After your night flight from Frankfurt, we started our journey in Namibia with a relaxing day at the pool in Windhoek. But before that, we go a bit of a fun before getting your rental car. Folks who returned to Namibia insisted of having 2 spare wheels instead of only 1. Many inspections detailed the whole process. We even had to change one wheel, as it had no profile anymore. In order to drive 5000 km over bumpy roads for 4 weeks.
Our first stop outside the city of Windhoek was the Kalahari Desert. Where we enjoyed the red sand dunes with a nightly game drive and fat bikes. Especially, driving with the bikes over the dunes and enjoy some wild life, has been an experience of a lifetime.
The Kalahari Desert is a large sandy savanna in Southern Africa extending for 900,000 square kilometers. It spends over much of Botswana, and parts of Namibia and South Africa.
Our next stop on your road trip was Kettmanshoop. The town itself is more or self unspectacular. Nether the less, there are some places to visit in the surrounding area. We did a hike at the Quiver Tree Forest, which is really recommendable. As well as the Giant Playground, which looks like giant rocks just thrown onto a big field. Also, fascinating and worth a small or longer hike in the area.
Fish River Canyon
The Naute Dam took us to the Fish River Canyon, the second-largest canyon in the world, whose steep slopes drop up to 550 m. At several view points we saw the 160 km from different perspectives, long and 27 km wide canyon. At lodge, we rented fat bikes again and did the several loops at the edge of the canyon. Total fun with breath taking views.
Lüderitz and Kolmanskop
Our journey went on in the direction of of Lüderitz. Lüderitz has a long colonial history, and during our visit we been witnesses to this history (e.g. the rock church, the Goerke house and the post office). Additionally, we visited the Big Bay. This is a nice loop around a small bay and it is totally worth the visit
The next morning, we took a trip to Kolmanskop. From 1908 to 1930, Kolmanskop was the home and workplace of many Germans working in diamond mining. After that, the “city” in the desert was gradually abandoned and since then the desert sand lost ground back. Today Kolmanskop is a fascinating one “Open air museum”.
In order to slow down a bit, we spent two days in the Tiras Mountains. Enjoyed the beautiful sunsets and view of the Mountain View. The infinity pool also helped a lot with the heat. We had every day around 35 Degree and higher. Which meant, that we only could do hike really early in the morning. Mostly before breakfast.
Your next stop let us to Sossusvlei. The well-known desert dunes. Sadly, it had been really hot, the two days we have been there. The day we drove into the park, it was 45 degree. So there was sadly not too much with hiking. As for visitors which are not in a lodge in the park, the gates are closed until 7 am. Where it was already 30 degree, increasing by every minute. Nether the less, it was nice to drive through the park and see the dunes from a distance.
Solitare was for us a drive through town. Nether the less it is interesting to stop there and go for “the best apple pie in the world”. It was a nice place to rest, after a long drive and yes the apple pie was really nice and should not be missed.
The next stop on the road trip was Swakopmund. The town looked like a town in Germany at the East or North Sea. Even a lot of hotels had German names like “Strandperle” and “Strandhotel”. There were even been a restaurant with Bavarian music and food. So we felt like home ;). The German influence could not be denied at all.
Swakopmund is a hub for many activities like Sand boarding, quad biking, horseback riding and boat riding. At the end, we decided to do the “Little 5 Tour”. As Africa is not only inhabiting the big 5, instead it has a lot of small animals as well. The tour guide picked us up from the hotel, and we went shortly outside the city to start the 5 hour tour.
Your journey continued into the Damaraland. There we used again the time to take some rest and enjoyed the time in the pool for cooling down. One activity came highly recommended by hour host, which been to visit the San people. The San peoples are members of various Khoe, Tuu, or Kxʼa-speaking indigenous hunter-gatherer cultures that are the first cultures of Southern Africa, and whose territories span Botswana, Namibia, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa. In 2017, Botswana was the home to approximately 63,500 San people. Which is roughly 2.8% of the country’s population. This is making it the country with the highest population of San people.
After enjoying some cultural background in Damaraland, we drove further to the Vingerklip. It is a rock needle built up from sedimentary rock layers of the Tertia. The lodge at the area provides a lot hiking path at the property. The most popular one, for sure, to the Vingerklip itself. Which is also really popular by monkeys, which are very well represented at the rock formations.
Etosha National Park
One of the highlights of your 4 weeks trip, was the visit of the Etosha Park. The Park is a national park in northwestern Namibia and one of the largest national parks in Africa. It spans an area of 22,270 km2 and gets its name from the large Etosha pan which is almost entirely within the park. The pan covers with an area of 4,760 km2, around 23% of the total area of the national park. This part of the park can not be driven on. As of the high temperatures, the majority of the animals can be found at one of the many artificial water holes. Just follow the map and you will find them. Tip: Do not stay in one of the accommodation in the park. Sadly mass tourism and no standard we saw in lodges around the park.
Waterberg Plateau Nationalpark
Last stop on your road trip was the Waterberg Plateau National Park. The plateau and the national park are named after the prominent table mountain that rises from the plateau itself. The Waterberg is called in Afrikaans: Water Mountain. The area itself provides a lot of hiking paths, that can be done alone or with a guide. When going along be aware of snakes as well as of monkey gangs, that are real close to the trails or even on the trails.