All posts by Stephanie Hunfeld

Middle East :: Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel

After a quiet night crossing the Red Sea Jasper reached Jeddah the next morning.

Around ten in the morning Jeddah shows up on the horizon.

After immigration clearing the cars from the ferry took about six hours. So only around 5pm Jasper could drive his first stretch in the Middle East, and drove till darkness set in.

While it was quite a distance, the good roads made driving in Saudi Arabia smooth. And although you don’t get to know much of the people when you are on the road all day, one occasion made it clear the Saudis are as hospitable as any other Arab people: in the morning a couple in a regular car waved to Jasper getting him to stop next to the highway. Not quite understanding what they wanted, he pointed at a bottle of water. But they shook their heads, and instead lifted a flask. So -despite normal routine- he pulled over to find out. They had seen his foreign license plate and only wanted to offer him a paper cup of true Arabic coffee. And off they went again. How friendly!

As Saudi Arabia is not very women friendly and not allowed for unmarried women (they have to be accompanied by their father or brother), we decided that Jasper was going to drive to Jordan via Saudi and I was going to fly to Amman.
Flying was an adventure on its own as they didn’t allow me on the plane,since I only had a one way ticket.  Luckily the manager allowed it after a short interrogation and by not taking responsibility if I wasn’t allowed in the country. I met this lovely lady Katherine in the boarding hall and a steward gave us a seat next to each other (also being the only western looking people on the plane), so we spent the whole flight chatting. He even gave us free food, as he was Kenyan and so was Katherine.
I arrived in Amman at night and felt both strange because of being alone without Jasper and sick because of a parasite that has been bothering me every now and then since Malawi.
The next day I still felt bad but in the afternoon I decided to go to town to buy a bus ticket to Aqaba for the next morning. I walked from the bus office to the old town and arrived next to the ampitheatre. Amman is built on 19 hills and everywhere you see white houses and flats.

View over Amman from the citadel located on a high peak in the midst of the city. The hand and elbow used to be part of a gigantic Roman statue.
View over Amman from the citadel located on a high peak in the midst of the city.
The hand and elbow used to be part of a gigantic Roman statue.

I arrived in Aqaba on monday afternoon and expected Jasper to arrive there tuesday evening or wednesday, so some time to read, relax next to the pool and watch The Killing. Luckily he arrived on tuesday and the next day we drove to the south part of Aqaba to do some diving. We stayed at Darna Village, a great family run place.

The next day, a Dutch guy, Henk passes by and invites us for a Dutch get together in Aqaba (how cool that is!). We join him and Andree, a Dutch friend who is visiting Jordan, but nobody showed up. We had a great time anyway, mainly because all guests were as drunk as hell! Henk also invites us for a desert tour with some Jordan people and expats. Together we go to Wadi Araba and meet the others. We end up driving an afternoon and a morning with those lovely people. As we were heavily loaded and careful not to damage the engine or clutch, we got terribly stuck in a bowl. All the ‘desert experts’ had a different opinion on how to get out nut nothing worked. Eventually we used a winch and at sunset we were out. The Bedouins prepare us dinner and sitting at night in the desert makes us felling happy and blessed to be able to be doing this trip.
During this trip we also meet Adriano and his daughter Lara and boyfriend Daniel, lovely people and they invite us over for a bbq at their place in Amman. What a lovely evening it was, we hope to meet them again in July in Italy!

Playing around in the Wadi Araba desert.
Playing around in the Wadi Araba desert.
Petra- Madaba

After the desert trip we went to Little Petra to have a look at this beautiful old village. We decide to start there again the next morning and walk from Little Petra to Petra. It feels surreal to walk in this incredible old area. The guide insists to have us sleeping at his place, in his cave, as a lot of bedouins live in a cave. We kindly thank for the offer but still he is a bit offended we say no. We walk all day to and in Petra and walk through this incredible city.

The 'Treasury', one of Petra's best kept temples.
The ‘Treasury’, one of Petra’s best kept temples.

At night we book a massage in the turkish bathhouse in the hotel. As I come back from my massage I see Jasper laying down next to the sauna area. He isn’t feeling well he says, 3 guys lift him but I know that pale look, he is going to faint. The massage guy is familiair with this and asks me to get cold water. He throws it in his neck and face and he wakes up and vomits in the turkish bat house, oeps. Luckily he feels better after this, but no more sauna for him today!
The next day we drive to Madaba, we intended to sleep next to the dead sea but there are no camping area’s and the resorts are all very expensive so we decide to drive to Madaba to visit the old churches and walk through the city.

