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May 23 2013

Spitzkoppe

On the way out of Brandberg, we passed through a little town called Uis.  It really was the typical one-horse town!  It was a tin mining town back in the days of high tin prices, but that is no longer the case. Now, it feels more deserted, more sleepy. Aside from a little supermarket for essentials and a fuel station, there is a tiny tourist information with a coffee shop – Vicky’s Coffee shop.  We decided to stop by and support, and were greeted and served by a grinning Vicky!

Our destination for the evening was Spitzkoppe, a collection of granite inselbergs which loom more than 1,500m high.  Not surprising, this is also a popular place for rock climbing.

We paid our fees, chatted to the guide about activities in the area, and headed off to find a campsite.  There are only 20 campsites, dotted around the vast area of mountains, boulders, rocks and outcrops.  Surprisingly, we had to visit quite a few spots before we finally found one that was unoccupied.

It was idyllic!

This was as close to wild camping as we have yet been in Namibia – with all the benefits of camping out of sight and sound of others, but with the benefit of formal camping – a loo (even if it is a long drop)!  Yes, you have to bring in all your own water and supplies.

We enjoyed our lunch sheltered from the sun by the large rock next to the campsite, and surveyed the scenery.  Our campsite was in a bowl, and we were surrounding on 3 sides by towering rocks.  Viking Explorer was already eyeing out where we could go and sit to watch the sun set.  He managed to find us a nice spot that didn’t require too much clambering, and soon we were gazing over vast plains as the sun descended.

Next morning we decided to walk to the famous rock arch – a 6 km round trip.  I was in awe of the natural beauty of the area as we wandered through, and felt so small as the mountains towered over us.  But the heat of the day was rising, and despite our early start, it was becoming rather toasty as we returned to the campsite.

On exiting the park, we chatted to another of the friendly guides.  He told us about some of the upgrades underway: a new lodge, water supply to some campsites for building of showers.  He looked very excited.

I felt a little sad – after all, the sheer wildness, isolation and lack of facilities was my favourite part.

1 comment

  1. Vic

    It all sounds so idyllic, as you say. Enjoy the lovely weather, while we sit here in soggy, cold, windy England…. Lotsa love, the Dorset set

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