Namibia- How Sad





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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Namibia- How Sad

    My wife and I have just returned from a 10000 km round trip to Namibia. About 3000 km's were driven on gravel roads, 2 blowouts as a result.
    Namibian gravel roads used to be the best in Africa from previous experiences as they were graded on a regular basis. I was told that the government stopped paying the road maintenance contractors so they all decided to down tools and the roads haven't been graded for at least 6 months. Also the roads are overrun by Europeans in rented 4x4's with tyre pressure pumped to 3-bar and travelling at high speeds.
    The gravel roads around Ais-Ais Hot Springs, Fish River Canyon, Spitzkuppe, Twyfelfontein, Wondergat and Petrified Forest are the worst I have ever experienced. They are badly corrugated and very stony.
    Etosha Roads aren't much better. The parked is over run with overland busses and trucks whose clients hog the ablutions and kitchens in the park camp sites. Definitely not enough ablution and dish washing facilities to accommodate the number of people allowed to camp in the camp sites.
    Some of the overland truck/bus drivers need to learn bush etiquette as they push in front of you at sightings blocking your view so that their clients can have better views. One overland truck with a CA registration raced up and stopped right in the path of a male lion about to cross the road so that his clients could get the best photos and blocked everyone elses view.
    The Namatoni Fort which used to buzz a view years back with restaurants, bars and shops is now standing empty and in a state of disrepair and yet plenty money through tourism is pouring into the park.
    I was told by somebody in Keetmanshoop where the Minister of Tourism apparently lives that his thinking is to let the park deteriorate until some European country decides to pump money into the park for upgrades.
    Don't get me wrong, we love Namibia but sadly we wont be going back in a hurry even with the diesel price at R10.80 per litre
    VERY HAPPY FORTUNER OWNER
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Welcome to Africa
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  5. #3
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Quote Originally Posted by JLK View Post
    Welcome to Africa

    I was told by somebody in Keetmanshoop where the Minister of Tourism apparently lives that his thinking is to let the park deteriorate until some European country decides to pump money into the park for upgrades.
    Ditto

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  7. #4
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Ai tog.

    Hope the roads around Twyfelfontein and in Etosha is better by December. We are on H/T tyres.
    Christa
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Ai tog.

    Hope the roads around Twyfelfontein and in Etosha is better by December. We are on H/T tyres.

    Graders are running again. The poor roads reached the news papers and the tender authority got waked up and awarded the tenders.
    Johan Kriel

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  10. #6
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Ai tog.

    Hope the roads around Twyfelfontein and in Etosha is better by December. We are on H/T tyres.
    I hope so for your sake. They were really bad around the Twyfelfontein area
    VERY HAPPY FORTUNER OWNER
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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne W W View Post
    I was told by somebody in Keetmanshoop where the Minister of Tourism apparently lives that his thinking is to let the park deteriorate until some European country decides to pump money into the park for upgrades.
    Don't get me wrong, we love Namibia but sadly we wont be going back in a hurry even with the diesel price at R10.80 per litre
    Don't always believe everything you hear. ☺️☺️

  12. #8
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Quote Originally Posted by JLK View Post
    Graders are running again. The poor roads reached the news papers and the tender authority got waked up and awarded the tenders.
    I believe they are running yes, just hope they will keep running for the next 3 months.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2017/09/10 at 07:39 PM.
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  13. #9
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Well, tbh, and nothing against no one...

    Regarding the state of the camps...

    Last year, nwr closed everything downs to upgrade, repair, and generally get everything back to a usable standard.

    Then the world and its best buds complained about the "stunt they pulled" and about the accommodation that was pre booked 2 years ahead (who books 2 years ahead in any case), and what not, so they opened up everything again in more or less the same state, as they barely had time to replace a rubber on a tap.

    Regarding the roads... The graders NEVER ran year round before. This year the rain was a bit more than expected, and and also went on later than expected, and no contractor will ever to work outside of a contract period... Thats literally like throwing cash into wishing well...
    Last edited by pierre2013; 2017/09/10 at 07:53 PM.

