We decided to do a quick road trip tour of Namibia when a friend was in town. We originally thought about getting a camping 4×4 The kind with pop-up tents on the roof. But in the end, the desire to sleep in an actual bed won the day. So we quickly threw together a plan that would mean nearly 40 hours and 3,800 K/ (2,350 miles) of driving.
We picked up our 4×4 in the morning and set off for the border. It was really cool to drive along the western cape on the N7 and get a feel for the rest of the Western Cape. One thing about South Africa is that it certainly has a varied landscape. The metro area of Cape Town gave way to green grapevines, which gave way to arid mountainous regions.
Arriving at the border for Namibia we were quickly reminded of the typical governmental bureaucracy that South Africa seems to take to new heights. After 45 minutes to an hour navigating multiple buildings to get stamps and a police check, we were finally on our way. I wish I could say there was a long line as usually seen at airports, but nope it was just everyone moving at the pace of molasses in a nuclear winter.
Leaving the border crossing we were quickly dropped into a landscape that resembled something seen on the Moon or Mars. We were all amazed at how empty it seemed. Outside of the occasional car we met, it seemed that we were truly alone. We had been advised that driving on Namibian roads at night was something to avoid at all costs, so we were on a mission to get to our first stop before nightfall. Unfortunately, the delay at the border meant we just missed it.
A quick note here: Namibia has “A”, “B”, “C”, and “D” roads. “A” and “B” roads are paved, “C” and “D” roads are gravel. Just like your last exam A is best, and it goes downhill from there.
The next day we decided to take a longer route on a “C” road. WOW!!!! The views we saw on this road were simply amazing, While we took a ton of pictures none of them can do what we saw justice. If you are a professional landscape photographer you should get to Namibia, you won’t regret it. If oceans are your thing Namibia’s also got you covered.
We hit a couple of cities on our tour: first up was the coastal city of Walvis Bay; and then the capital city, Windhoek. Walvis Bay felt a bit like a quaint retirement community. While, Windhoek reminded me of an American city that was at its prime 20 years ago. Given the incredible brutal history of Namibia, it’s great to see these cities doing as well as they look to be. All in all, it seems that Namibia on track to have a bright future.
I’ve gotta say that I really didn’t know what to expect from Namibia, but this experience was amazing and I hope that more people take the time to explore this beautiful country. We had such a great time that we are already talking about doing it again but maybe get in some camping. We just need to be sure to have plenty of water, since Namibia is s the driest country in sub-Saharan Africa.
– Until next time.