Northwest Namibia

written by am 17. Februar 2012 | achived in Afrika, in English, Namibia

After a short brake of only almost 1 year, I still owe our readership a few travelogues and a final conclusion about the trip around the world – especially in Africa.
The remote northwest of Namibia is undoubtedly one of the wildest and most spectacular parts of Africa. It is no area of intensive tourism and you need quite a bakkie to conquer all the roads and tracks. One of the most famous tracks is the Van Zyl’s Pass – even hard for professional 4×4 drivers in S.A. and Namibia – I decided to skip the adventure, regarding my old bakkie and my older uncle 😉
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Etosha National park, Namibia

written by am 28. Februar 2011 | achived in Afrika, in English, Namibia

We spent some time in Walvis Bay, a town on the west coast of Namibia, before I dropped of Marco at the bus station in Swakopmund 30 km north of Walvis Bay. He had to catch his plane to Cape Town to meet his mother to do Cape Town, Stellenbosch and the Garden Route together before he flew to visit the Gorillas in Ruanda and some other places in East Africa.
A few days later, Bigfoot was repaired again and I drove to Windhoek to catch my uncle at the airport. We wanted to discover the north and northwestern parts of Namibia.
First we headed to Etosha National park in the north.
Etosha, meaning ‚place of dry water‘, is centered underneath a huge, flat calcrete salt pan of about 5,000 square kms in extent in far north Namibia. The variety of mammals is amazing and the big advantage is that the park can be discovered by self driving even without a 4WD. Etosha is one of Africa’s major wildlife sanctuaries, being a game reserve since 1907 and covering an area of more than 22 750 sq km. 3 camps are located in the park. Okaukuejo in the west, near the Andersson Gate, Halali in the middle and Namutoni an old Fort in the eastern part. All three camps provide a waterhole which is illuminated at night. But we had rain season, so all the animals were wide spread all over the park and everything was bushy and green, making the safari more difficult. Once we got stuck in a muddy area, but Jan got out of the car and engaged the four-wheel drive. It was kind of a natural fango package between hartebeests and springboks 😉
But we were lucky to see a lot especially a leopard coming along the road, passing the car in a few meters distance. All images are in “See Us!”

Southwest Namibia

written by am 2. Februar 2011 | achived in Afrika, in English, Namibia

After we have spent a long time in different parts of South Africa we rushed along the northern roads to Namibia. Namibia is situated in the south western Africa, very dry, with a beautiful landscape. With more as double the size of Germany but having only a population of 2.1 million people Namibia is the least densely populated country in the world after Mongolia. 2.5 inhabitants per square kilometre.

As a former German colony in 1884 and known as “German South-West Africa”, a lot of the street names in Namibia are in German and many people spoke German to us so that it felt sometimes like to be home. However the weather reminded us that we were in a subtropical country, but there are huge differences in climate between the northern and southern parts of the country.
We crossed the border in the south (where only 7% of the population lives) and drove through a remote part of the Namibian land with mountains, dry valleys and gravel roads with thousands of kilometers of fence. Some lodges or farming houses had a 31 km entrance way from the gate to the farm 😉

We went to Fishriver Canyon which is the biggest canyon in Africa and one of the most spectacular canyons in the world. It is a stunning view from the edge even with the knowledge that the Grand Canyon in the U.S. is almost three times deeper. The activities here were limited due to the rain season. The 90 km walk was closed, so was the 4×4-track along the canyon. We had to drive back to Seeheim to get to Lüderitz at the coast. We met Sebastian Süß there. He and his friends established the “Goals connect e.V.”. They bought a preowned 4×4 in England and drove all the way from Germany to Cape Town. On their way they visited a lot of development aid institutions, played soccer with the kids and at the end they donated their car to another institution for kids in Namibia. Here is a post in the (German) Namibian newspaper about their Tour and the car delivery  –> to the article
In Lüderitz we visited the old ghost town called Kolmanns Kuppe (Kolmanskop) where the abandoned diamond mine is situated and lots of German miners settled in this area, to collect diamonds just from the sand in the beginning of the 20th century. In these times you could even pay with diamonds in Lüderitzbucht. A 1-carat diamond was worth 3, 50 Mark there and already 28 Mark in Europe. They say that Kolmanns Kuppe was the richest town in Africa during its time of prosperity, but after the last diamonds were found, the diamond-field slowly exhausted and was ultimately abandoned in 1954 when everybody left the town. The southern area around Lüderitz is still “Sperrgebiet” (prohibited area) – most unfortunate for us, because another track through deep sand with Bigfoot was not accessible.
From there we started a long way to Sussusvlei in the Namib Desert, which is considered to be the oldest desert in the world. The temperature rises to 40 °C in the hottest hours of the day and after 10:00 a.m. it was not fun anymore to climb the sand dunes in the valley. We spent almost two days on the campground in the park and took awesome pictures during sunset and sunrise.
On our way out of the desert we had bad luck with the car again: At first the mirror fell off, then the brakes on the back were leaking, after that the handbrake died on us, a few minutes later we realized that the shocks were not working proper anymore and eventually the spare tank which we had fixed with soap before was also leaking again. Instead of camping in the wild we rushed to Walvis Bay to find an accommodation and a cheap work shop.

