Bon Echo Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Reuniting with Max in Germany on October 1st.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Our drive down the Caprivi Strip

I know, it's not officially the Caprivi Strip any more. It's now the "Zambezi Region" although everybody we talk to still calls it the Caprivi Strip.

It's an oddball piece of land that is part of Namibia, yet surrounded by four other countries!

It was originally given to the Germans in 1890 so that they had an eastern trade route out of Namibia.

We did a 440 km (273 mile) drive yesterday down this funny strip of land that belongs to Namibia.

We did the drive from Hakusembe River Lodge to Namushasha River Lodge. It had been raining ('tis the season for that here now!) and we stopped for gas in Rundu just after we left. Not much to see or do in Rundu, but you want to get fuel there because there may not be any more for a long while!

There are a few bars in Rundu. This one is typical. Notice the sign..."Drink liquor, save water".

The main highway is straight, and has a 120 km/h (75 mph) speed limit. But there are a lot of obstacles!

Watch for goats!

And donkeys!

And cattle.

And of course people!

So we're driving down the road and past villages and it's getting close to lunchtime. As with most major (and some minor) highways in Namibia, there are picnic table rest stops along the way. we eventually see one that looks handy and has some shade and so we pull in. We notice that it's across from some huts, but we don't think anything of it and we open the tailgate and start making some lunch.

It looks like some local kids have noticed us, and I see five kids crossing the road and heading our way.

Not sure what to expect, so as they gather around the table, I say "Morokeni" which is "Good morning" in the local Oshiwambo language. They responded the same, and I asked "Ngapi", to which they responded "Nawa". Hey, we're doing pretty good huh! But that's as far as it went and they spoke no English.

Ruth was cutting up some carrot sticks and so we cut up some for them. They were pretty happy with that and they crowded around for more. Then Ruth took a picture of them.

They looked a little unsure. 
And then I showed them the picture.

I took another picture, and this time they knew what was coming. Kids are the same all over the world!

When I showed them this picture, I zoomed in on each of their pictures individually. They sure did laugh! 

What a fun interaction we had with these kids. We cut some apple for them, and some cheese and corn cakes. We counted in English as we gave them each pieces and made them count along with us. By now, two more had joined us and there were seven. We taught them how to count to seven. Too funny.

But, we still had a bunch of driving to do. Waved bye to them, and carried on.

Part of the Caprivi strip is a game reserve.

Apparently there are thousands of elephants on the Caprivi Strip. We didn't see any! We had heard stories that sometimes the road will be blocked by a herd of 50 elephants at a time. Did I mention we didn't see any!!?

We turned off at the C39. Supposed to be a gravel road, but it's under construction and they're paving it. 

The C39 is freshly paved, at least until our turn off 24 kms down the road.

But our turnoff road was in rough shape. They had 59 mm's of rain yesterday morning, so it was pretty soggy going for 4 kms!

But we made it to the Namushasha River Lodge.

It was a long day...but was it ever worth it. Wait until you see tomorrow's post!


  1. I've seen the damage a car hitting a deer can do, I shudder to think what an elephant would do... :cO

  2. you have to smile looking at the kids, as you said they are the same world over, big hams for the road went from good to bad really quickly.

  3. What a nice day, especially the kids! Wonderul.

  4. Crikey. There seems to be a whack of driving. At least it's straight. Didn't think elephants went that fast. 80 eh? Learn something new every day.
    I love how just about every country/jurisdiction/whatever uses a "STOP" sign. Seems international, universal. Right? Except for Quebec....
    Well, and they do use "Pare" in Puerto Rico, but I think they too want to assert their "independence".

  5. I'm sure the rain is needed, just makes the sand roads a bit rougher. The kids are great. You will all carry a long time memory.

  6. That second kid pic is hilarious! Another interesting tidbit about the Zambezi Strip---Namibia and Zimbabwe don't actually share a border, because the four countries don't all meet at the same point, they just look like they do.


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