Kaokoland: Desert and Savannah

 The sun rises and the rays of light find their way through the tiny little holes in the mosquito net. I turn around on my stomach and look out over the riverbed where we camped. The footprints from our nightly visit are clearly visible from the tent.

They lead to the water where they disappear. I get myself out of my warm sleeping bag and get dressed in the same clothes as the days before. My shirt is starting to get stiff from dust and sweat. My legs look tanned, but are actually covered in dust. I get down the ladder backwards and walk towards the tracks. My foot fits in it 5 times. I follow the steps towards the small stream, and can see they continue through the river away from our camp. I walk back to the tent, when Helga just comes out of it. I take the dusty towel which hangs on the ladder, look for the soap en walk back to the river. Time for a little wash. 

When I walk back, all washed, the coffee is ready and the map is spread out over the breakfast table. While I am leaning over the map and are tracing the riverbed north, Helga grabs my elbow:” Look, they are back!”. I look up and see a small herd of elephants slowly walking our way. They also see us and are clearly hesitating to come any closer. They decide to change their course and stay at a distance. We pack up our tents quickly, finish our breakfast and are on our way. Via the riverbed, partly through the river itself, we drive north. We haven’t traveled far before we see another amazing sight: a large mother elephant with a newly born calf. 

We leave the river behind and start on a deserted piece of desert. The ground looks covered with small black strips and is seemingly endless. It reminds me a bit of my trip through the Gobi desert in Mongolia. Except for the view in the distance, it is very similar. Luckily we are now traveling with two well equipped cars instead of riding my motorcycle solo. The desert slowly turns in to the familiar Savannah and it’s not long before we see the first animals. It starts with springbokken, widly spread out over the vast area, and later on a herd of gemsbokken. We stop for a little while when we see an enormous giraffe. 

That night we find our camp spot in a dried out river. We start to make a fire and make a fire pit out of stones lying around. As the fire gets hotter the stones we so carefully selected out of the riverbed, start to explode. Pieces shoot away from the burning fire and force us to sit at a safe distance. Luckily our cars are away far enough and safely in our rooftop tent the exploding stones keep us awake for some time. 

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