DRIV3R.world

Solo road tripping through the Kgalagadi and Namibia

- 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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