Famous picture of the lion at the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings, Namibia
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Namibia Trip Journal from January 30 to 31 and March 08 to 28, 2008

Follow this link to return to the Namibia Photos Pg. 1 and Namibia Photos Pg. 2.

Country: Namibia
Duration: Jan. 30 to 31, 2008 and Mar. 08 to 28, 2008.
Distance Traveled in the Country: Approx. 5000km on the motorcycles, of which 3000km on gravel roads.
Most Memorable Impressions:
Wide, open empty spaces.  A country with a Wild West feel.  Canyons, cactus', red sand dunes and a desolate coast.  The countries diversity made it never a dull moment to explore. The past meets the present where the Himba & Herero people meet up with modern culture.  Germany has imprinted itself upon Namibia.  German culture and heritage is striving.  No wonder that German tourists flock to this country.  It felt like home away from home.
Our Favourite:
- Dead Vlei
- Himba People
Fuel Cost: 7.8 NR/litre ($1.05CDN/litre) for Unleaded Fuel.
Accommodations: Camped (19) nights between 100 to 200NR/night ($13.50 to $27.00CDN/night) and one (1) night hotel for 540NR/night ($73.00US/night).
Exchange Rate: 7.4 Namibian Rand (NR) = $1.00CDN
Border Formality Costs: Namibian Visa = Free for Canadians
Motorcycle Customs = Free with Carnet de Passage, plus carbon tax of 100.00NR/motorcycle ($13.50CDN/motorcycle) payable in local currency only. (Has to be paid at re-enter again)

Jan. 30, 2008.  We entered Namibia from Zambia at the Wenela Border Post.  The border formalities were quick and easy.  The carnet de passage only had to be stamped once and was valid for Botswana and South Africa.  We entered the Caprivi Strip, a Game Reserve, but did not see any animals on our way through.  Luckily we had withdrawn cash in Wenela and fueled up, as there was no gas station for 300kms.  At Divundu we turn south toward Botswana.  14km from Divundu lies the Ngepi Camp.  The 4km sand road into Ngepi Camp off the main road was a bit challenging, especially has we had to pass through huge water bodies.  As always we get the most difficult riding after a long day in the saddle.  Ngepi Camp had placed signs along the sand road indicating that water will not hurt your tires.  The Ngepi Camp was definitely worth the effort to make it through the messy road.  Located on the Kavango River, it has nice grassy campsites and unique toilets and washrooms.  By unique I mean these washrooms are located in the open overlooking the river.  It is hard to explain and better represented in a picture.  The site also boosts the World first “Hippo & Croc Cage Dive” from a floating swimming pool in the Kavango River.  If you are rolling in cash rustic tree houses, reed bush huts and deck tents are available.  Camping is 150.00NR/night (or $20.00CDN/night). Here we run into Chris again on his CMM250.  He gives us a list of GPS coordinates for almost all the places he had stayed traveling down the west coast of Africa.  What a great guy.   

Jan. 31. 2008.  In the morning we return to Divundu for fuel and head back south toward Botswana.  Just past the Ngepi Camp turn off, the tarmac stops and the last few kilometers to the Mohembo Border Post is a good dirt/sand road.  The road passes through the Mahango Game Park.  At the border post we are stamped out of the country by immigration and have to sign out the motorcycles in a book.  The police officer then asks us to place the receipt for the Namibian Road Tax in a box.  We are unaware of any such tax and were not told at entry to Namibia.  He advised us that they sometimes forget to ask for the 100.00NR/motorcycle ($13.50CDN/motorcycle) Road Tax at the Wenela Border Post and that it has to be paid upon exiting the country.  The problem was that it had to be paid in local Namibian currency and we had only 130.00NR cash left as we knew leaving the Ngepi Campsite that no further cash was required.  In the end they took a 100.00NR and $20.00US.

Jan. 31, 2008 to Mar. 08, 2008 was spent in Botswana, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa.  See specific Journals.

