Plan your trip

Getaway (South Africa) - - TRAVEL NAMIBIA -

GET­TING THERE

The en­tire route is on goodqual­ity tar. From Spring­bok, it’s 50km on the N7 to Steinkopf, where you turn left onto the R382 to Port Nol­loth via the Ane­nous Pass. At Port Nol­loth, the R382 leads to the bor­der post at Alexan­der Bay (re­mem­ber your pass­port and ve­hi­cle pa­pers). Cross the Ernest Op­pen­heimer Bridge, turn left onto the C13 and it’s 7km to Oran­je­mund.

STAY & EAT HERE

Shep­herd’s Lodge of­fers ba­sic con­verted scout cab­ins in a faux oa­sis out­side town. Each has a stoep and there are braai spots. It’s rus­tic, and the res­tau­rant-bar serves a mean steak and rack of sticky ribs. From R300 pp shar­ing; self­ca­ter­ing unit R1 500 (sleeps six). +264-81-283-1481

Tom’s Cabin in town has three self-cater­ing units and three rooms in the main house, plus braai fa­cil­i­ties. From R477 pp shar­ing B&B. +264-63-234-207

Op My Stoep Lodge is run by an Ar­gen­tinian Afrikaner, so ex­pect in­ter­est­ing food com­bos in the res­tau­rant. Lo­cals hang out at the bar at night. From R423 pp shar­ing B&B. +264-63-234-223, op­mys­toep.com

Hansa Haus in Lüderitz, if you ven­ture that far, is highly rec­om­mended for Ger­man colo­nial charm. From R340 pp shar­ing. +264-63-203-699

DO THIS

Get up close to a gems­bok. Thirsty from their desert wan­der­ings, oryx have made a pact with Oran­je­mund’s hu­mans. They wan­der through town, munch­ing the grass on the verges, school sports fields and golf course. Drive slowly by and they’ll barely no­tice. Learn the lo­cal his­tory. Oran­je­mund Mu­seum (aka the Jasper House Mu­seum) has a wealth of mem­o­ra­bilia, from min­ing relics to the sto­ries of the ex­pat fam­i­lies who had to adapt to this strange, sandy town at the edge of the world. The Kitchen cafe here serves de­cent cof­fee, and you can sit in the gar­den.

Go for sun­down­ers at the Pink Pan. Visit the sea­side. Port Nol­loth is 82km south on the R382 (back in SA) and great for a board­walk beach stroll. Grab a meal at one of sev­eral rus­tic seafood shacks along Beach Road or the smart Sco­tia Inn ho­tel res­tau­rant. Also spend an hour in the eclec­tic Port Nol­loth Mu­seum, cu­rated by di­a­mond diver Ge­orge ‘Sea-Dog’ Moy­ses. Open 10am–3pm. En­try R20.

Take a lone­some drive.

The new tarred road from Oran­je­mund to Rosh Pi­nah fol­lows the Or­ange River in­land for some 40km, through strik­ingly stark ter­rain. If you have the time, push fur­ther – an­other 170km on the C13 – to Aus (home of the wild desert horses), then head for Lüderitz on the B4 via Kol­man­skop. Watch flamin­gos. Linger near the Or­ange River mouth (a Ram­sar wet­land site) at sun­set, and if you get lucky you’ll see a mass of lesser flamin­gos on the wa­ter. If they take off, you’ll wit­ness one of the sights of your life.

Choose a partly over­cast evening and bask in a spec­tac­u­lar sun­set. Once the play­ground of ex­pats who sailed yachts and mo­tor­boats on the still wa­ters, there are plans to build chalets and turn the yacht club into a lodge.

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