It’s another really early start for our whirlwind tour of some of Namibia’s best known landmarks today. Sunrise is still a couple of hours away as we begin our journey down the D1918 towards Spitzkoppe, hoping to catch sight of Namibia’s answer to the Matterhorn at first light.
As the night fades into day we are blessed to see the pink glimmer on the side of this massive inselberg towering 1 784 metres above the plains. Then we find ourselves bound by the red tape of the park’s opening times before we can start exploring. We console ourselves with rusks and coffee from a flask before finally being admitted at 9am, more out of pity than anything else I think.
The spectacular Spitzkoppe and Brandberg Mountain
One day is definitely not enough to get the most out of the Spitzkoppe, we grabbed some brochures on our way out to plan a return trip to the campsites. The stargazing must be spectacular and we would like to take some of the longer guided tours next time. We did manage to get a feel for the place during the few hours we were there and climbed most of the way up the Pontok Route to get a better view of the landscape. I got to see a Herero chat, just one of the 200 species of bird found here.
Our next stop is the Brandberg, a few hours’ drive away. We hope to arrive in time for a hurried hike to see the White Lady before enjoying a late lunch and resuming our trip to Omaruru where we have decided to spend the night instead of continuing to Windhoek.
We just make it, and join a guided tour up the slopes of this huge boulder-like inselberg for a 45-minute scramble up to the hiding place of this famous bushman etching. We wait our turn for an audience with this famous lady only to discover, that ‘she’ is obviously a ‘he’ and was mistakenly identified by early archaeologists as female.
The paintings are remarkably detailed and thought to represent the actual inhabitants of the cave indulging in an ancient ritual. It is amazing to think of them painting away all those hundreds of years ago.
A simple lunch and on to Omaruru
Our lunch stop is at the quaint White Lady Lodge which is a green haven amid the tawny surrounds, complete with rock gardens and fine specimens of the aloes which grow wild in the area. We settle into the natural rock surroundings of the restaurant for lunch, which is a simple set menu consisting of soup, steak, and salad with cake for dessert. Fine by me.
A peaceful afternoon drive through typically harsh Namibian landscapes takes us to our overnight stop at Omaruru Game Lodge. Having heard quite a bit about this destination, we had decided to give it a try. Far from your typical Namibian safari destination, this place reminds me of Disneyland with fat, perfect specimens of eland, rhino, giraffe and wildebeest about. The animals are lured to a waterhole in front of the restaurant with huge helpings of Lucerne, so guests can get a closer view. While this isn’t my idea of the ideal, the animals don’t seem to mind and appear to be very well treated.
After an exhausting day trying to cram too much into a small space of time, we retire to our self-catering bungalows for a well-deserved rest. Tomorrow, we promise to take it slower and explore the historic village of Omaruru in more detail.
Click here to read our next article in the “Cape Town to Namibia” series, called Road Tripping Around Namibia – Omaruru OR click here to read the previous article in the “Cape Town to Namibia” series, called Road Tripping Around Namibia – Action-Packed Adventure in Swakopmund.
Please Note: The details shared in this blog post around products and services, are correct at the time of publishing. However, with time some of this information may change. We recommend confirming information with suppliers prior to making final travel arrangements. If you do happen to find an issue with any information we’ve shared here, please feel free to contact us so that we can make the relevant changes.