Caprivi | Etosha | Kunene | Kaokoland | Namib Naukluft | Helmeringhausen | Kgalagadi Botswana Side| Molopo Nature Reserve

TRIP REPORT: NAMIBIA TOUR 2008

Drill through to the individual pages giving full reviews of the trips and accommodations used, more and larger pictures, informal reviews, trip maps, reservations information, travel tips and road and weather conditions information that may help you with your trip planning.






NAMIBIA TRIP REPORT: From Kasane, Botswana to: Namwi Island > Camp Kwando > Nambwa > Bumhill > N//Goabaca > Ngepi > Kaisosi > Roys Camp > Mamselle >Sachsenheim > Ruacana > Hippo Pools > Kunene > Epupa Falls > Opuwo Camp > Opuwo to Khumib > Khumib River > Hoarusib River > Puros > Amspoort > Sesfontein > Ongongo Hotsprings > Palmwag Camp > Palmwag Conservancy > Aba Huab > Ugab Rhino Camp > Sophiadale Camp > Kuiseb Bridge > Betta > Barby Camp > Bethanie > Terra Rouge > Two Rivers > Rooiputs > Madala Dune Lodge > Molopo NR > Rapoelli > Back to Pretoria

Namwi Island Camp in Caprivi, Zambezi Riverside.

Namwi Island Camp near Katima Mulilo

We took the beautiful Chobe river route to the Caprivi Strip in Namibia. At the Ngoma Gate customs in Namibia, we had to sacrifice some fillet we forgot about. We stayed at Namwi Island Camp near Katima Mulilo on the banks of the Zambezi River, which offers their guests superb accommodation. Overnight facilities for campers have elecricity at the camping sites and clean ablutions. There is also neat self-catering accommodation.

Namwi to Kwando Camp on the banks of the Kwando River

Kwando River Camp

The trip to the beautiful Kwando Camp can be done by going with the tar B8 rather than the unscenic C49, which are characterised by many schools next to the road as well as donkeys and cattle, making driving quite slow.

Camp Kwando is a camp on the beautiful Kwando River. They have luxurious facilities at affordable prices and the camp has a very relaxed and good atmosphere.

Kwando to Nambwa Camp on the Kwando River.

Nambwa Community Camp

Kwando Camp is quite near Nambwa and Bumhill Camps, but we would recommend a visit to this beautiful camp for those with 4x4 vehicles. The camp lies on an island in the Kwando wetland and are frequently visited by elephants and hippos.

Our experience with this community camp was very pleasant, since it was well-run and laid out and the facilities were clean and beautifully toned in with the natural surroundings.


Nambwa to Bumhill Camp on the Kwando River

Bumhill Community Camp.

Bumhill Camp is near the B8 bridge over the Kwando River. It is well situated for sedan cars to visit and it is also well-run and beautifully placed for bird watching or as a base to explore the area. It is affordably priced like Nambwa and the other community camps. Its exclusive campsites are especially beautiful and well placed with each its own watch tower for bird and animal watching.


Bumhill to Goabaca on the north bank of the Okavango.

Ngoabaca Community Camp

Driving to Ngoabaca entails driving a rather straight and boring piece of road where animals are rather scarce after the war. We would recommend Goabaca camp to people who would like to be right next to the Popa Falls and to sleep with the sound of rushing white water in their ears. The camp, especially campsite 1, is really exceptional with its lookout tower overlooking the beautiful blue Okavango and the rapids. The camp is affordably priced with good facilities.


Ngoabaca to Ngepi on the south bank of the Okavango

Ngepi.

Ngepi lies on the southern side of the Okavango. It is beautiful camp with a pub and several campsites and self-catering bungalows well situated on the riverbank. We recommend Ngepi for people who like to sit at the pub and listen to lots of overlanders enjoying themselves at the bar and, well, overlanders. If that is not your scene and you want to enjoy nature in peace and tranquility, Ngoabaca is the place for you.


Ngepi to Kaisosi River Lodge Rundu.

Kaisosi River Lodge Camp on the Okavango

Kaisosi River Lodge is a newish, neat lodge on the banks of the Okavango river not far from Rundu. The staff were very friendly and helpful and we enjoyed our stay there very much. There may however be an overcrowding problem when the camping sites are full, so not suitable for lovers of quiet nature during high season. We recommend this place for overnight and longer stays, depending on what one's needs are.


Kaisosi to Roy's Rest Camp on the B8

Roys Camp between Grootfontein and Rundu.