Madaba is famous for its many mosaics.
Madaba is famous for its many mosaics.
Amman + Umm Quays- Jerash

As we drive via Amman to Umm Quays, the clutch gets stuck. We decide to stay in Amman to have it fixed. Unfortunately there is no spare parts so we take the risk of reaching Haifa with a broken clutch. We take a rental car to visit the Dead Sea, Umm Quais and Jerash. On our way to the dead sea, the car makes a spin twice, on a steep slope. Luckily there was nobody on the road…. So much for the rental and we bring it back. We arrive late at the Dead Sea and it is a public holiday, the place is packed with people and they ask about e25,- pp with another half an hour left till sunset. We decide (again!) not to do this now.
A guy from the hotel knows a garage that seems to have spare parts. We go there and Jasper and the owner test the car, nothing wrong with the clutch he says. They invite us over for lunch and want to buy our winch and bumper. We don’t have to use it anymore and sell it to him. They change the oil too and it takes them all day, it feels as if we are back in Africa…. We were supposed to meet Adriano for a coffee but we can’t make it as we are at the garage waiting and waiting :(.
We visit the death sea again with our own car and this time I WILL float in the dead sea :). We went on a quite tuesday morning and experienced this weird feeling of doing nothing but floating!
Our last trip in Jordan was a drive to buth Umm Quais and Jerash to visit the old ruins. Jerash is next to Rome on of the biggest ruins of the Roman time. We drive around it which gives a great view of the area.

With hardly any wind, the Dead Sea displays a beautiful image.
With hardly any wind, the Dead Sea displays a beautiful image.
Aqaba- Negev desert

We leave Amman and drive to Aqaba to cross the border to Israel the next day from there. We are welcomed in Israel by a soldier with his finger on the trigger of his gun. Not a warm welcome….As expected the check at customs is a tough one. We have to take almost everything out and the car is X-rayed and checked thoroughly. After 3,5h we enter Israel and drive to the goat farm of Gadi and Lea whom we have met in Harare. They run a farm with some beautiful cabins and a small shop where they sell home made cheeses. Their son runs their farm for 1,5year so they can travel and he shows us around. We even see a little lamb being born! They take us out for dinner and have us stay in one of their cabins and enjoy it very much as they are very warm and friendly people. Unfortunately we have to leave to be on time for the ferry but we would have loved to have more time on this peaceful place in the desert with this family.

Gadi helping one of their sheep giving birth.
Gadi helping one of their sheep giving birth.
Betlehem- Jerusalem- camping on the beach

We reach Bethlehem around lunch time and are astonished by the walls and signs we see on not entering the Palestinian area when Israelian, as it might kill you. Betlehem is beautiful though and the nativity church in the centre is a holy place, as it is considered to be the place where Jesus was born. People go insane in this church, they cry and let themselves fall on the ground! We just watch and I light a candle for my father, my aunt Inge and other beloved ones who have passed away, something I do every now and then.
Before we went off to Jerusalem, we had a coffee at a -we believe- a fake Starbucks but we don’t think the Americans dare to enter this area to check on it ;).

Jerusalem is a surreal place, the place breaths history and we end up driving just into the old city through these narrow old streets. Only later we found out this is prohibited for non residents but a guy helped us, how lucky we are! We walk the whole afternoon through the different areas and pass the western wall and watch a film about king David. We enjoy being in Israel but this day marks the complexity of this country and it feels a bit uncomfortable.

We also noticed it when we camp next to the beach between Tel Aviv and Haifa. A young couple enters and they start a conversation, one of many over the last few months but they had never seen a roof top tent before. They can’t stop saying amazing and ask if they may have a look. They also like to travel (with a rooftop tent?) and end up bringing us all their food, how friendly! Later on a guy enters us and starts talking about religion, he doesn’t want me to shake his hand as I am a women and he wants Jasper to tell him he is the blessed one. Jasper kindly refuses and only after 30min he leaves. To me this 2 of the many faces of this country.

