Swakopmund is a little coastal town, which is great in the summer when it is simply cooking inland, but in the winter it can be cold and grey at times.  Luckily, Namibia always has some sunshine on offer just a short drive away.  Winter time is the best time to travel inland and see what the rest of the country has to offer.

One of our favourite places is Damaraland.  It can be extremely remote and you can drive for hours without seeing another car or people.  Namibia overall is sparsely populated and in these areas it is even more noticeable.

Namibian landscape

The rock formations in the area are absolutely spectacular and the wildlife is beautiful.  Namibia has been struggling with declining wildlife numbers due to a number of factors, including drought and illegal poaching, so the game numbers fluctuate.  This very sad for us living here and having have had the privilege of seeing large numbers of animals freely roaming through Damaraland.  We hope the game numbers will rebound and that the government will do its part to stop the illegal poaching.

Namibia continues to be a top tourist destination in Africa.  It is safe, hospitable, has good infrastructure and a variety of wildlife to view along with some stunning landscapes.

Giraffe in dry river bed

Our trip usually takes us up along the Skeleton coast, into Damaraland and all the way up to Epupa (Namibia’s northern border with Angola).

THe Skeleton coast is desolate to say the least.  Kilometers and kilometers of open beach with the wreckage of ships dotted along the coast.

Skeleton Coast wrek

Shipwreck

From here we turn inland and begin to feel the warmth of the African sun once more.  We have various options as to where stop off in Damaraland.  One place we are sure to visit is Palmwag.  This is an oasis in the desert and a favourite of ours.  My husband and I have worked there briefly and go back any chance we get.  It has changed greatly throughout the years as it has changed hands, but it still maintains its beauty and tranquility.  The landscape here is beautiful and we are usually fortunate enough to have an elephant visitor at our campsite.

Palmwag, Namibia

This is where we will stay at least two nights as it is tranquil. It offers beautiful game and scenic drives and walks throughout the day.   It also has a pool, bar and restaurant so it is great for the kids. The area is also populated by black rhino.  unfortunately their numbers have also been on the decline due to poaching.  Save the Rhino trust has been operating in the area for many years and due to their hard work black rhino numbers had been growing until recently.  Namibia is currently experiencing a plague of rhino poaching country-wide and this area has been greatly impacted by poaching.

From here we move on to another favourite stop of ours, Khowarib Schlucht.  This is also a must stop for the kids as the love to walk up river and splash around in this “waterfall”.

There is no coincidence we travel from water spot to water spot as it can be very hot in the desert, even in the winter..

 

We usually do a day trip to a natural waterfall in the area, Ongongo.  The water is clear and fresh.  We are usually the only people there which makes it even more special.

 

Ongono

 

After two or three days we leave our desert oasis and head straight into dryer territory still.  Here we pass through small villages, herds of cattle and more wildlife of all types.

Himba cattle

Himba Village

We usually find a spot along the road suitable for an overnight stay.  This can be anywhere but does require a tree for shade.  Here there is no water other than what we have brought along so we use it sparingly.

Campsite for the night

Final stop and well worth the trip, Epupa falls.  It is magnificent with its large waterfalls and tall palm trees.  unfortunately there is no swimming in these part due to the crocodiles but there is a pool nearby.  The crocodiles can be seen basking in the sun on small islands and off the shores of the river, often close to the campsites.

Epupa falls

 

Epupa palms

This the halfway point of our journey and time to relax.  In a few short days we will be heading back slowly down along the desert and making our way back.  For now we get to sit by the river and listen to it flow.

Baobab tree

a broad life©