|Happy Campers BotsNam 2018 – Travel log Day 11 & 12|
|Place||Day 11: Namutoni Rest Camp, Etosha National Park
Day 12: Roy’s Rest Camp, Grootfontein
|Type of lodging||Camping|
|Water at site||Yes|
|Wi-Fi||Yes (both at restaurant areas)|
|Diesel||64,55 lt / R850-75|
|Kilometers traveled||421 km|
Something that was noticeable on our route to Namutoni from Okaukuejo was that the vegetation was getting lusher if compared to the western region of Etosha. You could see that we were getting closer to the sub-tropical region of the Caprivi region and we were rewarded with more animal sightings in this area. We arrived at Namutoni around midday and a friendly parks official showed us to the camping area. As we were only staying for one night, we decided to put up only the awning of the Xcape instead of the full tent. This meant that we could leave for an afternoon self-drive much earlier than anticipated.
We had a number of great elephant sightings in the area around Namutoni and when we got back to camp, we paid a visit to the fort and the museum in the rest camp. Both were very interesting and we read quite a bit on the history of the Namutoni rest camp and how it was established. The fort is such a wasted opportunity as there is ample space to run a curio shop and even a little pub but there must be many bureaucratic hoops to jump through before you can set-up something like that inside a national park.
The campsite itself was quite pleasant with grass stands and neat and clean ablutions, with an area where you can wash your dishes. The stands are some distance away from each other, which meant that you do not have to sit on your neighbour’s lap whilst drinking your beer LOL. Sadly, in the late afternoon, the Boet&Bro brigade from Okaukuejo pulled into the campsite and after they put up camp, their Namutoni party started in all earnest. This carried on until 01:00 in the morning and with no security in sight to complain to, everyone at the camping ground had to suffer through this. Luckily, for us it turned out that they were heading down to Cape Town the following morning so we were quite relieved that they were not following our route towards the Caprivi.
We had to get up early that morning as we had quite some way to go before we got to our next destination and we still had some shopping to do as well. Due to restriction of movement of animal products, we knew that we had to cook the last of our raw meat products before we left Etosha, which we did, as we believe that you should follow the rules, and not try to bypass it. Countries like Namibia, Botswana depends on their EU trade agreements to generate much needed income for their country, and if people do not obey the rules regarding vet fences and borders, these agreements could be cancelled. We had planned on stocking up on groceries and meat in Grootfontein.
En route to Grootfontein, we realized that our rear lights on our Xcape were not working which was due to damage done to the tow cable during our off-road adventure just outside Kamanjab. We had to find a DIY store and quickly as not only it was unsafe to drive like this but we have had the unsavory experience of getting a fine in Namibia before. We turned off towards Tsumeb where we got all the fittings, spares we needed to repair our tow cable, and from there onward, it was plain sailing to Grootfontein. There is a big shopping center in Grootfontein where we did our grocery shopping at the local Pick n Pay and we managed to stock up on beers, as well as fresh meat. Our destination for the evening was Roy’s Rest Camp outside Grootfontein, on the main road towards Rundu. We have been traveling on good tar roads since we left Etosha, which meant that we made good time on this leg of the journey and we got to Roy’s around midday.
Roy’s Rest Camp is such a gem! You can see that it oozes personality from the turn-of off the main road and it is evident throughout the campsite that a lot of love went into designing and decorating the resort. There was free Wi-Fi close to the restaurant area at the Beeskraal and the ablutions were quirky and fun, and most importantly, neat and clean. We had an early braai that night, as we were exhausted after the trek of the day, and getting almost no sleep the night before. The following morning we were heading out to the Caprivi, which was another bucket list item for us.