Tuesday 22nd July

Maun, Botswana – Ngepi Camp, Namibia

After a quick bacon and egg roll, we settled our bill and headed into town to finish uploading the website before hitting the road to North Western Botswana and the border with Namibia. It was a long drive on straight tarmac with the monotony only being broken by a couple of bird strikes and a brief road safety stop where we were educated on the dangers of speeding.

We also took the opportunity to weigh Bru which had been a point of much debate over the trip. Full of fuel and water (excluding jerry cans), we were 3.08 tons which was not far off our guestimates.

There are also numerous foot and mouth checkpoints where Botswana is making a huge effort to contain the disease which has affected their wildlife so badly over history. Although the country is criss crossed with a 3000km veterinary cordon fence, it causes its own ecological issues for migrating wildlife.

We quickly stopped for supplies at Shakawe before crossing the very efficient border into our penultimate country, Namibia. A short drive took us to Ngepi Camp which was a great place next to the river. Within minutes, we had bumped into Scott and Laura whom we had been rafting with in Uganda. It was great to chat to them and we spent the rest of the evening catching up round the fire with spag bol.

17,087 miles

Road safety lecture
Bird strike
Veterinary control
Ngepi misty river

Wednesday 23rd July

Ngepi Camp

After getting the lowdown on Namibia, we said farewell to Scott and Laura who were heading on and we spent the day chilling at the campsite. The son of the owners, Duncan, had been working in Edinburgh for the past four years and was recovering from a double leg breakage which he had received when a rock gave way while climbing in South Africa only 10 days after his return.

The campsite was pretty legendary, even offering a tour of it’s ablution blocks. Each one was unique with a quirky theme such as the ‘His and hers’ which had one toilet with the seat padlocked up and the ‘Hers’ with a frilly pink seat cover.

With Nick busy editing the videos which will eventually be uploaded onto the website, Andy engaged an Aussie family into a game of volleyball which was great fun. After dinner, we headed to the bar to chat to the owners as well as a group of vineyard owners from Cape Town, whose details we made sure to get before the end of the evening.


Thursday 24th July

Ngepi Camp – Halali Camp, Etosha

With a chill in the air and a mist over the water, we left early and headed along the immaculate roads to Rundu where we stocked up on supplies and cash before heading down the straightest road towards Etosha. This gave Nick a chance to edit more videos while Andy devised an auto pilot by using the ‘emergency baton’ on the accelerator.

We came across another veterinary check point which was bad news given the large amount of meat we had just bought. The guard kept asking if we had a fridge in the back, to which our response was, ‘Isn’t it cold here today…just like back in Scotland.’ The banal banter seemed to work and he was happily distracted enough to let us pass with our fridge still in tact.

We continued onto Etosha National Park and entered towards the end of the day when all the wildlife was active. We saw more of the game that had become an everyday sight as well as a couple of UK overlanders who had taken over ten months to get here. After briefly stopping to chat to the overlanders and other interested tourists, we headed onto the pan itself. We got some great shots which was worth the risk of getting stuck in the heavy clay.

Rushing back to Halali Camp Site before they shut the gates at sunset, we came across a sea of safari vehicles swarming over a pride of lions next to the road. We joined them briefly before heading to camp where we got in despite not booking. The place was heaving with trucks and 4x4 hire vehicles and the atmosphere was extremely sterile.

We headed to the floodlit waterhole on the edge of the camp, but unfortunately saw nothing. It was set up like a theatre with seating and numerous enthusiastic nature buffs with large lenses. After dinner, Andy went to bed while Nick headed back to the waterhole and was treated to two rhino having a barny next to the water much to Andy’s dismay.

17,528 miles

Etosha gate
Over the pan
Salt pan
In the pan
Floodlit waterhole


Friday 25th July

Etosha – Bush camp west of Khorixas

Keen to get away from all the tourists, we started heading out of the park. On our way, we stopped next to the pan for a quick photo shoot, only to be told off by a couple of vehicles who started stipulating all the rules of the park about staying in your vehicle. This riled the two adventurers who had driven half way round the world to be here and had been around more animals than almost everyone here over the past couple of months.

Happy to regain our freedom out of the park, we stopped at Outjo just south of the park for supplies. We met an American biker who was about to head up the West Coast taking only three months ( We wished him the best and went to investigate the squeaking from the suspension. It turned out a part of the retaining bar holding the suspension spring to the mounting had broken. We quickly found a garage that, after lunch, cut a new piece of metal which we replaced next to the road.