Mar. 08, 2008. We re-entered Namibia from South Africa at the Noordoewer land border.  Two (2) large buses with school children arrived ahead of us at the border.  The landscape is made up of volcanic rock.  Temperatures were in the 40 Deg. Celsius as we waited in line in the blazing sun.  It took 1 1/2 hours to get through immigration.  We were both soaked to the bone.  The Felix Campground is only 10km off the main road.  We arrived in Namibia in the off-season.  Most campgrounds and lodges close in the summer time, as it is too hot.  Rene had told us that good wireless internet was available at this site.  The camp is located on the Orange River and we had an open hut with a table, bench, electricity & sink for ourselves.  We set up the tent within the hut space.  Accommodation was 100NR/night ($13.50CDN/night).

Mar. 09 & 10, 2008.  We decided to stay a couple of days to take advantage of the internet.  Unfortunately the transmitter had blown and internet was not available.  Hoping for it to get fixed we hung around, but without any luck.  Meanwhile we were able to get up to Lesotho web ready for download.  On Mar. 10, 2008 Charley and Rensche on their 250cc Honda motorcycles arrived at the campsite.  Another one of those coincidences.  We had not seen each other since Malawi, approx. six (6) weeks ago.  Sitting down in the evening we chatted about must see places in Namibia and road conditions.  Being in the rainy season, northern Namibia gets a lot of rain resulting in washed out gravel roads and many water crossings.  They were on their way to Cape Town and it was the last time we would see them on this trip.

Mar. 11, 2008.  It had been unbearably hot during the day, therefore we decided to get an early start with the sunrise.  Taking the gravel road west to the Fish River Canyon along the Orange River, we were unable to pass through the park, as the bridge had been washed out and the road had been closed.  Instead we rode along the border of the National Park toward Ai-Ais.  45km north of Ai-Ais is the northern entrance to the Fish River Canyon Park (90NR/person or $12.00CDN/person) and another 10km we stood at the rim of the Canyon.  The canyon is 160km in length, up to 27km wide and 550m deep.  One day we will take the 4-5 day 85km hike along the bottom of the canyon in the river bed.  Hiking permits only get issued in the winter time (May to September).  A tourist bus full of Germans stop at the look-out point and we are the main attraction. En-route we see numerous Quiver Trees.  The tree derived its name from the bushman who made Quivers from the tree.  Hungry and thirsty we stopped for breakfast at the Roadhouse 15km from the Park. The food is excellent and the setting unique.  Cactus' growing out of an old 1920's truck, ancient license plates stuck to the chairs, German Advertisements for early 20th Century vehicles are plastered all over the walls, old washing machines and, who knows what, are littered around the patio.  It is an interesting place to explore.  Namibia used to be called German South West Africa.  Continuing north on the gravel road we are a bit slowed down by sandy road conditions and mud holes to cross.  We have not seen a bank or ATM since entering Namibia, since we stay mainly on gravel roads away from the main centers.  Namibia is one of those countries that remind us of Alaska and Yukon, large empty spaces.  Sometimes we meet only a handful of vehicles in a day.  Villages are spaced a 100km apart and consist of maybe 10 houses.  We hoped for a bank in Bethanie, but it was closed (only open from 10am to 2pm), no ATM.  In Helmeringhausen we set up camp in the yard of the Helmeringhausen hotel (160NR/night or $22.00CDN/night).  Another small village consisting of about 10 buildings.  We are in luck that they take credit card.  Low on money and with no bank in sight until Swakopmund we are able to exchange a 100Euro with the owner of a gravel-raod motorcycles tour company (www.gravel-travel.com or www.motorradreisen.de).  Ralf Moeglich is located in Windhoek and runs different types of tours through northern South Africa & Namibia.  Currently mostly catering to Germans he is expanding into the British market.  He uses Yamaha 660's and follows the group in a support vehicle.  Each motorcycle is equipped with a GPS and paper route map.  It allows the rider to take his/her time by following the pre-set route.  The support vehicle follows and assists in break-downs and emergencies. We order supper off the menu and have delicious apple strudel.

