Trip Report: Day 4
- Sunrise 06.51am, sunset at 18.59pm.
- The high tide 05.31am and 17.45pm.
- Low tide 11.17am and 23.40pm.
- Moon overhead at 03.43am, moonset at 09.26am, underfoot at 16.08pm and moonrise at 22.53pm.
We packed up our camp at Alte Brücke in Swakopmund as we were heading a little further up the coast, northwards for the next day or two.
Swakopmund has plenty of camping spots; there are two large camping facilities right alongside Alte Brücke/Swakop River Resort where we stayed. The Stiltz and Tigers Reef Campsite, which can cater for large groups of accommodation seekers.
The work that was going on inside Tiger Reef Campsite enticed us in to have a look at their facilities for ourselves. It is the closest campsite to the beach at this end of Swakopmund; it is practically on the beach.
The campsites with the palm frond and shadow netting roof which will give campers some good protection in the hazy, dewy days that Swakopmund has. The coastal fog and wetness in the air can be quite cold and very wet at times even though they don’t get too much rain here. They always joke that they are lucky if they get seven drops of rain in a year. We must have been their lucky charm as we were in for not just rain but lightning storms in the days ahead.
The sites are all positioned in a large circle on a grass field which creates a great area for large groups to stay. The area is big enough for general activities, a family game of cricket, soccer or rugby.
We were impressed with the individual sites. At the end of the field, from reception, they were in the process of bricking some places with an ablution and kitchenette facilities under the shadow netting and palm frond roof structure which were already up. It is in true Namibian style that they use the resources of the land for their fencing and in this case their roof cover as well.
I’m sure that by the time of reading this, they would be finished with all the building work and that campers are enjoying their vacation time there.
The Aquarium on the beachfront in Swakopmund, which we have never seen open over the years. The local trader still had his spot at the aquarium where he was selling his perfectly carved wooden animals, wooden bowls, drink coasters, bow and arrow, leather, beaded or seed jewellery. The usual mix of items that the traders invariably sell to tourist, who buy them for gifts or treasures to take back home, reminding them of their travels to this beautiful land, Namibia.
You can buy your fishing licenses at the Aquarium building, on the beachfront in Swakopmund.
The local laundrette who have over the years always sorted out our laundry needs. Always remember to double check that you have all your gear as we nearly left a whole bag of my clothing here.
We stopped past a shop or two in town and in no time we were heading out of Swakopmund, northwards on the C34/Salt Road. The weather was still fantastic, and we were hoping for a good day fishing, walking, sightseeing, reading and relaxing along the coast.
A few flamingos were along the coast. You can usually see them in abundance around the salt pans just off the salt road leaving Swakopmund. I snapped away at these three beauties with their elegant long neck, stick legs, pink underbody and white upper feathers. The one looked as if he was having a good chat with the other with his black-tipped beak open as they strolled through the water together.
A seagull was enjoying the coolness of the sea breeze and scavenging around for something to eat.
The coastline from Swakopmund, all the way up to the Skeleton Coast National Park is between 1 – 200km of almost undisturbed coastline to be able to explore by 4×4, responsibly. The coast in front of the towns like Wlotzkasbaken and Henties Bay are no drive areas where you must exit the beach, join up with the salt road and rejoin the beach after the town if you wish or to continue at a faster pace up the salt road, then rejoin the beach further up the coast.
The beach is lovely to see at low tide when all the rocky outcrops are exposed just off the shoreline. The beauty is beyond words to be able to experience such a vast coastline, so undisturbed. The 4×4 enthusiasts and fishermen treat it with respect. They enviably love the environment and usually want to leave it in a better condition than when they found it. If we ever come across litter, we always pick it up. There can be areas of litter which usually consist of washed up debris deposited from the sea at high tide.
Ian’s Dusky Kabeljou he caught quite close to Swakopmund. They often are found in the warmer water between Cape Point and Mozambique, so it was a treat to catch and release one here in Namibia. The more frequently found silver kob enjoy the cooler and deeper waters of Namibia.
We took an enjoyable drive Northwards, up the beach with its ever-changing coastline from pure white sand to pebbles everywhere then red, almost black sand with the gullies where the sands been eroded away by the strong high tides forming little dunes along the beach to drive up and down on. Driving over these small dunes and through the gully can feel like you’re on a roller coaster ride. It is great fun. You need to approach them at low speed or expect to be tossed around and have everything that isn’t strapped down in the back flying around. It is crucial always to remember when you’re driving off-road – to strap absolutely everything down so that it has no chance of dislodging itself over a bump jump or sudden stop on a decline. There is always a chance it can propel itself forward in the momentum and hit someone painfully on the back of the head.