From Rundu, we took the B8 to Grootfontein. We were stopped and our fridge searched for meat, so remember to eat your meat before going south on this road. At Roy's rest camp, we stayed over for the night and enjoyed the atmosphere of the Kalahari camp and a very tasty dinner at their restaurant. We recommend Roy's for an overnight stay in their camping sites or their self-catering huts and their meals as well.


Roy's to Mamselle Nature Camp between Outjo and Etosha.

Mamselle Nature Camp Outjo

From Roy's we went on to Grootfontein where we restocked in their proper shops. We also went to see the meteorite and went on to Outjo to find some place between Outjo and Etosha to camp, since all the camping in the park were fully booked. We saw a camp indicator near the road and decided to have a look. We found a very unique camping site and decided to stay over - something we were very glad about, since it was a super camping spot near Etosha.


Mamselle to Sachsenheim Camp near Namutoni, Etosha.

Through Etosha to Sachsenheim on the B1.

Driving from Mamselle to Okaukuejo took us about an hour and we found that we could cover the C38 easily to Namutoni gate and also stop at several water holes and also eat something at Halali as well as sitting a while at their water hole. We also visited Namutoni and were out of the park long before the gates closed. It is therefore quite possible to stay at the ends of the park. Sachsenheim has very good camping and self-catering facilities.


Sachsenheim through Etosha and north to Ruacana.

Sachsenheim to RuacanaEha Lodge.

We went in at Namutoni in the morning and went through the park towards King Nehale Gate. We also did the circle routes and the water hole visits and enjoyed a good morning's game viewing before leaving the park. We headed towards Hippo Pools at Ruacana, but the time caught us and we stayed at Ruacana Eha Lodge. This place was a bit noisy with some groups doing "teambuilding", but otherwise it was clean and neat.


Ruacana Eha to Hippo Pools Ruacana

Hippo Pools Community Camp.

We were at Hippo Pools camp quite early and could choose a beautiful camping site. One of many. The camp is well looked after by a few ladies and they also offered to do our washing at very reasonable prices. We stayed one night and enjoyed it very much. It is a pity that the community does not have mokoros to offer mokoro rides and fishing as well.


Hippo Pools to Kunene River Lodge.

Kunene River Lodge on the Cunene River

The area from Ruacana to Swartbooisdrift have quite a number of camping facilities to choose from. There are Himba camps and other restcamps. We were headed to Kunene River Lodge and was lucky to get the last tiny campsite. There were also quite a lot of large buses with noisy tourists, so we were sorry we did not rather try one of the other camps. Kunene River Lodge however, was good, clean and friendly and can be recommended.


Cunene River lodge to Epupa Falls on the Kunene River.

Epupa Falls Hot Springs Community Camp.

We took the roundabout way to Epupa Falls because of damage to the river route by the floods. We ended up in the Hot Springs Community camp. It is a very peaceful camp and we enjoyed it very much. There were community ladies washing and ironing one's clothes and bedding at very reasonable prices. Epupa Falls has a very relaxed atmosphere and the Himba locals are very friendly.


Epupa to Opuwo Country Hotel Campsite.

Opuwo accommodation.

Opuwo is the capital city of Kaokoland and the last place to stock up on groceries, food and drink. There is an OK Bazaars in town and one can get most foods there. However, fresh meat and vegetables are very scarce and one have to go without in many cases. The Hotel's camping is of a high standard though and we recommend that for a good and friendly overnight stay.


Opuwo to Khumib Eco Route Bushcamp.

Khumib Eco Route

The D3705 is no car's playground. It is a bad road, especially in the beginning after the C43 split off to the left. Thereafter, it gets better until one can call it a road again. The solitude in this part of the country only gets strengthened by the occasional appearance of a Himba woman selling something in a makeshift shop or a Himba man looking after his numerous goats and cattle. Here you are really alone and car trouble better don't come your way.


Khumib1 to Khumib River Eco Trail Bushcamp2.

Bushcamp in the Khumib area.

Bushcamping in this wonderful area was so good, we maybe stayed a day or two longer than what was planned originally, but it was surely worth it. The total desolation, the fantastic vistas, the wonderful evenings by the fireside, the Springbuck, Zebra, Ostrich, Oryx and various birds that greeted us on the way is just totally addictive. We will definitely revisit these days in our memories and maybe one day we will be back in person!


Khumib Bushcamp2 to Hoarusib Eco Trail Bush camp.

Hoarusib Bushcamp.

