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Namibia dune
Date of trip: February 2009

henry1cs Despite some heavy rainfall we had 3 wonderful weeks in Namibia, underway with a 4x4 during the Namibian summer. A large part of our visit was in areas with only gravel and dirt roads, where a 4x4 is highly recommended, especially in the summer with its rainfall. In general the gravel and dirt roads were well-maintained and in much better condition than I had expected. But there was road flooding after rain, with normally dry river bed crossings temporarily impassable shortly after we passed through. There were damaged spots on roads, like sections that were washed out and not yet repaired. And of course animals suddenly appeared or crossed the road. At certain locations a 4x4 is required, and depending on road conditions some roads may not be passable with a normal car due to sand, mud, or flooding. We took an extra spare wheel (2), but luckliy we had no flats. We made sure to fill the fuel tank early and had a 20 liter reserve canister, a good thing in the Sesriem area. One Saturday the very few stations in that area were out of fuel in the early afternoon, and the fuel truck didn't come on Sunday either. But we had enough fuel to reach the next station in Solitaire, about an hour away from where we were.

If you stay on the paved "B" main roads connecting cities you don't need a 4x4, but you would miss the spectacular Namibia found on the "C" and "D" roads.


henry2cs Aside from a few well-known cities Namibia is very sparsely populated. We met very friendly and helpful people throughout the trip and enjoyed great food. We spent our nights in some very special places we will never forget. Power was often from solar energy or a generator, so the luxury of a higher price was not the appliances or gimmicks, but the location itself.

This page shows a small collection of still images from the movie and the photos taken. The locations are grouped chronologically, in the order they were visited. The name on the right of the map is where we spent the nights. All thumbnails and pictures here are scaled and in reduced resolution.

I originally created the 3D sand dune font and dune image for the titles and maps in the movie, inspired by the huge red dunes at Sossusvlei. Do not publish any of these images without permission, including the Namibia logo!


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Part of a Namibian song recorded live at the Desert Homestead near Sesriem, sung by the staff and their family while dancing and stomping. The player control for the MP4 AAC audio file requires a Flash player.

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mary001vs


1_map_etosha etosha001 etosha002 etosha003 etosha005
etosha008 etosha006 etosha010 etosha007
The "lake" in the far background of the picture with our vehicle is not an illusion... that is really the Etosha Pan after heavy rainfall. We had a cabin at the waterhole that animals visited, even though there was rain water everywhere. In some areas the heavy growth of vegetation made it hard to find the animnals. We spotted a rhino, but it was about 200 meters away and disappeared into the shrubs.

mary002vs


2_map_ugab ugab2 ugab3 ugab4 otjiwarongo001
The skies cleared so we decided to take a scenic detour to visit the Ugab terrace and Vingerklip rock formation, on our way to Swakopmund on the coast. There were countless termite mounds in different colors on this route.

mary003vs


3_map_swakopmund_walvisbay swakopmund003 swakopmund004 swakopmund005 swakopmund001
welwitschia001 walvisbay002 walvisbay001 himba006
We had a nice room at the Swakopmund Beach Hotel in the upper level, with one of those big round windows in the bedroom, a kitchen, and sunny balcony. We came from Etosha and the lower parts of our vehicle were still packed with mud. I hardly recognized our 4x4 after breakfast... the attendant had cleaned it completely. Gave him a generous tip.

mary004vs


4_map_namib_sossusvlei sossusvlei010 sossusvlei011 sossusvlei005 sossusvlei002
sossusvlei004 sossusvlei013 namibnaukluft003 solitaire001
namibnaukluft010 deserthomestead001 deserthomestead002 mary001s
Spectacular scenery and colors. My material may be different than expected because of the rain, which deepens and darkens the otherwise pale colors. When we reached the red dunes of Sossusvlei it rained heavily... one of the driest places on earth and it rains when I get there. Later it cleared and the hot noon sun on the endless wet sand made this normally arid area uncomfortably humid. Great staff at the Desert Homestead, and of course cute little Mary (bottom right).

mary002vs


5_map_kleinausvista_luederitz eaglesnest001 eaglesnest002 eaglesnest004 eaglesnest003
garup002s kolmanskop002 kolmanskop001 kolmanskop003
We had "The Rock" chalet in Klein Aus Vista, which is 7km from the lodge on a private road along the perimeter of the restricted diamond area. It is built onto a large boulder formation and was fantastic. One evening we picked up a grill pack from the lodge for the grill on the terrace, wind-protected by the boulders. Highly recommended! Cell phone reception is possible on the road to the lodge, right after the water reservoir.

mary001vs


6_map_fishrivercanyon canonlodge001 canonlodge002 fishriver003 canonlodge003
fishriver002 fishriver001 canonstation001 canonstation002
The "Caņon Lodge" cabins are spread on a large property among big round boulders, and there is a nice new pool to be found. Our cabin was hidden behind boulders at the very end of the property, with a view into the countryside, but the room itself was somewhat disappointing. Watch out for poisonous scorpions on the paths. We ate at the "Caņon Roadhouse" a few tmes (the 2 bottom right pictures) because of good food and conversation.

mary003vs


8_map_windhoek kalahari001 windhoek001 windhoek002 windhoek004
The first picture is from the Kalahari, on our way from Fish River to Windhoek. The Kalahari was very green due to rain. The family run Onganga Pension is friendly, inexpensive and conveniently located between Windhoek and the airport.
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