Although we had seen a lot of Namibia already, there was one part we still had to explore: The Kaokoveld, which is in the north west of the country. That was where we were heading shortly after Christmas. We, that were myself, Fabian and four friends from Germany who joined us for the first part of the trip. We were prepared for everything with the rooftent (as usual), two spare tyres (we were told people had needed up to six! at the end we didn't even have one flat tyre), the GPS, IPod, champagne for new years eve and everything else you can think of.

Here is a map with our route (click to enlarge):

First we went to Opuwo via Khorixas and the Grootberg Pass, enjoying the sight of some zebras on the way.

ready to go.jpg
ready to go
grootberg pass.jpg
grootberg pass
grootberg pass2.jpg
grootberg pass2
mountain zebras.jpg
mountain zebras
sme in kaokoveld.jpg
sme in kaokoveld
opuwo camp site.jpg
opuwo camp site

The next stop was at the Ruacana Falls, our first visit to the Kunene, which forms the border to Angola. The Ruacana Falls were not that impressive, because a power plant has been built there utilising most of the water. It hadn't rained that much either, a fact that should change rather soon.

angolan border.jpg
angolan border

From Ruacana we went to Epupa Falls. We planned to drive along the Kunene the whole way, but it turned out to be a rather bad road, which only the guys wanted to take. Fortunately we had two cars. At Epupa Falls there is a really nice campsite next to the river. We spent two nights there, celebrating new years eve (among others) and had a memorable dinner with goat ribs and bread from the local butcher and baker.

bakery at epupa.jpg
bakery at epupa
friends at epupa falls.jpg
friends at epupa falls
epupa falls.jpg
epupa falls
epupa falls2.jpg
epupa falls2
epupa falls3.jpg
epupa falls3
new years at epupa.jpg
new years at epupa

Shortly after Epupa, we went separate ways, Fabian and myself even deeper into the Kaokoveld and the four others to see the rest of Namibia. After a last pit stop in Opuwo we headed towards Orupembe and the Marienfluss. The first night we spent at a campsite, which doesn't deserve the name campsite, but it was at least a place to stay. In this regard, I can highly recommend all NACOBTA campsites, so far we have never been disapppointed. From Orupembe there are two routes to Rooidrum and we decided to take the shorter one, which turned out to be a pass through the mountains and pretty difficult to drive, but hey, what do you have a 4x4 for? Rooidrum, which appears on every map is actually nothing else than a red drum.

off to etosha.jpg
off to etosha
onganga camp site.jpg
onganga camp site
road to rooidrum.jpg
road to rooidrum

From there we took the road to the Marienfluss Valley all the way up to the Kunene again. Although we thought that this would be the most remote area we had been too, there were quite a number of people and cattle and since there are no telephone lines in this part of the world, speaking to your neighbour in Angola means that you have to yell across the river. (In our case, it must have been more than a neighbour since the 'phone call' lasted about 30 minutes each evening and morning). The landscape there is great, but due to the haze and upcoming rain, the pictures can't really show that.

kunene again.jpg
kunene again
kunene again2.jpg
kunene again2

With rain all around us we drove back to Orupembe, where we could get hold of some petrol. We wanted to stay in Orupembe, but the camp site was closed and we had to drive to Purros. This is a very scenic route and it was even more exciting than normal, because some of the rivers were flowing and we had to cross them. At Purros we enjoyed once more the great NACOBTA camp site and had some desert elephants visiting us during the night. When we were looking for them during the day most of the were hiding somewhere, but we could at least spot one.

rain is coming.jpg
rain is coming
refuelling at orupembe.jpg
refuelling at orupembe
crossing river.jpg
crossing river
crossing river2.jpg
crossing river2
to purros.jpg
to purros
to purros2.jpg
to purros2
to purros3.jpg
to purros3
visitor at purros.jpg
visitor at purros
desert elephant.jpg
desert elephant

The road from Purros to Sesfontein is very nice (except for very first part, where we took a shortcut and got nicely stuck in the riverbed), but again the haze and rain prevented good pictures. After crossing some more rivers we headed to Swakopmund via the sceleton coast, meeting the other guys again for a nice dinner at the Raft in Walfish Bay. On our way back there was even more rain, so that the rivers in Eros were flowing as well, quite an impressive sight.

not stuck anymore.jpg
not stuck anymore
purros to sesfontein.jpg
purros to sesfontein
another river.jpg
another river
sceleton coast.jpg
sceleton coast
back home.jpg
back home
finally back.jpg
finally back

After that great trip I spent my last days at the Bank of Namibia. It was hard to leave! Right now I am in Lesotho working for an EU-project at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning until mid March. As Maseru is not the world's most exciting place, every email is welcome.

Created by Hannah (02.03.2006)

(Using IrfanView)