Windhoek - Namib Naukluft Park
First real day of the roadtrip. We have a relaxed breakfast and then load the car with our luggage. On leaving Windhoek we have a quick stop at a petrol station to buy water and then we leave the capital behind us. For a long time we drive on a tarred road, but then comes the C23, our first gravel road. Immediately it’s a different feel of travelling. More remote, slower and very dusty ☺
Because it’s our first day getting used to the car and the roads we drive for nearly 6 hours to the Namib Naukluft Park where we stay for 3 nights in Hoodia Desert Lodge. Late afternoon we reach the gate of the lodge. We have to open it to enter the long driveway to the lodge. There’s no way to tell yet what the place will be like. Slowly we make our way untill at the backdrop of a mountain we spot little houses and a bigger main building. It looks fantastic and only gets better as we come closer. Like a fata morgana! As soon as I park the car, owner Thomas is there to greet us with wet towels and cold drinks. He leads us into the lounge of the main building and we are overwhelmed. The interior is fantastic. We are invited to take a seat and we learn our host loves to talk! He was born in Poland, but grew up in Germany, and now he and his wife have this fantastic place in the Namib desert. He tells us about the day trip they organise to Sossusvlei with guides from the lodge and we say we’ll think about it (you can also drive into Sossusvlei with your own car and we don’t want tob e pushed into some expensive organised trip). Thomas shows us around the mainbuilding, the restaurant, outer deck, small swimmingpool and then we go to our own little ‘house’. The views over the area are magnificent. There’s anough distance between the guest houses, so we enjoy the silence and really just sit on our little terrace enjoying being there and watching the sun go down. It’s winter time in Namibia, so by 5.30 pm it starts to get dark. Above us soon unfolds the most amazing night sky. I’ve rarely seen so many stars – certainly never in Belgium with all the light and air pollution – even the milky way is visible. Guided by the light of our lamp (provided by the lodge) we walk to the main building for dinner.
The restaurant is a large circular area with very high ceiling. The window doors to the outer deck are open and all the staff are incredibly friendly. We’re spoilt with a delicious 3 course dinner and then go out to the deck where we sit in the dark and gaze at the night sky. I feel so lucky to be there. We decide to do the guided daytrip to Sossuvlei on our 2nd day in the Namib desert. So one of the guides, Jonathan, gives us a suggestion for a selfdrive activity the next day. He draws us a map to do a part of the Waterkloof walk. By the time he finishes the map, he says we can also take a shortcut over the land of the lodge and then unlock the gate, which would safe us up to 40 minutes of driving. So he redraws the map ☺