Trip Start Sep 14, 2006
Trip End Jan 09, 2007

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Flag of Namibia  ,
Wednesday, October 18, 2006

We drove north for 5 hours (primarily on paved roads, which are in short supply in Namibia) to get to the city of Mariental. Unfortunately, the city didn't have much of anything - the best restaurant we could find was a Wimpy's (like a low-class McDonald's) at a gas station. We were going to stay at Hardap Dam Resort but the advertised "watersports on a beautiful dam and Olympic sized swimming pool" turned out to be some muddy water in a dried up resevoir with no signs of any activity and a pool that had been drained of all the water. We continued on looking for a place to stay. We drove for several more hours west, but didn't keep a close enough eye on the fuel gauge. We were an hour past a small town called Maltahohe and had a quarter tank of gas. The next town was about 150 kilometers more along a dirt road which could take 2+ hours. We ended up turning back and it was a good thing we did. It turned out that the town that we were hoping to get to had been out of gas for a few days!

We drove back to Maltahohe and filled up the tank. We spent the night at the Maltahohe Hotel, and the beers were cold and only $1.25. The owner was extremely friendly and gave us several suggestions of things to do and places to camp.

The next day we re-traced part of our route from the previous day with a full tank of gas! We stopped at the Hammerstein Lodge which had several big cats - a leopard, a few cheetahs and two caracals. They were kept in fenced-in pens, but a guide led us inside the cheetah pen and the caracal pen and we got to see them from ~10 feet.

This is a caracal->

We drove for another hour and a half to the Tsauchab River Camp. It had nice camp spots and we had a unique bathroom - it was built into a tree. The camp was gigantic; it covered 70 square kilometers. We did a 6 km hike that took us up to a peak with nice views, and the camp staff was really friendly and had some great stories about growing up in Namibia. One of the camp's guides told us that he was studying scorpions and collected them each night using a UV light. He said that he had collected several hundred in one night before! No more Tevas at night for us..
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Where I stayed
Maltahohe Hotel
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