Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Day 12 Acre of Death Campsite - My Beach

Left Acre of Death camping place and drove back on the beach 60 km until outside Tombua and then headed to Namibe. On the way there was a fisherman's house that lies in the middle of the desert and the sea and all of his shacks were made of fish bones:
Namib dessert
In Namibe we filled up with diesel, got some provisions and headed North. The road to and around Pipas Bay is very scenic:

We visited fishing village of Baka. There we saw shacks neighboring 5 star accommodation with luxury motor yachts:

We talked to some locals about the fish. They dry it or sell it fresh here, they also have crab but no crayfish or prawns there.
Video Namibe to Baca:

Then we drove to a spot that is called My Beach. And now is our beach. Nobody here. The whole beach just for us:

My Beach Video:

Day 11 Flamingo Lodge - Acre of Death Campsite

Left Flamingo Lodge after a great conversation with guys there. Very very helpful, friendly staff. They even made an adapter for Angolan electric plugs for us. Thank you so much!

We saw giant Welwitschia plant, which is supposedly the biggest in the world:

And then a bit of a shock: the car wouldn't start, so then Stephane opened the bonnet and saw that the battery connection got loose from all the corrugations so Stephane secured it and we were on our way.

We visited lake Argo, which had no water for the last 4 years. And the big sign there telling us that is dangerous to swim:) There was a so called guide who took us the last kilometre walk to the last and in the way back he wanted form us 1000 kwanzas.

Scenic drive to the lake Video:

After that we headed to have a look at the town of Tombua:

Tombua citydrive video:

This place is famous of their police who are looking for any opportunity to get some "gasosa" (bribe). One tried to stop us in the city centre but we just waived and passed him. After few kilometres he was ahead of us and stopped us, asked for papers, Stephane talked to him in French, police man wanted us to follow him, we pretended not to understand him and said Merci! and drove away.

After that we did some serious sand driving to some shipwrecks.

Dessert drive video:

We went to the the end/start of the Acre of Death and turned around to get back to the camp behind dunes and we got stuck! After 3h of digging we got back to camp behind the dunes. We saw other instances of people that had been stuck before us.


Travel Map

Day 10 Humpata - Flamingo Lodge

In the morning we went to Dorslanders memorial through little path going up there.

Here is a video clip of the road:

The next stop was Tundavala gorge which has 1 km drop. During the war deserters and political opponents were shot or forced to jump over the edge.

Video here:

After that we headed towards Namibe and that led us to Serra da Leba pass. Breathtaking views from the top, and the drop of 1000 metres:

On the road you see lots of cars left behind after accidents, rusting away. People sell watermelons, eggs, melons etc. on the sides of the road.

From the lush green plains, green scenery with lots of waterfalls in an hours drive we were in a Namib desert - broken cars and rusting car wrecks.

We got to the town of Namibe where we filled up with diesel and bought some fruit on the sides of the road:

City of Namibe Video:

The way to Flamingo Lodge is on tar road and the last 23 km in the desert on sand in the dry riverbed

many Welwitschia plants which grow only few millimetres per year, they can stay dormant for hundreds of years and grow when there is a rain.

Then in the middle of dessert we came over a little hill and we saw a car stuck in the sand there, 2 guys in Landcruiser Prado they were stuck there for 3 hours. They were very lucky because we helped them to get out:)


Arrived at Flamingo lodge we set up our camp saw a jackal passing buy and went to take a rest early.
Travel Map

Monday, December 29, 2014

Day 9 Ondangwa - Humpata, Angola

Today we going to Angola! We woke up and at six o'clock the security guy woke us up and stood at the bottom of the tent. What a privacy! He wanted some money for securing us during the night, HA! We made our morning coffee, made our tent took a shower and hit the border!

On the Angolan border things went pretty smoothly with a little help from a runner. We did all our paperwork ourselves and he just pointed to which direction we should go, there are many different offices and they are all over the place.

Here is what was necessary to enter Angola:
Passport with Angolan visa issued in your country of residence.