Mar. 12, 2008.  After some breakfast we set out on gravel road C27 and fueled up at Betta's.  This place is run by assumingly Betta, it is a campground with a few huts, restaurant/shop and a couple of pumps in a small settlement of four (4) houses.  Namibia reminds us of the Wild West.  There are huge empty spaces. Sometimes we do not meet a soul on the road for hours.  No houses, nothing.  Continuing on the C27 we are starting to ride alongside huge dunes.  The gravel road for the most part is in good condition, with some sandy sections and just before Sesriem a huge river crossing. The concrete that lined the river bed was washed away by the extensive rain.  We are in luck the bed is bone dry.  This condition changed actually the next day making this route impassable. Sesriem is the gate to the national park and some of the world's largest sand dunes.  To experience sunset and sunrise at the dunes we have to sleep within the park boundaries as the outside gate closes at 7:30pm and opens at 7am (ie. Before sunset and after sunrise). Dune 45 is exactly 45km from the park entrance.  It is a catch 22, meaning if you want that amazing picture you have only one option to camp in the very expensive campground.  The Campsite is 300NR, plus 150NR/person camping, plus 80NR/person for park fee, plus 10NR/motorcycle for a grand total of 780NR or $105.00CDN/night.  The facilities are nothing to write home about, but instead of staying for two (2) nights we opted for one (1) night only.  After setting up the tent and a swim in the pool to cool off we head out on the only paved road for hundreds of kilometers.  The 65km stretch from Sesriem to the parking lot is paved.  We stop at Dune 45 at around 6pm (sunset at 7:20pm).  The lighting is perfect and we realize that after 6:30pm the lightening for pictures got worse.  After sunset we rode back to the campsite.

Mar. 13, 2008.  Sunrise as per the GPS was 6:56am.  We leave the campsite at 6am and ride directly to the end of the paved road.  No 4x2 drive vehicles are allowed past this point.  National Park vehicles take us to the centre close to the Dead Vlei.  The cost is a 100NR/person ($13.50CDN/person) or walking 5km in the desert heat.  From the drop off point it is another kilometer to the rim of the Dead Vlei.  We are the first to reach the salt plains of the Dead Vlei.  It is in complete shadow from the adjacent dune.  The dunes here reach up to 325m.  The Dead Vlei has tree stumps sticking out of the pancake flat salt ground.  It looks like a dried up salt lake.  The shadows from the trees in contrast with the red dunes and white flats are beautiful.  We climb the dunes and watch as the sun starts to peak over dunes. Returning to the campsite we pack up and ride to Solitaire.  Solitaire is famous for its Apple Pie and of course we can not resist each a huge piece.  We set up camp at the Solitaire Country Lodge.  There is not much to Solitaire, which consists of a gas station, Country store, restaurant, campground and lodge.  If you are looking for solitude, Namibia is for you.  The country makes you feel as if you are the only one on earth.  Nights are quite, mostly due to the remote places of each campground.  Most of Namibia's small population lives around its three (3) major cities of Windhoek (Capital), Swakopmund and Luderitz, leaving the rest of the country with huge empty spaces.  There are a lot of German tourists and most restaurants and lodges speak to you in German first.  Mike mentioned to me that Germany must be empty, since they are all in Namibia.  Germany claimed Namibia in the late 19th Century, but it only lasted until the end of WWI.  Nevertheless German heritage and culture has been imprinted on Namibia in a big way.  It is also very environmentally friendly, especially in regards to recycling and water usage.

