Travelling around Namibia brings you into contact with a wide range of people; those travelling around are mostly european – english, american, german and swiss. The lodges are run almost exclusively by black Namibians, unlike South Africa where the management are white, the workers black. It all makes Namibia feel like a country more than capable of standing on its own two feet, and proud. Whilst we drove everywhere, many visitors choose to fly, hopping from small airstrip to small airstrip. Whilst this saved the land drives on gravel roads, we felt they missed seeing the countryside. Although the lodges are much wilder and remote than those in the Kruger and surrounding private reserves, you are nonetheless carefully looked after. At least driving enables you to feel more independent and, equally importantly, gives you time to yourselves.
Our final Namibian desert sees us based at Erongo. We’re here for only one night, as we head back from Mushara to Windhoek, to leave our car and fly to Botswana. But Erongo isn’t just a convenient overnight stop – a sort of desert Travelodge. It’s not renowned for its plentiful wildlife but for the landscape itself – bookending the trip with our starting point at Kulala. Accommodation is in tents again, this time perched on the rocks. We’ve arrived by engaging four-wheel drive with low ratio, climbing across a steep rocky path as we follow one of the camp’s vehicles. Early evening sees us on a nature drive via Land Rover and we see eagles, and their nest, and visit cave paintings. Dinner is excellent – restaurant service – from a setting which qualifies as one of the Top Ten.
In the morning we walk. Around three hours in the early morning light, whilst the temperature is bearable. We climb right above the camp and are rewarded with a final Namibian view – the plains stretching as far as the eye can see.
Desert camp Erongo Wilderness Lodge