Kaokoland Damaraland Namibia 2021
Namibia is one of those destinations where it is difficult to say why it is a must do. The reason is that it is just one of those magical places.
We visit two regions of significance culturally:
Kaokoland was an administrative unit in northern South West Africa, in the Kaokoveld ecoregion, and it was intended to be a self-governing homeland of the OvaHimba. In the same way Damaraland was intended by the apartheid government to be a self-governing homeland for the Damara people.
Further to their cultural history we can today experience the geological history in all its splendour.
Global plate movements of around 560 million years ago pushed many areas together to form the supercontinent Gondwana, which included most of the landmasses which make up today’s continents of the Southern Hemisphere. During the millions of years that followed the only changes to the shape of the Damara mountains came from weather erosion and subsidence. Another period of mountain creation in Namibia began, named the Karoo time, which dramatically changed the face of Namibia. At that time Namibia was closer to the Antarctic and much of the interior was covered with glaciers.
To bare witness today to this awesome landscape is truly an honour. Here the un spoilt nature is still un spoilt.
The tour requires a bit of off road driving, and then rewards you with the most spectacular landscape scenery you have ever seen.
We only stay in recognised campsites, no bushcamping.
We take it slow and have a few days of relaxing.
We drive the Kunene river, visit Etosha, negotiate van Zyls pass, Marienfluss, one or two famous rivers around Phuros and Sesfontein. Truly a magical two weeks.
Join us on this spectacular tour and do a few things you might not have done before.
You don’t need any experience as a 4×4 driver and you only need a basic 4×4 with low range. Nothing fancy. I am there and will help through the technical areas.
We all arrive in the afternoon for our first night at the campsite on the trans Kalahari highway. There is a restaurant available if you don’t feel like cooking.
We cross in to Namibia and sleep en route to Windhoek.
We continue our journey North and head for the Anderson gate of Etosha. We sleep at this lodge for two nights.
We enter Etosha National Park and spend the day in the park. We have a look around look for a few big cats, some Ellies and whatever else is out there.
We continue on and head north towards Ruacana. Our camp on the Kunene river.
After breakfast we set off to do the Cunene 4 x 4 trail. This trail can be done in one day and we had towards our Campsite at Epupa falls for the next 2 nights.
We take a well deserved rest day and relax under the trees, reading a book or just sleeping in a little bit. There are some activities available if you feel like it. This will also be a braai night where I provided the pap and sous and you bring your own meat for a braai.
After breakfast we continue our journey towards the Marienfluss and start our preparation for van Zyls. We sleep before the pass to make sure we are fresh when we tackle it.
We traveled down the notorious van Zyls pass and make our way to our campsite for the next two nights, remember to bring your paint or marker to scribble on your stone and pack the stone on the pile of travellers messages before you. We drive through the Marienfluss and head to camp for two nights.
We take the day to explore around the area have lunch on the Kunene river banks and just enjoy the scenes.
After breakfast we had towards the Hartmann Valley. We enjoy the splendour of this area. We take a relaxing drive down towards the Phuros area.
Further south and on to a lovely community campsite for the night.
We transition over in to the Damaraland area where we visit the Doors crater.
Our last night in the area is spent at the Brandberg. a spectacular mountain with sunset.
This is where our journey ends and we start heading home. We sleep in Namibia for our last night.
From here I am heading back to Johannesburg. You are welcome to join me on the trans Kalahari highway, or you can break away and turn directly down to the Cape Town area.
Tour specific comments
van Zyls pass:
Much is said and written about the pass but it really is not a big issue. It is only a few hundred metres in total that needs a bit of concentration. We take it easy and make sure we don’t damage any vehicles. Nothing is rushing us. It is an enjoyable experience.
A normal 4×4 with low range as you buy them from the shop floor. No special kit required.
No experience required, I personally guide the tour and will give you everything you need as we go.
No towing please, I include van Zyls’ pass on this one and do not want to damage your kit.
There is 220V power available from time to time