Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west - Page 5





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  1. #81
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Oh yes, and tiger reef is open again if you looking for a sundowner spot.

  2. #82
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    So Swakop in general and more specifically Sophiadale was not our scene and we left a day early.

    We were meant to stay at Namibrand family Hideout last night, but sadly decided not to as there was a sandstorm of note and a gale force westerly wind.

    The roads are bad, very very bad but so far thankfully no damage. Drove the D 707 this morning which is said to be good but even that is becoming quite corrugated. The C27 from Betta to Spes Bona is horrendous. As is most of C13 from the D707 to the tar at Aus.
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  3. #83
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    That wind sounds nasty!
    And no shelter at Namibrand.

    Are you still planning to visit Erindi?

    “Africa changes you forever, like nowhere on earth. Once you have been there, you will never be the same." - Ernest Hemingway

  4. #84
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Dold View Post
    That wind sounds nasty!
    And no shelter at Namibrand.

    Are you still planning to visit Erindi?
    Yes absolutely no shelter. But lovely place, will have to return.

    We have already been to Erindi. Was quite enjoyable and green.
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  5. #85
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Approximately 5 350 km, 720 L of diesel, 1700 photos and 16 days later we arrived home on Friday.

    I doubt that I will do a trip report, but do feel I should give some feedback and closure to this thread.

    Thanks to all the contributors to this thread who helped me along the way. Especially AboutAfrica for the tip about the The Tug in Swakop (we had a great meal there on Christmas day and they have a very efficient online booking system) and Frans90 for the Mariental Spar lamb sosaties. They were almost a staple, I think we consumed 6 packets of them during the duration of the trip. The Spar itself is a very nice well stocked shop with easy parking with a caravan.

    We had a few small hick-ups with the caravan, other than that absolutely no issues. Easy border crossing at Nakop, no flat tyre(standard factory fitted Dunfloppies on the Fortuner), nothing broken that we know of at the moment except one can of cold drink. All officials and cops that we encountered were friendly and gave no hassles. The towns are clean and we felt save everywhere. Shops were generally well stocked and we found everything we needed. Vegetables was a bit hit and miss, but given the season it is understandable.

    At all camps we had a friendly reception except for one establishment which came quite highly recommended. We will not return neither will I ever recommend them.

    Some of the notorious dirt roads like the roads leading to Sossusvlei and from Solitaire to Walvisbay is almost on the point of being undriveable. I am glad I adjusted the trip to miss most of the roads, we heard of many breakdowns caused by these roads. It did mean we missed Sossusvlei but given the constant wind, it might have been very unpleasant anyway.

    Weather wise it was much cooler than we thought it would be. The only really hot place was Mariental and Fish River Canyon. It was quite windy with a persistent westerly wind. Not sure if the south west is always this windy in December and if it was only this year due to the drought. The wind made capturing the open spaces on camera difficult because of the ever present haze. In fact the wind was so bad on the day we were due to stay at Namibrand Family hideout that it wipped up a sand storm of note and we skipped our stay there. We moved further south to Duiwidshub castle's camping where the wind was much quieter.

    In retrospect, I have to admit that we attempted to do too much and we missed out on rest and relaxation. On this trip there was no balance between one night stops and longer stays with the one nighters being prevalent. It re-affirmed our ethos that it is not the way we like to travel. But.....some areas are now ticked and we have no reason to return. Like Swakop and Fish River canyon.

    The absolute highlights was
    * the Living Desert tour with Chris Nel -- I can so recommend him, he is fantastic
    * Bagatelle and it's stunning red dunes -- such a great reception, campers are allowed to use all facilities of the lodge and are invited to the afternoon cake and coffee. Sadly we spent only one night, but we will make a point of returning for at least 3 nights the next time. It is very expensive though, but worth every cent.
    * Kolmanskop visit -- I was not looking forward to this and thought it was much hype about nothing, but it is so, so, so beautiful.
    * Klein Aus Vista campsite and the scenery between Klein Aus and Luderitz. For me this landscape beats the scenes along the much toted D707. The whole area has the same magical feel to me as the Twyfelfontein/Madisa area which is my favourite area in Namibia.

    I am adding 2 photos which captures the spirit and feel of the trip.
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    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/01/05 at 06:37 PM.
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  6. #86
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Hi Christa, thanks for the feedback. The four highlights you single out almost exactly match our past experiences in South/Central Namibia. Except that Sossus- and Dead Vlei are highlights. You might have to pass by that way in the future.

    I find that combining this part of Namibia works well with a stay in Kgaligadi and entrance into Namibia via the Mata Mata border post.
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  7. #87
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    ...I find that combining this part of Namibia works well with a stay in Kgaligadi and entrance into Namibia via the Mata Mata border post.
    Yes I agree with you there Stan, it makes a lot of sense to do a trip like that.

    Sossusvlei remains on the bucket list, but I will choose the time of year carefully. Probably not December.
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  8. #88
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Excellent feedback Christa - which I have saved and bookmarked.
    Thank You!
    Namibia always one of our favourites.

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  9. #89
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Thanks for the feedback Christa. Glad you had some highlights at least.

    "In nature, nothing is on order - appreciate what you do get to experience" - Myself
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  10. #90
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    It is a pleasure guys.

    Frans, definitely more highlights than low points.
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  11. #91
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post

    At all camps we had a friendly reception except for one establishment which came quite highly recommended. We will not return neither will I ever recommend them.



    .
    And here I was, looking forward to your opinion of Erindi.

  12. #92
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Quote Originally Posted by Merwe Erasmus View Post
    And here I was, looking forward to your opinion of Erindi.
    Lol, somebody else asked me the same.

    It was definitely not Erindi! The reception was not overly friendly, but it was professional. We really liked Erindi and it is one of the places we will return for a spot of glamping and TLC mid trip. A bit of an annoyance that one cannot game drive yourself, but we knew that beforehand. We opted not to buy the permit this time around because we knew a lot of driving was still to come. Fortunately we did not have any noise, crying kids or rowdy groups, but I think over new year it might get jolly. But then again most mainstream camp sites will over that time.

    I was able to choose a nice, slightly out of the way campsite beforehand with the kind help of a fellow forum member. Some of the campsites are a bit close to each other.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/01/05 at 07:04 PM.
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  13. #93
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Tx a lot for all the info and discussions!

    Am planning our trip in february
    landing at WDH / luderitz via ? / up north along the coast / depending on the time we have left upto Damaraland probably/ back via ? to WDH
    3 weeks in total.

    If we are around Swakopmund it seems a good choice to ask Chris Nel for a tour

    I propably missed the info somewhere; how can you contact him? It's his business?

    tx in advance for info how to deal with him

  14. #94
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Quote Originally Posted by bastiaan View Post
    .....If we are around Swakopmund it seems a good choice to ask Chris Nel for a tour.....
    You will not regret it. Yes it his business and he is the lead guide as well. Not only does he have a vast knowledge of the desert, but it is clear that he deeply loves and respect the desert.

    His website is www.livingdesertnamibia.com and his e-mail is [email protected]

    I suggest you send him a mail in advance to request availability for your preferred dates, I think if you try and find space with him while already in Swakop there might not be space.
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    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/01/06 at 06:43 AM.
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  15. #95
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Weakley View Post
    Hi Christa, thanks for the feedback. The four highlights you single out almost exactly match our past experiences in South/Central Namibia. Except that Sossus- and Dead Vlei are highlights. You might have to pass by that way in the future.

    I find that combining this part of Namibia works well with a stay in Kgaligadi and entrance into Namibia via the Mata Mata border post.
    Exactly how we did it. 2 days in the park then 5 minutes at the Mat Mata border post. Nice drive via Stampriet to Mariental. From there Swakop, Sossosvlei and the south.
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  16. #96
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    Yes I agree with you there Stan, it makes a lot of sense to do a trip like that.

    Sossusvlei remains on the bucket list, but I will choose the time of year carefully. Probably not December.
    We use to go during Jun/Jul. Weather wise as well as amount of visitors. We experienced the roads this bad about two years ago and I was hoping they will improve.
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  17. #97
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    [QUOTE=stevan;4298599....We experienced the roads this bad about two years ago and I was hoping they will improve.[/QUOTE]

    One can but hope, however I am afraid that the only way to improve roads like the C14 and C27 is to tar or completely rebuild. These roads just simply carry too much traffic and are down to the bedrock.
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  18. #98
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Quote Originally Posted by lekhubu943 View Post
    One can but hope, however I am afraid that the only way to improve roads like the C14 and C27 is to tar or completely rebuild. These roads just simply carry too much traffic and are down to the bedrock.
    Im glad you enjoyed your trip and didnt lose a single tyre.

    There are plans ahead to upgrade the WB/Soussusvlei road to asphalt topping. The question is when? Unfortunately no one knows that.

    We drove the recently completed Swakop/Henties tar road and what an absolute pleasure. The road from Henties to Uis is also being constructed with the first 60km completed and the remainder by the end of 2020, so there is progress on the roads front.

    Thanks for an informative thread.
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  19. #99
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Quote Originally Posted by Caracal View Post
    Im glad you enjoyed your trip and didnt lose a single tyre.

    There are plans ahead to upgrade the WB/Soussusvlei road to asphalt topping. The question is when? Unfortunately no one knows that.

    We drove the recently completed Swakop/Henties tar road and what an absolute pleasure. The road from Henties to Uis is also being constructed with the first 60km completed and the remainder by the end of 2020, so there is progress on the roads front.

    Thanks for an informative thread.
    Indeed the question is when. Hopefully soon and before our next visit because I really want to do Sossusvlei Strangely the C19 from Maltahohe over the Tsaris hoogte pass was excellent and smooth. But is seems to have different underlying substrate than the C27.

    I also glad, but quite surprised, that we did not loose a tyre. I don't trust those Dunfloppies And I nogal saved your cell phone number.

    Yes, we saw a lot of road construction just entering Swakop. Is the Henties Uis road the same one (C35) that goes to Brandberg? Because that one was bad as well when we drove it in 2017.
    Last edited by lekhubu943; 2020/01/06 at 09:05 AM.
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  20. #100
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    Default Re: Namibia trip planning, Dec 2019, the south west

    Currently a dual carriageway is built behind the dunes, from Swakop to Walivis Bay as an alternative for the 'unsafe road' in the front on the seafront. (Road works just before Swakop)

    Walvis Bay right down to Bethanie was investigated for upgrading to tar some time back, and it was not viable yet. However once, and if the Transkalahari road from Windhoek direct to Walvis Bay will be in the pipeline, the section further down on the C14 to Maltahoe will be viable. But yes currently there is no movement on this yet.

    Lastly the idea is to connect Hentiesbay with Kamanajab, which has started, then you have a tar road from Ruacana right done to Walvis Bay.
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