Day 4 – 03 August 2013 – Quivertree Forest Rest Camp to Harnas Wildlife Foundation. Camping at Harnas – Coordinates for Harnas Wildlife Foundation: S21 43.393 E19 20.886. Harnas is situated 56km on the M131 from the C22 with its closest town being Drimiopsis, just North of the B6 which links Windhoek and Gobabis – Distance covered: 665.3km – Duration: 10h15min (7.36am to 5.50pm) – Climbing all the time in elevation: 1457m
Please click on the following link to view the map made of today’s travels and the photos related to the route. We are heading up the North East of Namibia via the “off the beaten track” and have plotted the most direct line to where we are heading, which is into the great 4×4 land and the bush.
Trip Report –
We left Quivertree Forest Rest Camp at 7.36am Namibian time which is 1 hour behind South Africa at this period of the year.
A brief look at the roads route for the day would be as follows: We took the M29 from Quivertree Forest Rest Camp, turned right onto the C18 to Gochas, where we filled up on gas and groceries. We headed back to the C15 till it met up with the C20 which turns a sharp left right up to Gobabis, situated on the B6. You turn right into the B6 and left into the C22 towards Drimiopsis where we were to stay for the night at Harnas Wildlife Foundation, which was along our way on the C44.
We stopped to fill up on diesel and some groceries at Gochas, which is a small town with everything a traveller may need along their route. There is a grocery store around the corner from the petrol station, and it was full of interesting things that you will not usually find in your local shops back home. I always love wandering through them to find good enamel bowls or things. We once found a brilliant water heater gadget that you place into a bucket of water, and it’ll boil the water for you, no matter how much water is in the bucket. We use this often, and it’s one of our treasures picked up along the road. We have never seen anything like it ever again.
Gochas gas station – have a look at the cue waiting for us 3 to get finished.
We pulled off the road, just outside Gochas to make ourselves some lunch and were on the road at 11 am again. We had a long drive ahead of us with conditions unknown to us. Our primary aim for the day was to reach as far up as we could, into the North Eastern area of Namibia.
We were back on the road again which was considerably straight with a few hills to pass over. The gravel was so dry that the plume of dust emitted from behind each car took ages to dissipate as there was not much wind. We had to keep a fair distance between each of our cars so that we wouldn’t choke on all the dust.
It was a short-lived sight to see some tar on the road, as the tar road continued straight right here and we were taking a right turn instead.
We did a quick pit stop in Gobabis were the others filled up with fuel and in no time were on the road again.
We did not stress about our fuel supply as we all had long range tanks and we still felt close enough to civilisation. It is better to be cautious than to get yourself in a situation where you arrive in a town which is dry in the fuel supply. Rather be safe than sorry is our approach as the villages one passes are all small with a town every hundred/two or three hundred kilometres apart from each other. Some petrol stations along the way, as in the picture further above where a Total garage with its L missing. It may have been lunchtime – not that we stopped and looked to see if anyone was there – it just seemed very closed up to me.
The problem with driving in convoy No1 would be the dust factor. The roads are so dry that the dust plumes being given off from behind the vehicles are so dense and light that it creeps in everywhere. The Landy had the most problems with dust, and they ended up taping up any exposed hole with the old faithful duck tape.
It was 5.50pm (Nam time) when we arrived at Harnas Wildlife Foundation. We were all pretty exhausted from the long day on the road. We were also very grateful for the enormous chunk of ground in kilometres that we had covered. We were closer to being deep inside the bushveld. It was a pit stop for us, a place to set up camp and conveniently close to the route we were on today. A gentleman from the camp met us and showed us to our campsite where they made sure our bathroom/wooden huts were unlocked for us to use. The sun was setting on the horizon, and the lions were roaring so loud and deeply in the background. The Lions sounded very close to us!
We had a lovely braai while some had to clean up their sleeping space as it had become a haven for the whole days dust that had settled upon their stuff. It was at times amusing, to say the least.
Florian was being brave as he was making the whole trip with his sleeping arrangements being a two man tent! With the sound of the wild all around you, it takes some guts! Thankfully for him, we haven’t yet encountered what Ian and I did on a past trip, where we were in the middle of nowhere and just after sunset all the scorpions and spiders came out to play! It is hair-raising enough to be on the ground, exposed to the elements of the wildlife around you, especially at night when our vision is far inferior to the animals around us. To be fair, there was a backup sleeping arrangement he could have had, but he was getting to grips with nature, wholeheartedly.
The game life is fenced off to the campsite.
In the morning, before leaving the camp, we spent an hour getting to know and see what Harnas Wildlife Foundation had to offer. The farm is owned and run by the Van der Merwe family for years. They seem to be doing wonderful things for the animals who they rescue and for the local community with educating or assisting them in times of need. The foundation has a volunteers programme where you could offer your services to help out on the farm and to give back to the community and to achieve a bit of hands-on education if that is what your passion is.
The bridge, in the picture above, that you cross to get to the reception, restaurant and bar area.