  14. #10
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Time they start tarring all the roads in Nam....

    See how the tourists like that8)

  15. #11
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Unfortunately the roads used to be good, but that was only because half the cars used them. Gravel roads cannot be graded indefinately before they have to be rebuilt. That at a cost of approximately 1m per km. I suggest that road usage fees get trippled for tourists to refurbish the roads. In addition fees should be lifted 10 times for every park, fees should also be charged for using a toilet in the parks. All offroad driving should be prohibited due to the bad conditions of the roads.
    Somehow people do not understand that maintenance costs money...a lot of money. Funny enough nobody complains about botswana roads and they are a lot worse.
    2002 Discovery td5

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  17. #12
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    The RFA actually get enough money for maintenance from licence and road distance chargers, but the application thereof is the issue. Half of it been eaten and wasted by the RCC and the other half is applied blindly.
    Johan Kriel

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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Graders are running yes, but unfortunately due to no maintenance the grading does not help much. They grade, its ok again for a week or so then back to square one due to the underlying damage. Maintenance on our vehicles has trippled in the last few months.
    Walter aka "Meerkat"
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  19. #14
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    To mention the 'professional guides' of Africa.

    their behavior is vile eveytime I've seen one of them.

    I'm actually surprised no-one has shot one of them. Worse Richard Craniums than any taxi driver .
    Last edited by Apocalypse; 2017/09/11 at 03:06 PM.

  20. #15
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Quote Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
    To mention the 'professional guides' of Africa.

    their behavior is vile eveytime I've seen one of them.

    I'm actually surprised no-one has shot one of them. Worst Richard Craniums than any taxi driver .
    And most are long haired, thong wearing blokes from Cape Town unfortunately. No etiquette at all.

    Yes i know I'm generalising, but that was my experience with them all over Namibia. Very few overlander trucks originate within Namibia.
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  22. #16
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Quote Originally Posted by Caracal View Post
    And most are long haired, thong wearing blokes from Cape Town unfortunately. No etiquette at all.

    Yes i know I'm generalising, but that was my experience with them all over Namibia. Very few overlander trucks originate within Namibia.
    Erm.

    You inspected their underwear ?
    Last edited by Apocalypse; 2017/09/11 at 03:07 PM.

  23. #17
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    I understand the concept of freedom of speech and the idea that everyone has an opinion. I would like to exercise those rights to voice mine. View them as realist views and not an attach on your post whatsoever. Please see my responses in bold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne W W View Post
    My wife and I have just returned from a 10000 km round trip to Namibia. About 3000 km's were driven on gravel roads, 2 blowouts as a result.
    Namibian gravel roads used to be the best in Africa from previous experiences as they were graded on a regular basis. I was told that the government stopped paying the road maintenance contractors so they all decided to down tools and the roads haven't been graded for at least 6 months.I think it was Pierre that mentioned that no contractor will do work outside of their contractual scope of work. As mentioned, the rains were later, and to get optimal rebuilding conditions, there needs to be some moisture in the material to really have a benefit to the grading process. Just because when you used the roads they were in a bad state doesn't mean that they are always in that state. You yourself state they were the best in Africa and im sure when you do go back (I see you are saying you wont go back, which is a pity) that you will find that the standard is back to what you expect. I have travelled the gravel roads from Keetmans to Kgalagadi probably 20 odd times at different times of the year. Not once were the roads of the same standard. Not once did I have a perfect smooth gravel road. I did indeed have good patches in the majority most times.

