One visit was not enough. This time, it was a flight to Cape Town, followed by a drive up South Africa’s southwest coast. Snow in the town of Springbok came as a surprise. Crossed the Orange River and headed into southern Namibia. From Fish River Canyon, we drove to Luderitz, and then back into South Africa for a few days in the Kalahari game reserve.
One of the most memorable sights on the road to Luderitz was the arrival of a herd of Namib Desert Feral Horses that have lived on an area covering approximately 350 square kilometres in the Namib Desert, probably descendants of horses brought by early settlers.
As there are no written records about their provenance, their origins remain unclear, but there are, of course, quite a few theories. One of the best places to view these horses is alongside the main road between Aus and Luderitz.
We paid a short visit to Kolmanskop (Afrikaans for Coleman’s hill, German: Kolmannskuppe), a ghost town in the Namib desert in southern Namibia, a few kilometres inland from the port town of Lüderitz. It was named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement. Once a small but very rich mining village, it is now a popular tourist destination run by the joint firm NamDeb (Namibia-De Beers).
The South was more challenging in many ways than the Centre or the North. Finding unleaded fuel was always a problem. The dirt roads were good, though – much better than those that we found in South Africa. Luderitz was something else – and well worth the 250 km drive through the diamond fields.
As ever, this was disorganised travel. Nothing was booked in advance and we found places to stay en route. Apart from one state-run facility and a guest house in a small town on the Nambia/South Africa border, the quality of accommodation and food was exceptional as was the warmth of the welcome.
Skidded off the dirt road into the Kalahari game reserve, which was exciting and an experince not to be repeated. Had been driving on hard sand that suddenly became soft sand…I was not popular.
The accommodation on the northern border back into South Africa was well off the beaten track and was well….interesting.
We also went to Namibia 12 months earlier.