Solo road trip­ping through the Kgala­gadi and Namibia - - LENSTRAVEL­LER DRIVING ROADS - Ar­ti­cle and Photo by:Leti­cia Cox

Cam­eras, cof­fee and my boots, I was ready. Driv­ing from Dur­ban up to the Kgala­gadi Trans­fron­tier Park took me two days; lit­tle did I know this was go­ing to be the smoothest drive of my trip.

Namibia has some of the world’s most scenic roads which are also some of the most dan­ger­ous and less trav­elled roads in the world. There is an epic and breath­tak­ing drive via the C14 road through the desert from Walvis Bay to Goageb in south­ern Namibia. Along this road, the vil­lage of Soli­taire con­sists of a petrol sta­tion, a lit­tle shop, a chapel and a bak­ery.

D707 is a sandy, gravel track in south­ern Namibia, be­tween Swakopmund and Aus. By now I’ve proved that the pre­fix “D” on Namib­ian roads stands for Dan­ger. The D707 is 123 km long, sandy with oc­ca­sional gravel, in the mid­dle of nowhere, link­ing the C27 and C13 roads. It passes through re­mote ar­eas, so you need to be both me­chan­i­cally and men­tally pre­pared for a truly hec­tic, bumpy, slip­pery “road” which could be gen­er­ously de­scribed as “gravel”. NOTE: This route is only suit­able for 4x4’s and in­sanely brave driv­ers.

C27 is a gravel and sand road of 247 km in south west­ern Namibia in the Namib Desert. This was the long­est, de­serted road I ex­pe­ri­enced in Namibia. Driv­ing in the mid­dle of the road was es­sen­tial to my sur­vival, as each ve­hi­cle which passes, flings the small, sharp stones to the shoul­ders, so driv­ing in the very mid­dle of the road pro­vides the best chance for non-skid­ding and drift­ing and will cer­tainly save un­nec­es­sary tyre dam­age, (al­ready been there and done that …twice).

C35 is an­other hec­ti­cally rough gravel road, run­ning through the Da­ma­r­a­land ... I tried tak­ing one or two “D” roads to see if they would pro­vide a more com­fort­able or shorter route, but they were equally as bad, or even worse. On a pos­i­tive note my “D” route de­tours led me to some of the Himba peo­ple, which was a high­light of the trip as I learned some­thing about their cul­ture and tra­di­tions. The Himba peo­ple are also won­der­fully pho­to­genic, and strongly rec­om­mended as colour­ful and strong sub­jects for any pho­tog­ra­pher.

C12. Not even my ex­pe­ri­ences via the C27 and C35 could have pre­pared me for the C12.

From the Fish River Canyon, I stopped at a cross­road at Ses­riem, as my map showed the C12 is the only route, but my mod­ern GPS told me to take a de­tour of 27 km on the D545 route which did not even ap­pear on my map.

Chal­leng­ing my GPS, I de­cided to take the C12 in­stead of the D route. Not long af­ter turn­ing onto the C12, I re­al­ized that the D route was rec­om­mended for very good rea­son. It was too late to turn back, and like ev­ery­thing else in life, the only way out was to push through it. Driv­ing on that 35 km long road to hell, oth­er­wise known as the C12, re­ally scared me, and kept re­mind­ing me that there is a time and place for all of us to die, but thank­fully the C12 route wasn’t the place, or my time.

Len­sTrav­eller is a solo fe­male roaming the globe with her lens. Cur­rently based in South Africa, Leti­cia Cox is a Span­ish born, in­ter­na­tion­ally pub­lished pho­tog­ra­pher and pro­fes­sional trav­eller. Leti­cia has trav­elled the world and lived in many dif­fer­ent coun­tries. She started her ca­reer as a wildlife pho­tog­ra­pher while liv­ing in Thai­land. Today, her port­fo­lio in­cludes fash­ion, com­mer­cial, sports and travel pho­tog­ra­phy. Her nat­u­ral and gen­uine style of shoot­ing makes her an ac­claimed pho­tog­ra­pher in many dif­fer­ent fields. Her artis­tic vi­sion and sur­vival in­stincts makes her the best travel part­ner, as she takes us on a jour­ney through her lens. “Don’t be a tourist, be a trav­eller”, Len­sTrav­eller's pho­tog­ra­phy takes you to places few have trav­elled and her sto­ries are beau­ti­ful and gen­uine tales from around the globe.

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