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  1. #1
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    Default Wanted: ideas for first trip to Namibia

    I have to be in Windhoek on the 2 May, so decided to make something of it. Will probably take leave from the 21 April and return to Cape Town on 3 & 4 May. Is there anyone that can help us with a couple of ideas where to go and what to do? I know you might think its too much too ask, but all I need is some guidance ito:

    • places not to miss
    • how long to cater for at these places
    • camping spots along the way, etc


    BTW, i dont mind going offroad (in fact, I would almost insist it is included in the trip)...

    Tx in advance

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  2. #2
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    Iím not an expert in the South and you donít have a lot of spare time but you really want the Namibia Ďclassicí tour but without Luderitz (due to time restraint) You will also find it difficult in Namibia to find the need for 4 wheel drive although you will feel more stable on the gravel roads

    22nd: Ai-Ais for Fish River Canyon but it may be closed NWR
    23dr Sesreim for Sossusvlei NWR
    24th Swakopmund: Alte Bruke camp
    25th Swakopmund: Alte Bruke camp
    26th Via Henties Bay and Uis for Aba Huab camp which is in the middle of Twyfelfontein engravings, Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain
    27th Via Petrified Forrest to Outjo and Okaukuejo camp in Etosha National Park NWR
    28th Okaukuejo Camp. NWR Most famous waterhole in Africa, probably. Black Rhino and all
    29th Namutoni Camp in Etosha NWR
    30th Waterberg NWR

    That leaves a spare day somewhere and putting you in Windhoek for the 2nd.

    The ones that I have marked NWR really need to be pre-booked and Alte Bruke is very popular.

    You may be lucky that the rains will be just over.

    Phil

  3. #3
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    I believe the Etosha and Namutoni is very expensive. My preferences would also include Ais Ais, but they are apparently closed for renovations. So that leaves for a first trip:
    * Sossusvlei
    * Fishriver canyon
    * Luderitz & Namib trip to Saddle Hill ( 4x4 essential)

    I'd rather spend more time at a few places than race around the country trying to see everything and missing every thing. You probably need more time to get to the Etosha and all the wonderfull places higher up due to the distances involved. But then that's just me.

    Enjoy!!
    Rampie
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  4. #4
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    Well OK. I said there is not much time. Most of it is in the driving from Cape Town to Windhoek and back so it makes sense to go north via the desert, and return, faster, down the tar. If you don't go to Etosha, then you miss any chance to see big game......but then maybe you've seen enough.. Etosha is one day north of Windhoek which is the point of the trip.
    You can't really do Luderitz and Etosha, not without a rush. First time for Namibia we choose between Luderitz and Etosha....show of hands, maybe.
    Saddle Hill is a dedicated, dune bustin' adrenaline packed off road trip. I dunno, depends what you are looking for, I suppose

  5. #5
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    Last year we drove from Windhoek to Brandberg and from there along the Ugab River to Messum Crater and on to the sea. I would recommend this route to anyone wanting to take a short trip starting from Windhoek.
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    '97 Disco Tdi

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by touchthewild View Post
    Most of it is in the driving from Cape Town to Windhoek and back so it makes sense to go north
    You're right, I didn't pay attention to the have to be in Windhoek part. Then Luderitz is out. If your not into fishing there isn't much in Walvis / Swakop and Etosha's probably the better option.

    ENJOY
    Rampie
    No Land Rover - Soon to change though

  7. #7
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    If you don't particularly want to go north and see game, one of my favourite routes through Namibia, which gives a wonderful sense of the Namib Desert is:

