We entered Namibia via the Caprivi Strip, hopping along the Okavango river. Some cooler days before we would enter the smothering heat of the west. We stayed two nights in Etosha National Park and we got our little present we have been hoping for: a cheetah! The first day in the park was definitely one of the worst game drives ever – we saw a whole bunch of nothing – but the following morning we saw three cheetahs. Happy us! Not only that, we also saw some lions in the distance, black rhinos and a lot of smaller game in beautiful settings.
From Etosha we went further up north to explore Kaokoveld. In Opuwo we got the first sense of this area, a dusty town with an interesting mix op people. Doing groceries next to a Himba woman, who is covered in red clay, only wearing jewelry and an animal skin skirt is pretty special. We stocked up for six days, because we were going into the wild again. With temperatures rising up to 45 degrees Celsius we first visited Epupa Falls, camping next to the river surrounded by palm trees.
The next day would become our toughest ride by far. Although we had our doubts, we decided to cross the Van Zyl’s pass. The Lonely Planet calls this pass beautiful but frightfully steep and challenging. Holy shit, this book did not lie. It already took us 7 hours (140 km) to get to the beginning of the pass. Once we were there, there was no way back because you can only take this pass from east to west. Two sections were extremely steep, we even had to move rocks to create stepping stones for the car. While Charlotte was guiding Guus of the cliff (it sure as hell felt like it) both our hands were shaking. But we got through and we got our reward, we found a beautiful wild camp after the pass in the valley.
The next two days were mesmerizing. Still some challenging roads but every 50 km the landscape changed. From beautiful valleys to sandy river beds with the endangered desert elephant and giraffe. From dark rocky mountains to the ocean of the Skeleton Coast. What a ride. Although it was tough, Namibia is bringing us one of the best experiences we’ve had on our trip and it’s not even over yet.