Mar. 14, 2008.  From Solitaire we stay on the C14, which leads into the Namib-Naukluft Park.  The Kuiseb Pass is amazing.  Located approx. 75km from Solitaire on the C14, this pass actually drops into a canyon.  Very steep gravel road, with an amazing view descending to the bottom.  Water is rushing across the road as we cross the river.  Gradually the scenery changes from green to a barren and inhospitable landscape.  White sand as far as we can see.  There is haze in the blue sky.  We reach Walvis Baai, which looked rather bleak in the mist.  Continuing north to Swakopmund the fog/mist started to burn-off, giving way to a wild coast line.  In Swakopmund we stop for lunch and have Tomato/Cheese Sandwich with Brat-Kartoffel.  Dessert is Apple Strudel.  We find a beautiful campsite at the Alte Bruecke, not far from the beach.  This campsite is one of the more unique ones we have stayed at.  Each campsite had its own brick building with bathroom (shower, sink & toilet), power and a Braai/BBQ chimney place.  Surrounded by Palm trees, we had picked the nicest spot.  It cost us 200NR/night ($27.00CDN/night), a bit more then what we usually spend, but it was worth every penny.  With internet available on site for 40NR/hour ($4.50CDN/hour) it was a good location for us to stay awhile and update our website, as it would be our last good internet access for a long time.

Mar. 15 to 18, 2008. We did a lot of catching up, and were happy with the results.  Every morning Swakopmund is engulfed in mist and cloud until about noon, then the sun burns it off.  The town of Swakopmund is very German, with a good grocery store.  We loaded up on groceries and even had a couple of Braai's/BBQ's at the campsite.  Mike made baked Potato's, Onion's and Sausages, it was very yummy.  One night we were joined by a South African couple from Durban on holiday in Namibia.  They were very excited about our trip and over some white wine and some delicious desert that they had whipped up we talked the night away.  Again two (2) very nice people.  On Mar. 18, 2008, we celebrated my 35th Birthday with a bottle of sparkling wine, a card, a trip to the National Marine Aquarium and the Crystal Museum, which houses the largest crystal lump in the world.  In the morning Mike even went into town to the German Bakery to get me some treats.  We ended the day with great Pizza.  How can it get any better?

Mar. 19, 2008.  We decided to detour inland to the Spitzkoppe via the paved B2, approx. 150km from Swakopmund.  The 1728m rock mountain is one of Namibia's land marks and can be seen from far away.  From the Spitzkoppe it is back on the gravel road D1918 to Hentiesbaai.  Namibia is one of those countries were you have to watch your fuel, as distances between settlements can be large.  We made it a habit to carry four (4) litre canisters of gasoline each and used it many times.  After fueling up we stopped for some lunch our usual Ham, Cheese, Tomato sandwich with fries/or chips as they call it here. We had entered the National West Coast Tourist Recreational Area and were cruising along the salt road C34 to Cape Cross.  The National West Coast Tourist Recreational Area makes up the southern part of the Skeleton Coast.  A very lonely, bleak looking area.  Within this area is the Cape Cross Seal Reserve (50NR/person admission or $6.75CDN/person).  There are thousands of seals swimming, breeding and hanging out on the beach.  It is quite a sight and smell.  We could get within a few meters of the seals.  Due to its remote location or maybe due to the off-season there were no other tourists.  At the same place a couple of crosses are erected, indicating navigational aids, which were placed here by the Portuguese when they first set foot on the coast of Namibia in the late 15th Century.  We continue along the salt road to Mile 108, to set up camp at the Mile 108 campsite.  A prime location, right on the beach.  What a place!  The wind never stops howling from the Atlantic Ocean.  The constant fog sitting low in the sky.  The lower campsite has no running water and long drops for toilets.  To our surprise there were actually at least five (5) other campers, fully rigged out with fencing for the wind protection, generator etc.  In for the long haul.  These are sea anglers.  It is funny to see there vehicles driving down the road with five (5) or more fishing rods tucked vertically in the front of the truck.  There is not much else to do out here.  The campsite is 200NR/night ($27.00CDN/night) and we pitch our tent inside a large party tent (Mike called it the Coca Cola tent because of the red and white stripes) to get some shelter from the wind.

