As most of our mornings went, we woke up early again. Our next destination was approximately 350 km away on gravel road, and we needed to pitch our tent.
We had some coffee and rusks once again with some cereal. I had a quick shower and we packed our bags. Before we set off, we filled up the bakkie (pick-up truck) and got going.
We were just outside of Aus when my dad saw a sign of a cemetery of fallen soldiers. He said he read about it and we both agreed to have a look before getting on the main road.
It is where many South African and German soldiers were buried after the first world war.
We spent roughly 10 minutes there and I could see the first bit of light touching the mountain tops in the distance.
As we got back on the main road again, the sun was rising. There is just something special about a sunrise in Namibia. It’s the entire vibe. It starts out a bit cold, and you can begin to smell the veld around you. Then as the sun rises you can feel the warmth touching your face.
We weren’t on the main road for long until we had to make our turn onto a gravel road which would eventually lead us to Sesriem.
The wind started to get a bit choppy. After a few minutes, we could see what we first thought to be mist, but it turned out to be dust. It was astonished to see. We’ve never experienced something quite like this before.
After 2 hours on a smooth(ish) gravel road we made a pit stop in Betta. We made ourselves a quick lunch before doing our last few kilometers. While we were eating and hiding behind the bakkie, the wind was blowing at a blistering speed.
As we got back on the road we were slowly driving into a small sandstorm. It was quite a spectacular site to see and experience. It didn’t last very long and we were out of it after 5 minutes.
The last few kilometers to Sesriem were absolutely terrible. It was a dreadful corrugated road, but we pushed on.
We arrived at Sesriem just before 1pm. It was very interesting to see all the foreign people at the reception. I consider myself a local when it comes to Namibia, and when I say foreign, I’m mostly referring to all the Europeans.
When we were done checking ourselves in, we drove to our campsite and started unpacking everything. It took us just over an hour to get everything standing. While we were busy pitching the tent, the wind blew quite strong. Luckily after about 4 hours, it died down.
When we finished pitching the tent we went to the restaurant for something to drink. We spent a few minutes there enjoying our refreshments along with other foreigners.
When we walked back to the tent we saw a pool a few meters away and thought that we should go and have a dip.
It’s not the biggest pool, but it is more than enough to cool yourself down in the desert. The water was a bit colder than I anticipated, but it was worth it.
After 5 minutes, I was cooled off and we headed back to the tent.
For the next hour, I did some studying for my next exam which was on the 27th. It’s definitely a first for me to be on holiday in Namibia and study.
At around 5:30pm we chopped up wood and started the fire. We barely got back in our seats when we heard a car rev close by. When we looked around we saw it was a small car that got stuck in the sand.
I looked at my dad and said we should probably go and help, so we got up and hurried over to lend a hand. It was two young ladies from Germany who were there on holiday and they misjudged the depth of the loose sand and got stuck.
My dad and I got digging around the wheels to free them. He then guided the lady behind the wheel and told her to keep the steering wheel straight while we push the car backwards.
The first attempt didn’t go so smoothly because the car stalled as she was backing up and the wheels started to spin, the car’s front wheels sinking a little bit deeper into the sand.
We then proceeded again to dig around the wheels. We had to dig under the car as well because it was just slightly beached.
After the wheels were free we tried again, pushing the car back, this time being successful. They were very grateful for us to have come to their rescue. We then looked around for a better road for them to take to their campsite. My dad then explained to the lady which path would be best for them to drive on and jokingly said, that they should try and avoid 4×4-ing with a Volkswagen Polo.
After that endeavor, we headed back to our campsite and sat at the fire and enjoyed a sundowner. The sunset definitely did not disappoint.
After dinner, I went to the bathroom and was greeted by this little one. Isn’t he just cute?
There are unfortunately a few things I feel I need to address, because I want to do an honest review of the places we visited and my experience there. I don’t want to just write about all the sunshine and rainbows and lead you astray when you do decide to go to a specific place.
Unfortunately, I was quite disappointed by some of the ablution facilities. For a place as ‘fancy’ and expensive as Sesriem, the quality was terrible. It doesn’t bother me at all, but if you are charging people a lot of money and claiming to be a world-class destination you have to live up to it. There were no lids on the toilets, the curtains in the shower were extremely small and there is no place to put your clothes or toiletries. Everything needs to go on the floor, and that is if the floor is not wet.
That said, it was only our ablution facility that looked like this. The others were up to standards in my book. So when you visit, just make sure you get a proper ablution facility.
The rest of the night we sat outside and looked at the stars.
Just before we went to bed we saw a small figure approaching in the dark. I immediately thought that it could only be a jackal, and so it was. It leapt over the small wall circling our campsite and stood there for about a second. As my dad shined his flashlight on it, it got a fright and ran away, most probably on to the next campsite looking for something to eat.