NAMAKWA-4X4 ECO TRAIL (2)


SEPTEMBER 2020

DAY 1

On a bright Saturday morning, we’ve left Langebaan together with our friends, Frans and Fiela. We were looking forward to a relaxing week, driving on off-road trails while camping in remote places.

We’ve planned to cover half of the distance today on our way to Alexander Bay where we will meet our other friends. That mean we will have to drive about 300km to our first camping spot for the night. Tonight, we will camp in the Namaqua National Park.

Over the years, we’ve learned that our journey starts the moment we leave the house. We were therefore in no hurry when we left – we got off the tarred roads where possible to join gravel tracks where available.

The first gravel road we’ve encountered, was about 100km after we’ve left and we took this road that runs parallel to the Atlantic Ocean.

Our first stop was just outside Lamberts Bay (130km from our start). We’ve met Frans’ brother, who was visiting friends on a retreat, to collect some stuff for our journey.

We were immediately in a tranquil mood when we’ve arrived there – a springbok (well-known antelope in South Africa) were grazing close to the road, while sheep were taking a nap in the middle of the road where there was enough shade for them.

We could have stayed right here for the night – it was such a beautiful place! But we had to cover another 170km to our destination – of which the last 80km will be more gravel road.

In another small town, Lutzville, we’ve stopped to fill up our vehicles’ petrol tanks and for some snacks. Lutzville is very well-known for their wines and tourists often visit this town for their vineyards and to taste their great wines! We will surely have a glass of wine tonight next to the fire 😀.

We’ve covered the last stretch of today’s journey on mostly gravel roads, while we had the sea on our left-hand side … I’ve opened my window a couple of times to smell the ocean and wild flowers … absolutely wonderful!

At around 5 o’clock we’ve arrived at the gate of the Namaqua National Park. It seemed that a lot of South Africans were taking advantage of camping while on Level 1 of Covid-19 … almost all the camping spots were occupied! We were fortunate to receive one of the last available spots, namely “Seeduiker” (named after a bird).

This camp site is about 3km from the entrance of the park – we therefore had enough time to set up our tents before dark.

We have a very small tent (3-man tent) for adventures like these – it is very quick and easy to set up, especially if you need to do this every day for the next 10 days! Our friends had a rooftop tent on their vehicle … and sometimes I had to laugh … on the photo’s, it almost seems as if both our tent and car can fit into our friends’ rooftop tent!

But hey, remember that we’ve adopted a minimalist lifestyle two years ago! And we love to travel light and only having the bare necessities!

There is no drinking water available in the park and we had to carry water most of this trip with us. There are no shower facilities at the camp sites – we’ve skipped the “washing process” and only made use of a few wet wipes – but when you want to stay here for longer, you will have to bring your own shower tent and water.

The environmental loo on the camp site is also very neat (there was even a disinfectant spray next to the loo – probably due to Covid-19).

Our camp site, like most of the other camp sites in the park, is situated almost on the rocks and we had unspoilt breathtaking views over the Atlantic Ocean.

For the next 10 days, we will prepare our food on the fire – called “braai” or barbecue – something any South African loves to do!

We had coffee next to the fire before we went to bed – tomorrow we will drive another 300km – through the Namaqua National Park and then more gravel roads will follow before we check in with our friends in Alexander Bay.

Categories: Namakwa-4x4 Eco Trail

12 comments

  1. I am loving this trip already. I would have walked that track in the days when my health still allowed such things.

    That braai looks utterly brilliant. You are so lucky to be allowed to do such things.

    I have never seen a rig like your friends have, a tent on top of a wagon, that is strange to European eyes. Does the roof of the wagon not get dented with them sleeping on it? Obviously not. What a fantastic idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • By now, you must know how much we South Africans loves a braai … and to be allowed to do this in a public area (mind you, even in a national park 😲), is something we really appreciate!

      The way our friends have their tent on top of their vehicle, is quite common here in South Africa (very good idea when you’re camping in an area where there are wild animals roaming around …). The tent sits on top of a steady roof rack that is fastened to the vehicle, so no worries that you will dent your car’s roof.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have never seen that before, but it certainly looks like a brilliant idea and I understand what you mean about the wild beasties. Over here the worst we would get is an inquisitive cow!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the Braai area, that would be awesome in my back yard! Sounds like it was an amazing first day!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the idea of traveling on off roads and farms along the west coast. Now I know that Derek wants to fly along there. It’s something we would have to plan carefully. Him flying and me driving. But I want to do it with friends. One day.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh and I love those little flowers. We grew up in Hout Baai and there were always lots everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

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