Don't wander off existing roads and tracks!
Deserts may be harsh places, but they are actually incredibly fragile ecosystems which often takes years - and even decades - to recover from damage. A stark illustration of this is that if you look at aerial photographs of the southern Namib in the Sperrgebeit area (to which public access is forbidden), you can still clearly make out the tracks that were established by drilling rigs undertaking diamond exploration back in the 1960s and 70s. That's how long desert ecosystems take to recover.
It is therefore absolutely critical that you remain on established roads and tracks rather than beating a path of your own across virgin ground.
As an added incentive, the possibility of getting stuck if you have wandered off an existing track are also much higher, and your chances of being helped by passing traffic should this happen are proportionately lower, so it's the sensible - as well as the environmentally responsible - thing to do.
No matter what precautions you take your camera is going to be silted with the omnipresent sands of the Namib. After a week in the desert your camera will not be as dependable as before and you will have to take it for cleaning. Maybe the best option is to take new camera, (with two cameras you will be more secure for the rest of the journey) still in its warranty period, so you do not have to pay for the cleaning or other repairs caused by this relentless onslaught.
TAKE DOUBLE THE WATER
Estimate how much water you will need – then double it. This is the driest place on the planet of the earth and once you have driven the 45 kilometres to Sossusvlei for example, you have no ability to get more. I travelled with a small group and they wanted to take 2 litres per person for a day out. I insisted on 4 per person. I was right. We drank all of it. Always better to have too much than too little.
- Hiking and Walking
Of course there are Scorpions, sometimes you might even see one!
Around Namib Desert Lodge there were quite a few seen. Just before dusk they come out to feed. But generally they are not harmful unless of course you do not take care with either handling or checking your shoes in the morning! Another safeguard which I discovered at another lodge was using a towel or something to block the crack under the door.(I know they don't always build with such standards as Europe or N.America.
Two types, the Yellow and the larger Black Scorpion.
At another lodge just outside Etosha I had a Yellow Scorpion in my room and we had the towel wrapped sandbank in front of the door,but that's another story...
- Gay and Lesbian
This always gets peoples attention!
Yes you are in a desert with rocky areas and scrubland, this is a prime location for certain types of snake such as the Puff Adder, Cape Cobra, Sidewinder etc but the chances of seeing a snake aren't common. Obviously if you go looking the chances are you will find ie by looking under rocks, logs etc.,
Our guide has lived in Namibia all her life and she has only come across a House Snake which is not poisonous and once on a safari a tourist pointed out a Puff Adder next to the trail.
If you stick to paths and trails you will be fine as any snake will usually flee when feeling the vibrations from your footsteps.
Most snakes that bite don't even inject venom it's more of a warning. But in this region you may come across the Puff Adder. These fat, sluggish snakes are highly venomous and they are too slow to flee but don't get too close as they have a lightening bite and most snake bites reported in Namibia are of the Puff Adder kind.
- National/State Park
Rostock Hotel Pet
The Rostock Hotel - near to Sossouvlei and about 240km from Windhoek, is a spartanic accomodation - but the experience is just great.
The hotel itself, next to the stone builded headoffice consists out seperate kind of "Iglu" builded accomodations with all comfort. Next, imagine a swimmingpool, restaurant in the middle of the desert
But believe it or not - local pet on the picture will go with you if you walk through the desert area near the Hotel.
It will protect you against scorpions and other species of the desert.
Agent Bird ....
If you go to the Sesriem Campsite you might bump into Agent Bird .... huh well actually, Agent Bird will seek you out and single you out as his target. I don't know whether he was offering suveillance services, beeing a peeping tom or trying to be a nuisance, but in any case you cannot miss him. Every minute at the campsite he'll be there ... watching with beady little eyes. His favourite vantage point your own car, and yes he will try to get in. Oh, and he just loves car roof tents and it is his mission to get inside one at any cost. So don't be too surprised in the morning if you wake up to a full air assault of fluttering wings, scratching nails and biting beaks at the tent ... he may also bring in reinforcements by the way .... Gee, these days nowhere is safe anymore ..... :-)
Don't sleep outside your tent.
If you're staying on a campsite in the desert be sure to sleep inside your tent. There has seemed to be a Belgian guy sleeping outside of his tent a few years ago. A hyena found him and bit his cheek of.
Now don't worry too much hyenas are cowards and will run if you're awake.
No Road Etiquette!
If you are driving yourself be aware that the 'locals' have no road etiquettes and will do just as they please, regardless how big and tough a car you have :-)
- Road Trip