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Driving from Botswana to Namibia is driving from green & wet into dry & red and from a wildlife paradise to a photographers' dream. Namibia is a country of extremes where pure Africa meets German 'Gründlichkeit'. Where you can experience endless remoteness and enjoy incredible diversity.
Of course we continued what we love doing: spotting wildlife! We saw Lions, Cheetahs, the rare Black Rhino, Elephants, Hyenas and much more in beautiful Erindi Game Reserve. They are currently working on a variety of conservation projects for Leopards, Wild Dogs, Cheetahs and also looking to complete the Big Five in the park.
Did we say that Namibia is very dry? Well, apparently not always. Heavy rains and flooded camp sites meant we had to change our plans for Etosha National Park. This was a bit of an unforeseen end of our wonderful wildlife bubble, but you have to save something for another time. So we continued our road trip through the beautiful scenery of Namibia and drove west towards the coast.
Driving in Namibia means driving for hours without seeing another car. The Skeleton Coast feels like being alone in the world in a desert next to the ocean. According to Hylke's dad, a lot of seafarers got shipwrecked along the coast here back in the days, and survived. When they finally reached the shore, the worst had yet to come... starving to death because of thirst in this Namibian Desert. Luckily we survived ;-)
You can't drive the Skeleton Coast without stopping at the massive (and smelly) Cape Cross Sea Lion Colony. And finally we saw other people again!
From the Skeleton Coast we drove inland. Spitzkoppe is picture perfect. A giant rock formation in the middle of nowhere with one of the most beautiful camp site right in the middle of it. And one of the best sunsets we have had during our travels with, of course, wine!
After camping for a few weeks in the wild, we spoiled ourselves a little bit in Swakopmund with an apartment. It was also pretty cold here, so a comfy bed in a cozy apartment was a warm welcome.
After Swakopmund we drove further south for another gift from Mother Nature... The Sossusvlei & Deadvlei: Wow! Especially during sunrise before the crowds arrive. We climbed Dune 45 for a spectacular 360 degrees view of the area. It couldn't get any better.
We needed our wildlife fix and drove a 'little' to Kgalagadi National Park on the eastern border. This Trans-Frontier Park is situated between Namibia, South-Africa and Botswana. We travelled into South-Africa to see lots lions, wild cats, giraffes, oryx and more. This time we missed out on the leopards and cheetahs. After 3 days in the park, we drove back into Namibia again, back to the west.
What a drive from East to the West via Fish River Canyon and the Sperrgebiet with Lüderitz and ghost town Kolmannskoppe at the end (of the world). This place was created by German colonists for the diamond trade in early days and is one of the weirdest cities we have been. But definitely a must visit with an amazing scenery again. Because the 'sperrgebiet' is forbidden to enter, the landscape is just empty. This is such a remote corner of Namibia.
A selfdrive in Africa is not without risks and your 4x4 is your best friend. You drive, live and hide in it and completely rely on the car in the wilderness where you have to conquer sandy, muddy and flooded tracks. After 9.000 incredibly beautiful kilometers, unfortunately our clutch died. Lucky for us it happened while leaving Luderitz and we managed to get back to our accommodation. The towing car with the replacement car had to come from the next town, only 600km from Luderitz, oops! Luckily within 24 hours we were on the road again with a replacement car, but also a bit sad we couldn't make it to finish line in Cape Town with our buddy.
After 5 weeks we reached the end of our incredible trip. A self drive in Africa means freedom, non-stop adventure, back-to-basic, unfenced camp sites where wildlife just roams free next to the car. We have seen amazing things before, but this was definitely the highlight of our world trip. With tears in our eyes we left the 4x4 behind in the depot and immediately started dreaming of another self drive trip in Africa.
When an adventure ends, a new adventure awaits: city life in one of our favourite cities in the world: Cape Town!