Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Southern Africa road trip Part 5


Himba ladies selling goods on side of road
The guy who arrived with a cold before the tour decided to stay behind in Swakopmund and gave up on the tour. I guess tenting and roughing it is not a whole heap of fun when you are feeling rubbish.
We said "auf wiedersehen" and off we went in the direction of Twyfelfontein, now only 15 of us.

The roads along the way were flooded and we encountered a bus well and truly stuck. Lucky for us, our driver has worked for the company nearly two decades and knows the truck, the roads and how to drive in all conditions. Even he was amazed at how green Namibia was, how full the rivers were and how much rain Namibia has had.

A bus awaiting a second truck to tow it from mud
We took all the required detours and never took any chances. Our next stop was the cutest camp in the desert. I was repeatedly amazed at how the locals, a mix of Afrikaners, Germans, Bushmen and Africans had been able to make comfortable lives in the harshest of environments.

This camp had a system called a donkey to heat the water to the showers. See here - donkey water heating. Would have liked cell phone signal but it was not to be in many places and this was one of those places. But then again, who wants to be on the phone in the bush.


Toilet and shower block at camp site
Easter Sunday we woke up to a special spread put on by our tour guide. Lots of chocolate.

Next we made our way toward to Okavango Bush Camp next to the Okavango River which separates Angola from Namibia. The vegetation changed from arid to savanna to green and bushy. We saw lots of Oryx, also known as Gemsbok, a sort of antelope and assorted other buck en route.

We got there earlyish and were able to put up our tents and squeeze in a quickie game drive in the Etosha National Park. We saw hyena, lion, buck, birds and some reptiles. Game reserves close at fixed times and you better be out in time or you risk trouble.

Campsite
We made it out in time and we knew the routine. Unpack the trestle tables, unfold and set up chairs, wash and prepare food, light the fire, get food cooking and squeeze in a quick shower. Some preferred to shower after supper so they didn't smell like smoke.

Supper was sausages with pap and traditional sauce. Pap is a sort of porridge made from maize meal. It can be cooked to be either soft or firm. It can be eaten sweet or savory. The sauce is usually an onion and tomato gravy. I had a parcel of chopped veggies baked on the fire.
Entrance to Etosha National Park
After supper we heated water to wash the dishes in our very own portable container and packed everything well away from scavangers such as hyena or monkeys who feel no pain to devour food rations.

That night we heard lion roaring and hyena barking close by. It does rather make one nervous to visit the toilet block when there are wild animals close by. Especially at night and when there is no moonlight.

Click here to go to Part 6.