    From Noordoewer/Vioolsdrif hang an immediate left onto the Rosh Pinah road that goes through the Transfrontier Park (C13?) joining the B4 at Aus (I have bush camped along the Orange here - not sure if you still can now that it's a TFCA).
    Luderitz is a must - it's just such a weird little town, and Kolmanskop is also worth a visit. Look out for the wild/feral horses between Garub and Tsaukaib on the way to Luderitz.
    From Luderitz heading back on the Keetmanshoop road, Head north on the C13? at Aus to Helmeringhausen. Backtrack slightly from Helmeringhausen, and head west on the D407, then D826 to Sesriem and Sossusvlei. Visit the Sossus dunes. If you can get a booking, spend a night or two at the Naukluft camp site in the canyon (watch out for very aggressive baboons).
    Then, if you want to explore some of the best scenery in Namibia, do a slight detour by taking the C24 over the Remhoogte Pass, then west on the C26 down the Gamsberg Pass, the C14 through the Kuiseb Canyon, down to Walvis Bay and then Swakopmund, which is a very vibey town (great surfing if you're a surfer).
    Visit the Moon Landscape and Goanikontes and head to Windhoek either via the Spitskoppe or on the back roads through the Namib Naukluft Park and over the Kupferberg Pass into Windhoek.
    It's a trip that will give you a fantastic sense of the Namib, and doesn't entail long distances daily.
    One word of caution - be very careful of your speed driving a short wheel base on the gravel roads. They are in great nick, but are generally humped in the middle with thick gravel on the sides. I have encountered a number of SWBs (Landies and others) that have rolled nose first after digging a left front tyre into the gravel drift on the side. Eina!
    I hope my C and D numbers are correct - they may have changed: I took these from the Shell Touring Atlas of Southern Africa. The Namibian Tourism authorities have an excellent road map of the country that shows all the minor routes - may be able to get it from the Pinnacle in Burg Street, CBD. They are in the phone book.
    Tony Weaver

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  8. #8
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    Thanks to all of you - your feedback is very useful to me.

    I have sort of made up my mind to concentrate on the Southern and a portion of the Central parts of Namibia. It kind of makes sense to travel to Windhoek via the western side: Noordoewer, Fish River Canyon, Luderitz, Sesriem and Sossusvlei, Walvis Bay & Swakop & perhaps via Henties to Windhoek and then baack to Cape Town on the

    The road explained by Tony sounds very interesting:
    Then, if you want to explore some of the best scenery in Namibia, do a slight detour by taking the C24 over the Remhoogte Pass, then west on the C26 down the Gamsberg Pass, the C14 through the Kuiseb Canyon, down to Walvis Bay and then Swakopmund, which is a very vibey town (great surfing if you're a surfer). Visit the Moon Landscape and Goanikontes and head to Windhoek either via the Spitskoppe or on the back roads through the Namib Naukluft Park and over the Kupferberg Pass into Windhoek.
    There is so much to see and do, I dont know how to fit it all in the time (or the budget..)!


    Christo

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  9. #9
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    we came back from Namibia a week ago, had lots of rain and lots of grass so take celestamine or the like with.
    We did the south between Swakop and luderitz.
    Swakop is great,stayed at Alte Brucke very nice and neat. Day trip you can do the moonlandscape etc and the next day enjoy the vibe in Swakop and the Kristall Kallerie is a must.
    From Swakop over the Kuiseb pass to Sossusvlei. We camped at Agama River came which wasn't nice at all.Tsonab where we also booked had to be skipped as the owners were in a car accident and we had to look for altenative accommodation, we ended up at Namib Naukluft Lodge, what a stunning place with stunning views and food. You can do Sossusvlei from there if you leave early.
    The Family Hide out is also very nice. hideout.iway.na
    We then went via the D707 and camped at Ranch koiimasis, very nice with great Ablutions,
    on our way to Aus it was raining alot and my daughter had a stomach bug, which is'nt great when camping and we pushed on to luderitz and treated ourselves to the Luderitz Nest hotel right at the seafront...GREAT!!You must do kolmanskop there very interesting
    Hope info helps, namibia is really a great country with friendly people.

  10. #10
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    Chris, re the route I mentioned from Vioolsdrif via Rosh Pinah - have a look at Aubrey's post further down in the Namibia section with the header "Update - bridge over the Fish River". If this bridge is still out, and I think it is the one on the route I described, you will have to go via Keetmans to Luderitz. They should be able to tell you the latest info at the border.
    Tony Weaver

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    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

  11. #11
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    Okay, so my trip is starting to develop into something now...
    There has been an addition to the itinerary- we are now including the Etosha as well!. Needless to say this is costing me a few extra leave days, but thats how it goes...!

