After a long winter season of working in Norway we were back in Africa for 2 months. Having already agreed to commit to another season we wanted to enjoy the peace and nature of Namibia and get some changes and upgrades done to the Land Cruiser. So we spent about two weeks in the capital Windhoek meeting other overlanders and sourcing equipment and labour. The Cruiser got some well deserved service and seals changed, we bought a new compressor fridge to finally let the over 30 year old Engel box retire, installed a new rooftop tent, replaced the broken camping chairs, got ourselves a new set of tires and half a Old Man Emu suspension kit… half, because the front springs never arrived from South Africa in the 2 months of our stay.
Over some backroads we first visited the small friendly town and old colonial garrison Omaruru and tried some of the local chocolate as well as the wine of Kristallkellerei growing in this unusually dry area. The nights were freezing cold again and the sun only slowly gave respite.
The road north took us back to Oppikoppi Restcamp where we had enjoyed a lovely stay the previous year. Unfortunately I became really sick out of the blue. Barely able to walk with high fever and constantly close to fainting we had to rent a room since I couldn’t even make it from the roof top tent to the bathrooms. The first thought in such a case is always Malaria but we were in winter in a non-malarial area so it could not be. Later upcoming symptomes made clear that I had contracted Giardia, a nasty waterborn disease which bothered me for the remaining two months.
We wanted to explore the more remote Kaokoland so after a few days we set off and once again hit the Kunene River near Ruacana and spent two relaxing nights at its shore. We met some very kind South Africans and had a fantastic many hour lasting braai (bbq) together. A huge monitor lizard took a liking to Jasmine and chased her around the place to my entertainment and a cheeky vervet monkey opened our car door and helped himself to an orange.
A very rough and in my eyes awesome track led along the river west to the beautiful Epupa Falls. Jasmine kind of hated it as she always thinks the car would roll at any second when we are on a bit of a rougher patch. Unsurprisingly we made it anyway and explored the fantastic surroundings of the waterfalls for two days. The local Himba here sold us the best bread rolls since the Democratic Republic of Congo and we unsuccessfully tried to buy some tire flip flops from them. Three men willing to part with their own actually showed up but they were all too large for Jasmine who had forgotten hers in the Namib desert of Angola the year before.