We've been prepping since 2am, it's now 04:05am and we're making our way to the first destination; AUGRABIES over 1100km's drive...
Today we're travelling from EAST LONDON to AUGRABIES FALLS approx. 1017km's. (Our longest stretch of road) - Estimated travel time 14 hours. Tomorrow we'll head for AI AIS about 456km's. The difference is that from tomorrow onwards we will hit gravel roads... Everything going well! At the moment we're going through the KAROO (BRITSTOWN).
We've had many challenges with the vehicles from slipping fan belts and the cooling fan stopping, to electrical and other issues. All the extra stops for the vehicles turned this 14 hours drive (supposed to be) into an 18 and a half hours drive. We arrived at the AUGRABIES FALLS camp site at about 21:30 and then had to offload; set up tents; make dinner and get ready to leave for the next day’s journey. We sat down for dinner and afterwards quickly settled.
Spent 3 nights at Etosha Reserve, saw 6 lions hiding at the waterhole while a herd of zebra came to drink. Then after 10 hours drive, 550km later, we entered Boesmanland. The San Bushmen are the locals here, near the Namibia/Botswana border. Stopped to view the Meteorite Site on route.
Today we drove to the other side of the park - 2 hour drive viewing plentiful game. We stopped at the "Etosha Pan lookout point" just miles and miles of white dry river bed. We set up camp at Okaukuejo Rest Camp. Here there is a water hole famous for the wildlife it attracts. We saw a herd of zebra; giraffe; buck; elephant; jackal come to drink.
After an early start, we continued our 4x4 challenge for another 6 hours average 8km/h. It was grueling and tough, lost 1 tyre along the way but arrived safely and victoriously at Kunene River Lodge that afternoon. Celebrated with steak on the braai! Saw many "likkewaan" and monkeys and beautiful bird life.
Spent 2 nights at Kunene River Lodge. Then on the road again! Drove for 2 hours on much better roads - graded dirt to Ruacana. Set up camp at Sunset Lodge Rest Camp. Drove past the large Hydro Power Plant - Namib Power on route, quite impressive!
Made an early start to get to Etosha National Park. Stopped at Oshakati on route for supplies. As we drove through the park gates we began siting game. We saw lion; elephant; giraff; zebra; wildebeest and many buck species. Set up camp at Namutoni Rest Camp. Slept soundly to the background of howling jackal and hyhena - Africa, we love you!
We spent 3 nights at Epupa Falls enjoying the beautiful oasis in the middle of dry desert terrain. We even went white water rafting on the Kunene River which is over populated with crocodiles! We viewed a few from our raft as we went down the river, trusting they would keep to themselves, and we would stay in our raft!
Our 4x4 off road journey continued along the Kunene River without our fellow travellers. It was slow but extreemly beautiful. Met many Himba villages and people along the way. After 5 hours of careful traveling, average 10km/h, we arrived at our very rustic, rural bush camp. It was a gem of a site right on the banks of the river. Being self sufficient makes all the difference here! Grateful for the experience Lord.
Well our 14 days in the real rural portion of Namibia (Kaokoaland) are over and we once again have some form of contact - We are Survivors !!! What an experience - we only lost two tyres on the vehicles but the rest also survived, when you see the pictures you may never believe it, we will report of the experience in short blasts so enjoy.
Our 1st severe 4x4 excursion took us from Kamanjab to Kwowarib. A 158km trip that took us 9 hours along and through dry river beds and extremely rugged terrain. We drove in convoy with 3 other parties which added to the fun and games! Scenery was spectacular, experience life changing!
The next day we decided to press on to Epupa Falls on the Kunenie River, border of Angola and Namibia. Dirt roads all the way. Another 9 hours travel through beautiful scenery. We saw many Himba people along the way, a proud traditional tribe living off the land. Their villages were dotted all over the landscape, their dress and hair-do's were fascinating!
Had a wonderful week of meetings in Windhoek, believe many lives were impacted by the truth of God's Word. Back on our African travels again! This time we travel north towards Kaokoland bordering Angola!
Last night we camped at a rustic site in Brandberg Nat. Park - home of the desert elephant. Today we pushed through to Kamanjab, camping at Oppie Koppie. Stunning campsite in the wild. Will begin our 10 day rural expedition tomorrow, no towns, shops, water; food or fuel supplies for next 2 weeks! Keep us in your prayers!
So far we have done 4700km, 71hours in the car, traveling an ave. of 4hrs/day. Still having the time of our lives! Home schooling has become car schooling on dirt roads. Really excited for our 10 days of 'Survival Africa' will use satellite to keep you updated. Africa, here we come, bug spray and all!
Having a great time in the Morning Sessions here in Namibia Financial Empowerment Conference, Namibia Convention Centre. Over 200 registered for the day time sessions. Hosted by TBN Namibia and co-ordinated by Coenie Botha, CEO TBN Namibia. Awesome Time - thanks for your prayers.
We left our wilderness camp in the sand & bush and travelled towards the coast. We stopped for apple pie at a charming place called Solitaire. Carl & Tasha spotted a pack of wild dogs! 300km of rough, dirt road later, we arrived in Swakopmund.
Our camp site feels too domesticated! Paved roads; green cut grass & private ablutions. Like camping in a yard! Where is my dust; sand and wild life in the middle of no-where?!
After traveling about 150km today, we reached Sesriem and set up camp. We packed a picnic and drove into the heart of the Namib desert, past the famous "Dune 45" to Sossusvlei - a dry river pan surrounded by beautiful red sand dunes. We ate and climbed a large dune, sat on top and waited for sun set! Glorious view and colors! Saw much game today including a few jackal.