Namibia trip - Sept/Oct 2010





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  1. #1
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    Default Namibia trip - Sept/Oct 2010

    Hi All,

    Like many others, we are also planning a trip into Namibia this year. We're looking at heading there in late September.
    After sifting through many posts and trip reports, as well as FreeflyD's blogs, we've worked out a basic route, but it's not finalised yet - hence this post...

    Vehicles:
    1x mid-2000's Cruiser/Prado which has yet to be purchased (if anyone has one to sell, please let me know )
    1x Land Rover Defender TD5 110
    1x Land Rover Defender TD5 90 towing a trailer

    I get the feeling we're rushing it (or being a little over-ambitious ) in places, but hopefully some of you who have been there could let us know?
    The route we've got planned is as follows:


    Day 1: Depart JHB to Upington
    Day 2: Upington to Hobas (stay 2 nights here)
    Day 3: Do the canyon-tourist-thing and visit Ai-Ais
    Day 4: Hobas to Quiver Tree Forest Camp (stay 2 nights here)
    Day 5: Visit Giants Playground and the fossils
    Day 6: Quiver Tree Forest Camp to Aus (stay 2 nights here)
    Day 7: Visit Kolmanskop/Elizabeth Bay ghost town (is this doable?)
    Day 8: Aus to a camp near Sesriem via D707 - visiting Sesriem canyon in the late afternoon (any suggestions on a nice camp near Sesriem?)
    Day 9: Visit Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei (looking for evening light for the camera guys)
    Day 10: A camp near Sesriem to Spreetshoogte camp via Tsondabvlei and Solitaire (is this doable?)
    Day 11: Spreetshoogte camp to a camp in/near Swakopmund via Gamsberg pass, Kuiseb pass and Walvis Bay
    Day 12: A camp in/near Swakopmund to the Spitzkoppe
    Day 13: Spitzkoppe to Buitepos camp (is this doable?)
    Day 14: Buitepos to KTP (Enter through Kaa gate)
    Day 15: KTP - Kang
    Day 16: Kang - Home


    A few other side notes:

    1. How many roads have the infamous "Tropic of Capricorn" signs? I just HAVE to get a photo!
    2. If at all possible, we'd like to get Remhoogte pass in there somewhere.
    3. We don't neccessarily need to spend any time in the KTP, however we'll probably use the Trans-Kalahari highway to get back to JHB.
    4. Is it safe to leave a trailer in a camp while we're off seeing the sights?


    Where can we, or should we, change the route? Where should we slow down? Where are some really cool roads that we're missing?
    I'd love to hear your opinions/comments.

    Cheers,
    Devlin


  2. #2
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    I wouldn't bother with 2 nights at the Quiver Tree Forest. It is fine for an hour or two, and so is the Giant's Playground, but you might get a bit bored being there for 2 days. There is a depressing cheetah pen there too.

    You might need a bit more time around Kolmanskop. When I was last there you had to get a permit, which wasn't completely straightforward if I remember, and then join a tour party at a set time.

    Overall, you are going to have lots of time in the car, and not much time to enjoy the place. Oh, and yes, it is completely safe to leave a trailer in camp. That's what everyone does.

    Mike
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    I want to agree with MikeAG regarding the Quiver Tree Forest and playground of the gianst. We stayed there one night on our way back from Klein Aus and we had ample time to visit the playground of the giants and the quiver tree forest.

    We obtained our permit for Kolmanskop in Luderitz and just made it for the tour, if I remember correctly it started like 10:00. Sadly we had to leave I think at around 13:00 otherwise you will need another permit to stay for photos etc. at an additional cost.

    We left our trailer at the camp sites where we stayed and didn't have any problems at all.
    Last edited by PieterM; 2010/01/06 at 11:52 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies gents, much appreciated.

    So it'd probably be better to head from Hobas straight to Aus (is this doable?) and do a day trip to the Quiver Tree forest and Giants playground. Any suggestions on an "entertaining" route there?

    Cheers,
    Devlin


  5. #5
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    Hey devlin,

    The south of Namibia has no "secret roads which are not passable" on the normal maps, so if you see a road with a number on a map, you should be fine.

    I'd possibly look at staying night one in Namibia at Ais Ais (Recently opened to tourists again) and night 2 at Hobas. Otherwise you are going to drive the same route twice. Staying at Hobas for 2 nights is also not nessasery...

    Aus Vista is awesome!

    You can get a full day Photographer's permit for Kolmanskoppe. There is a sighn at the gate that explains where to get it from. It is some tourist shop in Luderitz. One warning.... Luderitz knows no limits to wind and Shark Island is the only camping place and has very little shelter from the wind!

    Remember to have some Apple Tart in Solitaire. It is the best in the world! No kidding!

    As far as I know, the only Tropic of Capricon Sign is on the main road from Sesriem to Solitaire on the C19.

    I'd not bother staying in Swakop, rather drive the extra hour and stay at Spitzkoppe!

