The Welwitschia drive is about an hour drive from Swakopmund into the desert. It is unique desert landscape and plantation with the Welwitschia plant which look like a flower. It is one of the oldest plants on earth to be hundreds years old.
Solitaire is a place you surely pass by when going to Sesriem, it is nice desert town village where you can take a break to refill your vehicle tank and have a break with coffee, cold drink or ice cream :)
While driving around in Namibia you probably cross over also the Tropic of Capricorn, if you are lucky, there will be a sign marking the spots. But not as like the Arctic Circle in Lapland with all the tourists shops, here in Africa, there was absolutely nothing, only what you carry with you ;-)
Okonjima is a unique private park, not a national so you need to book it in advance.
It is the home of the Africat, the Foundation of Cheetah, Leopard & Lion Rescue.
Great place for big cats safari as well as just for relax and enjoy African luxurious.
Well, to me the whole of Namibia seems off the beaten path! But the Uis town was one of those places totally devoid of tourists, and literally in the middle of nowhere. There is nothing particular to do here, except that there is a gas station and a supermarket which might come useful to a traveller in the region.
The Uis mine used to provide work for the people of the town, but now it closed, forcing many of the villagers to leave and those that are left trying to struggle with their main income being tourism. So if you are planning to take the C35 into Damaraland from the Swakopmund region try to make a stop to refuel or replenish your stocks at the supermarket to help these people.
Maybe Solitaire isn't really off the beaten path, but it sounds as if it should be and more or less looks as if it is. Most people travelling to or from Sossusvlei stop here for a cold drink and maybe something to eat, and to fill up on petrol.
We also found it a good place to take photos, especially if you're looking for a change from all that scenery, fantastic though it is. There were some beat-up old cars, children happy to pose for us, and this blackboard on the wall providing a news bulletin service. The only problem was that this news of Marlon Brando's death was over a week out of date.
don't even think to enjoy nice sandy beaches.....too cold all year long:average temperature 16ºC....most of days cloudy , foggy or windy! ONLY along seaside!
leaving seaside,after 10 to 15 km,you'll find sunny weather!
but,this german city is a very good place to spend a night:nice hotels and good restaurants ...moreover if you appreciate german meals and beverages,here it's the place!
saturday afternoon and sunday,city is dead:all is closed!
if you have time enough,you must go to welwitschias drive (see things to do tip)....
for more ideas,have a look to the pics ...
all deserts are different....in namib desert,roads are in good conditions and kilometric average is rather high....with a good map,water and tyres...no problem,even to find petrol!
and of course,fantastic and amazing landscapes!
where?on main road B4,a few km after aus on way to luderitz,in ther desert.
you need,theorically,an official guide to meet them,because they are in a diamond zone,entrance prohibited!
people tells the horses were abandoned by german armies in 1915...adapting theirselves to hard conditions
ask for the key at quivertree forest rest camp (see hotels tip) where you have to pay the entrance fees.
"giant playground" :when leaving restcamp,take left on C17...you'll find it 5km later,on right side of the C17 road.
playground is a surprising geological formation...best moment to visit it:when sun goes down...
it looks really as if it was archelogical ruins...170 millions years old!
the quivertree or "kokerboom" is one of the most interesting and characteristic plants of the very hot and dry parts of namibia.
In fact,not really a tree,but an aloe plant;botanical name is "aloe dichotoma".
dichotoma refers to the forked branches of the plant.
Plant,also called "kokerboom" because bushmen and hottentot tribes used the tough,pliable bark and branches to make quivers for their arrows,"koker" being the afrikaans word for quiver".
big quivertrees are between 200 and 300 years old.all are natural,not at all planted by humans.
quivertrees occurs in black rock formations,which absorb heat during hot summer.
rocks anchor plants which have a spread root system.
flowering season:in winter,june and july.
fees (30N$) to be payed in quivertree forest rest camp (see hotels tips).
quivertrees forest near camping...from keetmanshoop, C17,18km NW
Driving North from Keetmanshoops (~ 25km), you will soon be passing by one of the biggest forest of quiver trees, a type of Aloe that can grow up to 9 m high and become 300 years old.
If you find some seceded boughs, try and lift them up... you'll be surprised how light they are!
Look at the picture and you know why it's well worth a short detour!
We asked that, during our visit to Namibia, that we be allowed to interact with as many of the locals as is possible. We were invited to visit a school in Tsumeb that has been founded for the children of the displaced San (Bushman) peoples of northern Namibia.
The Ombili School was founded in 1989, and is supported largely by the Lions' Club of Mosbach, Germany, along with several other sponsors. They have approximately 300 children in school, ages 4 - 16 or so. And, immediately surrounding the school, a more permanent Bushman village has grown into being. In addition to the school, the Ombili Foundation supports health care and instruction in gardening and craft marketing for the peoples that they serve. According to Ombili's literature, their aim is "Help to self-help".
Anyway, if you'd like to visit a Bushman school and a worthy endeavor near Tsumeb, I'd suggest you hook up with Ombili. Also, please check out my travelogue photos on Ombili, on my main Namibia page.
Directions? Head NW out of Tsumeb on the B1 highway. Approximately 70 km outside Tsumeb, turn right on the D3004. The turnoff to Ombili is another 20 km. CALL AHEAD.
If you would like to HEAR the Ombili School choir (see photo), write to me. I'll send you (to an external email address) a short .wma file of the choir singing. All that I ask is that you promise to send a small donation to the folks at Ombili.
The Ombili Stiftung-Foundation
P. O. Box 137
www.ombili.org OR email@example.com
While we stayed at the swanky Sossusvlei lodge, we had an interesting bathroom situation. The bathrooms, like the rooms, are surrounded by glass on almost all sides. YES, you can see in and out, even into the bathroom. The showers are crystal, too. Very nice. They have small privacy fences erected, and there is a vast plain in front of the hotel upon which people are prohibited to walk, in the interest of privacy.
And if the glass bathroom and crystal shower isn't open enough for you, they also have an outdoor shower on everyone's terrace, by their rock garden. Showering under the Namibian night sky or perhaps in the brisk afternoon outdoors has its pluses.
AND, if you're lucky enough to have a wife or significant other who is cool enough to shower outside WITH you... well, let's just say that this place could live in your memory FOREVER.
As easy driving in Namibia is - so little traffic, wide, open and straight roads ... it is important to take a rest from time to time.
Only where? There are not many places where you could sit in the shadow of a tree and out in the sun it is definitely too hot.
Fortunately the Namibians know that too and provide these rest places along the bigger roads.
You will come about them quite regularly. They are not much, but they have a roof that gives shadow and a trash can for your leftovers.
We used them quite frequently without any problems at all. My travel book stated that the ones between Windhoek and the cities North of it should be avoided because they had gangs there that waited for the tourists and robbed them, but I never saw anything like that.
Maybe also because we were two cars...
We only stayed for one night sadly, as on our return to Windhoek we travelled on to a game farm. But...more
If you want a good campsite at Sossusvlei (Sesriem campsite) you need to book in Windhoek and/or...more
the hotel was well located and the rooms that I had to pass by on the way to mine looked good. Mine...more
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