Namibian Road Trip Part III: Introducing the Desert Mini-posts

We lied…to ourselves. We honestly thought we could cover Namibia in 2 or 3 posts but we just can’t. After spending 3 glorious weeks driving in Namibia- we are struggling to condense it. And not surprisingly, we’ve taken more photos in this country than anywhere else.

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One or two posts won’t do this beautiful country justice!

After leaving the North, we headed into the desert.   This post will be a quick recap of our desert time and observations and then we’ll break it down into a mini-series of the places we visited. Our drive in the desert was overall really remote. Essentially no paved roads for over 1,000 miles and excluding 2 cities, basically no infrastructure.  Below  are a few shots of the terrain we drove through.

Our series of desert mini-posts will cover:

  • Swakopmund: Where we discovered the Living Desert and location of Mad Max filming. 2nd largest city in Namibia.
  • Sossusvlei: Probably the most photogenic part of the country. Spectacular large red sand dunes.
  • Ludertiz: Small coastal town where we spent 2 days. There is a famous German diamond-mining town that was abandoned and has been completely taken over by the sand.
  • Klein-Aus Vista and Fish River Canyon: Klein Aus Vista is most known for their “semi-wild” desert horses. The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa

In the desert, water is so extremely scarce. Namibia is a country that really struggles because of very limited rainfall, even in “rainy” season. Almost all riverbeds are dry year round. It made us really appreciate our running water at home.

During our visit it did rain a bit (as we were traveling in the “rainy” season), which overwhelmed some of the riverbeds. We (okay, so Matt was driving) even ended up having to ford a river Oregon Trail style. Luckily the river was not too deep so no oxen, pounds of food or clothes were lost.

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Matt successfully fords a river without losing any oxen, food or clothes.

From a wildlife perspective, it was certainly less in the desert than in the central and northern regions. With that said, we still saw lots of oryx, kudu, ostriches and other antelope. It’s amazing how much life exists in these elements.


Phi also had one extremely scary wildlife encounter. One evening, we had climbed to the top of a rocky outcrop to watch the sunset. This was our 2nd night in the campsite and had done the same thing the previous night with no problem. Phi needed to use the bathroom, so was heading down a few minutes before me. As I watched her descend and was guiding her down from above, she yelled up, “MATT SNAKE”. She climbed back up the rocks faster than I’ve ever seen her move.

 

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Phi moments before her cobra encounter. Little did she know what was around the corner…

Now, for the scary part. She saw a cobra. I could see the cobra standing up from where I was. It was only 5 feet or so from Phi and was standing slowly moving towards her. These are really poisonous snakes and the nearest hospital was about a 3-hour drive on gravel roads away. Phew. After this, we descended down a different path together. Happily, we didn’t see any more snakes in Namibia.

 

 

We crossed over Tropic of Capricorn. Really, it just allowed an opportunity for some cool photos.

 

We saw so many abandoned cars on our drive through Namibia. It was incredible seeing how the cars were dismantled for metal, parts etc. and observing the impacts of the sun. Even though these cars weren’t limited to the desert, we wanted to sneak in a few pictures of some abandoned cars.

DESERTED: Our mini photo collection

 

With that, we’ll move onto our desert mini-posts, starting with Swakopmund! Are you as excited as we are? Or were you okay with our blog drought (haha)?

 

Still reading? Here are some fun questions we have for you:

  1. Have any of you had a scary wildlife encounter?
  2. Have you ever forded a river in Oregon Trial without losing pounds of food, oxen or clothing? (If yes- how?!)
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