Day 17-21: Botswana to Namibia

Distance driven from home: 4 657km

Our route from Kang through CKGR to Maun to Namibia border:

We filled up at Rakops after exiting CKGR and hit the tarred road to Maun. Arrived in Maun at 15h00 in time to find the Diagnofirm lab for the Covid tests.

I broke my arm at Name pan and the arm needed plaster of paris (PoP) after being X-rayed and temporarily strapped at the state hospital in Hukuntse the previous week. We were seriously impressed with this hospital. Hukuntsi is a typical rural small Africa town. The hospital is spotless clean, with highly competent personnel. It has the feel of our private hospitals without the glamour. The young African doctor studied at Tuks and greeted us in Afrikaans, and really knows what he is doing.

So we found a private clinic in Maun and within five minutes after entering I was in the X-Ray room having my arm X-rayed with only my name and cellphone number entered on a form.

Another testimony of the Botswana culture of trust: I told the doctor that we also needed to do Covid tests, and he, after studying the X-rays, ushered me out of the door at 16h00 to catch the last batch of tests at the lab around the corner and to come back afterwards for the PoP. Both the clinic and the lab closes daily at 17h00.

At the lab we filled out the forms and had to wait in a queue with other travellers. I went back to the clinic for the PoP and at 16h40 ran back to the lab. The tests were done then and at 16h50 I walked into the clinic to pay the bill before they close for the day.

Unbelievable trust! They knew we would leave the country the next day. They only had a Botswana cell number that would be invalid as soon as we leave the country (data & local calls only). No passport or ID number.

We noticed while in Botswana that EVERYBODY wears a mask. Even a lone man on a horse in the veld in the rural areas. And all people travelling in a vehicle while driving. Children play in the streets wearing masks.

When entering any business, there is a queue where the form is filled out with name, contact number, address and temperature.

The manager at Audi camp told us that the police is very strict and one has to pay P200 whenever seen without a mask. That type of dedication is definitely not visible in South Africa.

He also told us that their camp survived Covid due to lots of Germans flying into Namibia and renting vehicles in Windhoek to tour Botswana during the peak period.

That evening at Audi camp outside Maun we discovered that the fan of the National Luna freezer was not running. The temperature kept on rising even on 220V input.

We collected our PCR negative tests on Friday morning and took on the 500km to Mamuno border post to Namibia. One day saved and we could reach Windhoek on a Saturday to attend to the freezer.

The landscape from Maun to the border was lush with waving grasslands. Lots of rain must have fallen near Ghanzi, as large water masses were seen next to the road.

At Buitepos we were the only campers at Eastgate Rest Camp. And as we have experienced before, on a Friday night the local community had a big party at a nearby pub with loud music and shouting until midnight. Obviously the curfew (10h00 – 04h00) is not adhered to. As someone once remarked in Vanzylsrus: ‘die duine dreun oor naweke wanneer hulle geld het om te drink’.

On Saturday morning we bought a sim card and data bundles in Gobabis. Data is much cheaper with Super Aweh packages – R65 for 3Gb for 7 days once activated. Buy a few bundles and activate when needed – valid for three years from purchase.

The savanna grasslands from the border to Windhoek was also more lush than before and Windhoek is green! Nice to be there again.

We arrived in Windhoek and met Heinz (brother-in-law) at Bushwackers, which he recommended. Amazing service from the technicians, who did everything they could to accommodate us. Within an hour our freezer was fixed with a new fan and we could proceed.

We spent a little more time with the family in Windhoek and arrived at Spitzkuppe by late afternoon.

What an amazing place! One cannot describe the beauty of the sun on those big bolders at sunset and early morning.

Our campsite

Landi and Hein joined us at Spitzkuppe and we departed to Swakopmund on Monday.

View from campsite
The first Klipspringer we have ever seen NOT standing on a boulder
What a life to live in this hot desert always hoping for a vehicle to buy a piece of rock or firewood…
Swakop river valley

Hein and his team at work is being treated with a fishing excursion at Henties Bay until Friday. We dropped him off, and the three of us are resting and fishing at Windpomp 14 outside Swakopmund for a few days.

However, for the first time in all our numerous visits in Swakop, it is unbearable hot – 43C midday. The locals call it ‘oosweer’ with a hot easterwind blowing from the desert where it normally has a cold wind blowing from the sea. Apparantly it happens when the inland is cooling off for the winter and the hot air is trapped in the desert.

And according to the locals, the fish go into deeper, cooler waters during ‘oosweer’ – fishing is not good….

3 comments

    • Dis moeiliker om ‘n lekker steak in jou bord te sny. Skaaptjoppie word sommer met die hand geëet. Klim darem nog op die cruiser se dak om die tent elke keer op en af te slaan

      Liked by 2 people

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