Day 4 : Ugab River Valley

It rained during the night and this morning the sky is still very cloudy. Before breakfast, we want to enjoy the view of the waterhole in the middle of the forest. There are 13 giraffes on the property, who come to walk around the edge of the waterhole every day, usually in the late morning.

Family breakfast is prepared in the dining room, decorated with numerous African masks. As friendly as ever, Gerald has fun joking around. Speaking of beehives, José, who is interested in beekeeping, asks him if he has any bees. Yes,” replies Gerald, “just one! And with that he snatches his wife’s sandwich…

Nous prenons congé de nos hôtes, sans manquer de les remercier pour leur accueil sympathique.

The path that crosses the property intersects with sand and stone tracks leading into the forest. Having been given permission to go to the waterhole to try and see the giraffes, we decide to take one of the tracks. The adventure is a little treacherous in places, but we continue to the edge of the property. No such luck! We set off in the opposite direction. Suddenly, José spots one of the tall ladies peering at us through the trees.

Happy and satisfied with this wonderful encounter, we leave Bambatsi for another day. We plan to follow the course of the Ugab River along the D2757. Afterwards, we’ll visit the Petrified Forest.

Red-billed Hornbill
Frangipani flowers
Groundscraper Trush

The track along the river is so undulating it’s like being at sea. You go down into a hollow and come back up without knowing what’s happening on the other side. It’s very impressive every time. As we reach one of these peaks, we notice a truck lying in a scissor shape in the middle of the dip, which it has no doubt been unable to negotiate. Very carefully, José manages to get around the obstacle and we can continue on our way.

Corrugated runway
Dry Ugab riverbed

Angry zebra

Angry zebra

The sky is still as grey, but the scenery remains fabulous. A few dozen metres ahead of us, a troop of monkeys crosses the track. We look for them, but they’ve disappeared. They’re certainly watching us, well hidden in the bushes.

Distances are long in Namibia and covering them takes longer than expected. Khorixas is still a long way off, we need to refuel there and it will be too late to visit the Petrified Forest with its silicified trees.

We booked a camping pitch at the Hais-Ra Tented & campsite, as well as breakfast. The site is managed by a community that also owns a small part of the Petrified Forest. The setting is majestic. The ochre-colored rocks give the impression of being illuminated by the sun. The campsites are well equipped, with private sanitary facilities, hot water, a barbecue and even a stainless steel sink for washing up. For our dinner, we’ll be having rib eye steak with pepper sauce and mushrooms, with a bottle of wine and the company of swallows.

Hais-Ra campsite
Hais-Ra campsite

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