Namibia Day 1: Upington to Alte Kalkofen Lodge

After months of planning and in-depth research on all the sites around Namibia, the day has finally arrived! Today we are crossing the border! Like most trips start, there are always those last minute things and emails to get sorted before you leave and sign-off from society. Which ended up causing that we left our friends place in the Northern Cape 2 hours later than we would have liked.

We stopped at Upington’s KaapAgri for fuel and filled our jerry cans also. We realised that we would arrive at Alte Kalkofen Lodge after dark and we weren’t sure if we would find a shop open late on a Sunday afternoon on our route. So we bought some charcoal (you’re not allowed to take fire wood across the border) and cheese grillers at the Express Mark before departing. From Upington it is only 140 km to the Nakop Border Post on South Africa’s side.

The border post was not very busy, there were probably 4 other vehicles going to Namibia. All in all it took us almost an hour to go through Nakop and Ariamsvlei (on Namibia’s side) and drive the approximate 15 km between the 2 border posts. By 5pm we were officially stamped and on holiday! Namibia implements daylight savings from April to October, so we scored an hour in our day.

We stopped at Karasburg to refuel. Everybody advises you to refuel where you can just in case the next town you reach is out of fuel. Karasburg has a Spar, but it was closed late on a Sunday afternoon. We decided to turn right onto the B2 at Grunau towards Keetmanshoop and take the tar roads to Alte Kalkofen because it was almost dark and we weren’t sure about the condition of the C12 between Grunau and Seeheim. On our way back to South Africa we drove this road from the Fish River Canyon and it is an excellent gravel road, so we might just as well have taken the C12 (which is about 70 km shorter).

Keetmanshoop has a proper Engen One stop as we know them in South Africa, so we refueled again. Then we took the B4 towards Seeheim for almost 100 km and turned left onto the D462 towards Alte Kalkofen Lodge. There are signs from the road and the lodge is only 3 km off the B4. Finally we arrived, 20h30! We were welcomed by Frikkie Mouton, the owner, at reception and he gave us directions to the 3 campsites, which they have dubbed ‘Shakity City’. We were the only campers for the night, so we could pick our spot.

We ended the day with some cheese grillers and vegetables on the fire and a glass of red wine under the full moon.

You can find a full list of all my blog posts of our trip, here.

2017 Namibia day01_Fotor

Additional information:

  • It cost us N$ 259 to cross the border.
  • Nakop/Ariamsvlei is a 24 hour border post.
  • We drove 9 hours for the day (836 km) and spent 1 hour crossing the border.
  • Total distance traveled: 1693 km

Visited: April 2017

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