I had traversed Namibia three times before, from south to east and west to north, but never through the Caprivi Strip and so I took that route. Namibia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world to explore on a motorcycle, a place of many contrasts. Arriving early at the border, I was in my first foreign country 10 minutes later.
A Keetmanshoop backpackers lodge was my next overnight spot, after 668km, although sad to say it was really shabby. Having already done the scenic routes up to Epupa Falls, on the border between Namibia and Angola, I took the boring way to Windhoek so as to make the most of the 90 days I had to reach Turkey.
The backpackers lodge in Windhoek was so pleasant and affordable, even had a swimming pool, I decided to stay a second night and explore Windhoek (Windhoek is the capital of Namibia), a beautiful city, where traffic is easy to navigate and it’s safe to sightsee.
It was a long stretch to Rundu the next day, so I made coffee and lunch in Windhoek already to enjoy beside the road.
Night having fallen by the time I arrived in Rundu, I immediately made may way to the first overnight spot on my list, only to learn that it was fully booked – not even room for a tent. They referred to me to another place that may be able to help me and, after punching the GPS coordinates, I set off in the dark. I made my way along a dirt road slowly struggling through the deep sand, because if the bike went down I would have to unload all my luggage to pick it up again and in the dark at that. I arrived at the resort 5km later, only to find they didn’t have any room either. There was no way I was going back on that dirt sandy road in the dark again, so I made it clear to the woman that if she didn’t find me a place to sleep, I would camp out in her office. Since I couldn’t sleep in her office and camping wasn’t allowed there, but realising I wasn’t about to budge, all she could offer was a caravan and what a clean and neat caravan it was. After a long day (653km) I was out like light before my head even hit the pillow.
Before hitting the road again, a quick bike check was in order and all was still good. Fortunately, I could make my way on the dirt road in daylight this time. The road to and through the Caprivi Strip was both beautiful and interesting, with very little traffic. It sometimes skirted as close as 500mm to the Angola border, a country I had not yet visited – who knows, maybe one day.
As I was riding along the dry road across the Caprivi, I spotted my first adventure motorbike in the distance. As we passed each other, both sets of brake lights flashed on. Another Honda Africa Twin, only this one came from the Netherlands via Tanzania and was heading to Cape Town. After a nice chat, he wished me well and I was on my way again.
I was awed by the spectacular homes along the way, especially their fencing that’s not the ugly steal devil’s fork panels we have here.
The last stop in Namibia was Katima Mallilo, where I overnighted beside the Zambezi. Once again the accommodation was so cheap that there was no need to set up camp. Laundry was on the agenda and to end off the day, a braai. After 672km that day, Zambia was in sight.