Between granites and desert elephants

After a lengthy pause due to some other travel and some inconveniently-timed work, here’s the next instalment on our trip in January:

I had been looking forward to our overnight stop in Damaraland, northern Namibia. It was not going to be cheap, but it would be great to stay in a very remote, special place, surrounded by desert and boulders. So we started our long drive from Etosha’s Anderson Gate through Outjo and Khorixas and onto the dirt road towards Uis, with positive feelings like expectation and excitement. Some of the road also provided us with other feelings, due to seeing the road ahead vibrating through alternating side windows of the Prado, accompanied by the clattering sound of our teeth… welcome to some of the world’s worst corrugated roads! Anyway, we were having an adventure and travelling towards a remote site, and you can’t expect those to be located on a smooth highway.

When we reached Madisa camp, we knew we would not be disappointed. Located on the banks of the Gauntegab “river” and against some pretty impressive granite boulders, it’s certainly a unique place. You might miss the river, since it is usually just a strip of differently-coloured sand between some trees, but you certainly cannot miss the granite boulders!

Our own campsite was on the other side of the granite outcrop, providing a beautiful setting and privacy. Privacy might not be the word that comes to mind first when you see the ablutions, but they are definitely unique!

Our beautiful campsite
A ‘room’ with a view

While having a splendid outside dinner near the reception area, some excitement erupted among the staff, since a few elephants had apparently wandered here through the desert to refresh themselves from a nearby water reservoir. A few of the staff members who are not local to Damaraland, were pretty nervous. As dusk turned into darkness, we watched them drink their fill and then wander slowly and quietly through the campsite, off into the desert again. As indeed we would do the next day, but less quietly, given the road conditions.

I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures, along with a strong recommendation to visit Madisa Camp, a lovely place in fantastic surroundings, staffed by very friendly people. Just make sure your vehicle has good shock absorbers.

Reception area seen from the top of the kopje …
… and time for a sunset selfie.

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