While doing this, we were told off for the second time in one day, but this time by the police who pulled up and informed us we could only park on the same side of the road as you are travelling and we were currently breaking the law. Keen to escapee the Germanic influence in the country, we headed west to set up our first bush camp since Sudan (S 20º27.227’ E 14º49.672’). It was a great spot and perfect to get away from the hassles of the day.

17,762 miles

Etosha zebras
Horned beast
More straight tarmac
Back to the bush

Saturday 26th July

Khorixas – Bush camp west of Brandberg

It was another early start with the time zone now being the same as the UK. We checked out a 260 million year old petrified forest of fossilised wood and then Wondergat Sink Hole on the way to see the 6,000 year old rock paintings in Twyfelfontain – the oldest in Africa. It was a world heritage site and so well managed with guides and set routes where you could clearly see all the animals carved into the rock.

We continued our day of site visits with a look at the ‘Organ Pipes’, a valley of dolerite (basalt) columns followed by Burnt Mountain which appeared to be the equivalent of the slag heaps found west of Edinburgh!

Using Tracks4Africa (GPS mapping software with off road tracks across the whole continent) we followed a track over the hill which took us across some serious off road territory. We had a quick stop at lunch time to trek up to a viewpoint of Doros Crater. After ½ hour of climbing, there was no crater to be seen and only cheetah footprints in the sand. With this in mind, we called it a day and headed back defeated to Bru.

The track continued over some steep rocky passes before descending into the canyon of a dried river bed. It was a fantastic sight and even the lack of any other vehicles was a delight and a worry at the same time. Thankfully Bru held up perfectly and we made it in time to catch the sunset over the Brandberg (‘Fire Mountain’).

We set up another bush camp (S 21º06.517’ E 14º19.704’) with a great view over the glowing red mountain which is Namibia’s highest peak at 2573m. Sensing the end of such evenings, we opened up the tent to enable a stunningly clear view of the stars during the night.

17,896 miles

Scared wood
Wondergat Sink Hole
Rock paintings
Organ pipes


Sunday 27th July

Brandberg – Dunedin Guest House, Swakopmund

We were awake early to catch the sunrise over the mountain and onto the rock formations behind us. It was a great spot for some photos and breakfast before heading back onto the tracks across the desert. The scenery was incredibly harsh with virtually no water falling around here for many years.

As we headed west, the air became cooler and clearer and you could almost smell the sea air of the Atlantic. After a couple of hours, we realised we were driving along an airstrip as we finally hit the Skeleton Coast. The waves were crashing onto the beach with a cold wind blowing off the sea preventing the planned dip into the freezing sea.

We turned south towards Swakopmund and the Cape Cross seal reserve to see the thousands of seals lazing on the banks or surfing the huge Atlantic swell. To warm up a bit, we stopped for lunch at a great bar as we broke the 18,000 mile barrier. The coastal road was fairly endless with desert on the left and crashing waves to the right. We arrived in the sterile town of Swakopmund that looked like something out of legoland and is described as more Germanic than Germany. After checking out a couple of places in town and not too keen to camp on the exposed coast, we found Dunedin Guest House where we enjoyed our first beds since Blantyre in Malawi which was helped by a huge 500g steak for dinner.

18,087 miles

Brandberg sunrise
Heading West to coast
Atlantic Coast
Coastal road
Cape Cross seals
Cape Cross seals

Monday 28th July


After a great cooked breakfast, we headed to pick up a new thermostat for Bru which we had taken out in Ethiopia. With temperatures now dropping, we were keen to have heating back in the cab. We headed to the first garage we found to see if they could sort out our steering which was still a bit wonky.

While there we chatted to the drivers of a couple of Dragoman Overland trucks as well as one of the directors who was out on holiday with his family. They all seemed a much nicer crow than many of the other truck companies we had met and they shared some good knowledge about shipping vehicles.

With that garage proving useless, we found a Land Rover specialist, Vineta Shell, who were extremely helpful but unfortunately too busy to sort the problem. However, they took us to Harry’s Garage - run by a crazy Frenchman in a beret - where we replaced the track end ball joint and the back right hub drive member which was worn. Nick seized this opportunity to escape the grease monkeys to update the website while Andy continued on his mission with wheel alignment, car wash and a check of the levels.