Mar. 20, 2008.  The Skeleton Coast Park is off-limits to vehicles unless a special permit has been obtained prior to arrival.  Motorcycles are not allowed.  A special transit permit can be issued to cars only to go between the gates of Ugabmund and Springbokwater.  We decided to ride to the Ugabmund gate for a picture of the unique gate entrance.  It was worth the extra few kilometers.  Another side trip on a sign called “Something” Wreck 4x4 only access.  We ride along the sand track in search of a ship wreck, but only find sea anglers.  Just south of Mile 108 is the turn off onto gravel road D2303.  At the turn off onto D2342 there is a one (1) kilometer continuous stretch of deep sand/gravel.  The D2342 makes its way through the Brandberg Nature Reserve.  This mountain range includes Namibia's highest mountain Koenigstein (2573m).  In Uis, we fuel up and have a bite to eat.  The C35 north from Uis is a good gravel road.  Along the D2612 we met numerous Himba and Herero people.  The road had several surprise sand pits, which resulted in Mike having some incredible high speed out of control saves. Normally that gives me enough time to come to a complete stop before getting into a mess myself and for sure crash.  At the intersection of C39 and D2612 a secluded lodge with nice campsites is located called the Xaragu Lodge.  We had been lucky all afternoon dodging numerous Thunderstorms.  We set up camp at the Lodge/Campground for 120Rand/night ($16.00CDN/night).  As this is the ideal place to visit the nearby Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings, Burnt Mountain and Organ Pipes, we decided to stay for two (2) nights.  The lodge has covered campsites and a swimming pool, very important when visiting in the summer time as we did.  Mike cooked supper and we called it a night.

Mar. 21, 2008.  The previous night the campsite had filled up with mostly German Tourists who had rented the popular pick-up truck c/w topper and two (2) roof-tents.  The positive feedback we have received from travelers in Namibia has been amazing. People are very enthusiastic about what we are doing.  Besides taking pictures of us, we often get an e-mail later once they return to their home country.  We have now numerous places to stay in Germany, Switzerland and Spain.  In casual riding gear we make our way to the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings.  These carvings on rock are one of the most extensive in Africa.  Entrance is 25NR/person plus 10NR/motorcycle parking.  The entrance fee includes the guide.  March 21 is a public holiday in Namibia celebrating Independence Day.  It was just the two (2) of us in our guided tour.  The engravings date back 5000 years and show rhinos, ostriches, giraffes and the famous picture of a lion.  Everyone we talked to confirmed that this year has been the wettest rainy season in over 20 years.  It is unique to see the desert blooming.  Fields of yellow flowers, green grass in contrast to the red glowing mountains.  Only 10km from the rock engravings are the Organ Pipes basalt columns and the Burnt Mountain.  Tired out we return to the camp and laze around the pool for the afternoon.

Mar. 22, 2008.  We get on the road early and ride along C39, only to be stopped shortly after at a huge water crossing.  Within seconds the water level rose to over half a meter, it was a good 50m wide.  Mike decides to walk through it and test its depth.  There was about a 3m section where the current was very strong and the water actually above his knee.  We started to unload the motorcycles, including bags and Mike walked everything across.  Meanwhile another 4x4 truck arrives.  A local family of four (4).  The man, Riaan, super nice, checks out the situation and agrees that it was even in his vehicle impassable.  We waited for two (2) hours to watch the water level slowly drop.  Three (3) more vehicles were lined up behind.  Riaan confirms that he will attempt the crossing.  We all stand poised with cameras.  The water actually was higher then the bottom of the truck door, but he made it.  He returns to our side and advises everyone how to get through it.  I start walking across the river and have to stop in the middle as the current got too strong and Riaan had to pull me through.  Mike decides to walk the motorcycle through with the help of Riaan.  One by one we all make it through.  Thanks to the helpful family of Namibia.  Repacked, we continue and the road starts to deteriorate fast.  Numerous road sections are washed away, leaving deep ruts and large river rocks.  We stop at the Palmwag Lodge for lunch.  The best part of the day was yet to come.  It was 3pm when we were about 30km from Sesfontein and a large thunderstorm moved over us.  The dirt road turned into huge mud puddles.  It was impossible to keep the motorcycles up right.  Turning onto D3704 I had a good crash at 60km/hr.  The mud made it an ice rink. We were both exhausted.  55km north of Sesfontein, a sign of hope.  It was past 6:30pm,  the sun was low in the sky and a sign for accommodations.  We almost had given up and pitched a tent on the side of the road.  We had not met a vehicle on the road for hours.  The “Aussicht” Campground/B&B was 6km off into the bush along a trail.  The reward was finding a unique place up on a hill.  Originally it was a mine and the owner started the Campground/B&B five (5) years ago to supplement his mining income.  The campsite overlooked the valley allowing for a spectacular sunset.  Each site had a two (2) bucket system shower and long drop for a toilet.  The owner lit a fire under the boiler.  After 1/2 hour we filled one bucket and then carried it into the shower and dumped it into another bucket with a valve and shower head.  It worked quite well.  We invited ourselves to supper with the owner and some of his guests for a very good homemade meal, plus desert.  Camping and the meal came to 290NR ($40.00CDN).

