Edit Blog Post
Published: November 20th 2008
The maps we have of this part of the world are rather vague and imprecise. We filled up with diesel, as this is the last outlet for fuel we can expect for several days. But we could not find the road we wanted . Eventually the lady who ran the BP Station, after we had driven several miles abortively, put us on the right road. - it was the one that followed the river demarking the national boundary.
The evidence of the recent fighting in this area was there. There were no wild animals whatsoever - apparently everything that had moved during the war had been shot - probably eaten too. We found spent mortar shells beside the road, so were mindful not to touch any apparently harmless war litter, should we stumble upon it. It was a slow road but not bad, and we eventually came to the Kunene River Lodge
, a very nice up market tourist lodge on the banks of the river. We called in there for an iced coke to find that the English couple who own it, Pete and Hilary Morgan, knew Kenya very well and we had friends in common. Small world, isn’t it!
They ran a very attractive setup where tourists fly in to their strip. They also cater for up to about 100 campers along the river bank, although as it is the low season now, there weren’t any.
We stayed there for an hour or so and then set off south westwards down a much better road to Okongwati
. Here we saw a crude notice stating the petrol and diesel was for sale 700 metres ahead in the village. After some enquiry we eventually found the outlet, a store with a drum and a hand pump and a plastic jerry can with measure marks painted on the side in 5 litre intervals. We each bought 20 liters (at double the normal price!) which brought our tanks back to the full mark again. A real bonus as fuel is scarce here and we do not want to run out.
Somewhat more relaxed now we set off north westwards towards the Epupa Falls
on the border again.. This road was pretty fantastic. In Namibia we so often find superb quality dirt roads, and this one was no exception. It was as smooth as a billiard table, very wide, created a lot
Milla having her shorts repaired by Hereros woman
of dust, and the only reason one didn’t drive flat out was to conserve fuel and the fact that every so often there were great gullies, or drifts, crossing the road. These dips had to be taken carefully, some were alright to drive fast through but some were definitely not!
The countryside was lovely, the shrubs and trees all sprouted green leaves due to a couple of day’s rain a week or so back. There were mountain ranges all around and apparently absolutely nobody living there. This was misleading because there are, in fact, quite a few of the nomadic tribesmen in that area.
There is not a vast quantity of water flowing down this river at this season but the Falls, when we reached them, were nevertheless quite spectacular, with most of the river plunging through a narrow gap down to the rushing water below. Clearly, when the river is in spate, this water fall would spread along a very wide portion of the cliff area and would compare favourably with the Victoria Falls as a spectacle.
The community camp site was right next to the falls and we settled in there very comfortably. We are
getting quite soft these days in our choice of campsite. This part of Namibia at least, offers good camping facilities under a Community scheme whereby the proceeds go to the local community. An excellent idea and one which other countries could adopt profitably too, I would have thought. The cost is about 3 quid a head and they are clean, have good toilet facilities, rubbish collection, clean (but not drinkable) water and this one even had a young girl who offered to do our laundry! She washed three shirts and a pair of shorts for the equivalent of 60 pence - very good value! And it was all dry in an hour in the dry, warm breeze. Because we were so close to the falls I personally found that the noise of the falling water rather tiring to have continuously throughout the night, but we all slept well in spite of it.
Tot: 2.348s; Tpl: 0.042s; cc: 11; qc: 56; dbt: 0.0441s; 2; m:saturn w:www (22.214.171.124); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb