We followed the corrugated road in the direction of Orupembe and enjoyed a cold coke in Shop No.1. We saw the white drum on the map and our curiosity led us there. Our decision was to drive to Puros via the Khumib Riverbed 4WD Trail and the Hoarusib Riverbed 4WD Trail. There was a lot of curiosity about what was in store for us. As soon as we left Orupembe, the area showed a golden yellow hue again. A carpet of grasses spread before our eyes, completely changing the landscape. Where we had seen only rocks and shades of red and ochre in 2018, a more life-friendly environment now presented itself. Spontaneously, we decided to spend the night at the Khumib River.
Sit-in with Himba at the Khumib
The next morning, we sat in front of the cars and had our first coffee, two Himba women wrapped in blankets strolled picturesquely through the grass in our direction, stopped at the road, said good morning and squatted on the ground. After a short time, an elderly, very gaunt man joined them and sat down next to them. After a few minutes Sonja made the suggestion that we join them and no sooner said than Sonja and Guido were sitting across from the Himba women. Geli joined them and an interesting atmosphere developed. We talked with hands and feet, laughed and the Himba women drank a sip of tea for the first time. The stuff tasted funny 😉 Only with (a lot of) sugar the tea became enjoyable. We gave them some rusks and then we said goodbye and went on our way to Puros.
Will we see elephants in the Hoarusib?
The paths led us along the riverbed of the Khumib, through the mountains and finally into the Hoarusib. Again we were amazed by the colorful diversity of the river. We were very glad that we had chosen to drive these two trails to get to Puros and not the boring and easily passable wide main road. The Hoarusib is similar to the Hoanib rather deep sandy, which makes the passage a bit more strenuous. Nevertheless, everything was well doable and suddenly Guido saw a elephant bull appearing on his right. Now we had actually made it and got to see elephants in all four riverbeds. This bull was in the musth, but showed himself peaceful and rather less interested in us. Surprised we found out during the further journey that the Hoarusib even had (running) water in some places.
Puros Community Camp
Our destination was the Community Camp, which was beautifully located in the riverbed. About 1 km before the arrival Guido got stuck in the deep sand due to a stupid mistake. Geli and Uwe came back and with combined forces the cruiser was freed after a short time and we could cover the rest of the distance without incident. The camp had been redesigned. As we learned, it had been flooded and had to be redesigned. It was also being re-managed by the nearby Puros Bush Lodge. We stayed there for two days and finished our 17-day tour.
When we left Puros, we drove directly to Sesfontein, where the gas station did not offer diesel. The four of us spent the night again at Khowarib Lodge and drove to Palmwag the next morning. In Palmwag we got diesel and Sonja and Guido filled up 123 liters. This means that we still had 57 liters in the tank when we arrived in Palmwag. So in retrospect, we could have made the drive through the Hartmann Valley. The car would not have consumed more than 20 liters/100 km even in the sand. Also Uwe and Geli would have made it with the diesel supply. Nevertheless, we stand by our safety decision. Unnecessary risks have to be avoided on such tours so that the tour is relaxed. We did that and were extremely rewarded. The visual experience was excellent. We got along well on a human level, had wonderful nature and were generously treated to sightings. A dream and a complete success! Thanks to Uwe and Geli for this wonderful time 🙂