Day 392 - 393 Nambia : Katima Mulilo - Kongola

Day 392 Namibia

Trip Distance 143km (89km) Total Distance 6597km(4100m)
Road Condition 85% tar 15% dirt, mostly soft sand  
Time to travel 1hr hours 45mins  
Cost of diesel N$7.69 (£0.69)    
Nambwa Community Camp S17 52.602 E23 19.087 N$160 (£14.40) - Fabulous eco bathrooms, fantastic hot shower (solar), campsites on the water's edge with braai and tap.  Wonderful!!!!

So we set off on Monday morning to shop first and through habit switched on the aircon - by golly, it worked!!!  A loose connection maybe???  We went shopping and stocked up on meat at the local Pick n Pay and filled the freezer, bought some Namibian SIM cards for our phones and a few pre-paid vouchers and off we drove towards Kongola.  We had decided at this rate that the aircon probably wasn't a big problem and easily remedied so we needn't drop in to have it fixed.  Being Namibia the prices, although not Zambian prices, would still be higher than South Africa and any money saved at the rate we'd been spending in Zambian, could be used for a service and aircon repair in Pietermaritzburg when we got there.

We set off agin but not before dropping in to see the toilet in a baobab.  The toilet's long gone a_P1000653 but the tree is still hollowed out and now towers over the SWAPO offices in Katima. 

So, on the road and not 50kms down the road and half way to Kongola, the aircon stopped working again and smoke billowed out.  We switched it off, the smoke stopped and waited for 10 minutes before trying it again.  It worked.  Weird.

Just before crossing the bridge to get to Nambwa camp at Kongola, we were stopped at the Veterinary Gate.  We have since found out that, at the moment, they are posted all the way along the northern sector of Namibia from the west coast to Katima Mulilo.  He asked us to open our fridge to show him what we had in the freezer, which we did.  Did we know that we weren't allow to transport meat between the northern sectors?  i.e. meat bought in Katima couldn't be transported beyond Kongola, meat bought in Kongola couldn't go beyond Rundu and so on.  I was spitting mad!!!!  I know about not transporting meat across the borders and I understand that the veterinary lines are there to stop the spread of Foot & Mouth and Anthrax but as tourists we were not made aware either by the shops or at the border in Katima of this situation.  Turns out there's been an Anthrax outbreak in the last 3 months so they are being extra vigilant.  But I was also mad that we hadn't been told so promising the poor, harassed officer (he's only doing his job!) that we would cook and eat the meat whilst we were in Nambwa and anything left, we would come back and give to him, we left.

First stop was Susuwe Station (S17 45.595 E23 20.640) on the right 2.5kms from the main bridge, just beyond the bridge.  In order to go through the game park, you must pay fees and with us wanting to go to Nambwa, it would have to be paid.  But the fees are much lower than any other Africa country (N$30 pppd & N$10 one off for the car) so we paid up happily and set off for Nambwa, back tracking along the road to get back to the main road to cross over directly and then a soft sand road for 17kms to Nambwa.  But it was worth it.

The camp is idyllic and situated on the banks of the Kwando River a_P1000664.  Each site is private and with only 6 sites, there's little chance of meeting fellow campers (or even hearing them).  The eco bathrooms are fabulous with solar hot water and flush toilets and there's a tree hide for game and bird watching any time of day.

We'd highly recommend the camp to anyone going up that way.  Risk the roads, it's WELL worth it - just watch out for the patches of really soft sand.

We spent the first evening at the camp in the hide watching the monkeysa_SG100898 and wild life around usa_P1000673 (spot the ferocious spider at sunset).  That evening we caught a glimpse of the BIGGEST crocodile in the water that we had ever seen - it must have been at least 3.5 - 4m long.  It was so big (and the moon was full) that it's eye cast a reflection in the water below it which was what caught Trevor's eye!  The campsite next door to us saw it too. 

We woke up in the middle of the night with elephants in the camp but that didn't stop us from getting up at daybreak in time for sunrise at the hide where we caught a glimpse of the secretive and extremely shy lechwea_SG100922 and water bucka_SG100915

That evening as the sun went downa_SG100905a_P1000660we sat in the hide sipping our coffee and life was good.

#1 John Cox on 5.26.2010 at 10:13 AM

Hi you two.

Just been having a catch up what you are up to,you are bring back a few memeries and giving me itchy feet got some maps for Russia this week so we will see keep enjoying the trip and take care Coxy