A patch of pebbles suddenly on the waters edge creates yet another vast contrast to expect while driving up the beach. Further up north at Terrace Bay the beach there is notoriously known for its abundant grey pebbles.
When driving, especially further up the skeleton coast, you will come across a few crosses of loved ones who have passed away.
The beauty of Namibia never ceases to amaze me with its ever changing earth hues and landscapes. The wild Skeleton Coast with its kilometres of meandering coastline where one can wander aimlessly up or down and end up wherever you please.
The joys and beauty of doing some beach driving!
In the picture below, we are looking back at the river mouth/gully before arriving at Mile 14. We were meeting up with Simon of the Sealine forum to gauge the hot fishing spots at the moment. The fish are sometimes further up the coast, but we’d caught a nice Cob closer to Swakopmund so they may just be further down, one never knows unless you put your ears on the ground and pick up the hot spots where the locals are catching at the moment. It can help you determine whether you’re going to be fishing up north or down south on the coast.
Ian and Simon were having a fishing session together. It was lovely to meet him and for him to take time the time to meet us at the beach over his lunchtime.
We headed for Henties Bay, which is 70km north of Swakopmund and 70km south of the seal colony at Cape Cross.
Henties Bay where they were doing some roadworks on the opposite side of this road leading the left.
We made our way to Leon’s Tackle Shop. The place to stock up on all your fishing gear with the friendly owner and staff who we shared a good fishing tale or two with us. They informed us of all the action or non-action that was taking place at the moment, and we were quite impressed that at least, we’d had some fish brought in within the short time we’d been here.
Henties Bay and the lower parking area at the beachfront with its braai facilities. The steep dune on the left has a parking area, on top of the dune with a beautiful view overlooking the coastline below.
We camped at Buck’s Camping Lodge for the night. The friendly gentleman at the security gate was keeping their sites well maintained and with a zen-like feel that is left in the sand after he has racked the whole gravel area.
Buck’s Camping Lodge has 45 campsites, each one with a private ablution facility that consists of a shower, toilet and basin. In the undercovered kitchen area, there is a sink and a counter with electrical points. They also have some self-catering chalets. It is in walking distance to the beach and shops.
We paid N$250 to camp here for the night.
The rules we received from Buck’s Camp were as follows:
- NO – vehicles washed on the premises
- NO quad or any other bikes allowed.
- NO cleaning of fish.
- NO fireworks are allowed.
- NO pets.
- NO Gillies (a local person who helps the tourist fisherman where and how to fish)
- NO guides or cleaners are allowed.
- NO campfires allowed against the ablution block walls or open areas of the camping ground.
- NO guests to stay overnight or use the shower facilities at any time.
- NO refunds.
- A maximum number of 4 persons per stand.
- Vacate before 10h00am on your day of departure.
- Please stay away from the outer walls as a 24-hour dual alarm system surrounds the campsite.
- Tenants with more than one vehicle must make use of the parking area.
- Due to power shortage, do not use more than two electrical appliances at the same time.
- Please save power and water.
- Campers will be responsible for any damages caused by them, use all gas equipment with care.
- Camping at own risk.
- Consider your fellow campers and enjoy your stay.
Useful contact details –
Buck’s Camping Lodge, Henties Bay –
- Tel: +264 (0)64 501039
- Email: email@example.com
- Coordinates: S22.111657 E14.281070
- Rates Feb – Nov N$250per night for 2-4 people. Extra person N$40 per person per night (max6)
- Rates Dec – Jan N$300per night for 2-4 people. Extra person N$45 per person per night (max 6)
- Chalet Rates N$300per night per person, N$180 each per night for 2-4people.
Alte Brücke / Swakop River Resort, Swakopmund –
- Tel: +264 (0)64 404918
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Co-ordinates: S22.68636 E14.52523
Leon’s Tackle Shop, Henties Bay – Tel: +264 (0)81 208 7569 or +264 (0)64 500755
Leon’s Tackle Shop, Swakopmund – Tel: +264 (0)64 463132
Tiger Reef Campsite, Swakopmund – Tel: +264 (0)81 791 0133
Prices for Tiger Reef Campsite were as follows:
- Campsite per day N$75 off season rate
- Campsite per day N$200 in season rate
- Per person per day N$75 in and off season rate
- Children under 12 years N$25 in and off season rate
- Vehicle Pass N$70 (valid for entire day)
The Stiltz, Swakopmund –
- Tel: +264 (0)81 1494979 or +264 (0)64 400771
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.thestiltz.in.na
Check the rates at the time of booking. These were the applicable rates when we were there.