Angola: A beautiful country in Africa

Leaving Namibia at the Ruacana border post, the Angola trip is on it’s way.  The road leads over a low water bridge over the Kunene River, and then becomes a two-track road.  With Mopane scrubland encroaching on the road we travel parallel to the Kunene River towards Foz de Kunene.

Due to the condition of the roads, the group travels very slow, and the first couple of nights we camp in dry river beds next to the road.  Iona National Park is a big conservation area in the South of Angola that the group travels through in order to get to Foz de Kunene.

After 3 days of slow driving we reach the mouth of the Kunene River, as it flows into the Atlantic Ocean.  Camping on the rivers edge and waking up to the sound of Bank cormorants on their way to the ocean is truly a special experience.  The next 2 days will take us Northwards along the coast towards Flamingo.  About halfway the dunes get very close to the ocean, so one can only travel this area at low tide, and with a local guide that knows the area.

Flamingo lodge lies in a stunning area.  A big river has carved its way open to the Atlantic Ocean, and while doing this caused “canyon lands” to form.  The lodge is situated in and on these heights, and gives you an excellent view of the Ocean.  The building is not permanent, but good enough to keep the elements of nature away from your body.  With hot showers, and an open air restaurant with a view on the setting sun, one cannot really ask for any better settings.

Leaving Flamingo we travel to Namibe, the capital of the South West of Angola. Visiting the market place is a hectic and fun filled experience. Anything under the sun is available, and it is your typical African Market. Busy, loud and bustling with energy.  The beach at Raphael’s is our next destination.  What a stunning site. A beautiful bay with white sandy beaches.  Two days spending here, exploring a bit of the surrounding area, which is just as stunning.

Lubango were to be our next destination.  Travelling up the

Serra de Leba Pass at 40 kilometres per hour is a wonderful experience. Well built and maintained this is a highlight of the tour. After visiting the Dorsland Trekkers graves and memorial in Humpata, the group left for Lubango.  A bustling city, Lubango is the heart of the South of Angola.  Visiting different sites in and around Lubango takes about 2 days. One of these sites is the Cristo-Rei, a huge statue of Christ overlooking Lubango.

Leaving Lubango we head for the Namibian border at Santa Clara again.  On the way the road from Cahama to Xangongo must be driven.  It is one pothole after another, so this 75 kilometre takes about 4 hours to drive.  Really very bad, but at least one gets time to look around, due to the very slow pace.  After crossing the border, Namibia is a welcome sight to behold.

Angola is truly a spectacular country, very big, and with this trip which lasted 15 days in total, the group only got to see the Southern bit of Angola.  A lot of various and changing landscapes makes this a trip to remember. When next planning a trip to Angola, or a Namibia safari please visit our website.

Kobus Alberts

Another day, another mountain

Joakim Johnson, my partner in climbing mountains in Namibia.  We left on the morning of the 19th of May for Damaraland, Namibia.

About a year back on a previous hike up the Doros Crater the two of us saw a mountain in the distance that looked very enticing, and there and then decided that one day we will climb this mountain.  This is the story of us and the mountain.

The mountain form part of the Huab River hills, and lie on the South Bank of the river.  It is about 4 kilometres South of Mikberg.  Our route took us through Save the Rhino camp, and onwards to the Huab River.  Late in the afternoon there were no more tracks that led us closer to this mountain so we left the vehicle and started to walk.  In our backpacks were 13 litres of water each, and enough food for 4 days, as we did not know exactly how tough this mountain would be to climb.  That first evening we slept at the foot of the mountain, after hiking about 6 kilometres to get there. As the sun set we studied this mountain and worked out a route that we would follow the next morning.

As the sun rose we started hiking.  The climb was steep and there were some scree slopes to be negotiated, but not too tough at all. We started at around 780 metres above sea level and that morning at 10:00 we were on top of the mountain, its height being 1310 metres above sea level.

After walking around its rim, we decided to spend the night in order for Joakim to get some sunset and sunrise photos.  I must add that from a distance the top of this mountain looked flat and a lot like Table Mountain in Cape Town.  This was not the case when we got to the top. It was boulder strewn, and we had to put in a lot of effort just to make ourselves a relatively flat area where we could sleep that night.

The wind was howling after dinner, but we had a fire going, and once inside our sleeping bags, the starts of the Southern hemisphere were so close one could nearly reach out and touch them.  Deafening silence expect for the wind were to be our companion for the night.

The next day we descended the mountain and walked back to the vehicle.  After some discussion we decided to spend the day exploring the area, as we have seen plenty of game. That said we followed every track we could, and just before lunch, Joakim came across some Rock Engravings in a dry riverbed. What a find it was!

That night we slept at Hyena’s Den and once again the silence of the desert assailed our senses.  It was truly spectacular. Saturday morning we returned to Swakopmund, and thus ended our quick visit to an unnamed mountain near the Huab River.

Climbing and exploring areas where few people venture is becoming a trademark for me and Joakim. This time it was another success, and both of us appreciated what nature showed us. From chameleons to herds of springbuck.  From crystals that we found in the area to rock engravings of the past.  The silence, the colour and the patience of the Namibian Desert will live in our hearts and minds for a long time to come.

Thank you Namibian Viking.

Kobus Alberts