A Travellerspoint blog

Day nineteen – Wild Rhino and contentment

11th October 2011

sunny 35 °C

Waking in Ugab Camp was an absolute pleasure. As we opened the roof top tent the sun rising sun set the hills on fire, bright burning orange. Guinea fowl wandered the camp scratching for breakfast whilst, in order to shower, we collected our hot water from oil drums turned on their side with a fire burning beneath them. From there we took our pail of hot water over to a frame from which was strung a steel bucket with a shower head attached through its’ bottom. Fill up your bucket, pull it up, open the tap, and have a ‘nature shower’ with only a fine reed screen to avoid embarrassment.

We spent the day 4x4ing across the mountains from the Ugab rhino camp to our destination at a community camp site near Twyfelfontein. The route took us through old mining camps, along river beds and past craters. The heat soared into the high thirties and Redvers trundled on up precipitous shale tracks always managing to find purchase somewhere. We were driving through the open country, no national park restrictions; this was country without fences. En route we saw genuinely wild giraffe, herds of zebra running across the endless mountain flanked plains and, the absolute tip of the iceberg, a solitary male black rhino, one of around a hundred that live in as the largest wild herd in Africa.

The journey was mostly a comedy because Emma was sat in the back, effectively on a wooden box. She had no seatbelt and was surrounded by a number of loose objects of varying size, shape and sharpness. As we bounced up and down, shunted one way and then another, Emma had to balance on her bottom with arms and legs in four different directions to restrain the cargo as we dealt with the terrain of the Damaraland wilderness. The end of the journey was marked by the Organ Pipes, a less than mind blowing, but none the less ‘nice’ rock formation in one of the valleys: think Giants Causeways’ runty sibling in a desert. (Lonely Planet probably quotes them as being, ‘out of this world must see rock formations that leave the viewer in awe.’)

I’m now sat cross legged on a small rock. A circle of stones in front of me contains the glowing coals whose heat and flames are cooking an entire chicken, a few mushrooms, peppers and some corn and a little clever seasoning. The smell is making my stomach rumble. The post sunset glow casts its hue over our camp whilst the barking geckos are just starting to cackle for a mate (the sound is not so far from a laughing Gordon The Gopher if anyone remembers Going Live...) and a gentle warm breeze is blowing across the camp. It’s about 28 degrees now the sun has gone down, Miss Somers and Miss Alsop are sat reading, we have cold beers in our hands and there are more in the fridge. If you’re not jealous then now is the time...

Posted by ibeamish 10:02 Archived in Namibia

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