Etosha is one of the largest game parks in Africa covering an area of 22,270 sq km. The central landmark here is the Etosha Pan. Covering nearly 5000 sq km, the pan is vast salt plain, remnant of a large inland lake. The pan is mostly dry but occasionally floods bringing thousands of flamingos and white pelicans. The surrounding limestone formations create a reservoir that supply the pan and various water holes with water to support the huge numbers of plant life and wildlife. Most of the vegetation grows around the surrounding pan in the limestone ground. Sweet grass and umbrella-thorn acacias provide the greatest source for browsers and grazers. The park boasts 114 species of mammal including black-faced impala, black rhino, mountain zebra, and brown hyena.
Check out my Etosha National Park page for more information.
Etosha National Park
The “Dune Sea” of Namibia’s Great Namib Desert runs over 200 miles from the Orange River to the South to the Kuiseb River to the North. It contains some of the oldest, largest, and reddest dunes in the world. These giants reach up to 300 meters above the parched river bed.
The Namib-Naukluft National Park covers 23,000 sq miles and is one of the largest parks in the world. The shifting sands are constantly changing here making this one of the most dynamic landscapes in the world.
Sossuvlei is at the heart of the desert and an excellent place to explore some of the largest dunes in the Namib. Sesriem is the main camp that allows access to the park and has good facilities.
This place does not look or seem of this earth. The light and contrasts are a photographers dream.
Check out my Namib-Naukfluft National Park page for more information.
Namib-Nauklfut National Park
Even though the Skeleton Coast of Namibia brings to mind endless stretches of sand where nothing lives and death is the only certainty for grounded ships and their crew, its cold waters are bursting with marine life. The Artic Benguela Current is plankton rich attracting mackerel, anchovies, and pilchards which in turn bring cape fur seals, sharks, and a plethora of bird life as well.
Cape Cross is one of the largest and best know of the seal colonies. It contains thousands and thousands of seals that are practically on top of each other there is so many. Even in the water you can see them floating, frolicking, and fighting to use a poor onamonapea. The site is quite spectacular and so is the smell.
Apparently, there is real problem with the seals and their competition with the fishing industry. So not only is the brown hyena a danger to the seals but men culling the seal to maintain their population is a danger too.
Admission is $3 US or about $25 Rand per person and vehicle.
You may not cross the barrier that separates the seals from their visitors.
Stinky toilets are available that are just as bad as the seals themselves.
Snack bar with drinks and other munchies available.
Check out my Cape Cross page for more information.
Cape Cross Seal Colony
Sossusvlei is home to the highest dunes in the world. Surrounded by the sea of sand they rise over 300 metres above sea level.
'Sossusvlei' can be translated as 'the gathering place of water' but in fact its prime feature seems to be the lack of water. In fact, Sossusvlei, which is a large clay pan with sand dunes around, does fill with water from time to time. It happens after a heavy rainfall and then dunes block the waters of the Tsauchab River preventing them from flowing towards the ocean. The dry pan changes then into a lake surrounded by greenery - a sight hard to imagine.
You can get to Sossusvlei from sesriem, but the last 4 km can be made only by 4x4 vehicles. If you aren't driving one you will have to walk the distance. To enter the Namib-Naukluft Park of which Sossusvlei is a part, one needs an entry permit, which can be obtained at the Sesriem, Namib and walvis tourism associations.
The day we visit Himba people was a special day. We did have a meeting to go to a little Himba village. The village was full of women and children. They show us some of their customs.
I did learn much about them, but I didn't liked how they introduce us to the village. I founded it very rude cause I felt we where stolen a bit of their intimacy.
I did had the great luck to have a herero guide. He didn't came with us to the village, and after we did contrast the information with his.
I did learn much of Uanee, special thanks to him.
The most interesting attraction in Twfelfontein is the ancient rock petroglyps. These glyps were cut 6000 years ago presumably by nomadic hunters. Through the red sandstone they cut leaving a pinkish figures of animals, humans, and other geometric shapes. You can see elephants, rhinos, giraffes, wildebeest, and other African wildlife that we still see today. The dry and desolate landscape has preserved these amazing vestiges of ancient Namibia even though they bask in plain view of the sun.
Open sunrise to sunset
Tour of the engravings provide although not very insightful
Cost is about $1 US or $10 Rand per person and vehicle
Located about 200 km north of Swakopmund as the crow flies west of C35
Namib is one of the oldest deserts in the world. The name means vast, and is really a vast park of orange sand. Is one of the largest conservation area of the world. The sand was swept to Sossusvley from Kalahari Desert by the Orange River.
The landscape are really incredible beautiful. One of the most beautiful I have ever seen? Perhaps.
I spent 3 days here. One of the mornings I took a little plain and flight all over this red world. It was really great.
Of course Etosha is one of the must if you come to Namibia.
I went in October, it was very hot, but we saw many animals. How you see them? ... you see them as you go driving along the park, but specially at the waterholes where they go to drink during day and night.
What can you find there?
