20. Juli 2016

What Are Four Men Doing Under Our Bonnet? / Was machen vier Männer unter unserer Motorhaube?

Himba woman with her son on the go in Opuwo
Himba-Frau mit ihrem Sohn, unterwegs im Städtchen Opuwo
Himba women - between tradition and modernity
Himba-Frauen - zwischen Tradition und Moderne
Our campsite at the Oppi-Koppi Restcamp
Unsere Campsite auf dem
Oppi-Koppi Restcamp

Cute porcupines - they are visiting the restaurant
at the Oppi-Koppi Restcamp every evening
Putzige Stachelschweine - allabendliche Besucher
im Restaurant des
Oppi-Koppi Restcamps

We go via Kamanjab (with a stay at the
Oppi-Koppi Restcamp, as always, since here you often meet other travellers, the food is good and the Belgian owner Vital a nice chap) and Opuwo, heading for Angola.

There are four border crossings between the two countries. We opt for the smallest one, in Omahanene, as this should be the easiest one. On Namibian side our passports are quickly stamped out. I go back to the camper, while Martin is still busy with the Carnet de Passage.

Suddenly an officer approaches our car, asking me for various vehicle numbers. Martin is coming back promptly, followed by three other officers. First they want to check our chassis number, which they find after a while. Then they also want to check the enginge number. “The enginge number? No idea where to find it,” Martin just says, and opens the bonnet. From my seat I watch the heads of the four border officials disappearing under our bonnet - and not appearing anymore.

13. Juli 2016

Ongava: A Wish Comes True. My Second One Hopefully Too! / Ongava: Ein Wunsch geht in Erfüllung. Mein zweiter hoffentlich auch!

Endangered rhinos - finally we see them again in the wild!
Bedrohte Nashörner - endlich sehen wir sie wieder einmal in der Wildnis!
Hungry little chap
Hungriger kleiner Kerl
His pride is just a few meters away.
Sein Rudel liegt nur ein paar Meter entfernt.

You probably know: The protection of endangered wildlife is a matter close to my heart. I advocate for the threatened rhinos for already some years now. But, us too, we have seen them in the wild just rarely, even though nearly most of the world's rhino population is living in Southern Africa. The only chance to see these charismatic animals on this tour will probably be in the Etosha Pan in the north of Namibia. On the southern edge of the Etosha National Park borders the Ongava Game Reserve. This is well known for its diversity of species, and for its rhinos in particular.

Trusting that we will spot some rhinoceros there, we book a room at the Ongava Lodge for a few days, and …. YEEES, we are rewarded! Firstly with a nice lodge: comfortable chalets, a beautiful patio with panoramic and waterhole views and good cuisine (even with a range of creative and delicious vegetarian food), lovely staff and competent guides. Most of all my

7. Juli 2016

Do We Get The Visas, Or Do We Have To Make Another Plan? / Bekommen wir die Visa, oder bekommen wir sie nicht?

Entering the countries in Eastern and Southern Africa is easy for Germans. Beside Ethiopia and Sudan you get your visas at any border easily. 

West Africa is different. 

We have to organize our visas for many countries in advance, like for the next three ones Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Congo (RC). We were told that it would be difficult or even impossible for us to get them in Windhoek. However, we are optimists, and we just give it a try.

Ten days and 17 (!) visits at several embassies respective consulates later we are

Land Rover Fans: Watch It! I Have to Admit… / Land Rover-Fans aufgepasst: Ich muss euch etwas gestehen!

Roger and his beautiful vintage Land Rover
Roger und sein wunderbarer alter Land Rover

Land Rover or Land Cruiser? In the 4x4 community this is a real question of faith, comparable to serious decisions like: Munich or Hamburg, Cape Town or Johannesburg, New York or Los Angeles? Holiday on the beach or in the mountains? Early bird or late riser?

The coolest 4x4 in Africa

As you know, we opt for the Land Cruiser. After all we chose to travel relaxed and not to risk laying under the car too often, fixing this and that;-)... B U T…. dearest Land Rover fans, I have to admit, the 4x4 which is by far the coolest I have ever seen in Africa is a …. yes… indeed… it is an old Land Rover, 1961 model. Just stunning!!!

This dream vehicle we already admired about six months ago, when we were in Swakopmund on our last trip. Now we find it again in front of an outdoor shop. The driver is just about to leave, but we simply have to stop him and compliment him on his beautiful car. He is pleased with our comment. Then he slowly sets off. I look at Martin with the remark: “What a pity. That is such a likeable guy, I would have liked to invite him for a coffee and have a short chat with him. But, to invite a complete stranger is probably not really suitable.”

What a coincidence

Half an hour later we pass the Mushell Art Cafe, and, lo and behold: who is sitting there with a cigarette, catching sight of us and waving joyfully? Yes, it is the Land Rover driver. When