Thursday January 6, In a rented 4×4 vehicle, which is necessary for most roads here, a four hour drive south took us to the Fish River Canyon. Similar in view to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Depending on which list you find Fish River Canyon second largest in size to the Grand Canyon. There were three other vehicles visiting when we were there.
We stayed overnight at the Canyon Roadhouse, near Fish River Canyon. It is decorated with nostalgia of old cars and gas station signs as if it were a museum. We were the only guest staying in the lodge. There were campsites also affiliated with the lodge, we saw 4 vehicles in the site.
Friday January 7, our stay included breakfast. A buffet was laid out that could feed 20 people! It was a lot of food! With permission, we took the apples, pears and grapes from the spread to have in the car.
On our way North to Sesriem we stopped to see the Hardap Game Park. It is a relatively small park, we saw Springbok, Ostrich and Kori Bustard birds. Adjacent to the park is the Hardap Dam. The reservoir dams the Fish River. This stop was recommended by people we met at the Canyon Roadhouse.
After a 6.5 hour drive we arrived in the town of Sesriem where we stayed at the Sossusvlei Lodge, with dinner and breakfast included. Set in the desert, each room is in it’s own building. We had a wonderful view of the desert.
Saturday January 8, Also within the lodge was an Activity Center that organized a variety of tours. Our plan was to leave at sunrise to see Sossusvlei, but opted to go with a tour. There were two safari vehicles that departed at 6am, with 4 guests in each. First dune we stopped at in the Namib Desert, is called Dune 45. It is permissible to climb this Dune, it stands at 560 ft. The name comes from it being 45 kilometers from the road that connects the Sesriem gate and Sossusvlei.
Sossusvlei is a white salt and clay pan known as Deadvlie. Remnants of a once river marsh with dead trees, surrounded by very large red dunes of million years old sand. Dune 7 is the tallest in this desert over 1256 ft, it’s the 7th dune along the Tsauchab River. Big Daddy, which you are also allowed to climb is over 1066 ft. We climbed what the tour guide called Little Daddy. It is the long plateau before Big Daddy’s peak. Similar in height to Dune 45.
Upon returning back to the lodge, we had a late checkout, took quick showers, as we were full of sand, then departed back to Trance in Luderitz, another 6 hour drive, with beautiful scenery.
Sunday January 9, The now ghost mining town of Kolmanskop, 15 minutes outside of Luderitz, was once one of the wealthiest in the world. The hospital had the first X-ray machine in the southern hemisphere. Three of the buildings were furnished with period items, the General Store (the sewing machine), the store owners house and a bowling alley. In 1912 one million carats of diamonds were mined, by the 1930s the town’s riches were for the most part depleted. Then diamond deposits were found about 165 miles south, by the Oranjestad River. Many of miners moved there. Kolmanskop was abandoned to the desert in 1956.
A Sunday drive around the Luderitz area.