KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Your vehicle: You need a 4x4 with a high ground clearance to explore the Messum Crater, the Ugab River, Doro !nawas Conservancy and Desolation Valley. The rest of the route can be driven in a normal vehicle with decent ground clearance.
Distance: About 1 030 km.
Fuel: There are filling stations in Swakopmund, Henties Bay, Uis and Usakos. You don’t need to take extra fuel.
Cellphone reception: Sporadic. There is no reception in the Messum Crater, Ugab River or Desolation Valley. Use a GPS with Tracks4Africa software, or a Tracks4Africa paper map of Namibia, which has travel distances and times for the smaller dirt roads.
Best time to go: Plan for the winter months before or after school holidays (May, June and August) when the temperatures are lower and the campsites are less busy.
Permits: Get a permit and a map for the NamibNaukluft National Park (Bloedkoppie) before you depart Swakopmund – R100 per person, R50 per vehicle (per day). The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism office is in Bismarck Street. 00 264 64 404 576
Things to do: Attractions like the seal colony, rock art sites, and Twyfelfontein cost about R40 – 80 per person. Bring enough cash because cards aren’t accepted everywhere. You can visit Soutgat/Dead Sea
(GPS: S21.785283 E14.203201) for free, but pick up a map at the Henties Bay tourism office – the signs along the way are weathered.
Can I tow my trailer? Only if it’s an off-road trailer.