite inside the park and maybe visit the Sesriem Canyon, which is supposed to be beautiful after a rain storm, so off we went in search of our site. We checked in and asked about the canyon, yes it was open, but we were advised to take care because the Spitting Cobra’s (which, as the name suggests have incredible spitting capabilities full of venom) had come out after the rain, and we were told to be careful where we walked. After a very short discussion, we decided that the canyon could wait!


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