Posts tagged with “Deaadvlei”

Namibia Tour 2017 – Part 4

Tuesday, 18 July, 2017

Day six

Friends leaving

Adriaan and Lizette left shortly after sunrise to arrange and attend the funeral and pay their respects.  I felt a rather emply gloominess with them departing.

Koiimasis ranch is an active farm with a horse stud and livestock.  You can check their website:  Due to the drought the live stock had been removed from the farm, though. We went on a 5km walking trail the afternoon. It’s a nice walk, with a viewpoint along the road.

That evening we baked a pot bread, and the remainder of the steakof the prevous evening found its way into the potjiekos.


Day seven

Sossus Oasis

This was the first morning where we had to decamp and pack the vehicles from scratch.  Everything went rather efficiently, though.  By half past nine we were ready to leave.

[Source:  Imagery © 2017 Landsat / Copernicus, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Map data © 2017 AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd, Google]

Johnie was now in the lead.

We hit the sandy D707 again, but had the good fortune of eventually landing on the freshly graded tracks of a grader.  At a windswept Betta we stopped for petrol and coffee and snacks.

I found Betta to be a curious place.  It seems in the middle of nowhere, and I wondered whether you decide to start a refreshment station there in the middle of nothing, or whether you incidentally live there, see the opportunity, and then slowly develop the place.  Betta offers accommodation, with a nicely developed website:  I noticed that each of the camping sites had water, electricity, roof cover and a deck.

We met up with a Swiss cyclist at Betta.  Africa was his last continent to conquer before returning home.

Being so close to Duwiseb, we considered paying Duwiseb a visit.  By democratic election the vote went the way of visiting Duwiseb, but we nevertheless eventually decided gainst it.  We were swayed by another tourist’s advice of how bad the road from Betta to Sesriem was.  So we decided to rather get the trip to Sesriem over and done with.

Good call.  I like driving on gravel roads, so I hate to have to admit that, by the end of the day, I found the road to Sesriem to be just 20 kilometers too far.

[Pictures: Mariki Stassen]

The gravel roads that we travelled varied from the sublime (Solitaire to Maltehohe) to the exciting (sandy D707 rounding the Tiras mountains) to the horrible – Betta to Sesriem.  Very rocky and corrugated.

[Picture: Mariki Stassen]

We arrived at Sossus Oasis just past 16h00.  There was a nice buzz at the shop.  There was a garage and a workshop.  I suppose every enterprise on a road such as this one would also stock a few new tyres.   You could collect wi-fi vouchers valid for two days at the shop, and utilise the wi-fi on the stoep of the shop.  From there we could see campsite 1 – 12, built in a circle, and each with its own shade, shower and wash-up.  This looked very nice!

However, we were directed to site 15.  The road went past the larnie sites 1 – 12.  It went past two other sites.  It pretty much went past everything, before ending up under a tree at the outer edge of the terrain.  I guess it was the outer edge, because there was nothing else but open plains.

My initial thought was that this was a real dust heap.  However, upon further inspection it turned out that there was a built braai, working surface for a kitchen, electric light and plugs to tap electricity from.  On top of that the large tree provided ample shade for most of the day.  We were closest to the swimming pool of all the sites, and there was very nice ablution about 50 meters away.   And once we had the tents pitched, it actually turned out to be the best site of all!  Some ladies of our group even went for a swim.

Our site can be seen in the background.

The ladies churned out pasta and salad for the evening and after that we sat down for a game of banana scrabble.  Having electricity on top of running water ablution and warm water ranks as ultra luxurious for me.  This turned out to be a really nice spot.


Day eight


After obtaining our permits at Sesriem, we headed out on the 60km tar road to Sossusvlei just past 8 the morning.  At a speed limit of 60km/h it is a rather sedate drive to where the tar road stops.

[Source:  Imagery © 2017 Landsat / Copernicus, Data SIO, NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO, Map data © 2017 AfriGIS (Pty) Ltd, Google]

After 45 km there is a stop at what has probably become a rather iconic Dune 45.  No prizes for guessing where the dune got its name from.

The teenager in our company was very disappointed in how small the dune is. He was counting on telling his mates that he scaled the highest dune in the world.  However, halfway up Dune 45 he reconsidered the feasibility of scaling the highest dune in the world.

I have to admit, I was also disappointed to afterwards learn that Dune 45 is but a lousy 80 meters high, as opposed to Dune 7 near Walvis Bay which apparently reaches 388m.  Paah!  They should not even call Dune 45 a dune, man!  But on the bright side, at least I can say that I climbed out Dune 45.  I guess the fact that I did climb Dune 7 when I was 12 years old does not warrant current bragging rights.


[Picture: Mariki Stassen]

After reaching the highest spot on Dune 45 our teenager decided to opt for a speedy descent.  Running soon became falling with style.  Rather spectacular.

We then continued to the parking area where the tar road ends.  There you can contract an operator in a 4×4 vehicle  to take you the last 5 km’s to Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and Hidden vlei.  Or you can let down your tyres on your 4×4 and drive in yourself.  As there is no way that Johnie would let someone drive him into terrain that he feels …