Mar. 23, 2008.  In the morning we were taken on a Mine Tour and even good a souvenir to take home.  There are two (2) exits from the campsite pending on which way one was heading.  The route out of the campsite toward Opuwo, was a steep descent with a rocky and muddy river crossing prior to joining up with the D3704.  We walked the river crossing first and Mike attempted it with me on the camera.  It all went smooth and I place the camera in a safe spot, as the motorcycles spins out in the mud.  We try lifting the motorcycle upright again, but the mud is too slippery.  We push it back into the river bed and finally are able to lift it up.  Some road sections of the D3704 were completely washed away.  It was like riding in a river canyon.  The 110km took us another four (4) hours until we reached Opuwo.  In Opuwo we headed straight for the Country Lodge, located at the top of a hill.  It has a 360Deg Panoramic view of the surrounding area.  The campground is set off from the lodge, but guests are allowed to use the incredible swimming pool.  The water runs over the edge and the view over the valley below is beautiful.  We have lunch at the restaurant and then set up our campsite.  Opuwo is a small town with most amenities.  The unique thing about Opuwo is that Himba and Herero people and regular folk mix together.  For example as we stand in line at the grocery store a Himba Lady is ahead of us in traditional dress, topless with red mud covering her complete body and hair.  They are everywhere.  We did not take any pictures, as we felt strange doing so.  Before sunset we try out the amazing pool and then head back to the campsite.  Our goal is to attempt the Namibia/Angola Crossing at Ruacana the next day without a Visa.  We had restocked the motorcycles with food and repaired this and that on the motorcycles.  We were ready for the next leg (so we thought).

Mar. 24, 2008.  On a side note the road to the Epupa Falls was under water.  All tours from Opuwo to Epupa Falls were cancelled.  The campsites around the Falls was completely under water.  We decided to take the tar road C41 from Opuwo to the intersection of C35.  The C35 had also suffered damage from the recent rains, but was passable.  In Ruacana we stop for fuel and a quick bite to eat.  A group of South African's in 4x4's approach us and are also heading into Angola, but with a guide.  There Angolan Visa took 10 days and was attained in South Africa. We talk to the guide in regards to road conditions from Ruacana inland.  He also believes that we would require a Visa prior to entering.  The Ruacana Border Crossing is located approx. 17km from Ruacana and it definitely does not get a lot of traffic.  At the Namibia Border Post we are asked if we have an Angolan Visa otherwise there is no point stamping us out.  We play dumb and the officer advises us to walk over to the Angola Border post to inquire about a Visa.  As our Portuguese is non existent, we are accompanied by another officer for translation.  Mike returns and tells me that we do require a Visa to enter Angola, and that the border posts are not able to issue them.  They had called the Angolan Consulate in Oshakati to confirm that they were open to issue a Visa the next day as today was Easter Monday. Oshakati was only 200km away on a paved road.  Prior to leaving the Ruacana Border Post we visit the Ruacana Waterfall, which was massive.  We were not prepared for its size.  A couple of hours later we are in Oshakati and confirm the location of the Angolan Consulate.  As there is no campground in close proximity of Oshakati we checked into the Lodge for 560NR/night ($75.00CDN/night) including breakfast.  We had camped all of Namibia and deserved some luxury like TV.  In the local grocery store “Super Spar” we bought some fresh tomatoes, onions, cheese and salami and had sandwiches for supper.  In the evening we watched Mrs. Potter.