After such a productive day, we felt we deserved a couple of beers with our pizza followed by a jaeger bomb. This continued into the night as we met numerous travellers and holidaying teachers, most of whom were on the overland trucks. Some even recognised us from the booze cruise in Livingstone…so we were keen not to dwell on that evening!

Grease monkeys
Dead tree

Tuesday 29th July

Swakopmund – Sesriem Campsite

With bleary heads, we decided to leave Swakopmund as we felt we had done most of the activities in our previous lives and Andy was still bearing the scars from his home made sand boarding attempt when he was here over nine years ago! We checked out the very uninspiring Walvis Bay as we left town and headed back inland towards the famous sand dunes of Sossusvlei. After crossing the Trpoic of Capricorn, we arrived at the campsite to be hit with a N$600 camping fee (over four time the normal cost) which they can easily charge as it is the only way to see the sun rise over the dunes in the morning.

It also meant we could meet up with Nick’s mate, Blair, who was travelling North through Namibia with his girlfriend on an Acacia overland truck. It was great to catch up with him and his companions on the truck who seemed a good crowd. We headed a few kilometres along the road with them to check out the Sesriem Canyon before heading back for dinner. Blair had mentioned Andy’s bagpipes to the truck before arriving and so, before getting an early night, we had the truck doing a ceilidh and the rest of the campsite wandering what the noise was all about.

18,435 miles


Crossing another tropic

Birds nests
Sesriem Canyon

Wednesday 30th July

Sesriem – Koedoesrus Campsite, Naukluft

We woke at 5.30am in the dark in order to get to the gates to the park which opened at 5.45am for the campsite residents (an hour later for those outside) and raced the 70km to Sossusvlei to climb one of the huge red sand dunes to catch the sun rising. It was a fantastic sight and great to be there before the crowds all started to arrive.

After numerous photos, we headed back to camp to chill by the pool before some lunch. After saying bye to Blair, we drove a couple of hours West towards Naukluft Mountain. Unable to find a suitable bush campsite, we headed into the parks campsite based in a chilly valley. The evening was spent back in competition mode with the cards coming out before the chess. The evening ended with Andy losing three games in a row, leaving Nick one up in the endless chess battle…much to his delight!

18,512 miles

Sossusvlei sunrise

Thursday 31st July

Naukluft – Bush camp, North of Aus

With the temperature down at 6ºc in the morning, we made an early start on the 17km Waterkloof Trail around the mountain. It was a great walk which took us past numerous pools, up canyons and across cliff tops. A large pile of dung caused some mystery as to it’s depositor as we were not expecting elephants up here. It later turns out to belong to a rhino that was recently resettled from the park.

With the competition spirit still fierce, we managed to nail the walk in five hours rather than the advertised 6-7 hours. After a quick shower back at camp, we headed south along the straight desert roads which looked a lot like something you would find in America.

After going over a bump in the road, something blew the fuse for the indicators and fuel and temperature gauges the benefit of which was driving without fear of running out of diesel or overheating! With the sun setting, we finally found some land that was not fenced off and set up camp in the bush (S 26º31.402’, E 16º27.355’) for another evening of chess and boerewors.

18,743 miles


Friday 1st August

Aus – Bush camp near Seeheim

With cold temperatures kicking in hard again, we made an early start to head back over to coast to see the diamond mining area around Luderitz. Ten kilometres from the town, there exists the ghost mining town of Kolmanskop which was deserted in 1956.

We enjoyed a fried breakfast in the café and before joining the tour which was led by an old German lady who must have lived in the town at some point. We didn’t pluck up the courage to ask her this for fear of receiving the wrath of the fuehrer!!

We checked out some of the diamonds on show but held back on any purchases, instead we scoured the ground outside for any sparkles. At the boundary of the town starts the huge prohibited area known as ‘Diamond Area 1’ which stretches all the way down the coast to the South African border. Huge x-ray machines are at the gate to check all personnel coming and going and the ghost town is totally covered by security cameras.

We left with our pockets empty and headed into Luderitz for supplies and a quick e-mail stop before heading back inland for another long drive across the desert landscape to set up camp in a dried riverbed just outside of Seeheim (S 26º49.448’, E 17º48.410’).

19,041 miles



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South Africa