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Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 07 Jun 2017 20:03
by Peter Connan
About 9-10 months ago, a friend and I were discussing where our next trip should be. We were in favor of a trip to the Central Kalahari. But our wives (mine in particular) were adamant that they wanted to see the sea.

Then we discovered that, from the 8th of April and the 1st of May, we could get three full weeks for the cost of 8 day's leave...

This meant that we could do a proper trip, one we had both been dreaming of for years. But this was definately a trip for trailers, as we would be 8 people in two Patrols, and some of our stops would be multiple days. Gerrit just bought one (from Trailerman), but as you all know by now, my way is not that easy. i had to build one...

Eventually, the day arrived.
The target for day1 was to get 100-200km past Kang and find a spot to wild-camp. We were going great guns until we got to Zeerust. Something you guys may not know about, but there is something about Zeerust: nobody there can actually drive. The problem is so bad that, at the first stop street as you enter town, Gerrit, who had never had a proper accident in his life, ran into the back of my trailer.

He did some damage to his nudge bar and bumper, but fortunately no real damage.
My trailer, on the other hand, was more seriously damaged. The surge tube snapped off, the drawbar bent a bit, the kitchen drawer setup was pretty badly damaged and the rear storage box was destroyed. Also, the towbar on my car was bent downwards and the rear door was bent as well.

Things were looking pretty grim untill Gerrit found a small engineering shop who were prepared to help us out on a Saturday. The proprieter turned me up a new surge tube out of solid bar while Gerrit and I removed the remnants of the rear box, patched up the kitchen drawer and made a few other small repairs, while the girls went and got lunch in the town.

This had unfortunately set us back about 4-5 hours, and now we were under pressure for time. We got throught the border with no problems, and as we drove into the sunset, there were spectacular thunder-showers around. We reached Kang just as full dark hit. Since we had already seen a considerable number of cattle in the roads, we decided to stop at the Kang Ultra Stop, and also ate in the restaurant.
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Re: Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 07 Jun 2017 20:12
by Peter Connan
9 April:

The target for the day was Windhoek. There, we would do most of our grocery shopping, and also buy permits for a number of the places we would visit.

Because we had not gotten as far as we wanted to the previous day, we had some time to make up, but the day passed without any major issues.

I was surprised at how hilly the area around Windhoek is, and shortly before hitting the town we ran into rain.
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Our campsite was Urban Camp, which is right inside Windhoek. It's quite a nice camp, however do note that it is nearly fully cemented, so you need a tent that doesn't require pegs. Each stand has a shade-net roof, and we both pulled our trailersunder these roofs to shield us a little from the rain, which continued throughout the night, only ending after we had packed up camp and hitched our trailers.

Re: Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 08 Jun 2017 05:26
by Peter Connan
10 April:

So, I took the girls to the first big mall we could find. I then returned to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism offices to buy the required permits.

Only on the way back to the mall did I start wondering: 1) How was I going to find parking for car and trailer, and 2) How was I going to find my family. In the end, it was easy. I found a double parking in the first row I drove down, and as soon as I stopped I saw Gerrit's car in the row in front of me.

But as always the shopping took longer than expected, and by the time we hit the road, it was mid-day. The target was Eldorado B&B, which is just outside Anderson gate of the Etosha National Park. Once again, we arrived just after sunset, having been spoiled to a few more thunderstorms in the afternoon, but fortunately we only got a few drops of it ourselves.
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11 April:

We were heading into Etosha. We had five nights booked at Okaukeujo. It was a short drive, so we took our time packing up. First, I found some birds in the camp.
Fork-tailed Drongo:
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And an African Cuckoo:
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At Anderson Gate, the official asked whether we had a Dronk Camero. It took a minute or two toe figure out he was looking for drone cameras, not inebriated Chevvys.

The advantage of having spent the previous night just outside the park is that we arrived at Okaukeujo at 10 AM, just when the camp was at it's emptiest, so we could pick a fairly nice spot. Of course we got into trouble because it was officially before check-in time (why do we have to be so petty about stuff like this?), and we could pitch camp before it got really hot.

Of course, I was soon out for an afternoon drive.

Gymnogene raiding a Communal Weaver's nest:
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Dusky Lark:
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Greater Kestrel:
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LAte-afternoon rain:
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Re: Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 08 Jun 2017 05:47
by Peter Connan
12 April:

The advantage of the trailer over an RTT is that I could slip out of camp early, while the girls are still sleeping.

Early morning rain:
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I headed for Newbrowni water hole.
These Northern Black Korhaan are very common, and very noisy.
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Double-banded Courser:
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I didn't see much game, but on the way back to camp I did have a nice sighting of some young Jackal:
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After brunch, I had some fun with the Communal Weavers in a nest in the stand next to ours
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Before wandering over to the camp's water hole.
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Some Zebra came for a drink while I was there (the only mammals I saw there during our stay).
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And after that it was time for another drive. It was really quiet, but with spectacular storms around.
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I then had to race back to camp to make gate time (actually, I was ten mminutes late), only to find that this storm was falling right on our camp. There were also pretty serious winds, but our camp stood up fairly wel, except for one detail: one of the kids had left their side of the tent open, so their mattress was pretty wet...

Re: Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 08 Jun 2017 09:15
by ricster
Nice pics Peter !!

Re: Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 08 Jun 2017 10:36
by Jorrie
Baie mooi fotos Piet. Baie dankie.

Re: Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 08 Jun 2017 12:03
by FordGuy
baie mooi fotos

Re: Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 08 Jun 2017 12:15
by Michael
Nice fotos en report so ver Peter

Re: Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 08 Jun 2017 13:08
by Tinus lotz
Kom piet plak dude..... :lol: :blonde: :blonde: :blonde:

Re: Central Namibia - Three weeks of hell (not)!

Posted: 08 Jun 2017 14:23
by Jules
Nice prentjies en n Lekkor storie om te volg , hoop jy play ook prentjies van jul kamp