Otherworldy lands

Swakopmund is known as a town that is perfect to be used as a base for traveling to other worlds. To the south there are the enormous sand dunes of the vast Namib desert. To the west is the wide Atlantic ocean and to the northeast there is the Moon landscape. On the last morning in Swakopmund, we bought our permit for the latter and went on a short trip to other worlds. 

Our first stop was Spitzkoppe. We had heard that our intended camp in the Moon Landscape might get very busy during the weekends. As it was a Saturday, we decided to go somewhere a little further. Spitzkoppe is a combination of huge rock formations in the middle of the flat and vast desert. We had picked a community camp site that had mixed reviews on iOverlander. One way to find out what we think of it. 

Without any overheating issues (sadly it is something we have to keep watching out for here in Namibia), we reached Spitzkoppe. The views were stunning and when we arrived at the campsite we quickly found out which opinion we had. We absolutely loved the campsite. We also understand the negative reviews though. The campsite can be considered quite expensive for what you get. We paid 440 Namibian dollars (equivalent of around € 22,-). The camp ground itself was actually mostly wild camping. There was no water or electricity. There were some long drop toilets (a toilet seat above a very deep hole). We understand that for some, this is a lot of money for not really many facilities. For us, however, it was like heaven. We considered the camping fee mostly as entrance fee to the national park. For that, we were able to 'wild camp' in the most stunning surroundings. 

We arrived quite early, so we picked the best spot we could find. Due to the scorching heat, we took the only spot with some huge trees, under which we could park our car with rooftop tent. This seemed to be a very popular spot. As we were relaxing in our lovely spot, many other cars came to check out the campsite to see if there was another spot under the trees. The camp ground was huge and all of them found other spots. If they all had not come to visit us, it would have seemed like we were all alone here, that is how far the camp grounds were apart. It was really an amazing place. After having cooked our dinner, we went to see the sunset. Sunsets in Africa are almost always worth watching and this was no different. We saw the sun paint beautiful colors on the sky as it slowly set behind some impressive rock formations. It is experiences like this that make us love the trip we are on. 

The next day, we decided to take another slow morning. We are able to pack up our camp quickly if we have to, but we prefer to have a nice breakfast, do the dishes and then pack up our camp without any haste. We had a light lunch and went for an early morning walk through the beautiful surroundings, hoping to find some nice birds. We found some, but not the one we were hoping for. After the walk, it was time to leave this planet. 

Our next destination was the moon landscape, a little south of Spitzkoppe. This is an area with many different mountains and ridges. Within this moonlike landscape, runs the Swakop. This river is dry most of the time, but its river bed did leave a trail of fertile soil and trees. On this riverbed lies the Goanikontes Oasis. It really was an oasis for us. Our campsite was spacious, with a nice hot shower and clean toilet and a lot of trees providing shade. The trees also provided us with many birds who came to visit us, which was a bonus. 

The campgrounds have a communal area with a restaurant, bar, swimming pool, fishing pond and a petting zoo. After the busy season, the petting animals are let to roam free on the grounds. This meant we had llamas, goats, ponies and a duiker visiting us regularly, to the point that it even became annoying. Try packing your camp with two curious ponies standing in the way, or try braaiing some nice steak when a duiker tries to steal your salad. We really had some hilarious encounters with these animals, but the funniest one was the cheeky duiker who liked the rusks we had bought. In fact, she liked it so much that she dove head first into the box. We were too stunned to act. 

About that salad, on our travels we try to live as healthy as possible. Everywhere we go, we try as much as possible to skip the fries and go for some rice and have as many vegetables as we can. Usually we manage to get a lot of greens in our diet. Namibia is a little different. Vegetables here are optional, and people seem to skip them when they can. We have asked for vegetables multiple times, and every time we are answered with a look as if we are crazy. 'What do you want with vegetables', 'We don't have any vegetables', 'Some veggies for on the braai, do you mean a salad' are some of the common answers. Here we just settled for the salad. We will try to eat healthy again later. 

The moon landscape was beautiful. We camped at Goanikontes for two nights and on the second day, we headed into the national park for which we had bought a permit. The views were beautiful and seemed unending. We drove on Welwitschia drive to: Welwitschias. We had already seen some of the plants earlier, but those were relatively young ones. Welwitschias can get over 2.000 years old, and Welwitschia drive would take us to one plant that was 1.500 years old. Unfortunately, the road was absolutely horrible. Quite shocking, as we had to pay an entry fee for the road. The road was so terrible, that people decided to create a road besides the road. In fact, the road had been horrible for so long, that even the road besides the road had become corrugated, so people even created a road besides the road besides the road. After our first Welwitschia along Welwitschia drive we decided to call it quits. We returned to enjoy our beautiful camp. 

After the beforementioned braai, for which we even made some new investments (a real braai rooster), we went for an after-dinner hike. The hike to the view point was said to take about 30 minutes, but after 10 minutes we had reached the top. We watched as the sun stunningly set behind some of the peaks that make up the moon landscape, as it beautifully illuminated the other side of the moon landscape. We really felt lucky that we are able to do things like this. 

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