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NVSteve
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Joined: 01 Feb 2007
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Location: Salt Lake City

PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:41 am    Post subject: Namibia Reply with quote

Another long road trip on foreign soil is behind me. Took the girlfriend and another friend of ours to Namibia for a bit over 3 weeks and ~4000km of driving mostly dirt roads. Rented a Toyota Hilux with 2 rooftop tents. I brought along an old ground tent for my own personal use that I gave away at the end of the trip. I have to say, after dealing with those rooftop tents each day for 3+ weeks, I can say without a doubt that I hate them. I originally thought they were a great idea, but the construction on them is simply piss-poor, so much so that I had to make a number of repairs throughout the trip.

First night at the most lux camp of the trip:



Wreck along the Skeleton Coast:



Another campsite at one of the national parks best known for...



this (Deadvlei):



Definitely a desert



And definitely Africa, although the roads here are supposed to be the best on the continent



The very cool ghost town of Kolmanskop, built to last by the Germans and their pursuit of diamonds. Now it is slowly being taken over by the sands:





The main reason for the trip was for the wildlife, and we were not disappointed.

























I thought this was pretty cool. Pretty much in the middle of nowhere-the largest known meteorite ever found.



Planning on making a return visit at some point, mostly to see everything we didn't have time to see, spend a bit more time in one of the national parks, and venture into a bit of Botswana.
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bambox
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, amazing road trip! Seriously, posts like those bring you back to life from the dead. I haven't got any holiday or nothing like that for quite a time already, constantly grinding at work, but I gotta make my move soon. I'm just about to finally decide on getting a '17 RR at DSRLeasing and would love to do some road trips with it. Probably less exotic than you did for now, but always something for a start of my travelling life that I long to begin!
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Lord Farquaad



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
Posts: 60
Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:13 am    Post subject: Re: Namibia Reply with quote

NVSteve wrote:
Another long road trip on foreign soil is behind me. Took the girlfriend and another friend of ours to Namibia for a bit over 3 weeks and ~4000km of driving mostly dirt roads. Rented a Toyota Hilux with 2 rooftop tents. I brought along an old ground tent for my own personal use that I gave away at the end of the trip. I have to say, after dealing with those rooftop tents each day for 3+ weeks, I can say without a doubt that I hate them. I originally thought they were a great idea, but the construction on them is simply piss-poor, so much so that I had to make a number of repairs throughout the trip.



And definitely Africa, although the roads here are supposed to be the best on the continent


Planning on making a return visit at some point, mostly to see everything we didn't have time to see, spend a bit more time in one of the national parks, and venture into a bit of Botswana.


Rooftop tents are the pits. There are better versions of them, but rental agencies will not fork out the extra money for them. I also hate the fact that you can not pitch your tent and then go for a drive with these things. It's like being a tortoise. That is the reason I prefer to tow my offroad caravan.

As for the roads being the best, I guess you are referring to gravel roads? Most other countries in Africa have brilliant tar roads. As gravel roads go, those in Namibia are hell on tyres. A gravel road is only as good as the last grading, and also what season you are in. Some roads are great in winter (dry season), but is a nightmare in summer when they get wet. Then again, they are fun in summer for us that likes to play and get stuck.

To see all that Namibia has to offer, you need a couple of months, same as Botswana and South Africa. If you liked Namibia, Botswana will blow your mind, seriously. Botswana has some awesome semi-desert areas, salt pans (Makgadigadi Pans) and then the Okavango Delta.

I am currently in Botswana for work and use every opportunity to go explore. Kubu Island is one of my favorites. If you come over again, drop me a line. Maybe we can hook up somewhere. Botswana and Namibia are only a day or two's drive. Very Happy
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Lord Farquaad



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
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Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice short video of what to expect on a self-drive in Botswana.

https://www.facebook.com/blackgrousephotography/videos/1321568717854341/
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NVSteve
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:10 am    Post subject: Re: Namibia Reply with quote

Lord Farquaad wrote:
Botswana has some awesome semi-desert areas, salt pans (Makgadigadi Pans) and then the Okavango Delta.