    Also the roads are overrun by Europeans in rented 4x4's with tyre pressure pumped to 3-bar and travelling at high speeds. Ah now we getting closer to a possible cause of the problem. You right, they are overrun by tourists in rental 4x4's with generally 3 bar tyres. Lets put this into perspective. Windhoek Airport (Hosea Kutako) has seen an increase of up to 4 additional international flights a day. Thats around 800-1000 extra tourists a day over the same time last year. Those tourists need transport. And trust me, they not in Namibia to see Windhoek or Swakop, they here to see Soussusvlei, Etosha and the Fish River Canyon. And they unfortunately are only accessible by gravel roads. So thats roughly an extra 200-300 extra 4x4's required PER DAY to accommodate the extra influx of tourists. You see where im going with this? I know someone at Budget/Avis car rentals who told me that with the extra flights they have had to increase the size of their rental fleet in Namibia by 40%. I unfortunately dont know what that is in unit terms but can think its a few thousand. So the fact that there are so many extra vehicles travelling all these gravel roads has meant that maintenance at 4-6 weeks at a time is now totally inadequate. The Roads Authority are aware of this, because i know someone who does the maintenance in the southern part of Namibia. They are busy with an evaluation of the various well used roads and studies are being done on the feasibility of tarring some of the well used routes.

    The gravel roads around Ais-Ais Hot Springs, Fish River Canyon, Spitzkuppe, Twyfelfontein, Wondergat and Petrified Forest are the worst I have ever experienced. They are badly corrugated and very stony.
    Etosha Roads aren't much better. Again see my comment above regards timing of your visit.

    The parked is over run with overland busses and trucks whose clients hog the ablutions and kitchens in the park camp sites. Definitely not enough ablution and dish washing facilities to accommodate the number of people allowed to camp in the camp sites. I fully agree with you on this one. NWR are dragging their feet on the upgrades. Problem with Namibia is that the various Ministry's dont talk to each other. More flights into Windhoek means more tourists on the gravel roads which means a greater need for better accommodation and camping facilities and so on and so on.

    Some of the overland truck/bus drivers need to learn bush etiquette as they push in front of you at sightings blocking your view so that their clients can have better views. One overland truck with a CA registration raced up and stopped right in the path of a male lion about to cross the road so that his clients could get the best photos and blocked everyones view. Again, i agree with your comment. Too many long haired freaks from Cape Town driving these trucks. Namibia needs to make sure that more of these tours originate in Namibia and not from outside the country.

    The Namatoni Fort which used to buzz a view years back with restaurants, bars and shops is now standing empty and in a state of disrepair and yet plenty money through tourism is pouring into the park. I think someone has mentioned why Namatoni is in such a state. His account is pretty spot on.

    I was told by somebody in Keetmanshoop (dont believe everything you hear in Keetmans, I too used to live there )where the Minister of Tourism apparently lives (Minister Shifeta, as far as I know, lives in the north of Namibia) that his thinking is to let the park deteriorate until some European country decides to pump money into the park for upgrades.asset deteriorate I can neither agree or deny your statement, havent heard that yet. Im sure no one deliberately lets an asset deteriorate such that your livelihood (foreign tourists) stops arriving on your shores. Lack of maintenance yes, deliberate deterioration, highly unlikely.

    Don't get me wrong, we love Namibia but sadly we wont be going back in a hurry even with the diesel price at R10.80 per litre So in essense you arent going back to Namibia because you lost 2 tyres, had lots of foreigners travelling with you on the gravel roads, you had unruley and inconsiderate overlander drivers blocking your view at game sitings and you experienced run down or inadequate facilities at some of the camp sites in Etosha? Seriously, are those good enough reasons to NOT visit Namibia? Why dont you balance your freedom of speech with some positives, and im not talking the diesel price here. What did you enjoy? What are the good things about Namibia? Tell us why you would WANT to go back and lets balance your post out so its not all doom and gloom. I would hate for your post to deny anyone the wondrous opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, and it might just do that!!
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  25. #18
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Quote Originally Posted by Apocalypse View Post
    Erm.

    You inspected their underwear ?
    Aussie thongs mate
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  27. #19
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    Quote Originally Posted by Caracal View Post
    Aussie thongs mate

    I wouldn't go near an Aussie's underwear!

    Aussies use thongs like floss for the ass cheeks.

    just a nasty nasty thought!

  28. #20
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    Default Re: Namibia- How Sad

    I am at the airport now.....it is crazy. 5 flights at one time. And now with the new system I've been waiting for over an hour
    Gert Grobler

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