Namibia 2023 and FAREWELL

Swakopmund

The year is 2023. We have been traveling through Africa for 3 1/2 years now.
Soon after New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day we take the quickest route to Swakopmund. There we want to have some minor work done on the vehicle at Namib-Campers.
We enjoy Swakopmund again. The good restaurants and the peaceful atmosphere – at least so far.

At “Namib Campers” in Swakopmund we have an additional outside hatch installed and a lock for our passage from the driver’s cabin to the living cabin to secure it for shipping. Here we also happen to meet fellow travelers from Switzerland and have a lovely evening together.

Robbery in broad daylight

For lunch we drive out of Swakopmund to the nearest beach. We are about to drive off, we are sitting in the driver’s cab and the engine is running. A small car with darkened windows pulls up next to us, a handsome black man jumps up to us and itches at our driver’s cab, holding onto the rearview mirror with his left hand and with his right hand he holds the muzzle of the barrel of his pistol to the side window, which is fortunately closed.
When I don’t open the door, he smashes the side window with three powerful blows from a pistol. He briefly loses his balance – I shift into second gear and step on the gas pedal, whereupon he jumps off in a huff and we dash through the sand back onto the track and into Swakopmund.

After the raid

and the initial shock, we are both actually doing well. We drive to Windhoek and during the 300 kilometers I feel myself tense up every time a small car with darkened windows overtakes us or when I see a black person behaving strangely.
When we arrive at Camp Elisenheim in Swakopmund, our blood pressure suddenly skyrockets. Fortunately, there is a new doctor’s surgery and a chemist’s nearby. The doctor prescribes me a medication that stabilizes my circulation and blood pressure. The medication is a great help, I can live with that for the time being.

Farewell beloved Namibia

We hear from reliable sources that it is currently difficult to ship vehicles. For this reason, but also because of the incident, we decide NOT to ship to South America, but back home. And because our Namibia visa is expiring, we take another leisurely drive through the Namib Desert to Oranjemund. We soak up the addictive landscape for perhaps the last time, visit Duwisib Castle and enjoy the peace and quiet, as there are hardly any tourists on the road.

Through South Africa to Durban

On February 18, 2023, we enter South Africa at Oranjemund. We travel in short stages to Cape Town and on to Port Elizabeth – and finally to Durban. We stop at a few places that we would like to see again. However, our time budget remains limited due to the booking on our RoRo ship, which is scheduled to depart from Port Elizabeth around March 20.

West coast of South Africa

We take breaks in Port Nolloth and Lambertsbay to enjoy the fresh sea air. The peace and quiet is visibly good for us. Near Stellenbosch we visit the “Vergelegen” vineyard again, which enchants us every time – also with good food and friendly service.

Port Nolloth

Lambertsbay

Bird Island

On the road

Vergelegen Winery

Cape Town surroundings

Waiting for a car-ship

At the beginning of February, we booked a ship passage for our MAN with departure on 9th April 2023 from Durban to Bremerhaven. However, the booking was never confirmed by the shipping company until we found out that this ship had been completely canceled.

We arrive in Port Elizabeth on March 15, 2023. A car carrier is scheduled to depart from here for Bremerhaven on March 20 – RoRo for roll on, roll off – and reach Bremerhaven in northern Germany a good three weeks later.
Shortly afterwards we learn that the ship is already full and is therefore sailing past Port Elizabeth. Great.

We decide to drive on to Durban, as more car ships land in Durban and our chances are therefore greater.

East coast

This gives us the opportunity to visit the Drakensberg again, spend Easter there and meet up with friends again.
In the days after Easter, we can take our time to do some of the preparatory work on the vehicle

Drakensberg Mountains

Shipping

The new shipping date from Durban is April 24. However, this date is ultimately postponed until May.

  • On April 24, 2023, we deliver the vehicle to the agent and the customs export from South Africa takes place at the same time.
  • From April 24 to May 3, we will be staying at the “Blue Waters” hotel, directly on the Indian Ocean
  • On May 2, we are allowed to drive the MAN from the warehouse to our ship at the port
  • On May 3, we fly to Johannesburg and back to Switzerland
  • On May 5, the EUKOR shipping company’s “Morning Camilla” departs from Durban.

Farewell to Africa

It is not easy to say goodbye to Africa. On the other hand, we feel tired and a little drained. The fact that we are (currently) unable to realize the planned trip to South America leaves us with a “hole” and makes us cheerless.

Is our traveling life finally over? We currently have no new plans. But we have learned that carefree shipping of a vehicle is even less guaranteed since Corona than before. English colleagues of ours had to wait months before their vehicle was taken to South America. Still other colleagues have had to put up with robbery and burglary, etc.

The end of the story

We receive a report that our vehicle is due to arrive in Bremerhaven in a few days. That’s why we set off and take the train to Bremen on June 2, where we wait for our arrival in Bremerhaven. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet our colleagues Markus & Ruth from Switzerland, who handed over their vehicle for shipment to Africa a few days ago. Together we experience a wonderful day!
Ruth and Markus

We really like Bremen and life in the city. We are delighted and enjoy the city and the good food. We use the Sunday to follow the mighty ringing of the bells of St. Martin’s Church, where the well-known pastor Olaf Latzel preaches. The atmosphere in the church is unique. We immediately feel at home in this community.

https://www.youtube.com/@olaflatzel

On June 8, we finally receive our MAN in Bremerhafen. Everything is in order, only the vehicle batteries have not survived the transportation by ship and need to be replaced.
On the way home, we visit our travel friends Thomas and Esther at the Abenteuer & Allrad trade fair in Bad Kissingen, which marks the end of our journey from Zurich to Cape Town.

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