Namibia 2006 - Itinerary

9k .jpg image of PK at Tropic

In the tropics.

The trip

Below is a very rough sketch of my recollection of our Namibian itinerary. Some of the exact events may be recorded in the wrong days or missed and places may be confused. But it does provide a broad indication of the trip.

Friday 22/12: TGV Train Brussels-Paris Nord. SAA flight Paris-Jo'burg overnight.
Saturday 23/12: Early flight Jo'burg-Windhoek. There we meet the 10 others on the trip and Francisco our guide, together with our driver and his attractive wife (who subsequently made great salads and evening meals). Into a familiar (from our Botswana visit) Mercedes truck and off immediately towards the Namib. Much rain in the mountains. Mercedes leaked! Camped at the Namibgrens Guest Farm.
Sunday 24/12: Onward to Sesriem in the Namib desert. Pitch tents in campsite just inside the Soussusvlei park and took a 4km afternoon walk in blistering sun to the canyon. The truck had to be sought to being one of our number, suffering from heatstroke, back. Some of us took advantage of the free ride. Patrice and others walked.
Monday 25/12: Up at 5 a.m. to be at the Sossusvlei dunes at 6 a.m.. Climbed up dune 45. Later we explored other dunes, including dune 15. Then on the road to Naukluft Park. Stopped in Solitaire, home of the Toyota tree advertisement. Crossed the Tropic of Capricorn after the trucks papers were examined at length at a police/army checkpoint.
Tuesday 26/12: We see the desert flora, including the 1500 year old Welwitschia - a plant only found in the Namib, the moonscape, etc. Headed for Swakopmund. Free in the town for several hours. In late afternoon we take classic flight on small plane with Atlantic Aviation seeing Swakopmund, Kuiseb Canyon, Tsondabvlei, the shifting sand dunes (highest in the world), Sossusvlei, Diamond mines in restricted Diamond Area, Conception Bay (seals), ship wrecks, Sandwich Harbour, salt pans (Flamingos), Walvis Bay, and back to Swakopmund. Camp just out of the town in the Sophia Dale camp.
Wednesday 27/12: We head up the coast to Cape Cross and the seal colony there. We go on to Spitzkoppe, pitch tents at the camp there and take a long mountain walk.
Thursday 28/12: We stop off at Uis, visit the White Lady, Herrera dress stalls. Camp by a dried up river an many goats - not entirely sure if it was a regular site.
Friday 29/12: We see the organ pipes rock formation & Twyfelfontein, one of the most important rock art sites in Africa. See also. We pitch tents at the Aba-Huab campsite.
Saturday 30/12: We head up North through Damaraland. Second puncture. Reaching Opuwo the a bread van collides, thanhfully marginally with the truck. We camp in the town, capital of Himba territory. Visit the Opuwo Country Hotel.
Sunday 31/12: Visit the Himbas. Remain for a second day at same campsite.
Monday 1/1: Stay at Cheetah Guest farm near Kamanjab. Stroke the cheetahs remembering not to look them straight in the eye, wear sunglasses or make sudden movements. Watch rescued wild cheetahs being fed.
Tuesday 2/1: Ethosha. Many animals/birds seen during our travels in the park. Stay at Okaukuejo in the National Park. Amazing floodlit waterhole view with animals queuing up for access. Jackals roam the camp site at night and investigate the rubbish bins. We think twice about nocturnal visits to the WC.
Wednesday 3/1: Ethosha. We stay at Namutoni Restcamp in the National Park. The waterhole there was less frequented than that at Okaukuejo. Many more animals are seen, including a pride of lions hunting at dusk.
Thursday 4/1: Stay near Waterberg Plateau/Otjiwarongo in campsite at Hohenfels farm (German speaking owners). A stroll part way up the mountain until the going gets too tough. The cactus flowers are impressive the next morning.
Friday 5/1: Head from the Waterberg Plateau stopping off at the large artisanal market at Okahandja run by the Rundu-based Namibian Carvers Association. Patrice buys a very large wooden crocodile. Arrive Windhoek late morning. Finally a hotel - the Roof of Africa!. Afternoon free in Windhoek. We pass on Joe's Beerhouse game meal preferring the buffet in the hotel.
Saturday 6/1: Windhoek. Morning spent shopping, mainly in Craft centre where I have coffee while Patrice shops and purchases a large wall-hanging. Late afternoon flight from Windhoek to Jo'burg.
Sunday 7/1: Arrive Paris after overnight flight from Jo'burg. One suitcase missing - a week later it is apparently in Lille and, nearly a month later, it is delivered! TGV to Brussels arriving 1 p.m.

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