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Namibia

Our book in German to this tour.
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We crossed almost the entire African continent from north to south and east to west. And then after about 20,000 km, we can hardly believe it, a German bakery! We are in former German South-West-Africa.
 

our tout through Namibia (former Deutsch Sued West) / Our Tour on Google Earth make a clicke here ...

 

 
By noon we are at the border to Namibia.  Its size of 824,292km2 is room enough for 1,700,000 people.  We have to travel the Caprivisstrip in a convoy.  The last one left at 15hours today.  We wait until tomorrow and spend the night in a harvested cornfield that is visited by elephants.  Hippos are bathing close by, but the elephants do not come tonight. 

We and approximately ten other vehicles make the drive through the Caprisstrip the next morning. Two military vehicles accompany us with six armed soldiers each for the 200km.  There are also soldiers posted along the different crossroads along the way.  In the bush we notice the presence of military campgrounds.   The landscape along the Capristrip is not too exciting so not much is lost since we are unable to stop along the way.  In Bangai the convoy disbands and the vehicles all take off in different directions.  We drive on in the direction of Rundu and Grotfontain.  Here we restock the most important things and make our way to

 

 

Damaraland.  We are immediately spoiled by a beautiful sunset that evening.  Namibia is like a vacation – a German baker, German radio and German customs.  He who has missed this can satiate himself here. By way of Otavi and Outjo we arrive in Korixas.  By a campfire on a plateau overlooking the Damaraland and underneath the cross of the south we plan our next day.  On Tuesday the 29 of May 2001 we drive through the beautiful Damarland.  The enormous red boulders are stacked atop one another as if by ghostly hands. Above us is a blue sky. On the ground made of white sand there is mature grass with springbok and ostrich searching for food.  It looks like paradise here and nothing disturbs the peace.  The land becomes more barren the closer we come to the Skeleton Coast Park. We travel through the

park along the Atlantic Ocean.  It is a desert with a chill on top of it and the sand flies around our ears. Pity on those whose ship becomes stranded on these shores. The name Skeleton Coast is given for a reason.  Near and far there is no potable water – only sand and stones.  There is absolutely nothing exciting about this place and aside from a solitary seal on the beach we see no sign of any living thing. Several sea gulls and cormorants are on the wing, but otherwise everything is very bleak and dreary. The only sight worth seeing is a shipwreck that has been poorly reconstructed and of which in a few years there will probably not be much left to be seen.  On The Horning Bay Pass the water sport issue arises and the equipment comes into use again. We arrive at camp late and in the morning we will visit the seal colony at Cape Cross. A cold morning fog interrupts our breakfast as well as the seal story.  This is not a great loss though since the intense odor brings tears to our eyes.  In Skwakopmund the sun is shining

though and the dentist speaks German.  Swakopmund is charming and everything is laid back here. It is easy to see the city by foot and one can take ones time this way.  There are many pretty stores and nicely restored buildings from the colonial times. On top of this many good inns and cafes invite you to take a nice rest. The city of Swakopmund shines like a jewel and is well worth a trip. We enjoy the coast along Walfish Bay and Langestrand. The red sand dunes reach into the water. The distance to the Vogelfederberg we travel with a break at dune #7. Then the mountains of the Kuiseb begin peeking above the horizon.  It is not very clear today and it is not until we are very close and the sun is low in the sky that the color show begins - the beautiful landscape by evening glow.  In soft sweeps the freshly graded road swings down to the Kuiseb.  Here is where the two Germans Henno Martin and Hermann Koch lived for two years.  This is the only book recommendation I have to make.  “When there is War We Travel to the Desert” by Henno Martin.  Whenever we are here we get goosebumps just thinking about the fact that these two survived out here.  The land speaks for itself though and if you are not inclined to read the book you can still visit.  There is even a true story, about us, in the Kuiseb. 

We are able to see several ponds and we ask ourselves if there are fish in there.  Apparently there are Carp here.  The canyon already lies in the shadows and we are driving along the riverbed.  The sand keeps getting softer and the passage becomes more narrow. Suddenly we lose momentum and it is as if the car had suddenly run into an invisible wall. Here we are and the back of the Landrover has sunken deep into the sand.  After three hours of shoveling, hauling stones and finally by darkest night we stand on firm ground again.  A small fire comforts us as we make an unplanned camp.  We listen to the unfamiliar sounds of the canyon.  After we clean up the emergency equipment in the morning we leave the Kuiseb canyon, forever in our memory, without trying to stir up anything else.  We drive over the Gaupass toward Soliaer and are happy at the sight of the first dunes. The lush greenery practically reaches into the ridges. That means it has rained a lot here - this in addition to the water that the Tsauchab brings from the Nubib Mountains.  There are many Springbok and Oryx in search of food. Always worth a side trip is the Sosussfly.  On a short footpath of approx. one kilometer we reach the Deadfly.  In a white salt-loam plateau there are countless ghostly trees. As if

 

 

 

appealing to the sky for help they stand there with thin limbs reaching towards the clouds.  A hot air balloon floats over the Namibian Desert. Full of hope we turn in to a farm where we are able to solder the roof rack of the Landrover back together.  We pass by the castle of Duwisib that was built by the German Baron Wolf 80 years ago.  Following the Fish River Canyon we

 

 

reach the hot springs of Ai Ais.  It is very cold here and the days are getting noticeably shorter the further south we get.  The next day begins with a flat tire and then leads us through a dry riverbed to the Orange River.  The land becomes increasingly dryer as we approach the border to South Africa.  The capital Windhoek and the Etoscha Park are next to Luederitz and many other worthwhile destinations in Namibia.
 
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