I am currently in Botswana for work and use every opportunity to go explore. Kubu Island is one of my favorites. If you come over again, drop me a line. Maybe we can hook up somewhere. Botswana and Namibia are only a day or two's drive. Very Happy


I agree, lots of good looking sites to see in Botswana. I fully expect to cross over and see Kgalagadi for sure the next time. I'd also really like to see Okavango, but every single time I've googled camping, it pulls up lodges and "camps" that aren't what I am looking for. Way too expensive. Any idea if they have places in the delta for people to actually camp? Like in their own tent for a minimal cost like in Namibia? I will certainly let you know when we make it over there again. It would be great to hang out with someone who actually lives in Africa, as opposed to all the overseas tourists.
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Lord Farquaad



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as info, this forum and its members are pretty good. You will encounter a lot of people talking in Afrikaans, but we are all at least bilingual, with even more that speak 3 languages +, so feel free to ask someone to speak English if you don't understand. Very Happy
http://www.4x4community.co.za/forum/forumdisplay.php/169-Botswana

Anyway, as for bookings and advice on Botswana, no one better that Tara Fory from Botswana Footprints.
http://www.botswanafootprints.com/

You talking about campsites like this? This one is Khumaga just south of the Delta.
http://www.namibweb.com/khumaga.htm


These are from Tsaa in the Delta. It is currently closed, but will be open in the next few months. It is my absolute favorite. In the middle of nowhere. We saw 3 of the big 5 without even leaving camp. 2 Elephant bulls came to visit every afternoon, walking right past our caravan.










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NVSteve
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lord Farquaad wrote:

Anyway, as for bookings and advice on Botswana, no one better that Tara Fory from Botswana Footprints.

You talking about campsites like this? This one is Khumaga just south of the Delta.

These are from Tsaa in the Delta. It is currently closed, but will be open in the next few months. It is my absolute favorite. In the middle of nowhere. We saw 3 of the big 5 without even leaving camp. 2 Elephant bulls came to visit every afternoon, walking right past our caravan.

Excellent, thanks for the links! Yes, that's the type of campsite I am looking for.
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Lord Farquaad



Joined: 31 Jan 2012
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Location: South Africa

PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NVSteve wrote:

Excellent, thanks for the links! Yes, that's the type of campsite I am looking for.


Pleasure. What you are looking for in campsites are what is called "Community Campsites". They are not owned and managed by the Parks Boards, but by the communities on whose land they are. That means you don't have to pay an overhead to the Parks Board in the form of park fees. It does however mean you pay a daily entrance fee if you want to visit the park, which is not a bad thing.

None of the parks in Botswana are fenced, apart from Khama Rhino Sanctuary. With the poaching of rhino in Africa, it is necessary to protect them at all cost. Almost all of Botswana's rhino have been relocated to this reserve and is heavily guarded. So, if you stay in a community campsite like Tsaa, Dijara etc, there are no fences between the campsite and the main parks like Moremi etc. That means animals are free to travel wherever they want, including into your campsite. You don't necessarily have to visit the official game parks to see the Big 4. They are all over.

The only fences in Botswana are veterinary fences. These crisscross Botswana longitudinal and latitudinal. There are gates on these fences, which, if you are not a main road, you are required to close behind you. On the main roads they are manned at checkpoints. The reason for these is to prevent the spread of foot and mouth disease from buffalo to cattle, and also to help contain an outbreak in cattle.

The Botswana people are heavily dependent on their cattle, and an outbreak and spread could decimate the livelihood of these sustenance farmers. So, you are allowed to take fresh meat from South to North, and West to East, but not the other way around. Your vehicle will be checked at these checkpoints, and your shoes and vehicle tyres treated to prevent the spread of the disease.
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