All tagged San

Out of Namibia 08/10/16

In my last post I talked about our 9 hour drive to Damaraland. Because we got our roads so wrong before the Tracks4Africa gps app came to the rescue, we drove to the Doro Nawas camp from the opposite direction than the one taken by visitors which meant that there were no signs for the camp on the sides off the road, we keep looking for them but never saw any, which given the overlong drive worried us considerably. One of the benefits of our wrong-way drive however was that it took us through parts of the country not usually traveled by visitors and over a mountain pass that was stunning, hairy driving but fabulous views. Our guide when we finally arrived couldn't believe that we made managed the drive in our vehicle, clearly a drive that is not normally taken by tourists.

Damaraland the region, and Doro Nawas our lodge, in neither case had any really compelling connections for us. Doro Nawas is reached by 4 or 5 kilometres of gravel road branching off the main gravel highway to a very rocky and wind-swept hill rising out of the dusty desert and about 40 or 50 metres high. The main lodge was perched on top and the various individual stone chalets scattered around the hillside. The 5k drive to reach it was unquestionably the worst piece of track that we have driven  in our entire trip. It was bone-shaking, teeth-rattlingly bad and while the gravel roads and highways are pretty pretty grim in places, corrugations really shaking the car, you can usually find an optimum speed that is not so slow that the car is is slowly being shaken into piles of bolts nor so fast that the bumps are minimized but the car is unsafe, slewing about on the gravel, but a happy and tolerable balance between the two. In the case of the Doro Nawas road there was no optimum manageable speed and we feared for the safety of the car as we pounded along it. Not a good introduction to the lodge, which is a Wilderness Camp, a brand for a number of camps throughout Southern Africa which like the &Beyond Camps is a guarantee of a high level of service and accommodation. Someone was not watching the store in the case of Doro Nawas and given the cost of the camp it was surprising that no attention was paid to the first impression that a camp creates, the road to the site. It quickly became clear that the road to the camp was not the only problem faced by the camp, the service was forgetful and unpleasant and the food less than compelling....