    Following is more or less what the trip is going b

    • From Noordoewer to Fishriver Canyon (Canon Road Lodge)
    • Then we need to find a place in the Helmeringhausen area - Naukluft Park area
    • Thereafter Sesriem and Sossusvlei - Betesda
    • Then to Walvis and Swakop (including all the places in the areas - will probably camp in Swakop
    • From there we want to go to Etosha, and this is where I need some advice:
      • which route to take;
      • where to stay
    • After Etosha we head back to Windhoek (actual reason for the trip originally) and therafter back home (Cape Town)


    Please let me know of some nice camping spots in the areas as listed.

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  12. #12
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    The fastest route to Etosha (Okaukuejo, the best camp) is to take the B2 Windhoek road to Karibib, go left on the C33 via Omaruru. After Kalkfeld go left for Outjo (this is the only gravel section) Then C38 to Etosha. This is 518 kms and 5-6 hours.

    Perhaps more interestingly, you might take the salt road north to Henties Bay, the gravel C35 via Uis to Khorixas and then the tar C39 to Outjo then as before. This is 545 kms and about one more hour to drive because the route is mostly gravel and slightly longer. It is well graded but the section between Henties and Uis in particular has a reputation for roll-overs. Take care

    Phil

  13. #13
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    Once again, thanks to all of you. With your help I have now managed to plan a trip that I believe will be "lekker"!

    Phil, Windhoek will be our last (or second last) stop on my way back to Cpt.

    We have now more or less decided on the following:

    • Day1: Leave home early and sleep at Felix Unite camp, Noordoewer
    • Day2: Fishriver Canyon and sleep at Hobas Camping site
    • Day3: En route to Sesriem / Sossus and sleep half-way at Konkiep Lapa camp
    • Day4: explore the Naukluft , sesriem canyon, etc area and sleep at Betesda
    • Day5: visit Sossus, dunes, etc and leave for Walvis & Swakop (camping spot still to be decided)
    • Day6: Swakop
    • Day7: Swakop
    • Day8: sleep at Henties Bay (camping spot still to be decided)
    • Day9: via Cape Cross, Messum Crater, Brandberg area, sleep at White Lady lodge or Ugab
    • Day10: Twyfelfontein, sleep at Aba Huab campsite
    • Day11: via Khorixas & Uis, to Spitzkoppe
    • Day12: 3 nights at Elisenheim (Windhoek)
    • Day15: Abiqua camp
    • Day16: Home


    Any ideas for accommodation at Swakop (besides Alte Brucke and Municipal Restcamp) and Henties?

    Tx
    Chris

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  14. #14
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    One or two little things.

    If you don't use Sesreim camp, you won't get up to Sossusvlei by sunrise because the gate is inside the camp and they don't let in the rest for an hour after.

    Henties is only an hour from Swakopmund and has no decent camp anyway, I might suggest the Ugab Rhino camp in the Ugab river....Book in Swakopmund.

    From Aba Huab to Uis is a good quality D road which cuts out a lot of distance

    There is a camp in Swakopmund called Gyulls Cry, right on the beach next to the Tiger Reef bar. Used to be very good but I'm not sure now about security. It might be worth having a look when you get there. There are others near by if it's not up to scratch


    Phil

  15. #15
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    Hi Phil

    You mentioned "I might suggest the Ugab Rhino camp in the Ugab river...." in stead of staying 1 night at Henties. Is this not too close to the Brandberg White Lady restcamp?

    CC

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  16. #16
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    Well, Henties is still too close and not much to it. It's basically a dormitory town. I would suggest you take on stores in Swakopmund, thereby leaving late, visit Henties and Cape Cross that day and then to Ugab Camp which is to the West of Brandberg and about an hour in from the coast. You could then do Mesum and stuff as White Lady is to the East of Brandburg? That evens the two days out better.

  17. #17
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