Papers for the car:
1) Copy of car registration number
2) Certified copy of drivers license
3) Copy of Motor vehicle registration
4) If the vehicle is not yours than you need a letter from the car owner stating you are allowed to take it out of country
5) Copy of police clearance certificate (which we didn't have and that didn't seem to bother them)
6) Color photograph of your car (front, back and 1 side)
7) Copy of your passport and entry stamp (just for the driver).

For the last two we had to go back to Namibia, take a photos of the car, print out, and come back to Angolan immigration again. Then we had to pay temporary import license, you can pay by credit card or kwanzas. That costs 6336 Angolan kwanzas. After 2 hours running from one building to another and going through customs where we had a small search we were finally in Angola!

First thing you notice when you enter Angola are the good roads and the cars are left hand drive driving on the right side. People selling lots of stuff on the sides of the streets, lots of cows and goats crossing the road, lots of baobabs. There are some tanks from guerrilla war on the sides of the road.

We crossed the river of Kunene, it was huge:

And Sinty fixing GoPro Camera:)

In every town there were huge queues at the ATMs so we didn't want to loose time there and headed to Lubango. Money shortages are very common there.

You can see lots of kids swimming and enjoying the water:

Arrived in Lubango, we took out some money in ATM, we struggled a bit, because lots of them do not have money and maximum amount you can take out is 20000 AOA, after that you must go to another ATM. We filled diesel for 50 AOA a per litre (0.39€ or ZAR5.5). We went up to Cristo Rei statue, which welcomed us with open arms:)

We camped at the farm outside Lubango in Humpata. The owner is from Namibia who moved to Angola and set up a camping on the farm with ablutions and 6 camping plots.

Day 8 Windhoek - Ondangwa

Now we heading towards Angola, we decided no deviations this time. We passed the town of Okahandja where they have a super biltong shop.

As we drive more North it gets greener and greener, more trees and green grass, and hot.

Soon after that we were stopped at the police checkpoint: where you coming from? Where you going to? Car papers? Insurance papers? And then another police checkpoint in Oshivelo and some more as you go North. Getting closer to Ondangwa scenery becomes more lively: lots of bars on the side of the road and people selling things, we went to one bar for a drink. Very friendly people. SWAPO flags on every house here:

And huge termite houses:

We camped at Ondangwa, pretty nice place and with security guys asking for money ghhh :)

Travel Map

Day 7 Windhoek

This was our holiday within holiday day. We spent 2 nights in Urbancamp in Windhoek city. We bought jerrycans for the diesel at Cymot shop. We were lucky they were on sale so we got 2 for 560 Namibian dollars instead of 840. Also we fixed the tent at Bushwackers, the guys were very helpful and gave us the broken part for free, thank you a lot! We did some food shopping and updating the blog. There is a good wifi at the camping and it was the first place we found internet connection since we left Cape Town.
Spent the day doing things at camping: Stephane was spraying jerrycans and Sinty updating the blog. In the evening we went to Joe's Beerhouse, that's the place where everyone goes when they are in Windhoek. And where the house wine is Jagermeister:

Here is the copy of the menu

We chose Namib Bush Fire - springbok loin chop, kudu and oryx fillets:

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Day 6 Kgalagadi - Windhoek

Today we spent half a day in the Khalaghadi Transfrontier Park park, cheetah under the tree ;)

Then we left for Windhoek. We had to find a place to buy 2 diesel jerrycans and fix the tent (the part that is holding awning is broken). We drove the whole day on the beautiful Namibian roads.

It was getting late and sun was going to set when we still haven't found any camping spot. There were no towns around, just farmlands, for hundreds and hundreds of kilometres. It wasn't possible even to bushcamp because the only thing that was there was the highway and fenced farmlands. We decided to go straight to Windhoek even if it was getting late and dark and it was still a long way. Deserted highway and some warthogs crossing the road. We arrived in Windhoek very hungry and tired. Found a great campsite called Urbancamp. We set up our tent and decided to go out for a quick bite. There was a hotel/restaurant close to where we stayed and we decided to go for the closest and easiest way. The place was called Roof of Africa. We ordered beef livers with pan (kind of maize polenta style dish) with spinach with sand! The service was very slow and we super hungry... The food was good, we even enjoyed the sand chewing part :)

Travel Map