Our African Adventure | Day Two | From Sossusvlei to Spitzkoppe
We woke up early and hit the road to try to catch sunrise in the Sossusvlei dunes. We had to stop along the way because the sun was coming up and the view was absolutely stunning. The grey and yellow scenery of the day prior turned into the glowing orange beauty of the Namib desert.
I had been looking forward to seeing this desert for a very long time at this point. I was absolutely blown away by the beauty and magnitude of this place.
There was a line at the entrance gates and once we got in we followed the road to the start of the 4×4 track. Along the way, we stopped to get pictures of oryx and springbok in the distance. We passed some of the big dunes like Big Daddy and Dune 45. Devon let some air out of our tires and we ventured into the 4×4 tracks. Incredibly fortunate, we had a close encounter with an oryx who was happy to let us watch him. I became so overwhelmed that I teared up a bit. It’s truly overwhelming to see magnificent African animals in their natural habitat. This wouldn’t be the only time I got overwhelmed by animal encounters on this trip!
We climbed the dune near Deadvlei, a salt pan, and headed back to our truck to get on the road.
We drove onwards to Solitaire to stop for fuel and a coffee and then continued through the Naukluft Mountains. The roads were extremely bumpy which meant it took a lot longer than we had anticipated. We started to feel as though we may have underestimated the distance it would take to get there.
A Long Shot
Eventually, we made it to Walvis Bay and were lucky enough to see a few flamingos in the Atlantic Ocean. We didn’t have much time to explore because the sun was setting and we still had a ways to go. It can be dangerous to drive in Africa after dark and so it is difficult to find a rental that insures you to drive after dusk. At this point, we knew we were going to be driving without insurance.
We did a quick tour through Swakopmund and got on our way to Spitzkoppe. Driving at night is dangerous for many reasons but primarily it’s because there are plenty of animals and a lot of them are bigger than your truck! We were definitely nervous but had to carry on and do our best to get there.
Highway driving quickly became frustrating because every second driver kept flashing their high beams at us making it difficult to see. We couldn’t figure it out, we didn’t have our high beams on and were driving on the correct side of the road. Weeks later we realized there is an option in the truck to slant the lights so that your lights don’t shine into oncoming traffic and once we did that, no more high beams! This is all a part of learning the ropes in a new country.
We made it
It was very late when we finally got to our campsite at Spitzkoppe. Luckily, they still had employees who could let us in. We found our campsite and set up in the dark. Making a quick dinner, we packed in for the night pretty quickly.