Africa

From Windhoek to Sesriem: gateway to Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert

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We continue with the stories of 15-day trip to Nambia we did in August 2016. On this occasion we start from Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, to go to Sesriem: gateway to Sossusvlei and at Namib Desert.

That day we had to go to Sesriem where we would spend the next two nights. We were not sure which was the best road to reach Sesriem and after consulting with several sources we took the route that we detail in the story. Unfortunately, it is not the easiest road to access from Windhoek to Sesriem. The safest route is explained at the end of the article.

At half past six we left the Urban Camp and at 7: 40h we were in Rebohot. We stopped at the Puma gas station for two coffees and a donut ($ 48). We also take the opportunity to fill the tank ($ 300) and put the wheel pressure on track. From there we had to take the C24 road to Sesriem. We didn't know exactly how long it would take and that's why we wanted to leave with a lot of time.

A couple of minutes after leaving the gas station (8: 12h) we find the detour of the C24 towards Klein Aub. There the asphalt ends and the track road begins. A Klein Aub marks that there are 90km. At the beginning of the road, the maximum speed marking is 80km, but later it goes up to 100km. We do not pass 60-70km because the track is in quite good condition, but accumulates a lot of sand and pebbles and with a city car you have to exercise caution. We arrived at Klein Aub at 9:40 am. It is a small town with scattered houses. The road does not indicate anything, so we continue straight ahead until we reach a deviation. If we were going straight we were going on a D-road towards Rietog, but since we didn't know what state it was going to be, we turned right and continued on the C24. (This is where we were wrong).

This is where we made the mistake. We had to take the M47 and continue on the C24.

At 10: 11h we found another detour. This time I was already pointing Solitaire by the C24. We continue along that road, which is a little worse, for 41km.

The road snakes like a crazy snake, a terrain of rocky hills close together and of beautiful tones between light ocher to intense reddish earthy. It is a roller coaster of sudden descents and ascents of intense slope that end in angular curves through which we soon learned that we had to travel with a lot a lot be careful Otherwise, it is very easy for the gravel to make you skid on a curve and the car spreads over a small inclined cliff.

Going up a gravel slope without wanting to hit the side where the road descends steeply while you pray that there is not a car that moves in the opposite direction on the other side is a rather unpleasant experience. And after one of these steep descents with the foot on the brake, we came across a huge pond in the middle of the road.

The tire tracks surrounding it did not give much security by right or left. After examining the situation, we decided on the left and the car passed with a wheel in the tire markings and the other in the puddle. About forty minutes of nightmare later, in which we of course crossed cars with all the gravel, the valley widened greatly and we began to cross an increasingly reddish desert.

At 11:05 we arrive at the junction of the C14 and turn left towards Sesriem. There were 87 km. Just after we turn right onto the D-1273 towards Sesriem for 10 km. At 11:17 we turn left towards Maltahöhe on the C19. This last section of the road was much better, but you still had to monitor the speed because you found yourself with more sandy sections, others more corrugated, and others with stone blocks, which made you could easily lose the stability of the car. Finally we arrive at 12:30 p.m. Sossus Oasis Camp Site where we were going to spend the next two nights exploring Sesriem and Sossusvlei.

This was the accommodation that cost us the most to close. To visit Sossusvlei It is best to stay inside the national park or at the door. The different alternatives fall very little far. Already in April it was impossible to find where to camp inside the park. At Sossus Oasis Camp Site We got two nights right at the end of our journey through Namibia. Before it was all full. We stayed in a private unit that consisted of a shaded veranda and inside a bathroom with a private shower and a laundry area. It is next to a service station that has a small shop and some fast foods. Inside the gas station is the reception of the campsite, which closes at 6pm.

After lunch we set out to visit the park. The entry cost $ 80 per person plus $ 10 of the car per day. It took us a while to get in because the door guard was curling up for a long time with everyone who wanted to leave, and since there was only one entry and exit door, you had to wait.

After the vehicle was searched, we went to the park reception to pay the permit and have it ready for the next day. Since it was half past two in the afternoon and that week closed at 5:30 pm, we were told that we only had time to visit Sesriem canyon and the dune Elim, which are right at the entrance of the park.

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