10.1. – 10.2.18
Driving through the landscape
It was Peter’s first visit to Spitzkoppe over 30 years ago. The cairns are still as impressive as they were then. Especially in the evening or in the morning in the shallow light, you get sensational views of the round stones and the desert all around.
To bypass Gibeon we drove the D1068. Coming from the C18 the road tumbles over a relatively steep slope into a huge depression and we felt in another world. The very different vegetation and the hilly landscape have captivated us. After the rain falls of the last days the sandy ground was quite humid in some places and our six-wheel drive was really needed. Of course a proper vehicle wash was indispensable afterwards.
The dunes, as the locals call their sandy hills here, just before the border crossing to South Africa in Mata-Mata, are all transverse to the direction of travel. We fancied especially the D511 a lot. The track leads right across all dunes. At the right speed, you will nearly get the feeling of sitting in a rollercoaster. We found dune driving super fun.
When we visited the Waterberg, of course, we wanted to climb the plateau. However, hikes in this nature reserve are only allowed if you are attended by a guide, so we had to make the relatively steep climb with a number of unathletic young people from Holland. The view from the lonely mountain range in the middle of the huge open area was tremendous.
At Africat, we were able to observe a leopard family eating. We came so close that one of the two stately youngsters tried to examine the open Land Cruiser closer. That was the time when the guide immediately puts in the reverse gear. We were not hurt, but the animal showed absolutely no human fear and no respect! In a different area an old leopard is fed in a special enclosure. He was raised by a farmer like a pet and when the leopard was grown up, the cat wanted to drive the farmer out of their joint house, because only one male at a time can control a territory. The farmer survived and had his leopard picked up by the Africat Organisation; now the male leopard lives lonely in his separate enclosure.
After many wild camps in Angola we spent a few nights at the campsite of the Resort Kupferquelle in Tsuneb. The best campsite of Africa is actually a luxury paradise: 50m swimming pool, good shop, nice restaurant, green lawn, shady trees, wifi, laundry, water, electricity, great abolution with private toilet and shower. And – we even got Globi parked under the trees.
In Kamrav, a guest farm which is highly praised by Ivanovsky – a German travel guide author, we stayed overnight. We expected a guest farm as in the past, where the guest at least eat and chat with the family, and is invited to the farm visit. The owner Maryna is a gifted cook and a very likable lady, but we ate like in a restaurant without hosts. And the farm is leased. So we went on, felling a little bit disappointed.
When we were in Tsuneb suddenly Leanne and Win turned around the corner. It was a great reunion: we met them in spring at Lake Malawi. We spent a few days together in the luxury camp and told each other our lives 😉
One day when we parked close by Keetmanshoop we suddenly got a WhatsApp message from Gloria and Renato saying that they are now in Keetmanshoop! After an evening at the – just virtual – campfire, we realized that we will drive more or less the same route to Twee Riveren. So we decided to travel together for a few days. We enjoyed the company of the two Ticino very much.
In Gobabis we visited Marion. She was allowed to permanently park her vehicles on the farm of Tina and Gerald and spend her time in Africa this spring there as well. Although the farm is not a guest farm, it is a real guest farm. Here we met Urs, Josi, Karl and Gerlinde as well as the sympathetic son Sascha. We felt very comfortable and welcome here. Tina likes to cook and is always there for all guests. The evenings in the Lapa are beautiful and will stay in our hearts for a long time. One evening Marion took over and cooked Austrian goulash and once Gabi prepared Swiss Älplermakkaroni. Incidentally, Gerald and Sascha repaired our cover which has been vibrated off and the leak in the compressed air line. On a farm tour, we were able to help to lock away a foreign bull. We could have stayed there forever and it is certainly one of our most beautiful and lasting experiences in Namibia.