BEHIND THE SCENES
How was the border crossing? When I went through at Vioolsdrif/Noordoewer in April, it was quite simple: I did a Covid-19 test at Pathcare in Hermanus a few days before my departure. It cost R850 and the result was available within 24 hours. The (necessary) Covid measures add about five minutes on the South African side of the border, and about a 20-minute wait on the Namibian side.
On the way back to South Africa, I did a rapid test (about R350) on the South African side. The result was available within 15 minutes, but bear in mind that there’s only one test station, so if you’re behind a bus full of people it might take all day. How did the bumper rainy season change the landscape? It didn’t rain everywhere – the area around Brandberg is still very dry, and there are parts of Damaraland that are in a critical condition. But the wildlife roams around, especially on the plains of the Namib-Naukluft National Park, and south of Sesriem towards the NamibRand Nature Reserve. So, you might drive 100 km and not see a single animal, only to round a bend and find 100 gemsbok or 300 springbok in a patch of veld that had lapped up a rain shower a month previously. Some parts of the country are incredibly green – I stopped more than once between Rehoboth and Windhoek to photograph the waving grass fields.
Why is Namibia such a great destination? Namibia offers an accessible and affordable wilderness experience. If you want to clear your head, drive long distances on dirt roads, and stay in scenic campsites, Namibia is hard to beat.
Places in Namibia you’ve never been? There are many! I’ve never done a Namib Desert 4x4 tour and I want to drive along the coast to the mouth of the Kunene River one day. And I don’t think I’ve been to Uhlenhorst before…
Your favourite places? A campsite called Mirabib in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. It’s in the middle of nowhere, very quiet and you can see almost 100 km in every direction. I also love the Kwando River, and a day spent at Epupa Falls is always a joy. Then there’s Khaudum Game Reserve (wild!), the red dunes at Koës, and a cold Tafel Lager on the deck of Caprivi Houseboat Safari Lodge at Katima Mulilo…