My trip In Namibia

As an intern in Cape Town, it is time for me to tell about my wonderful trip in Namibia, the best one I have ever made, my cousin join me to do it. Long roads that cross desert landscapes, breathtaking and ever-changing nature, dust and red earth… the African road trip of your dreams…!

To discover all Namibia you could spend more than a month but I had to do it in a pretty short time, 10 days, it allow me to come back in this wonderful country to finish it ! 🙂

My two objectives for this trip was to do the Etosha National Park with his fabulous variety of wild animals and the unique dunes in the Namib desert !

27th of November we land at the Windhoek, we were directly redirected to our 4×4 agency, it was time to see our house for almost 10 days ! Good surprise, the tent on the roof wasn’t so small and everything was easy to use ! We then set off for Etosha, it was the end of the afternoon and the sun was setting quite early so we had to make a stop on the road to sleep! 

The day after, we wake up very early to be at Etosha National Park during the first opening hours.

ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

With its immaculate white saline deserts, the park offers a landscape unlike any other. It was very different but as interesting as the Kruger National Park that I had already done ! The period we went there was one of the bests because it was the end of the dry season. It wasn’t too hot and due to the low rainfall in recent months the water points were frequented by an impressive concentration of animals!

We then drove our 4×4 through the roads crossing the park in its entire length for three days. Our conclusion and first advice is that you can’t miss the first hours in the morning and certainly not the last hours, it is when we saw the most impressive thing ! You should be aware of what are the best waterholes to see animals. For example in Salvadora and Nebrownii you have almost a 50-50 chance of seeing a lion (or more !) at the end of the day. We have been there after talking with a professional ranger that work in Etosha for years, talking with one those guys who know the wild perfectly is very helpful !

My last advise for your next trip in Etosha, please sleep a least a night in the Okaukuejo Camp and stay along the waterhole during as long as you can in the night ! You will see lot of  that you don’t see during the day like Cheetah, Leopard, Rhinos, Hyenas …

I fall asleep on of this bench around the waterhole and when I woke up three adults Rhinos and a baby !

DAMARALAND

After our three days in Etosha, we left the park to join the coast and Swakopmund in two days, through the Damaraland region. Very low in population, the desert was given by the South African to the Damara people because they could not use the soil to cultivate. This region is nevertheless magnificent. We were disappointed to just cross this place and not stay longer there. Indeed we lost lot of beautiful place like the well know rock paintings of Twyfelfontein.

During our night in the Damaraland we stay in the Madisa camp. It was amazing and incredibly large, that allow the guest to be fare from each other and let them have the feeling to be closer to the wild ! It didn’t happened when we were there but sometimes elephants can come and drink the water of the pool !

Before the night we climbed up the mountain close to the reception to see our best sunset in Namibia !

SWAKOPMUND

After this good sleep, we took the car again for four hours to join Swakopmund, definitely not the most beautiful city in Namibia ! But it allow you to do a break with the wild and to send a message to your family to tell them that you are currently leaving your best trip ever, to get some grocery and to eat a cooked food in a restaurant !  

Swakopmund is also good for its activities, indeed the city is located between the Ocean and the dunes of the Namib desert ! With my cousin we made two hours of Quad on the dunes, we really recommend it ! We were use to drive in the French forests, very different and as good as our forests ! 😉

Unfortunately due to the high price of the Sandwich Harbour (almost 100€/person), we didn’t do it but it looks unique and everyone that makes it find it incredible. You will be with a guide that will drive into the dunes to go where the dunes flow into the ocean.  

You also can do lot of other activities around Swakopmund and Walvis Bay like sandboarding, boat cruises to see dolphins and seals, kayak in the middle of the seals and even skydiving.

NAMIB DESERT AND SOSSUVLEI

As we were running out of time, we spend one night in Swakopmund and we hit the road again to Sesriem, a small camp at the entry of the Namib National Park. After an hour of boring landscapes out of Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, you will spend four unbelievable hours of driving through beautiful and differents landscapes as canyons, Oasis, deserts surrounded by red rock mountains… You will also pass through the well known old petrol station of Solitaire and the Tropic of Capricorn sign.

We arrive in the afternoon in the camp of Sesriem, so we have done the closest thing in the park:

– The Sesriem Canyon, nothing to do with the sand dunes, here we walk under the ground in the shaded canyon.

– The Elim Dune, do not hesitate to climb it for the sunset, it is beautiful and it will prepare you for the dunes of the desert !

Take a full day to go to Sossuvlei and to see everything there and on the road. The first stop will be the dune 40 or the 45. To experienced the sunrise at the top of one of these dunes, you have to sleep in the camp inside the park, it is more expensive but from there, gate of the park open earlier and it’s worth it !  

Then you’ll visit the various vlei, these white expanses of salt, in the middle of the dunes, on which stand calcined acacias, giving the whole thing a supernatural air. The best known are those of Deadvlei and Sossusvlei. To get there, you can leave your car at a car park and take a shuttle or go by 4×4 and face the sand track yourself. This is obviously the second solution we choose and we do not regret it!

The most sporty can climb the “Big Daddy” on the heights of Deadvlei, the highest dune in the region which reaches 325m. A real challenge!

Sossuvlei was our last real stop for our Namibian trip, we left the park in the late afternoon to sleep out of the park in a calm place to finish our trip with a Barbecue in the middle of nowhere !

The next morning, we’re going back to Windhoek to take our flight to Cape Town !

 Our advise : Do not be afraid of driving more than 4 hours a day, this is what really is a Namibian trip ! It goes very quickly and driving in gravel roads along beautiful landscapes is has nothing to do with driving 4 hours along a monotonous highway !

Pierre Ibled
Intern in Cape Town from May 2018 to February 2019
January 2018 · 5 min read