Vanda Kujbus

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Donkerbos - Arrival

Written by Vanda

Asking for directions is very easy in Namibia. Wherever you want to go to, you can just go straight. In every 100-150 kms there will be a turn, which you have to follow, and after an awful lot of time, with 3-4 turns only, you can arrive anywhere!

At the beginning I don’t understand Ben’s worries, the roads are good, even the gravel is fairly well-kept. However, I don’t understand why does it need to be 4 lane wide, as we haven’t seen any other car after we left the tar road. Why Namibia? ... Why? ... We drive and drive and drive and just drive... so far away from everything. Sometimes settlements pop up by the side of the road. I already feel sorry for these people who are stuck in this middle of nowhere, yet we are not even half way!

Gravel road to Donkerbos
shop in the middle of nowhere

After a few hours I suddenly understand what Ben meant by „bad roads”. At the last turn we drive onto a sandy road which would break down even the fanciest small car. All of a sudden having a 4x4 car makes sense! Even with our 4x4 we can proceed only at 20 km/h, and we drive and drive and drive and finally... There are no signs of any life there apart from savannah on the left side, and grass on the other side. I hope for at least some signs of agricultural activity, but only the untouched nature surrounds us. Seriously? People live here??

The road starts to narrow. Can it be that we are there? And we drive forward. Good lord, where is this place? We are on our way for an hour by now, and I’m yet to see any life signs. Why on earth would someone want to live here?

sand road to Donkerbos

After some time, which feels like eternity, we approach the first „house”, which is made from the same corrugated iron, standing lonely next to the road. Oba’s house. The layout is very similar, sandy garden fenced around with some wooden sticks and a big water tank. Well, at least it’s home sweet home for someone!

Oba's home

We drive for an additional 10 minutes and finally we arrive to the „office”. It is a „fancy” building, standing lonely in the middle of nothing, made of real bricks and has all luxury items one could need: solar panel, gas burner, chairs, tables, a washbowl, a tent, an earth closet surrounded by the same corrugated iron, and a borehole for fresh water in reasonable distance. What else could one wish for? Nothing, right?

Ella, Sigi and I take the tent so that Belinda can stay inside with Emily. Even the tent is luxurious, and has an African understanding of 3-4 person size instead of Asian, we can even stand up, and could easily fit in an extra 1-2 persons. Awesome!

And at the same time evening also falls on us, and it is time to grab some food, and prepare ourselves for tomorrow. We have to do as much research as we can. I’m very excited, and hardly can fall asleep!

Office at Donkerbos
Donkerbos tent