Namib-Naukluft (South)

Arriving on Namibian soil after crossing the Orange River from South Africa.

As we'd visited the southern part of Namibia earlier this year (see Kalahari pages) we took 3 days drivng to the Sessrien area.

On the third day we had a puncture. We got the tyre repaired at Sessriem but as it had a bulge in the side it couldn't be relied on.

We later decided on an early visit to Windhoek (the capital) in order to get 4 new proper off-road tyres.

A typical road in Southern Namibia, wide open plains with iselbergs - very much like The Karoo in South Africa. Occasionally there would be sprinbok, zebra or oryx (gemsbok).

A bit further north sand dunes began to appear amonst the rocks.

The main reason that many people stay at Sessriem is to visit Sousovlei where there are huge sand dunes. A shame that the only campsite in the area cost us N$600 for 1 night (50)!!

It's then a 60km drive to see the dunes. We left the camp at 3pm in order to catch the late afternoon sun.

This is the first big dune, 40km from Sessriem, and one of the few that people are allowed to walk up, we didn't but watched a few others who did - can you spot them?

Oryx were q common sight in the dry river beds. This one is obviously used to vehicles.

Sousovle,i half an hour before sunset. We sat in the dunes sipping a gin and tonic and watching the sun cast shadows on the dunes as it set.

On the way back to the campsite the sun went down over the dunes.

Near the camp is Sessriem Canyon - sessriem means 6 rope lengths which is the length that was was needed to get water from the spring in the canyon. Nowadays there's a path down into the canyon. There were several fish and lots of beetles in this pool.

The next stop was Tsauchab River Camp. The owner had made lots of sculptures out of bits and pieces of engines, old tools etc. Very imaginative!

A lovely camp site under a huge sycamore fig tree...

....and an open-air shower.

There were several walks available on the farm - each with an outline map.

The first afternoon we drove down to 'The Pools'. We followed some of the trails alongside some streams and, as Kev was paddling through the water, something moved quickly away and then a snake appeared in the river. It watched us for quite a while and when Kev walked along the bank it followed his movements. Once we had been still for a while it 'dropped' its hood swam off across the stream and then gradually meandered upstream until it disappeared under a bush.

A bit of a scary moment and a reminder that we're in Africa and not the UK! Having said that most snakes, as this one did, will retreat rather than attack unless they are being harrassed.

We think that this is a Cape Cobra and it was nearly 2 metres in length..

A 7km hike on the farm (the Kudu Trail) gave us superb views of the surrounding mountains. We were very lucky that it was so clear, as the previous day had been very hazy.

Another great sunset.

The next dayt was very windy so instead of doing a hike on the farm we drove to the nearby Namib-Naucluft National Park and ended following this small river upstream for 5 km - and then walking back down again.

There were some lovely deep pools which would have been great for swimming but it was a bit too cold and windy for that .

1. Namib-Naukluft National Park - south
2. Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Swapokmund
3. Namib-Naucluft National Park - north
4. Skeleton Coast
5. Southern Damaraland
6. Northern Damaraland
7. Kaokoland
8. Etosha National Park
9. Waterberg
10. Caprivi
11. back to Richmond via Botswana
Diary (Word '97 document)

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