The solitude of this eco trail only gets disturbed by strings of white Toyotas Hiluxes filled with Italians and other European tourists who rent these 4x4 vehicles in Johannesburg and Cape Town to come and experience the wonderful nature of the Namibian desert areas. Once they are past, the loneliness only gets broken by the occasional Himba along the road. They survive here. This is home to them. To them, there is no solitude here.


Hoarusib Bush camp to Puros Community Camp.

Puros Camp on the banks of the Hoarusib River.

Puros Camp is an oasis in the desert where you can have a nice, shady campsite with running warm and cold water, bathroom facilities, firewood and even a cold one in the camp pub. The trees in Puros Camp is massive and has shade that goes with that. Ask somebody at the camp to take you on a tour to a Himba village, to take you to see Desert Elephant (if one do not visit you in the camp). Two days is needed, since one day will leave you definitely unfulfilled.


Puros to Hoanib Eco Trail.

Amspoort bush camp in Hoanib

From Puros one drives in the beautiful Hoarusib and then cross a long distance in real desert area with occasional Springbuck, Ostriches and Oryx along the way untill you reach the Hoanib at Amspoort. This is especially beautiful, since the contrast between the dry desert and the green river bed is huge. It is also near enough to the ocean to get the usual mist in the mornings - the mist that is the nourishment for several adapted plants, insects and animals in this area.


Hoanib to Sesfontein .

Sesfontein Community Camp.

The Hoanib is a very beautiful river to see. Elephants, Oryx, Giraffe, Springbuck, many different bird species, beautiful scenery combine to give you an experience of a lifetime. We went on to Sesfontein's Big Fig Community camp in the town. There is also another camp called Table Top outside of town, that will be a good choice. Big Fig was very neat and the private ablutions worked very well and the staff was very helpful. We can recommend the place. There is also a shop where one can buy food and drinks, but the ATM was not working, so go prepared for a shortage of cash!


Sesfontein to Ongongo.

Ongongo Hot Springs

Ongongo Hot springs is a popular holiday destination for Namibian people and other foreign tourists. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and "in-nature" feeling that appeals to people who do not like large crowds around them. The road there is quite bad however, and only high clearance vehicles should try going there. The place has a bar at the top of the mountain where you can have a cold one on any of their very hot days.


Ongongo Hot Springs to Palmwag Lodge Camp.

Palmwag Lodge

The road from Ongongo to Palmwag Lodge leads through a hilly, dry area with game like Springbuck, Zebra and Oryx along the road. Palmwag Lodge is a very good spot to regroup after the deprivations of the areas where lesser luxuries are the order of the day. One can buy with credit cards and the facilities are of a high standard. The scenery from the campsites are very beautiful, especially towards sunset. We had good camping, meals and company there.


Palmwag Lodge to Palmwag Conservancy.

Palmwag Conservancy

Palmwag Conservancy is a very interesting area with many animals like the Desert Elephants, Giraffe, Oryx, Ostriches, Springbucks and many bird species. Be sure to explore Van Zyl se Gat on foot. Sleep over in one of their Bush Camp spots. The entry permits can be bought at Palmwag Lodge's reception for a very reasonable sum of money. A high-clearance vehicle is necessary. 4x4 Preferably.


Palmwag Conservancy to Aba Huab.

Aba Huab Community Camp

The road to Aba Huab starts with another meat check just after the entrance to Palmwag Lodge. Aba Huab camp was well-run and had a well-stocked pub and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The Exclusive camp sites were quiet and clean with hot and cold water. There was also an electric point available. This is a good base camp for the many places that can be visited from here.


Aba huab to Ugab Rhino Camp.

Ugab Rhino Camp

The road to Ugab took us on a wide track past the White Lady Lodge, halfway around the Brandberg and then on to Ugab Rhino Camp. This camp is one of the remotest camps we visited, but still very clean, neat and exceptionally well situated next to the Ugab river. Hot water by Donkey and very likely Elephant and/or Lion sightings. High clearance vehicles are essential. Elephants visited the camp during our stay. The staff was exceptionally friendly and helpful.


Ugab Rhino Camp to Sophia Dale Camp.

Sophia Dale Swakopmund

Driving from Ugab to Swakopmund takes you over salt roads, next to the sea and salt pans for a very large part of the way. Sophia Dale is a quiet, neat camping spot a safe distance from town. One can easily upgrade to self-catering if the need arises. The service was very friendly and one can buy wine or beer and coffee or tea and scones in the mornings


Sophia Dale to Kuisebbridge.

