A gem in the mist

I did get my desert elephants after all. 3 of a large herd that rather not be on camera. The crux is you off-road with a guide in your car. So all the gadgets and gizmos on Springbok have now all been thoroughly tested. Difflock for those crazy deep sand ruts, low range, high range and even the shovel. Yes, I got stuck going up a small sand dune, let’s call it a dunette. Digging transpired and a free Springbok retreated as the elephants had moved on in the meantime. I was not the only one to get stuck in the caravan, just saying. Brandberg Mountain also introduced me to yet more wonderful people, Sandra and Roger. Great conversation and dancing to the local song of “I don’t want to dance”. Lol!

Dessert-Elephant-Brandberg_1web

En route to Terrace Bay is Twyfelfontein. It’s known for petroglyphs dated about 5-8000 years ago. Carved by the Sun People.

Petroglyphs-Twyfelfontein_1webPetroglyphs-Twyfelfontein_3webPetroglyphs-Twyfelfontein_4web

The last one is the most famous of all the carvings. It’s called Lion-man. It depicts a lion with a six fingered hand for a tail representing a Shaman who has transformed into a lion. It is uncertain how many carvings there are as the volcanic seismic activity, years ago, have toppled, cracked or destroyed many. More research is being done. At last count it is believed over 2000 such carvings.

The drive to Terrace Bay takes you through The Skeleton Coast. Reddish hills turn to dunes as you approach the ocean side. Chasing the setting sun the drive appeared to go on forever until reaching Terrace Bay. A gem really. Kind and friendly people amongst the desolate landscape dotted with a lone jackal.

Skeleton-Coastweb

The morning brought the thick mist which enveloped the landscape. It was hard seeing more than 5-10 meters in front of the car. It rolled in, in sections, as the drive back to the inland went on. Eventually the sun won and dissipated the mist.

The drive to Epupa Falls was spotted with animals until Opuwo, what seemed like a hub of activity especially for the local Himba people. Now the road from Opuwa to Epupa Falls well that’s a whole new category. This is a rainy region and many rivers cross the road so creating valleys or drainage lines. The undulating road with each river crossing, thankfully dry, was different from the last. Some short and stout, others deceptively sharp and easily can easily land you head first into the opposing side if you go too fast. Then came the ruts. Regardless the road condition Epupa Falls was well worth it. Midst the desert an oasis appears. Although it’s the dry season, it is still spectacular to behold. At first the short walk from the campsite had me impressed only to find out up the hill, as there is always an up, you can take in the whole spectacle and stand with left foot in Angola and right foot in Namibia. It’s like Niagra Falls, you pick which side is better.

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Above: Namibia SideEpupa-Falls_2web

Above: Angola SideEpupa-Fallsweb

The whole thing

The river side campsite is wonderful, you fall asleep to the rushing water of the falls. As fun as the road was getting to Epupa it was oh so much more going back the same way to get to Etosha National Park.

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