Mar. 25, 2008.  The Angolan Consulate opened at 9am which translates into a security guard opening the main door.  By 9:30am slowly some of the staff arrives.  At 10am a woman calls us up to the counter.  We state our request for an Angolan Visa to transit the country to DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo).  She advises us that they are not able to issue Visa's.  Her first excuse was that due to the up-coming election no Visa's are issued.  We counter this by advising her that elections are not until August/September.  Then she tells us that the person who issues Visa's is away for the last three (3) weeks, due to an operation and even if he was in the office he would not see us. She told us to return to Canada to apply for a Visa.  She was totally clueless.  We finally got her to give us the phone number for the Angolan Embassy in Windhoek (800km from Oshakati) and the Angolan Consulate in Rundu (700km from Oshakati).  Returning to the lodge, we make the call to Windhoek only to be advised that no Angolan Visa's are issued until April 10, 2008 as all the staff are on a course.  Our last hope therefore is Rundu.  The person issuing the Visas picks up the phone and Mike states his case.  He assures us that he will issue us a Visa.  We pack up everything and ride the 700km to Rundu on a good but boring straight road.  On a fuel stop in Grootfontein by coincidence we are parked in front of a motorcycle store.  This is the only motorcycle store in northern Namibia called the Northern Bikes & Quads, supplying Suzuki, Kawasaki and Yamaha Parts & Accessories.   After only 8000km our rear tire was over 1/2 used up.  The Namibian gravel roads had not been gentle on them.  I spoke with Johan, the owner in regards to some tires.  He had a set of Michelin Anakees in stock and another rear tire arriving the next day.  We made the decision to change tires and told Johan to hold them for us for a couple of days until we got our Angolan Visa.  In Rundu we set up camp at the Sarasungu River Lodge for 110NR/night ($15.00CDN/night).

Mar. 26, 2008. Confident that we would get the Angolan Visa today, we packed up the tent and arrived at 9am at the Angolan Consulate.  After completing the paperwork, plus photo and copy of our passports, we are advised to return the next day at noon to pick-up our passports.  The cost of the Visa is 750NR/person ($100.00CDN/person).  We decide to ride the 258km to Grootfontein and have new tires installed.  We cruised along at 160km/hr as we new the tires were toast.  Johan was surprised to see us already but was right on the ball.  By 3pm we had new front and rear tires mounted for 3900.00NR ($527.00CDN). Installation of the tires is free if the tire is bought at his shop.  Talking to him we find out that Robo and his girlfriend had stopped in at the shop as well.  The service is excellent and Johan and his son know the importance of getting you back on the road as quickly as possible.  Thanks a bunch for your hospitality.  By 6pm we are back in Rundu and set up camp again at the Sarasungu River Lodge.

Mar. 27, 2008. We arrive at the Angolan Consulate at 11:30am, but are told to return in 1/2 hour.  At noon we are advised to return at 2pm.  Instead of leaving the Consulate we remain parked in front of the building, waiting.  Our hope to make it to the border was gone.  Finally at 3pm a smiling Mike emerges from the Consulate waving a 30 day Angolan Tourist Visa.  We ride again the 258km from Rundu to Grootfonteen.  It is like driving from Calgary to Brooks, dead straight.  Before the sun sets we set up camp in Tsumeb.  The Tsumeb campsite is quite basic, but fenced in with security.  The previous night they had a gun point robbery in the campsite and everyone was advised to camp in well lit areas.  Supper was at Whimpy's.  We bought some wine and celebrated our Angolan Visa in the tent.

Mar. 28, 2008. We made it to the Namibia/Angola Border Post at Oshikango by noon.  This is one busy border post with lots of smuggling of various goods going on in the wide open.  The Carnet de Passage was stamped out and so were our passports. Good-bye to the easy life.

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