In Corona times travelling from Namibia to Zambia

The international terminal “B” in Frankfurt is entirely empty. Restaurants are closed, we satisfy our hunger with bakery products. After a lot of back and forth regarding the opening of the border and the entry restrictions in Namibia, we sit hopefully well prepared in the Eurowings plane from Frankfurt to Windhoek and so let our thoughts go. With us there are only 50 other people sitting in the Airbus 330. As far as can be seen hardly any tourists, primarily Namibians…. So we at least have enough space to sleep during the night flight.

We take off and land ahead of time – no wonder, there is no traffic at the airports. As soon as we walk down the gangway at Windhoek Airport, our temperature is measured and the corona test is scrutinized, less than 15 minutes later we enter Namibia with tourist visa in our passports. So all pretty smoothly, well organized and far less bad than expected. We had to state our travel route and the accommodations on the “Health Certificate”, but whether these are really Corona-certified and pre-booked by an authorized Namibian tour operator, as required under the so-called “Tourism Revival Strategy”, does not really seem to be of any interest.

So the first hurdle well mastered, but the tension continues to rise: A little later the roller door of the undercover hall opens and Shujaa blinks at us – again for the first time in ten months…. Slightly dusty but otherwise everything is okay. Due to the battery charger, Shujaa starts immediately. We are extremely relieved, and we enjoy – after the long abstinence – the sonorous hum of the 12.8 liter engine and the subtle whistling of the turbo charger. How did we miss that sound! Only the change to the much longer braking distance compared to our car at home requires some adaption.

First of all, there are admin tasks like re-stamping the carnet and extending the road tax, then we go to the excellently sorted supermarket for bulk food purchases. It’s very relaxing when you already know your way around in a city. Windhoek is simply predestined for such things. Well-assorted, German products with German-speaking meat counter employees behind the counter – that’s something, especially when you compare it with the sometimes very arduous shopping procedure in the rest of Africa! We spend the next day cleaning up the shower water pipe (the water had probably clogged the mixer tap because of the long idle time) and installing our new black water macerator pump, which we brought with us from Germany.

After we briefly inspected the vehicle by travel friends the next morning, we finally set off around noon towards Etosha Park. We are currently the only non-Namibians there and the animal sightings are good as usual. However, it is not – as it is rumored in some places – that the lions are lying in the middle of the road and no longer make room to vehicles 😉. The stalking and search experience have not been lost due to Corona.

Since we are no longer traveling in the optimal travel time due to our delayed start of a total of 5 months, we want to get to Zambia as quickly as possible, so that we can hopefully travel through a large part of East Africa before the start of the great rainy season (usually from the beginning of March). In Namibia, which we traveled extensively last year, we therefore limit ourselves to the absolute highlights on the way to Zambia. In addition to the Etosha, this is the Mudumu N.P. on the Namibian side of the Okavango Delta. We love the bush camp no. 3 because it is absolutely lonely and directly located on the Kwando River. We set up for 4 days and do…. not much: watch animals, send our new drone to watch the hippopotamus, a small quad excursion (this time without battery-related lying down) and of course many good conversations with Beate and Robert from www.ondjila-travel.com with their expedition vehicle “Orange” that have joined us after an appointment and stay a lot longer than planned. We are slowly becoming real socializers 😉. This park is very special for us. Here we are so close to the animals because of the lack of fencing around the park and the campground and it is so quiet… only roaring elephants and shouting hippos.

After four days of absolute wilderness, we continue to Katima Mulilo – the border town to Zambia. Since we have finished our shopping by noon, we spontaneously decide to tackle the border crossing in the afternoon (which is considered to be quite chaotic). A border crossing in Africa rarely went as smoothly and relaxed as this one. Except for a few truck drivers, the border is completely empty. Measurement of the temperature and showing the PCR test (in Zambia it can be max. 14 days old, so our test from Mallorca is again serving its purpose). Quickly we have our visas in hand, no questions asked. The true, and for us new, adventure Zambia can begin.

One comment

  1. NIce pics! Enjoyed them. Glad to see you were able to make it to Namibia!

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