Little Manasseh

Coming from Upington in South Africa, we cross the border at Rietfontein / Klein Manasse on May 14, 2016. Germans, Swiss and other nations are allowed to travel to Namibia for a total of 90 days per calendar year. We have already “used up” 45 of these 90 days for Namibia South. However, we would need another 90 days to complete our travel plans for the north of Namibia.

At the border on the South African side, we are treated in a good-humored and friendly manner. There is obviously a Bible on the desk of the black official who is serving us. “Yes, she would read the Bible regularly,” she replies to our question. “Fine, we do too,” we reply and say goodbye with a cheerful wave as the barrier is raised.

Now Namibia – the tension is rising. Will the miracle happen that we can stay in Namibia for another 90 days?

We fill out the entry form, in which we again request 90 days for Namibia. The immigration officer greets us in a friendly manner “hand over your passports and the forms” – “Yes, we want to fill in the forms dutifully”. We hand him our passports – Boom, boom … The stamps just fly down on our passportsthen the entry by hand … We don’t even dare to look at it. “Look here, oh wonder, we have received another 90 days!!!!”

The brief look inside the vehicle is more for personal interest than for the customs officer’s duty to check. After that the passage is free and as it is already late in the afternoon we only drive the 3 km to Schanzkolk Farm, where you can camp.

Schanzkolk Farm

Schanzkolk Farm is located between the border and the small supply village of Aroab. The farm belongs to German immigrants and is run by the Huguenot son-in-law. His farm is a small farm with 8000 hectares (80 km2), there are farmers in the area with 40,000 hectares (400 km2).

As we are self-sufficient, we are allowed to stand by the farm’s small lake and decide to spend another night here because it is so beautiful. As our large food drawer no longer opens and closes properly, we repair it straight away. It’s a good thing we have spare parts and tools with us.

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Here of all places?

A gravel road as beautiful as this one from Aroab to Keetmanshoop – and here of all places it happens. Vreni stops the Sprinter and thinks something must be wrong, the car is suddenly so spongy. Oh dear, our first flat tire. Now it turns out whether we can change a tire.

First we try a tire patch spray can. But it does not work. Because it’s our first flat tire, we crawl under the car to put the jack on the rear axle. But the axle is too deep. “Luckily we’re not on a tarred road,” I say to Vreni as I dig a hole in the sand with the spade to get the jack under the axle. We finally succeed and lift the car up. Only later do I realize that I shouldn’t have attached the jack under the axle, but to the suspension – so I didn’t have to do the digging …

While we are still dismantling the bike, a friendly black man suddenly stops next to us and lends a hand without asking and disappears again just as he came … suddenly you think of angels.

In Keetmanshoop, our tire is patched in a maximum of 20 minutes. We have rarely seen such nimble hands.

And another thing: it should be the only flat tire for 48,000 km.

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Mesosaurus Fossils & Graves

To the east of Keetmanshoop are three of the most famous quiver tree parks. Quiver Tree – or Quiver Tree – is the tree of which it is said that the bush lutes made quivers for their arrows from its branches. Hence the name “quiver tree”. However, the quiver trees are not really trees but are classified as aloe plants. Aloe dichotoma – the name refers to the division of the branches, as this aloe always branches into two. Flowering time is in June.

We read in our travel guide that the quiver tree forest in Mesosaurus Park is the most attractive with over 5000 quiver trees, which is why we decide to go to Mesosaurus Park, which is about 40 km east of Keetmanshoop.

We spend the nights at the Mesosaurus Park bush camp. A dream camp with basic sanitary facilities. You really are surrounded by quiver trees here. Beautiful. In addition to the 4×4 tour, there are also hiking trails through the terrain. Ideal for photography. We immediately book a guided tour with farmer Gielo (Gideon), who also speaks broken German. Gielo is an artist, he paints naive pictures and is a narrative artist. “The youngest fossil” on the farm, he says. We enjoy the tour in particular because Gielo comes across so likeable.

Guided tour with Gielo

Gielo first shows us the grave of the German sergeant Splittgerber, who was killed here by the Nama, then he tells us about the millions of years old Mesosaurus fossils and that these are proof of the existence of the supercontinent Pangaea … we wave it off and tell Gielo that we believe in creation and not in the “Millions and Millions Years ago” fairy tales of the so-called scientists. Gielo grins and says he’s only telling their version …

After the grave and the fossils, Gielo makes a stone formation resound with the song “Frere Jaque” … incredible … and explains the quiver trees.

Time to take photos. At this time of year, the sun is good for “golden pictures” almost all day long

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Diesel tank

Another stopover in Windhoek. Not just for shopping, but our new auxiliary diesel tank is leaking and even more so since the Central Kalahari. After repeated removal and installation, our trust in the company’s employees has dwindled. The trade fairs are too sharp for them to handle and their knowledge of motorhome technology is too poor. For example, they have already glued the filler hose to the nozzle once, which is why it can no longer be removed, and after the last installation it is now also bent … So we prefer to do it ourselves and install the repaired tank ourselves. In the following pictures you can only see Ernie, but Vreni did exactly the same work, which should be emphasized!

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