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FINDING TRACKS IN NAMIBIA

31 DAYS | THROUGH DAMARALAND, KAOKOLAND AND KUNENE

These above mentioned places are some of the most visited and popular places and most gorgeous in Namibia. It is filled with history and wild wilderness and a roaring time full of adventure. If you are looking to find yourself, being lonesome and soul search this is the trip. Signal becomes a privilege and so does fuel and some other things. You learn to become sustainable with what you have and to appreciate the little things. You learn that your car is made of steel as it hits roads not many travel. You find tracks for Africa and roads you need to GPS to get to point B. These are the roads that have the beauty. Untouched by humans and where nature adapt and live carries on without a PlayStation and Wi-Fi and many luxuries we have become accustomed to and take for granted. This is where families bond and learn about each other. Boredom time becomes the best times spend in nature.

This blog is an overview of our trip and experiences and things that happened that are not at the reviews. More details of the campsites and lodges can be found in our review section.

We started our overland in Swakopmund heading to Ongongo Waterfall camp, stopping to explore St Nowhere and the pink salt pans. Entering the Skeleton Coast at Ugabmund Gate and exit at Springbokwasser. We inclined to 1000m above sea level. Arrived at our first campsite late afternoon as we navigated through some crazy roads or should I say tracks… as the GPS took us in at the wrong side, but the Cruiser and Metallian made it look easy. The first day was also not such a good day as we had issues with the cars air filter and we ended up full of dust and basically coughing up dust. At this point we wanted to stop the trip that has just started.

We pitched our tent and had a meal under the stars. That night my husband barely slept as he took the whole dashboard apart and tried to fix the issues. A few phone calls in the morning and we were sorted and able to carry on the trip – dustless inside the cabin. Sighs of relief as we desperately didn’t want to turn around. The most beautiful journey was awaiting our tracks to cover the roads with dust.

We arrived late afternoon at Ongongo Waterfall camp (Ongongo means Magical). The waterfall in the mountain pool with deck, a cave with bats and 2 pet water tortoises – makes this a memorable swimming hole.

Hubby went to Palmwag 180km detour before fetching us and leaving for Puros.

The rest of the day we were awed with a road that cannot be captured by camera, it is something one can’t describe. The road is rocky and didges and some points crazy, but so worth it. The mountains and trees backdrops of spectacular raw nature, occasional wildlife that survive here.

Along the way to Puros we lost our back window to a stone. Luckily for duck tape; we kept the window together for another 30 days through some more crazy roads!! I must say I have respect for DUCKTAPE!!! A shattered window for 4500km on off-road gravel roads, not often travelled… it saved our trip. In our location spot – we would have not found a window for km and km.

We arrived in Puros just as the sun was about to set. That night we laughed about the things that has already happened and what might follow in near future. We were waiting for the rest of the crew before we left for the Kunene Mouth. Perfect time to explore the Hoarusib River, and get stuck LOL for a few hours I might add.

We discovered a new brand of shoes for kids made here in the Hoarusib River “Mud flops”. This is the type of things that leaves a printed memory and story to tell around the campfire.

That night the rest of the crew arrived and we were all excited and basically packed to leave to the Kunene mouth the next morning.

As the sun came up we started the journey… about 30km into the trip one of the other vehicles that joined us, hit a rock and cracked a rim. This sounds devastating but was a blessing in disguise as the one vehicle that got stuck in the river had issues with the diff that we only came to notice as we were waiting for the changing of the tire on another vehicle.

This small accident of getting stuck… damaged the one vehicles dif. That night we had to take the diff apart to have a look what is the damage. Next morning some of the men took the long road to Kamanjab to go and fetch the broken part that got send via courier from Windhoek… a lot of driving and organising later the part was in Puros and the bakkie could be repaired. Luckily for the rim we could save the diff of the other vehicle, and the extra 2 days spend in Puros resulted in the desert elephants visiting us right next to the chalets as well as the giraffes.

Yet again all cars fixed and duck taped windows – we once again packed up and left for the Kunene Mouth with Skeleton Coast Adventure tours.

The day that followed took about 8 hours of driving, some technical points, some salt pans, some soft sand and some rough patches – with unbelievable beauty. Along the way we saw a few stone men and we learnt about the amazing ware about and the mystery about them.


Entering the Skeleton Coast from another angle was very exciting. I wonder how many people have really entered that part and saw what we saw. I felt privileged to be there, experiencing a piece of land not walked by many.

On our way we saw the Dunedin star, and the guide gave us the story as to why it is there and why it is so legendary. Very interesting, the Ventura Bomber that I will later mention is part of this story…

After seeing a lot of sea lions, ghost grabs and jackals we got to the dune where we entered to our base camp. Located about 12km from the Kunene Mouth. You won’t believe me if I tell you that we had flush toilets, fuelling up, fully equipped kitchen and warm showers. Spend 5 nights here. Fishing and Rollercoaster Dune Driving with the ambiance of the Roaring Dunes that is not found at too many places.

As the sun set on the 5th night, with heavy hearts we started packing as everyone had different directions.

Early the next morning we woke up, started with a hearty breakfast, some mielie pap. Then we started the long beach drive ( about 8hours) to Terrace Bay, having a few history stops like the Ventura Bomber and a few rustic implements that got inherited by nature.

The Skeleton Coast keeps delivering info and history to keep you intrigue… the whole way.

This day was no different as we stopped at Rocky Point, guide told us about Hartmann and the Portuguese. We saw some amazing whale skeletons and head bone. Stopped at a little museum in Movrebay before getting to Terrace Bay. If you do get motion sickness, I recommend before leaving the Dune Camp take a pill.

At this point we thought… we were already so overloaded with info and amazing scenery. What else can be there that can keep the wow going for another 2 weeks?

We were 10 days into our trip and spend the night in Terrace bay with the whole group as a final farewell till we meet again.

On the 11th morning everyone woke up super early, packed the lungs with fresh crisp sea air and took on the long road.

We in particular left just after sunrise to get to Etosha where we met up with another couple, exiting the Skeleton Coast again at Springbokwasser.

In 11 days we drove along the entire Skeleton Coast – 500km of pure wilderness and beauty, plus the beautiful area of Puros.

Enroute to Etosha National Park we saw some amazing mountains and scenery, as well as a beautiful campsite called the Tubes – they are located right next to the Petrified Forest. We were running short on daylight so we made the stop brief and exchanged details. This is a campsite that will see us in the near future. Sites are allocated next to the rock formations, leaving you with a backdrop of amazements the whole stay there.

We had lunch in some little deserted river and enjoyed the company of the family as we were recapping the previous few days.

We arrived at Etosha around 4pm, pitched camp and lid the fire. We stayed in Etosha 4 nights. On arrival we got welcomed by a herd of elephants passing the road, and I knew this is going to be another amazing stay.

In the 4 days there we saw all the species – including the hyenas that ran passed us. Lions at different locations, we heard an angry rhino that sounded like a vuvuzela or a squeaking door. We saw elephants playing, big herd of zebra, Giraffe. A lot of species of Buck, and even a few flying predators. You name it we probably saw it.

Whilst at Etosha we decided to visit the neighbouring farm of Eldorado on Father’s day.

We got welcomed with open arms and smiles, got shown around. We saw Leopards, Cheetahs, Lions and Hyenas, accompanied by a very interesting lecture.

Our stay at Etosha came to an end; we had to make a decision where to next?

We nestled ourselves into Othjitambe Guest Farm planning the next few days just outside Outjo.

... to be continued

















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