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sub-Saharan Africa Topics specific to sub-Saharan Africa. (Includes all countries South of 17 degrees latitude)
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  #1  
Old 1 Mar 2008
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Namibian 'off piste'

Hey guys...

Haven't been to Nam on a bike for a while - and looking to do more offroad riding than normally this April... especially in sand.

Anyone have some tried or suggested routes we can incorporate? Or know of a resource we can look into.




We'll be entering from Botswana going past Etosha, then south towards Luderitz.
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Old 1 Mar 2008
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off piste

Nam is not the best country to go look for sand, despite the Namib desert. All protected area. You have to stay on the roads. If you go into the Kalahari there should be enough sandy tracks. Also if you go past Etosha and go up instead of down, towards Opuwo and on to Epupa falls, there are some sandy parts but that's not the main attraction, that would be the falls and the Himba. In Swakopmund you can go rent trikes? and quads and play around in the dunes. Don't know if you'r allowed to take your own bike or car. If you go to Luderitz, you will pass a place called Aus. There is a resort called Klein Aus Vista, nice caretaker. I think his name was Piet. He can take you around into some sandy area's of the Naukluft park, but you'll have to pay for that. Around Luderitz you can forget about offroading. All Diamond area. If they catch you, you loose your bike/car and get a huge fine on top.

Cheers,
Noel
exploreafrica.web-log.nl
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Old 1 Mar 2008
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The area in northern Namibia (around Epuppa falls) is great. You can find a lot of challenging routes up there but it’s mostly stony tracks and maybe a few rivers (depending on season). In the riverbeds it can get quite sandy.
You can’t rely on getting petrol north of Opuwo.
This area is great and the Himbas make it even more interesting.



The top of Epuppa Falls:



The Namibian roads are excellent! Lots of high speed gravelorads:



If you like sand then my favorite area is south of Swakopmund. Start at Walvis Bay and there is a belt of dunes up to Swakopmund. The east-side is best for driving. When you get closer to Swakop there will be more people on trikes and other toys.


Beside Dune 7, the highest dune in the world:


Halfway to Swakop:


Taking a brake:
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Old 1 Mar 2008
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In better Cymot/Greensport shops you'll find book "4x4 Routes in Namibia" by Jan. H. Joubert. Many very nice pistes described there.

BTW, dune driving like you see in AliBaba's pictures is probably illegal and not recommended. Lets stick to existing roads/pistes, at least in Namibia.
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Old 1 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebaseonu View Post

BTW, dune driving like you see in AliBaba's pictures is probably illegal and not recommended. Lets stick to existing roads/pistes, at least in Namibia.
Well, it’s probably more then ten companies that have quads for hire in the dunes between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund so it can’t be that illegal.

The local guys from Walvis Bay also go there with quads and motorbikes.
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Old 2 Mar 2008
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I don't have the Michelin map to hand, but there's a sandy loop from Opuwo out to near the Skeleton Coast and down towards Sesfontein. I'd been told it was graded, but it wasn't at the end of 2003. navigation was made more interesting by the magnetic correction needed - more than 20 degrees! as Alibaba says, there are accessible dunes south of Swakop which were not forbidden in 2003. there's firm sand on the dunes and horrendous bull-dust between them. they may be forbidden now, of course. Skeleton Coast was forbidden back then :-(
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Old 2 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
Well, it’s probably more then ten companies that have quads for hire in the dunes between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund so it can’t be that illegal.
Yes, you are right. I forgot that in this area there really were some special dune riding tracks right next to main road.
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Old 2 Mar 2008
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Cool

The coastal belt between Walvis Bay & Swakopmund is open for dune riding, whereas further to the east it's national parks area, but in that NP there are some tougher tracks/pistes you can do. Just make sure to acquire a permit before you go off into the NP's.

Another dusty bike riding area is going down the west rim of the Fish River canyon. There you can make a loop via Rosh Pinah and up towards Aus near Luederitz. Along the canyon west rim you'll pass a lodge situated right on the rim, about 90 kms south of the tarmac Keetmanshoop - Luederitz. Absolutely stunning and hardly any tourists!

Enjoy!
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Old 4 Mar 2008
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Thank you guys!

Hey guys, thanks so much for this -- we will definintely take on the Swakopmund coastal road (didn't know this was open) AND the Luderitz- Fishriver canyon bit!!

Alibaba - ur pictures are AWESOME.. pity about the bike. LOL! ONLY KIDDDDDIIIINGGGG!!
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Old 4 Mar 2008
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Tracks for Africa

Bud

If you're taking a GPS then Tracks4Africa have Namibia pretty well mapped with all the info you'll need

Niallo
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