Kuiseb Bridge camp.

Driving through the Namib Naukluft to Kuiseb Bridge is a highlight of the tour. Blutkoppe, as a camping spot is really an outstanding place. Also a visit to the Henno Martin hiding place was very rewarding. The camp at Kuiseb Bridge lost its ablution facilities in the flood, but having no need for that, we still enjoyed the camping there, due to the really wonderful atmosphere of the place.


Kuiseb Bridge to Betta Camp.

Betta overnight Camp.

From Kuiseb Bridge, we travelled the Gamsberg Pass, followed by the Spreetshoogte Pass. Both these passes offered very beautiful vistas, with the only problem the bad corrugation of the road. We went through Solitaire and reached Betta Camping just before dark. Betta is a clean, neat place with very friendly staff and a Garage for Petrol and Diesel. This place is very suitable for an overnight spot and to stock up on some fuel and other articles they sell.


Betta Camp To Barby Guest Farm Bush Camping.

Barby Bush Camping

From Betta Camp, we travelled towards Helmeringhausen, but because of a broken rear main suspension blade, we stopped at Barby Guest Farm to order a new one. Currently Barby offers mainly Bush Camping on the ample spots in the dry riverbed and elsewhere on this large property. The service was exceptionally friendly and we recommend this place to anybody who wants to stay over for a day or two on the way to or from Sossusvlei.


Barby Bush Camping to Bethanie Hotel.

Bethanie Guesthouse

From Barby, we took a scenic roundabout to Landsberg, Koiimasis and Kanaan areas, then turned left onto the D707 and C13 towards Helmerinhausen and then on to Bethanie. We stayed at the Bethanie Hotel and thoroughly enjoyed it. We can recommend this neat, clean and beautifully restored place to campers and other discerning guests. The friendly atmosphere, as well as the good food being served was very enjoyable.


Bethanie Hotel na Terra Rouge Camp.

Terra Rouge

From Bethani, we were aiming for Mata Mata, but went in to try Terra Rouge near Mata Mata instead. This camping spot is situated in the Auob River in a very beautiful setting with a view on the river and the dunes on the opposite side of the river.The ablution facilities are clean and well arranged with hot water supplied by Donkey. Each campsite has its own washbasin and water. The owner has a shoplet at the farmstead where one can buy several products.


Terra Rouge to Two Rivers.

Two Rivers Camp in Kgalagadi.

The staff at the new customs office at Mata Mata was very efficient and friendly and we were soon on our way to Two Rivers Camp on the Botswana side of the Park. Two Rivers Camp is about four km from the better-known Tweerivieren camp on the South African side. it is however better suited to people who like quieter camping than what the main South African camp offers. The camp can be reached with a sedan car.


Two Rivers to Rooiputs in Kgalagadi..

Kgalagadi Rooiputs Camp

Rooiputs is very much like Two Rivers as far as the look and feel is concerned, only it is more basic, without water at the time of our visit, but a fantastic experience nevertheless. Far from any fences and just opposite the Rooiputs water hole. There are longdrops for every campsite as well as a private cubicle where you can take a shower if you have one of these sun bag showers. We recommend this camp for those who are somewhat adventurous.


Rooiputs to Madalla Lodge Camp.

Madalla Camp

Back in South Africa, we took the road to Van Zylsrust via Askham and got our first flat wheel of the tour. Luckily we found the people in Van Zylsrust very helpful and they organised accommodation for us at Madalla Lodge. The camping was still very basic but very well situated, but their huts were a surprise to us. Built on top of a high dune, it has a beautiful view over the area towards Van Zylsrust, which is about ten km from Madalla.


Madalla Lodge to Molopo Nature Reserve.

Molopo Nature Reserve Northwest Province.

The road to Molopo Nature reserve takes you through a very remote part of South Africa. Bad roads are the order of the day, but the desolation more than compensate for that. We camped at Phiri Camp in Molopo Nature Reserve. The ablutions needed some repairs when we were there, but the natural surroundings and the animals we saw there compensated for that. There are several water holes with hides in the Reserve.


Molopo Nature Reserve to Rappoeli Guest Farm.

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After Molopo Nature reserve and 59 days, we were on our way home. It was rather cold, and we did not want to camp and we also wanted to break the long trip somewhat. We found Rapoeli Guest Farm near Delareayville and had a pleasant evening and good food there. Recommended for overnight stays and good wholesome farm food.


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