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DESTINATION GUIDE: Namibia - Deserts, Mountains, Wildlife and Climbs

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 UKC Articles 31 Mar 2022

Robert Durran writes about the striking red granite domes and sculpted boulders in the mountains and desert of Namibia.

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 Dr_C 31 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

A staggeringly beautiful country. With or without climbing gear. Etosha, Khaudum, and the Namib all are stunning. The Namib in particular, with the Dead vlei , and the monstrous sand dune of Big Daddy, is quite the most beautiful place I've seen.

 Marmolata 31 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

Hi Robert, 

Great article, thanks also for the other questions you already answered me. 

I read now, must have skipped over it before, why do you recommend not buying supplies in Windhoek? Is it so much more expensive there? 

And are there marked hiking trails around the Spitzkoppe or is the terrain not allowing for this? 

Thank you so much again! 

 Tony Buckley 31 Mar 2022
In reply to UKC Articles:

Terrific article, thanks for sharing.  Fair gives me itchy feet!

T.

> I read now, must have skipped over it before, why do you recommend not buying supplies in Windhoek? Is it so much more expensive there? 

The only reason I suggest this is that it might take a little while to locate and park at a supermarket in Windhoek, so time can be saved by following signs directly north and shopping in the smaller town of Okahandja where the supermarket is easily found and parking easy. It has everything you might need. If heading south to the Namib there is a big supermarket after about an hour at Reheboth.

> And are there marked hiking trails around the Spitzkoppe or is the terrain not allowing for this? 

There is a network of tracks linking the camping spots, but it is basically flat ground amongst the domes and boulders so you can wander anywhere. 

In reply to Robert Durran:

Nice article!  I've been thinking about getting out there again, there really isn't anywhere else quite like it.

The Normal Route on the Spitzkoppe is a great fun expedition and, as I recall, the only technically hard bit is reaching the infamous chipped handhold without standing on your second's shoulders.  It's a boulder problem off a big ledge, so isn't as scary as HVS makes it sound even if it is nearly at the top.

Sounds like there a bolted belay at the top now.  When we did it the only belay was the summit cairn, so we just downclimbed the last easy slab pitch (left of the chimney you describe, I think).

My understanding is that driving off the recognised tracks is discouraged.  I would really ask people to be careful -  there's a lot of unique and vulnerable wildlife, like the ground-living chameleons.   


In reply to Dave Garnett

> My understanding is that driving off the recognised tracks is discouraged.  I would really ask people to be careful -  there's a lot of unique and vulnerable wildlife, like the ground-living chameleons.   

Yes, driving off tracks is definitely wrong. It didn't really seem to be a problem though.

2
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks Robert - really enjoyed that and it brought back some great memories of a road trip through Namibia and Botswana taking in Vic Falls. We didn't get to climb The Spitzkope on that occasion (a family trip) so that's one to go back for, but we enjoyed Amieb Ranch - shame to hear there are access issues now.

Here's a trip report that complements yours, with a broad brush look at desert climbing on three continents.

https://doughton.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/just-deserts-climbing-in-arizona-namibia-and-the-outback.pdf

Cheers, Dom 

In reply to Robert Durran:

> In reply to Dave Garnett

> Yes, driving off tracks is definitely wrong. It didn't really seem to be a problem though.

Looking at the dislikes, I maybe didn't make myself clear. Yes, it is a problem if you drive off the tracks. What I meant was that people didn't seem to do it and did stick to the tracks.


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