    Hobas to Quiver tree is less than half a day's drive with shopping in Keetmans included. The quiver tree forest is an inexpensive place to camp and th eony time it is impressive is just before sunset. The same people own the Giant's Playground.

  6. #6
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    The Tropic of Capricorn Sign is on the C14 between Solitaire and Walvisbay. Dawie, you are spot on with Moose's Apple pie in Solitaire.
    "If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"

  7. #7
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    Thanks again for the advice guys! I'll be sure to amend the route a little.
    We're also thinking of ditching the KTP to gain an extra night or two


  8. #8
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    Does anyone have any information on Bogenfels Arch in terms of permits required and time required to drive there?
    Is it a case of "join the tour group" and play follow the leader?

    Thanks,
    Devlin


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    Devlin,

    I'd sleep 1st night Hobas, 2nd night Ai-ais and drive to Aus via Rosh Pinah. The road on the North bank of the Orange river is truely awesome.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by nicovh View Post
    ...drive to Aus via Rosh Pinah.
    Hi Nico,

    Can this be done comfortably in a day?


  11. #11
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    Yip,

    Should take about 5-6 hours if you take it really slow. There is a short cut unofficial road through the Gamchab river linking the D316 to the D212.

  12. #12
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    I noticed that shortcut.... and it did look very appealing
    Thanks for the advice


  13. #13
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    Just as an aside about Solitaire.....

    Firstly, the apple strudel is a must, but it is the circumstances that make you think it is the best in the world. The best in the world are easily from Austria, Switzerland and Germany, in the Alps. The Solitaire one is so good because it is so out of context.....just about the last thing you would expect.

    Secondly, and much more important, it is very easy to drive through/ past Solitaire and miss it. It really is just that one farm-house and outbuildings complex on the road junction. Don't drive on, as we did first time, looking for a town or village......there isn't one!!! The only buildings you see is Solitaire. Don't rely on them for fuel, but do fill up if they have some, and with the queues this can take some time.

    Mike
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  14. #14
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    I wouldn't bother with the Quiver Tree Forest, unless you really want to see it. It is quite off your route. If you really want to see it, I would suggest entering Nam through Onseepkans, travel to Karasburg and Keetmans, 1 night at Quiver Tree, then south via Seeheim to Hobas and Ais, then the road along the river to Rosh Pinah and Aus.
    camelman
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  15. #15
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    Thanks for the heads-up on Solitaire, Mike. I'll be sure not to blink... then again I am driving a Landy, so it may take some time to get through the town

    Hi Camelman. Well the Quiver Tree Forest sounded cool when I saw it on the map. As did Giants Playground. But if it isn't anything special, then we could probably use the time better elsewhere.


  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    Just as an aside about Solitaire.....

    Firstly, the apple strudel is a must, but it is the circumstances that make you think it is the best in the world. The best in the world are easily from Austria, Switzerland and Germany, in the Alps. The Solitaire one is so good because it is so out of context.....just about the last thing you would expect.

    Secondly, and much more important, it is very easy to drive through/ past Solitaire and miss it. It really is just that one farm-house and outbuildings complex on the road junction. Don't drive on, as we did first time, looking for a town or village......there isn't one!!! The only buildings you see is Solitaire. Don't rely on them for fuel, but do fill up if they have some, and with the queues this can take some time.

    Mike
    I've had Apple Strudel in the Alps in Switzerland... It was almost as good as in Solitair...

    Also, when was the last time you were in Solitair Mike? I was there about two years ago for the first time in about 8 years and I could not believe how much the place had grown! It's almost the size of Wansford!

    Oh, and the biggest and most impressive quiver tree forest I have ever seen is of the R375 in Namaqualand at S31.22692 E19.25695. Probably 100 times more trees than the Namibia one...
    Last edited by freeflyd; 2010/01/08 at 07:30 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpammenter View Post
    Does anyone have any information on Bogenfels Arch in terms of permits required and time required to drive there?
    Is it a case of "join the tour group" and play follow the leader?

    Thanks,
    Devlin
    Bogenfels is in restricted diamond area. You can only go with a tour operator that has a conseccion (spelling?). We plan to do it sometime in the future with this company www.coastways.com.na You need to book in advance as they must do a security check on you. If my memory serves me right - no children under 12. Check their website.
    "If you don't care where you are, you ain't lost"

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=

    Oh, and the biggest and most impressive quiver tree forest I have ever seen is of the R375 in Namaqualand at S31.22692 E19.25695. Probably 100 times more trees than the Namibia one...[/QUOTE]



    Dawie, where is the R375? I can't seem to find it.

    Thanks

    Peter

  19. #19
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    Runs from Nieuwoudville to Loeriesfontein in Namaqualand.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook View Post
    Bogenfels is in restricted diamond area. You can only go with a tour operator that has a conseccion (spelling?). We plan to do it sometime in the future with this company www.coastways.com.na You need to book in advance as they must do a security check on you. If my memory serves me right - no children under 12. Check their website.
    Thanks for the info Spook. It seems as though they drive you in their vehicles too.


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