Namibia – a review
We were asked to visualize the track of the journey, if possible on a map. We are happy to comply and try to give a short review of our impressions. In Namibia, we were completely free in our decisions, since we had not pre-booked any accommodations/campsites, with two exceptions.
If we compare this with the real itinerary, there are some striking differences and otherwise many similarities. Putting both routes on top of each other gives the following picture:
We cancelled the short drive through the Namib with an overnight stay in the desert, toward Walvis Bay. The reason was the battery trouble in the Tiras Mountains. We didn’t have a working fridge anymore. The idea was to reach Swakopmund as fast as possible to get the things sorted.
Kaokoveld, Camp Aussicht and Etosha
In Kaokoveld we had to change our plan and cancel the drive to Kunene River Lodge with transfer through Ovamboland. Instead, we visited Marius Steiner at Camp Aussicht and drove to Kamanjab with a subsequent crossing of Etosha.
The reason for this change was to pick up our new credit card in Kamanjab. With the planned route, the detour to the farm in Kamanjab would not have made sense. In the end we had a good time at Marius and also Etosha surprised us positively as a park. We were allowed to see and experience our first black rhino ever!
Renouncement of the Khaudum and visit of Liuwa Plain in Zambia
The next major change was to renounce the crossing of the Khaudum National Park. In retrospect, this decision made us feel bad, and we would have liked to do the crossing after all. We let ourselves be scared and didn’t listen to our feelings. It will not happen again: Decisions have to be made by ourselves, and we are well-prepared for possible emergencies.
The last big deviation was the detour to Zambia to the Liuwa Plain National Park. We do not regret this detour – even if the effort was already huge. This country deserves its trip over several weeks when we can immerse ourselves and experience the people and wildlife more intensively.
Friendly people everywhere
We spent 52 days in Namibia instead of the planned 56 days. The people were very friendly and accommodating. Even policemen at the road blocks were careful not to stress us too much. If they wanted to see documents that were quite far down in the center console, they gladly waived the check once and smilingly wished us a nice day. At gas stations, strangers approached us, laughed and asked us how we liked the country. We can’t find anything negative to say, and we are happy about that.
Even in Opuwo, we didn’t really have had any bad experiences. The begging was annoying but neither did anyone try to mug us, nor threaten us. In that place it was more about feeling the situation. You just notice the desperation there and that’s why we were glad when we could continue our trip.
The country itself is, from our point of view, unique in Southern Africa. We still think that there are better countries/regions for game viewing but as far as landscapes and colors go, this country can’t be topped. We have never seen landscapes that are so finely tuned in color as in the Namib and the mountains. No matter if these are red tones or brown tones in the rockier regions. We wish everyone to have seen this for themselves once in a lifetime.
Namibia in 14 days is factually not feasible. This brings us to the biggest problem from our point of view: traveling this country is way too cheap!
Group tours that people book to experience the highlights of the country in 14 or 21 days are (too) common. In our experience, you need time to experience the country. Even just under two months was not enough – we took a snapshot of each of the areas we visited. How is it at a different time of year?
Tokkie Trails, Tiras Mountains and the D707
Guido would like to visit Kaokoveld again for a longer time and Sonja is particularly fascinated by the Tiras Mountains and the ‘D707’. An absolute highlight for both of us was our experience on the Tok Tokkie Trails. The hike on foot was the most intense experience. This is surely due to the deceleration and the reduction to the essentials.
We still haven’t processed all our experiences – there were simply too many impressions for that. This is just a first review. Namibia as we got to know it is a clear recommendation for us.