We were offered a safari trip but declined as we had many kilometres to travel to get to our most important part of this leg, being Khaudum National Park and all we saw beyond. We were trying to take in as much as possible about each place in between, but we were on a schedule as the other co vehicles were heading into Zambia with severe kilometres to travel within their time frame.
Ian and I feel that one day we would find ourselves back here, to explore more of what the area has to offer as it holds its beauty and uniqueness to it.
The following information and wishes from the Van Der Merwe’s and Team:
- Gates open at 07h00 and close at 19hoo each day
- No stepping out of your vehicle as they have wild animals roaming their reserve. If you have vehicle problems, stay in your car until help arrives.
- The speed limit is 40km/h as there can be wild animals on the road
- Report to reception on arrival at the lodge
- Day visitors fee was N$150 per person, even if you wish not to partake in any tours.
- Times of daily trips ~ Morning Feeding Tour from 09h00 to 12h00 and Afternoon Tours from 14h00 to 17h30
- No walking around outside the restaurant area on your own or to enclosures without prior arrangement as you will be compromising your safety.
- Keep your children near you as they have many animals walking around that may like to say hello or want to play, they can play hard sometimes.
- No driving on the farm or around enclosures. Only guided tours are allowed for security and safety reasons.
- Their restaurant caters for delicious meals.
- No injury, removal, teasing or any form of abuse to any animals.
- No damage to any property of Harnas will be allowed
- If you are likely to leave early or pay early their office hours are from 07h00 to 17h00 but closed for lunch from 13h00 till 14h00
- No drugs or alcohol may be illegally sold to any staff or visitor to or on Harnas.
- Their programmes and prices may change any moment due to circumstances or security.
Harnas Wildlife Foundation ~ Arrive a guest, leave a legend ~ This is a wildlife reserve, expect the unexpected and have a uniquely and unforgettable Harnas experience.
They are a haven for abandoned, orphaned and problem animals.
They believe it’s a place where tranquillity and harmony meet, under an umbrella of blue sky amongst rich African Wildlife.
- Comfortable accommodation
- Camping facilities
- Fine cuisine at their rustic restaurant
- Sun-kissed moments with the best nature has to offer where you can let nature caress your soul
- For you to go and experience vast skies and untouched plains in a world where man and animal live, love and laugh
- Safari truck excursions to the cheetah feeding
- Sun-downer tours
- Restaurant & Bar
The Harnas voluntourist Project offers international and local tourists the opportunity to experience the majestic wildlife. You will be involved in daily activities from food preparation, feeding, caretaking, cleaning and building of enclosures to fence patrol, survivor games and a whole lot more. It encourages you to become part of a personal journey to support the wildlife of Namibia and Africa.
The Harnas Wild dog & Lifeline Project creates a balance and safe environment where animals can roam freely without human disturbances. It acts as the last rehabilitation step towards release. It is a stepping stone for the Kings without Kingdoms. With a constant release, they hope to be able to train rehabilitated predators and prepare them for what lies in the definition of “THE WILD.”
The Harnas Caring Hands ~
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them become what they are capable of becoming” – Goethe
After working and living with the different people from their local community, especially the Bushmen people, they realised the there was an incredible lack of growth, encouragement and a vision of their future for many of the men in their immediate area. Through the in-service training of the Caring Hands project, they aim to empower men from their community to have new hope, skills and courage for supporting and caring for themselves and their families future.
Cheeky Cheetah Kids Project believes in the Proverb 22:6 ESV that if you “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
It is a combination of pre-school education for children and families working and residing on Harnas with assistance and support to children attending Primary and Secondary schools nearby. Their task needs the involvement of the parents. This project offers life skills and literacy education to adult men and woman. It was born with a vision to stimulate a love for learning. Instilling moral values and basic life skills to prepare the whole child emotionally, physically and academically for formal schooling. Many of the children in their area don’t have the means of basic preschool education. This factor holds them back from reaching their full potential and successfully finishing primary and secondary education. Their goal is, to help them feel comfortable and full of self-confidence within the future school system and in this way let them as individuals reach their highest potential. For ways of helping or for finding out more information regarding the joining of their adoption programme or online donations, you can visit their website. Even the smallest acts can add up to be something huge and planet-changing. They apparently will place a photo of you with your name on their appreciation wall at Harnas and on their Facebook page if you help make a difference in supporting them. You can make donation for the general care of the animals, or you could sponsor a child to build a better life for the local San children at Harnas
Information and wishes from the Van Der Merwe’s and their team.
Harnas Wildlife Foundation and guest farm
Box 548, Gobabis, Namibia orP O Box 90393, Klein Windhoek, Windhoek, Namibia
Tel: +264 (0)81 140 3322
Tel: +264 (0)62 56 8828 / 38
Fax: +264 (0)62 568 842
Rescue line: 081 9 081
Animal help number: 0800 568838
Tel: +264 (0)61 224 629
Harnas Booking agents
Harnas Windhoek Office ~ Marika von Solms Prinsloo