Our “southern loop” through Namibia – From Lüderitz to Windhoek via the Fish River Canyon and the “land of the quivertrees”

 
 

From inspiring Lüderitz we take the long and lonely road down south to the shores of the Oranje River. By now we know that driving through Namibia means an ever changing landscape of immense beauty, but what awaits us between Rosh Pinah and Ai-Ais Hot Springs just tops everything experienced before.

Especially the road "C 13" in the Ai-Ais and Fish River Canyon Park is gorgeous:

The Oranje River ... a long oasis through desert and mountains.

... driving through wild mountains with a lush vegetation along the Oranje River bordering South Africa ...

... and then suddenly being in the middle of a completely barren "moon landscape", just to be out of it back in the canyonlands to soak in the hot springs at Ai-Ais.

Our camp at Ai-Ais

At Ai-Ais it is great to simply relax and soak in the warm water looking at the scenery around you.

Here we meet the Stolp family from South Africa ... traveling with another great trailer!

Mmh, yeah! Certainly! "Guinness is good for you!" ... But?! Really?? Like THAT??!

Simply great, gorgeous and wonderful! If you are in Namibia, don't leave out this region!

 

The "Fish River Canyon" ... does anybody really have to go to the so-called "Grand Canyon" in the USA??

 
 
 

"Setting our sails" to go on a northward course, right after Ai-Ais there is the Fish River Canyon, actually after the Grand Canyon in the USA the second largest canyon in the world. It being far too dry and hot to hike there with our young kids, we only see it from above ... still a very impressive sight.

 
 
 
 

Near Keetmanshoop, another roundabout two hundred kilometres to the north, there is the "land of the quivertrees". Quivertrees are members of the "Aloe" family and can reach an age of up to 300 years.

 
 

A large "weaver bird" nest

 

Can you imagine a better music lesson?!

 

A great campsite in the area is "Mesosaurus Camp", which is just like a wildcamp even though it is situated on a farm. Camping in the middle of a quivertree forest with a big campfire and a million stars above you, listening to the noises of the bush like jackals in the far distance ... just great!

 

A Mesosaurus ... fossilized for eternity.

 

What's that?! Yep, just what it looks like: dinosaur faeces ... shit! ... Doesn't smell though!

On the way to the fossil sites we pass this young lad's grave ... died only aged 27 shot by a "Nama" ... for a romantic colonial idea ... poor fella!

The name of the campsite is due to the fact that on this farm is a site where "Mesosaurus" fossils can be found. Having lived about 300 million years ago, these ancient reptiles (size up to 35cm) are a proof for Alfred Wegener's theory of the continental drift, as they can be found only in south-western Africa and south-eastern South America and thus proving an ancient connection of the two continents called Gondwana land.

 

Have you ever heard a white African play "Nkosi Sikele I Afrika" ON STONES!? ...

 

The senior owner of the farm is a great and entertaining guide absolutely enthusiastic about the topic. His tours are great for kids as well and provide a wonderful outdoor classroom.

Yep, you are right ... camping is "basic" just like "rucksack tourism"! Aah, it's a hard life!

 

Anouk makes friends easily wherever we go!

 

Driving through the outskirts of the Kalahari desert, we move on to the Oanob Dam near Rehobot, where we relax for some days at the Lake Oanob Resort before moving on to Windhoek again.

Just before reaching Windhoek, we stop at Claratal, a farm owned by friends' friends.

It is sometimes really funny how small the world actually is: we discover that Annette who owns the farm together with her husband Heiko used to work on our small island in the North Sea years ago and even named her son Arne after a student from our house at school ("family group" we call it). With connections like this it is really easy to feel at home in many places!

 

Anouk learns for her future!

 

... but Sóley loves the farm life nonetheless ... apart from hunting and butchering maybe!

That's the way "poor children" look when the parents are egoistic and go traveling!

Anouk is even more sure that when she is older she will have a farm, maybe in Namibia!

 
 
 

Driving lessons ... at least four people fit into the front row of a Land Rover!

 

A meteor rain ... now a sight in the middle of Windhoek

 

What Namibians call the "Coffee Machine" - the Sam Nujoma Memorial

 

Back in Windhoek, the cleanest and most friendly capital city in Africa that we have visited so far, we meet new friends we met in Lüderitz and old friends we met in Nairobi.

The van Niekerk's ...

... and their old Land Rover ... Old, eeh, means built in 1974, the very year Mischa was born. Yep, that's the way cars looked in the old days!

Why do some people think that travellers are less connected to people and alone, maybe even trying to "escape something"?! We are definitely not! And establishing new ties to people all over the world really makes you become a "world citizen" instead of the citizen of just one country. We definitely feel very connected to a lot of great people who have become really great friends in no time at all!

 

We're all distant relatives ...!

 
 

We did not meet Stefanus and Anette in Khartoum, neither in Gorgora. We did meet in Nairobi - for about one hour! Here in Namibia we spend loads of gorgeous time together! Great new friends for life!

 

After another time spent at our friend's farm "Eisgaubib", we move on to Etosha and the land of the "San" and "Himba", but that is another story!

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