Black Rhino (I saw)
Elephant (I saw many)
Gemsbok (I saw many)
Giraffe (I saw many)
Zebras (I saw many)
Ostrich (I saw)
Springbok (I saw many)
Red Hartebeest (I saw many)
Wildbeest ( I saw many)
Lions ( I saw many .... two times, over 15 together and one alone)
Kudu ( I saw many)
I did went to Etosha with a very good guide Uanee. Thanks to him we saw all the animals we saw with detail.
If you go to Etosha you should go with a good guide that will make you see every bird and go to the waterholes at the best times
After a long way through Skeleton Coast we arrived to Cape Cross. You have to pay a fee entrance at the reception where you will find big wale's bones.
You get where the seals are and you park the car where the Cross of Cape Cross are. It was cold and windy and its true that there is a big smell but you get use to it after a while. Thousands of seals, babies, males, females, jackals around many seals skeletons at the shore, the sky full of birds ... a coast of life and death.
It is true that every day many are sacrificed, I was said it was for control the population number cause they are so many that the end with the fish reserve.
Oukakoueja Camp has (as the other two camps in Etosha Ntl Park: Halali and Namutoni) a waterhole that is lighted in the night. This one in Oukakoueja is the waterhole where you most likely see most animals.
Starting after dark, it seems to be a theatrical play: Here come the giraffae, very cautious and slowly they proceed to the waterhole. Why so cautious? Because there are lions around. You haven´t seen them yet? But you will. They keep the giraffae at a distance, at least until the rhinoceros arrive.... and they only stay until the elefants come...
Don´t forget: the gates of the Camps iin the park close at sunset. You have to be in before that happens
More Tips: Dress with long sleeves and use a repellent against the mosquitoes.
Take a flash light with you (especially, if you are not staying in the bungalows on the camp but on the campsite)
From the Buellsport Guest Farm you can make some very nice walking-trips through the surroundings: Namib Naukluft park.
One of them is the walk through the Quivertree gorge.
By car you are being driven (via a viewpoint) to the beginning of the trail.
You descent into the gorge, you see wild zebras, quivertrees, dassies, antelopes and you find water on the ground. (very rare in this dry surrounding).
The water is so clear you can drink it or bath in it like in a natural bath-tube.
Further down the gorge you get picked up again and driven back.
Start: 7.30 am.
Back around 2 p.m. (depends how fast you walk)
Time to walk: 1.5-3.5 hours
Bring: enough water, good shoes.
Soussouvlei is a really nice place to go, %c
BUT: be warned. The road that goes in (and out, since it is only one) is 67 km long, the last 5 km are only permitted if you have a 4WD (and believe it, you will need it, since it is only sand there).
The road was tarred 1 year ago,when we were there(2003), but you wouldn't believe it. It has so many big potholes, that a normal gravel-road like elsewhere in Namibia would be better. The only thing what it improves is, that there isn't that much dust from the cars anymore.
If you go into this dead-end street and you are 2 cars: leave one outside, you must come back the same road anyway...
The big dunes begin after about 30 km.
Dune number 45, which is famous because its closest to the street can be climbed: just try it!
If you have a 4WD do the last 5 km, it is also quite fun driving.
In the Dead Vlei (at the end) you should go and walk a little (1km to, 1km back).
Twyfelfountain -which means something like "unsure fountain" is the place of a giant "open air museum".
Here on the red Sandstone you can find more than 2500 rock carvings. (Petroglyphs).
Scientists are still quarreling about how old they are. They vary from several hundred to several thousand years.
Most of the carvings (and paintings) show animals. They are easy to recognize. But there are also signs that would show one how to find water here.
The Area is a National Monument and you have to have a guide to visit it. The guide you will find right at the parking space. Most of them do their job very good, so don´t forget to tip them.
Come early since most guides will be occupied in the afternoon, then you have to wait until one is free.
Bring good shoes, you will have to walk/climb to see the more interesting Plates.
p.s. can you see the elefant on wheels?
-actually they are not wheels but the footprints of the animal, thats how they portrayed it. It can also be seen on the famous lion.(not on this plate)
Damaraland has quite a lot of wild desert elefants.
They are special to normal elefants since they do need very less water and walk sometimes over 70 km a day to get it (normal elefants like in Etosha make only around 10km a day)
Also they do not destroy trees like normal elephants do. They will eat from them, but not too much, so they can come back later.
Not many people do see them. But you have a good chance, if you stay in the Aba Huab Rest Camp. (see tip Aba Huab Campsite ) They have a watering hole there, the elephants sometimes visit.
And they make an imposant view. Let me tell you this.
These fossilated Trees are about 280 Million years old.
As the ones in Amerika, you can still see that they were actually trees, they have the year-rings and sometimes the bark is visible. But they are from stone -achate I think.
Nobody knows where they come from, the most common theorie is, that a huge floodwave took them with it from way north.
It is a national monument, so do not take any souvenirs with you, here.
You will need a guide to come with you (and watch that you don´t take anything). They can be quite persistent. The guide costs around 20N$ but he will not tell you much about what you see.
What I found interesting is, that the famous Welwitchia (see: Welwitchia-drive from Swakopmund) grows here also. That is not written in the Travel books. And you can see them more easy than on the drive...
The picture shows the plant Welwitchia mirabilis with a petrified tree.Damaraland, west of Khorixas
D2612 will bring you there
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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