To Tsumkwe & the Khaudum National Park.
Trip Start Aug 21, 2010
16Trip End Oct 16, 2010
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Heading south from Etosha we stopped for a quick look at Oshikoto Lake. This is like Baby Blue Lake in Mt Gambier, South Aussie. The diagram shows it like a typical sinkhole with very deep water down one shaft. The Germans dropped their weapons down here before they surrended in WW1. The place has a curio shop and pleasant grounds with lots of birds and a few animals, including the biggest tusked warthog I've ever seen.
We pushed on to Grootfontein and then to our overnight camp at Roys Camp. This is a bloody nice spot just off the highway and has accommodation as well as pleasant camping. Met an overlanding couple heading south from London (www.sandbagstosandunes.com).
On our way east to Tsumkwe we stopped at a Bushmen's village - most of these once nomadic people are now settled in small dusty villages where water from bores has been provided
Got to Tsumkwe and booked into the Tsumkwe Country Lodge
which is the best lodge/camp around. The town is a bit scattered and has a general store selling fuel, bottled gas and limited supplies, as well as a police post and a fancy magistrate's court along with a few other government and aid buildings. A few squatters hovels on the outskirts along with the more traditional mud and stone huts in the small kraal.
Drove out to the Big Baobab that is about 11km east along the main road and then about 10km south (don't believe the maps which show it on the main road east to the border). There's a small camping area situated around the 3 or 4 big baobabs and the big one is bloody big! It's hollow in parts and easily holds 20 people or more once you climb up to the hollow
Next morning getting fuelled up and away from town was an interesting time for one and all. Ended up buying a lot of bracelets - in all our group would have dropped well over a R1000 here just on handmade artefacts! Yarned to the bloke who was cooking meat under his tin sheet shelter - he sells to passing trucks and locals. We bought our English speaking helper who had done some of the wheeling and dealing for us, a plate of 5 pieces of fatty beef for R5. We had been told earlier it was a R1 a plate, so we probably paid inflated prices! There was a young woman plying her trade to the passing trucks as well.
Headed north out of town along the dirt road and then sandy track, passing a few scattered villages initially before they petered out as we got closer to the southern boundary of the Khaudum NP. This is a primitively set up park of about 4000ha alongside the Botswana border. It is much less visited than other parks in Namibia and has two very basic camps (Sikereti in the south or Kaudom in the north) with rudimentary water (?), showers and toilets as well as a brush shelter hut for cooking and a few fireplaces.
There are a number of scattered artificial waterpoints throughout the park and in this dry, and in summer extremely hot area they are the focal point for all the animals
Viv was up the front of our convoy with Bertie and saw a few animals as well as lots of animal tracks - lion, elephant, wild dog, roan, kudu, eland, giraffe, etc. Down the back of our meandering group, all I saw was Dunlop tracks!
Legendary Outback Expeditions (LOE) run exciting one-off trips through Africa and Australia each year. For more details go to www.loe.com.au or http://www.guidebooks.com.au.