Verena goes Mozambique

written by am 16. Januar 2011 | achived in Afrika, in English, Mozambique


When Jan asked Verena about her favorite spot to visit him in Africa, we had two possibilities: To go to rainy Rwanda, climb through the bushes and the trees and crawl after gorillas in a malaria-contaminated jungle OR go to Mozambique lay on the beach, swim through the waves of the Indian Ocean, grill some fresh fish from the sea and get drunk with our friends from South Africa.
Verena obviously went for Mozam 😉
When she arrived at Beira Airport about 750 kms away from the beautiful beaches where our friends were staying, her bag was missing! The bag got lost at the airport in London, never arrived in Johannesburg and Virgin Atlantic had no idea where it was. There was nothing we could do about it, but of course Verena was pissed. We arrived pretty late on the evening of the 27th of December after a horrible long ride through half of Mozam. Our friends were mad with joy when Bigfoot turned into the campsite. We got a lot of hugs, a welcome drink, another welcome drink, a beer, another welcome drink and so on…
Verena got many clothes from our friends and we spent a wonderful week at the beach, Jan went diving, we played lots of games and relaxed at the beach. We wanted to leave on the 3rd of January but Marco did not arrive. Eventually he came in the evening of the 3rd and we could start to Kruger National park in the morning of the 4th. At our gallery (See Us!) you get an idea how beautiful the Mozam beach is and how crazy our friends from SA are – enjoy! 😉

Projekt Tiko –

written by am 13. Januar 2011 | achived in Afrika, Sambia

Auf dem Weg von Lusaka nach Chipata in den South Luangwa National Park verstärkten sich die Eindrücke, die sich in Sambia auf dem Roadtrip schon angesammelt hatten. Wir erreichen Katete, ein kleines Dorf im Osten Sambias, 90km vor der Provinzhauptstadt Chipata. Dort werden wir auf ein Projekt aufmerksam: TIKO, ein Projekt – gegründet aus dem Nichts – vor 10 Jahren von einer deutsch-Australierin.
Marco, meine Reisebegleitung, (böse Zungen behaupten: meine vernünftigere Hälfte) blieb hier zwei Wochen während ich weiter nach Malawi unterwegs war. Einen interessanten und sehr ausführlichen Bericht mit eindrucksvollenollen Fotos gibt es hier: Bericht über Tikondane – Entwicklungshilfe in Sambia – by Marco

Malawi with „Wisdom, Bratwurst, Miiiriiiaaam & Greed“

written by am 23. Dezember 2010 | achived in Afrika, in English, Malawi

I dropped Marco in Katete at the “Tikondane Project”, stayed with him for one day and then we got separated. I went back to Chipata, because the diff.-oil was still leaking. But the guys at the workshop repaired the leak again without any charge.
I crossed the border to Malawi which was astonishingly easy and took just 15 minutes. The capital, Lilongwe, is just a 45 minutes drive from the border and the travel-bible Lonely Planet said that I had to go to Mabuya Camp Backpackers I met a group of four travelers there; they had finished their study period abroad and traveled through Africa, just as I did in Australia after high school. We said that we might meet again in Cape Mclear, a beautiful spot at Lake Malawi and so we did. We spend some funny two days with drinking games, riddles and other funny jokes there, before I drove them back to Salima, because they wanted to go up to Tansania and I had to be in Mozam to pick up Verena in Beira on the 26th. We got caught by the police and got a ticket for „overloading the vehicle“ and had to pay 15 US$, which we negotiated down to 8 Us$.
Thanks guys for a very good time at the lake. I hope, Verena and I will see “Wisdom” in January and the rest during the Orange Queensday on the 30th of April in Amsterdam? 😉

PS: You guys forgot the Lonely Planet “East Africa” in my car; where should I send it to?

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