Namibia Day 2: Alte Kalkofen Lodge to Sossusvlei

Today we woke up when the sky started to turn blue. It’s been a while since I slept so well. Complete silence and the freshest air, the ideal ingredients for a good nights rest. Like usual, I was up first, so I immediately put some water on the gas burner for coffee and fired the ‘donkie’ for a hot shower. After our morning coffee, we showered and got ready for the very exciting day ahead. We’re going to Sossusvlei today! We had breakfast in the most relaxing space with a view that seems to carry on forever. After breakfast we loaded our things and drove to reception to say thank you to Frikkie (see my post about Alte Kalkofen Lodge here). Frikkie gave us some good advise to take the C14 past Helmeringhausen.

I was amazed at the excellent condition of Namibia’s gravel roads (the C-roads). It was like my brain couldn’t grasp the fact that it was possible to maintain a gravel road so that it is better than half the tar roads in South Africa! Every now and then we would find people along the way busy with the road. South Africa can come learn a thing or two from our neighbours. We drove into Helmeringshausen and as we were about to exit on towards Maltahohe, we turned around and stopped at shop and bought our first Tafel Lagers. We also bought some meat and the little things we forgot to pack and ice. The friendly lady behind the counter were keen to chat and hear where we’re heading.

Half way to Maltahohe we stopped on the side of the road, pulled open our camping chairs and had lunch, leftovers from last night. It was slightly warm, but not too uncomfortable. We followed a VW Kombi towards Duwisib Castle. We weren’t planning on stopping there, but decided to do so anyway. We had a little extra time after all. Duwisib Castle dates back to 1909 and has a sad story. It is a beautiful place with all the original furniture still in place (my post on Duwisib Castle to follow soon). It is currently run by NWR and you can also book a room in the castle and stay over. We spent about 30 minutes here, looking around and reading all the information signs.

2017 Nam d2 - 1_Fotor
Clockwise from top left: 1. Roadside scenery north of Helmeringhausen. 2. The government does a great job on maintaining their gravel roads. 3. The welcoming party at Helmeringhausen hotel. 4. Bird nests in a tree. 5. Duwisib Castle.

From Duwisib Castle we headed West towards the C27. At some point you drive through the Namib Nauklift National Park. It’s also here that we spotted our first Oryx’s of the trip. We also saw Zebra’s and Springbucks. Here are no fences so keep an eye out for wildlife. The C27 is really bumpy, we had to fasten our rooftop tent tighter afterwards (we had a homemade frame for it). We arrived at Sossus Oasis Campsite and refueled for the first time today. We also bought some fire wood. Sossus Oasis Campsite is opposite the entrance to Sossusvlei Park. Here you can find fuel, a small shop (they stock from fresh vegetables to Sossusvlei merchandise) and even an internet cafe. We then went across the road and checked in at the Sesriem Camp reception, we are camping here for the night (my post on Sesriem Camp to follow soon). It is the only campsite inside the Sossusvlei gates which means you can leave an hour earlier in the mornings for Sossusvlei and spent an extra hour in the afternoon (there are an entrance gate to the park and then a gate between the campsite and the park again). This is great for photographers and people like us who only planned on staying 1 night. By 14:00 we were off to Sossusvlei! (my post on Sossusvlei to follow soon).

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

2017 Nam D2 - 2_Fotor
Clockwise from top left corner: 1. Oryx. 2. One of Namibia’s many castle like buildings, Le Mirage Resort and spa. 3 and 4. Roadside scenery. 5. The shop at Sossus Oasis fuel station.

Additional information:

  • Traveled today: 524.7 km | 6 hours (including 3 stops = 1h-1.5h)
  • Total distance traveled: 2218.3 km
  • Entrance fee to Duwisib Castle: N$60 per person (SADC members)
  • Entrance fee to Sossusvlei Park: N$60 per person (SADC members) & N$10 per vehicle

Visited: April 2017

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