FINDING TRACKS IN NAMIBIA PART 2
We headed North again.
We drove all along the ridge of Etosha, through Ruacana where we filled up the fuel and off to The Kunene River Lodge for 3 days.
I asked the kids what they remember about The Kunene River Lodge, their answer was the Lizard that came to visit.
I remembered the monkeys oh the monkeys. They stole our cheese in a split second LOL. The next morning they stole our packet of sweets but lost it again as they opened the packet in the tree and it all fell down to the ground.
We went on one of the best sunset cruises we have ever been on. The weather, the water, the company, the rapids…. Everything was spot on. We experienced the calmness between the rapids whilst they spin and rumble around us. Crocodiles taking timeout on the banks of the Kunene River and birds making their presence known. It sketched a perfect moment in time.
We learnt a recipe from Esma – that we gave a name: Boelie Chung Chung. It is a Boeliebeef recipe that travelled with us the whole journey. Quick, easy and delicious. You can make it in a few minutes on a gas stove – anywhere! Nice travel food hack.
Visiting local attractions took us to Dorsland trekker’s memorial close to the lodge – Ruins of the camps can be viewed at the small settlement of Otavi just outside Opuwo. Whenever I walk at memorials… I can’t help but wonder what if there were books to tell all – the inside detail. We just see the stone of a part of history, a name, a date. Someone’s wife, husband, child. We don’t get the story.
The river had such a nice feel to it, that we drove more km along the Kunene River that lead us to Camp Cornie with a pet porcupine and ending up at Omarunga Lodge at Epupa Falls.
The falls longest drop being 37 metres in a 40m gorge. At this stage the kids asked me a question that left me hearing crickets… Who discovered the first waterfall… google came up with David Livingstone that was the first European to have viewed Vic Falls. Quite similar to what do you find under a pile of Dune… getting back to the present and where we at:
Epupa means Falling water, giving live to the Himba people and a tourist attraction.
Our camp neighbour told us about the delicious rolls he has bought in the little town, freshly baked. We tried and tested… it was the best rolls we have had in a very long time. They are delicious! Warm and fresh going perfectly with just butter and a braai.
Enough island feel along the river and chilling we were ready to explore and learn about the history in Damaraland.
We took a different road leading through Opuwo, passing Etosha border again. Making a pit stop at Hobatere just opposite Galton Gate.
The dawn of a new day lead us back to Outjo before going back Khorixas way as we needed supplies, medical and food. Stocked up and ready for the last leg of our trip.
Diving right into the adventure!
Vingerklip – what is left of the Ugab Terrace also known as “The Finger of God”. Towering at 35m high at 929m above sea level. This was a spectacular find and a must view. Tourists are allowed to hike up and walk around the rock. This is one of the most famous rocks. When you are at the top at the Vingerklip you also get an awesome view of the Terraces.
We camped out in Khorixas for the evening after a difficult drive with the sun right in front of us and running out of daylight again as exploring took time today. Most places are locked up and not operating due to the state of Covid. A very sad sight and this was difficult.
Somewhere along the road we discovered that we have broken a stabilizer arm on the car. We started having issues with a tyre that runs down slowly, but pushed forward and excited to what is still ahead.
In the last few days of the trip we visited the Petrified Forest that we drove past a few weeks earlier. They were discovered in 1940’s by 2 farmers and proclaimed in 1950’s.
Scientists said that there must have been a big flood that washed these trunks down a river in ancient times till where they lie today as these trees don’t grow in Namibia. The floods also carried a lot of sand and mud that covered the trees to such an extent that it got prevented from decay and preserved. Due to pressure over the years even the finest structures of the trunks turned into crystalline state. The result: Completely petrified trunks.
What can be more amazing than 280 million year old tree trunks…
Lava formed Organ Pipes.
These amazing pipes can be found 70km from Khorixas on your way to Burnt Mountain.
These pipes were formed 150 million years ago as a result of the intrusion of liquid lava into a slate rock formation, which got exposed by erosion over time.
I thought wow – this is it… and got amazed again… all this in a short space of a few kilometres through Damaraland!
We saw Burnt Mountain!!!
This mountain was proclaimed a national monument in 1956 .It has a unique display of colours in the morning and evening light.
Volcanic activity 120 million years ago intruded black carbonaceous shale. The dolerite baked the shale. Metamorphism that was caused by volatile organic components drove the shale off leaving the black, clinker like burnt mass from which the mountain got its name.
It is a 12km long volcanic ridge in Damaraland. 80 million year old stream of lava was formed by thermal and compression metamorphism. The red, brown, cream and purple colours create a contrast at dusk with surrounding 200million year old beige rocks of Karoo slate.
At this part of the road you need to make a u turn and go back the same road as you came in… but being adventurers and wanting to see what else there is… we looked on Tracks for Africa and saw there is some sort of little off the beaten track road leading to some other 2 spore road. We turned around… Joking!! We obviously took the road that seems that has not been travelled in a while, being adventurers and wanting to explore more – we took the road less travelled.
This few kilometres took hours! We discovered some of the most amazing fauna and Welwitchia in the middle of somewhere at some satellite looking down on us. If we would have broken down here… I don’t know how long it would have been before we were discovered.
After a long few hours on rough terrain and amazing nature scenes and a few photo stops we arrived at Madisa camp for a drink before heading to Uis.
Again which direction? A road well-travelled or the one with thick sand but the chances of seeing wild desert giraffe and elephants… We took the hard road HAHA,
This road led us entering White Lady Lodge from the riverside. We spent our last 2 nights at Daureb Isib Campsite and B&B. They are a very nice pit stop to refuel and charge your own batteries next to the pool and getting ready for the rest of your journey.
Recapping our scenario on the broken parts: We had a ducktape window, a broken stabilizer arm, and now a tent that is starting to feel not so well… and a cracked rim on the wheel that keeps running down slowly, but being a Cruiser handled it all like a champ and brought us home safely. Was this all worth it! YES!! Will do it again in a heartbeat x2. Our next trip is planned up to Kodem and Caprivi! The roads of Namibia keeps delivering. It is something you can’t describe, it is a feeling of freedom, of peace, of vastness, of wildlife, of soul searching, of history, of ancient miracles and changing landscapes every few kilometres. It gets under your skin and you can’t get enough.
Our last few days got spend in Hentiesbay before ending the trip. Till next time when we find ourselves lost in time on some gravel roads in the middle of nowhere exploring.