Welcome to Namibia!

After having the issues of our car fully solved and having visited the Vic Falls, it was finally time to continue our trip. Next up: Namibia!

The last part of Zambia was a lovely goodbye from the Zambian roads. In good fashion, the tarmac had big potholes and where the tarmac was graveled out, the gravel was very corrugated (like the Lays chips with grooves), making us bounce around in our car. Fortunately, we were prepared for this and we steadily drove to the border. 

Usually we use an app, iOverlander, to choose the easiest and least busy border to cross. This time we did not have that luxury. There is only border between Zambia and Namibia, at the end of the Caprivi strip. This is an odd strip of Namibia that extends between Angola and Botswana, all the way to Zambia and even almost Zimbabwe. 

When we arrived near the border, we were once again reminded not to use Google maps. Where there was supposed to be a border, all we saw was a locked gate with a big chain that we could not cross. Everything was very unclear and of course some 'helpful' guys came running towards us. As usual, they did not want to tell us where to go, but instead show us (and ask for money in the end). We have seen this more than enough and we decide to just drive further down the road and see if we could find the border there. Sure enough, a little further we found the border post. It seemed like every time we arrive at a new border post, they try to make it even easier than last time. Without any fuss, we checked out of Zambia into Namibia, paid our road taxes and off we went. 

We drove a little further and we immediately found a big difference with Zambia. The roads were tarmac and they were actually good and with clear signs indicated speed limits, intersections and other slightly more confusing signs. Another big difference, was the first town we found. It looked a bit like a Hollywood scene in a wild-west movie. The border town had a few huge fuel stations and there was an American-looking shopping mall. It all felt a bit out of place. We bought some groceries and tried to get a SIM-card as usual. Unfortunately the MTC shop was already closed. We 'knew' time in Namibia is an hour earlier than Zambia, meaning they already closed before 3pm. We bought our SIM-card at the Shell and we took a photo of the pamphlet that showed how to register the SIM-card online. How amazing, everything just works here!

We made our way to our first stop in Namibia, the Mbezi camp. We planned to go to a nice camp on the border of a national park in the Caprivi strip. We had read that 'campsite 6' would be the best, so on arrival we requested that campsite. Unfortunately, a guy who just arrived mere minutes before us, had gotten that specific campsite. We took another campsite and went to set up camp. Here we were in for another surprise.

We had been battling mold in our tent for about three months, but it was a battle we were set to lose. We have followed the rains of Africa (the Toto song that got us together in the first place) through Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia. The last five days in Livingstone that we were not able to properly dry the tent after using it in the Rusco farm, defeated us. There were white spots of mold covering the inside of the tent and the smell was horrendous. There was no way we would sleep in there. The timing was also great: we had finally reached the country in which we expected to do most of our camping, and now our tent was filled with mold. 

While Emma made dinner, Jeroen took some paper kitchen towels to clean the tent. He must have used a whole roll of kitchen towel, but the worst parts were gone. In the meantime, the guy on campsite 6 visited and when we told him what Jeroen was doing, he mentioned to use Dettol wipes. We did not have Dettol wipes, but the wet wipes we had, were our best option after the kitchen towels. We managed to remove the worst of the smell and just kept every part of the tent open, to make sure we had some fresh wind. 

The next day it was Sunday and our campsite 6 neighbor had left, so we decided to just enjoy our time at the camp. We moved to campsite 6, as it was indeed more spacious and had a better view than ours. The campsite was beautiful, with the view on a river plain with lechwes (antelopes we had probably seen before in Zambia, but thought they were impalas). Now we had more space and time for Jeroen to clean more of the tent and to leave the tent open in the sun. A sunny day also allowed Emma to do something about the never ending laundry pile.

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