On the way to Rhino Ugab (Not to be!!!!)

Trip Start Apr 24, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Namibia  , Kunene,
Monday, June 25, 2012

Destination Rhino Uhab…….Brandberg remained in view most the way. What a majestic mountain! The landscape changes constantly and there is something new to see all the time.  The road is not bad and we made good time.  Springbok and Gemsbok could be seen on the hills. A couple of deserted villages along the way.  We are "alone" in this world again.  Or so it feels.  Not a soul in sight for miles. It is a strangely calming feeling. 

At one point we went through a “poort”. After having got out to take pics,  Carlos got out to check the terrain.  He showed me a rhino spoor.  I guess we are not alone after all.  I will think twice before getting out again. 

Not too much later the only road was the river bed.  This is a problem for us as Lynx is very heavy.  We can do short spurts of deep sand but not kilometers.  We make a new road for as far as we could on the bank of the river.  Unfortunately soft sand was imminent.

We had to turn back.  Shortly after having made the call, we got stuck.  Knowing there was Rhino and possibly lion in the area.  We had short work of collecting what we could to lay in the tracks to get out.  We had one chance, or rather, we did not want to spend any more time outside the car than necessary.

It paid off …….and we got out after the first try.  We back tracked for about 20 km and then took the road to Doros crater.  At least it is high up and not close to a river bed. This will be a via point.

Our destination is Aba Uhab, the Burned Mountain, Organ Pipes and the Petrified Forest.

We climbed alright! But the sand was still a problem.  This time – red dune sand.  At least it was not deep and the middle man and sides were covered with grass.  Should one have a problem it would be easy to get out. 

Very unexpectedly we came across three giraffes.  We actually stopped to break a rock, only to see them on the hill.  From here on we would see a number of them. 

We traveled for a long distance.  Eventually we got to Goantagab river.  A dry riverbed and the only road!  What now?  Faced with the risk of getting stuck in the middle of nowhere in thick river sand.  We turned around (after struggling to find a spot to turn with the trailer) to go back and see what the conditions at a previous split in the road was.  For this road the GPS  said “dangerous – elephants”  and “not recommended”.  Although also being a river bed road, it seemed like a better option as it was small stones and not sand.  The prospect of running into elephants in the process was one we had to ignore.

After investigation it seemed a couple hundred meters only.  So we went for it.  Not that we had much of a choice. Little did we know that we would have to cross rivers at least 15 times after this one.  Every time, nail biting stuff.

Amazing country side and lots of giraffes to greet us.  A couple of villages and abandoned farms.

We never got to see Doros Crater, as with so many detours we moved to far east and had to miss it. Having seen the Messum crater, cannot complain.

We reached Aba-Huab camp late. We were tired but had an exciting day.

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Ingrid Villalobos on

Absolutely stunning pictures.

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