We are finally back in Africa after a long winter season in cold Norway! Finances are looking good again and it is time to explore the rest of Southern Africa.
After the overnight flight with barely any sleep we picked up our good old Land Cruiser at Ondekaremba Farm and headed into town. The front leaf springs we expected to get installed the year before had finally arrived from South Africa so we got an appointment for about two weeks later. A service for the car was also scheduled for that time so after some more organisational stuff in town we settled at Urban Camp in Klein Windhoek once again. Plenty of overlanders come together here and we met 3 Dutch couples traveling independently. Rinus & Helga are driving a 70 series Land Cruiser and shipped it from Australia to South Africa planning to explore the South and East (http://www.rinushartsuijker.com/). Ilva & Martin are well seasoned travelers, had previously completed a tour up the East Coast to Europe and were on a shorter trip in their 80 series Land Cruiser. Simone & Cars had just come down the West Coast in their Landrover Defender (http://www.vrijwilligdoorafrika.nl/) and then finally there was Amelie, a Swedish girl circumnavigating Africa with her dog in another Landrover Defender. We were very tired from the long travel but nevertheless had a sociable evening all together at Joe’s Beerhouse.
We spent 4 nights in Windhoek getting our bearings again, cleaning the car and storage boxes, getting rid of everything we hadn’t used or were ever likely to use, installing the new UV water filtration system, getting the gas bottle filled, rather unsuccessfully baking bread in the dutch oven and spending the evenings with Ilva, Martin, Simone & Cars.
To kill some time before handing the car into the workshop we traveled once again to Swakopmund at the coast and enjoyed some beautiful and relaxed days.
We took the scenic route back to Windhoek and got our permits for the Namib Naukluft National Park with its beautiful desert vistas and camped at the dry Kuiseb River. The red sand dunes if the Namib were towering on one side of the river and low rocky mountains on the other. Here I could also try out my newly aquired “toy”, a camera drone for that different point of view. On the way there were always some hard desert adapted plants putting a little bit of green back into the landscape. On continuation the following day we spotted zebras on the vast plains and climbed one of the huge kopjes (roundish rock formations sticking out of the environment) and spotted a large caracal dashing done the slope. These cats are nocturnal and therefore only rarely observed and we counted ourselves very lucky.
We bush camped for a night on top of the Gamsberg Pass with a beautiful sunset over the mountains. The night was short and terrible though as a storm came up and shook the car and roof top tent violently for many hours. Back in Windhoek we eventually got the second part of our OME suspension fitted. Also the ever leaking engine oil sump was welded and our leaking radiator soldered. After a couple of days waiting and wandering around Windhoek we were finally good to go and headed straight to the Botswanan border. Farewell Namibia! We spent a lot more time with you than expected.