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April 1, 2013 / samwilson60

Into Namibia

The next morning, the piste soon took us off in a direction not marked on any of our maps but it was clearly the only real route left and it was heading due south to Namibia, so we went with it. This resulted in us taking a border crossing not marked on the Michelin map either, but it was clearly a viable, used crossing and if anything more convenient than the one we’d be aiming for.

The Angolans were a lot happier letting us out than they had been letting us in and, despite the linguistic hurdles, we had all the right forms filled in and stamps stamped within minutes. On the Namibian side, where there was no language barrier to blame, it took much longer and we ended up filling in forms we didn’t even need to, but still the process was relatively efficient and easy. We’d made friends with the customs ladies before getting down to business with immigration, the police or the road tax man, which made the world of difference when it came to the vehicle inspection. We spent more time discussing the fact that we were both unmarried and childless (always a hot topic) than we did showing them around the Tinker Beast, and before long we were off – into Namibia!

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We really couldn’t believe where we were. Somehow this felt like a massive landmark and the start of an exciting new leg of the journey. We spent a lot of the day discussing the fact that we couldn’t come back to southern Africa without an Angolan visa (and perhaps a Portuguese phrase book), having just barely scratched the surface and felt so comfortable there, but now we were in Namibia, for which we had both a guide book and a grasp of the language. We were also officially in ‘Southern Africa’ and finally able to consider our options post-Cape Hot. There was lots we wanted to see and do in Namibia first, but we could suddenly also see the eastern side of the continent opening up before us – money, time and pages in passports permitting!

Before getting too carried away, we – and the Tinker Beast – were in need of some down time. It had been pretty non-stop since leaving Libreville and we’d amassed quite a long list of odd jobs so we decided our first stop should be the Oppi-Koppi rest camp in Kamanjab – a highly recommended campsite with an owner so keen on overlanders he lets them camp for free! When the road turned to gravel about 20km after the border, we thought perhaps we’d end up camping at one of the picnic spots but, while long, the road was refreshingly fast and smooth.

By the time we were nearing the campsite, we were like children on the first night of a holiday (not weary, smelly travellers on night 188). We were made to feel very welcome, not at all like free-loaders, and even before we’d met the resident porcupines and ostriches, we knew we’d be staying a while!

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Peter Cullen / Apr 1 2013 9:52 am

    Love the hedgehog.

    Peter

  2. Evez / Apr 1 2013 9:06 pm

    We just got back from Namibia and had a great time down there. I heard it is one of the few African countries that are relatively safe! Make sure you guys go down to Sossouvlei to see the sand dunes; that’s where we took amazing photos. (check out my blog!) 🙂 Happy blogging!

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