Old Fashioned Mattress Comfortable For Side Sleepers And Not Hot Naukluft Hiking Trail Namibia – 8 Days Through Wondrous Desolation

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Naukluft Hiking Trail Namibia – 8 Days Through Wondrous Desolation

Imagine a place so remote that you don’t see another person for days. Imagine a road through desolate valleys, over mountains and across great flat plains of sand, rocks and dry grass. The Naukluft Road in Namibia takes you through such a place.

It all starts in an old house on a small hill in what is known as the Namib-Naukluft Park in Southwest Namibia. Hikers Haven is the base camp for this unique trail. Here one can enjoy the last beer, a grilled steak and a hot bath. There after 8 days of lugging a heavy backpack through some of the most beautiful and desolate places Namibia has to offer.

Usually one has to get up at 5 in the morning to be able to hit the road at 7. At “Panorama” there is a beautiful observation point where one starts to climb the mountains for several kilometers in the walk. Spend some time here and enjoy the view of the plain below.

From here the road rises steadily towards the Naukluft Mountains. A good place for lunch is “Fontein Kloof”. There are some large trees for shade and spring is usually flowing.

Like most of the night shelters on this route, the shelter at “Putte” for the night is just a square stone building with a wall about 1.2 m high, on which a tin roof is supported by some hidden pipes. It is a stone field. About 150 meters from the shelter is a well with a large flywheel that must be turned for water.

The second day is 15 km long and one runs into the famous Ubusis Kloof or lake. Descent into the desert is done with the help of several ropes, some of which are 30 meters long and act as a support on the rock face. As one descends, a geological time capsule is revealed through the layers of rock to the other side. It’s a very interesting scene.

Ubusis hut is the only “normal” place on this route. This cabin was a small vacation home many years ago when the area was still made up of farmers. Water is provided by wind pump and well.

On the third day, one returns from Ubusis Kloof to the route he descended the day before. At the top, as one reaches Bergpos, the road turns north across the Kudu Plains. This day is only 12km long and is considered the easiest of all days.

At the end of the Kudu Plateau is the Adlerhorst night shelter, which can be reached by early afternoon. This leaves plenty of time to admire the scenery and relax a bit. Water is again supplied through a well with a handle on the pipe.

When we got there, opening the well pipe was filled with hundreds of bees who were desperately waiting for someone to turn the handle and get them some water. No one has ever fallen. It seems that they have realized that the people who came here are their only hope for water.

The fourth day is a little tougher, and at 17 km it is quite long. The hard part comes when one has to descend the waterfall with the help of a long rope through a dried up river. The angle of the rocks makes this a difficult descent.

Then there is another steep descent down the side of a barren mountainside. In the past, this has led to injuries to boardwalk surfers.

In the night shelter Tsams-Ost there is a large water tank on the platform where water is supplied from a well and a wind pump. It is possible for a cold shower to stand at the bottom of the tank.

The next day, the fifth day, starts with a steep climb up the mountain behind the Tsams-Ost night shelter and covers another 17 km.

After a few hours you reach the Melkbos Plateau. This plain includes many kilometers of walking along sandy paths and through dried river beds. This is where one is most likely to see herds of antelopes such as Eland or Kudu grazing on grass and sparse vegetation.

The night shelter of Die Valle is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and the sun quickly sets behind these mountains. The water here is kept in a small water tank that may not contain much water especially at the end of the hiking season, so washing is very rare on this day.

The sixth day is the longest and hardest of the entire route. Although it is only 16 km long, people spend most of the day on it.

Immediately after leaving the overnight shelter of Die Valle, a 200 meter vertical climb leads to the top of a waterfall. There after following the stream and the stream that feeds this waterfall most of the day, it goes up.

It is on this valley that one comes across interesting geological formations called Tufa. Tufa is a sedimentary rock that contains many carbonates that are carried by water. It often occurs on waterways or rivers. Here, in this valley, Tufa looks like a deep spiritual waterfall. At the top, one comes across a large fig tree whose roots extend all over a small rock.

Once on the ridge, there is a small flat plateau to cross before starting the long descent on an old jeep track to Tufa’s overnight shelter. Be careful at the bottom of the road as the shelter is almost hidden in some bushes on the left. Water is again supplied in the form of a well next to the dry river bed about 150 m from the shelter.

Day seven covers 14 km and one reaches the highest, and usually the coldest point of the hike in Kapokvlakte.

From Tufa’s overnight shelter, the road passes huge boulders as it heads back into the mountains. At the base of the mountains that eventually lead to Kapokvlakte, there are some ropes to help climb up some of the more difficult rock faces.

Once at the top, the trail follows a steadily rising dry river bed until it reaches the top of the World View. A very appropriate name, because one can see it from many kilometers away. It is a good place to stop for a while and admire the view of the plains below, and the mountains on the other side. From here on, the terrain is fairly flat and easy to navigate.

Kapokvlakte night shelter is usually accessible by early afternoon. The shelter is hidden behind a clump of bushes which are actually the only large vegetation in the area. The rest of the plain is covered in short grass and occasional small bushes. Kapokvlakte can get very cold at night, and here the use of a soft sleeping bag is essential.

Finally, the last day came. By now everyone is dreaming of fatty steaks and beer, but there are still 16 km to go. A few kilometers over the top of the plateau, and the long trail over a desert valley leads to Hikers Haven.

As the day gets warmer one can hear insects and other small creatures in this lonely valley. Be careful not to pick up rocks. Squirrels often hide under them.

As one descends the trail, there are small ponds flanked by large trees that make good resting spots. A few hundred meters from Hikers Haven, there is a campsite. Here one can meet other primitive people after spending so many days in the desert. You can still see the roof of the old house at Hikers Haven. Just a few hundred meters more and one is back. What a time it was!

Now one can finally take a hot shower again! For those who brought vacuum packed meat and managed to keep it cool in their cars during this period, there will be a feast tonight!

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