Haifa- Tel Aviv

No we are not in Africa anymore: within 2,5hrs we book a ticket for the boat, drop the car on the boat, book an apartment in Tel Aviv via Air BnB and buy a train ticket to Tel Aviv. This city has stolen our heart (apart from the attack the day before 🙁  We stay next to the Carmel market and walk 2 days through town, also thx to Gadi and Lea who had drawn us the route.

Tel Aviv is a mixture if young families, hipsters, older people, students, sun, sea, bars, great restaurants, lovely shops and a great atmoshpehere!
Shame we had to leave already to pick up our car and start the last episode of our trip: the mediterranean and the balkan!

We left our car in Haifa on the ferry to Greece. Europe here we come!
We left our car in Haifa on the ferry to Greece.
Europe here we come!

Tanzania :: Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Arusha


We had decided to skip Uganda as the clutch master cylinder was worn out and leaking a bit. And with all the mountains and no spare parts in these countries, we didn’t want to push our luck. Shame because we really wanted to see Uganda – maybe next time?! The plan B now was to drive back to Mwanza, sleep again at the lake Victoria and have the car fixed there before going to Serengeti. This plan worked out very well (they even had the spare part flown in at night) and the next day just before 16h we arrived at the Serengeti Gate. We were going to stay on a campsite in Seronera in the middle of the park so we had to drive fast on those badly corrugated roads. Even with this speed we saw a lot of antelopes, buffalo’s, giraffes and birds. This is Africa as shown on pictures and in The Lion King: endless plains where lots of animals can be seen as there is hardly bushes or trees. Unfortunately we didn’t see any lions.

The next day we continued our trip and made some loops in the park before leaving the gate near Ngorongoro.

Movie-like sunup over Serengeti plains.
Movie-like sunup over Serengeti plains.
Serengeti hills surrounded by morning mist.
Herd of elephants trekking over the Serengeti in the morning.
Herd of elephants trekking over the Serengeti in the morning.


It's not all so black and white.
It’s not all so black and white.



As you leave Serengeti you enter Ngorongoro national park. The parcs ask high entrance fees including a crater fee, so we swiped our card and try not to think about it anymore :). The road upto Ngoro is a bad one and halfway the trip we heard a strange sound while making a steep curve. We looked at each other and stopped immediately. Jasper went under the car to find out that a pin next to the steering wheel had broken off and was badly damaged. Luckily a friendly guide by the name of Honest, helped us and called the local mechanic from Ngoro village. He had the spare part and was willing to drive down for USD 130,- and we managed to talk it down to USD100,-. Still far too much but they know what we pay for all these parcs and we didn’t want to use a pin if there is another/ better option available. Minor detail: they had forgotten the bold so they couldn’t fix it. So they made a temporary construction and guided us to the crater rim. We arrived in the dark and were welcomed by a big group of…. buffalo’s! The engineer (named “babu”: old man) suggested to take off his lock nut since he also drove a Defender and fix his again at the workshop 2 km down the road. This sounded like a plan and went smoothly! We had dinner in the kitchen and were still surrounded by buffalo’s so we went to bed immediately.

In the middle of the night we heard this girl screaming: “guard, help, help!”. But the guard had left when everybody was in bed. Apparently the girl wasn’t feeling well and she walked – still surrounded by buffalo’s- to the toilet as no one answered her request for help. After a while one of the guides helped her to get back to her tent. Fortunately, the next morning the buffalo’s were gone!

Changing the front wheel on the road from Serengeti to the Ngorongoro crater.
Into the crater

Early morning we arrived at the crater gate and the whole crater and surrounding mountains were covered with mist.

While driving towards the entrance we saw the crater rim still covered in clouds.

While driving down into the crater the mist vanished and this gave the most stunning views ever! It looks surrealistic: a big area with grass and water surrounded by mountains and everywhere you see animals!

Just over the rim, looking down into the crater.
Just over the rim, looking down into the crater.
Slowly the sun wins from the clouds and spreads its light into the crater.
As we descent the sun slowly wins from the clouds and spreads its light into the crater.
Gazelles in the morning light.
Gazelles in the morning light.
Common elands with the crater rim in the background.
Common elands with the crater rim in the background.
As we were driving over the crater surface the animals got into action.
As we were driving over the crater surface the animals got into action.


Zebras crossing on of the small pools in the crater.
Zebras crossing one of the many small pools in the crater.

Maybe this would be our lucky day to spot some lions and a rhino? Again a lot of buffalo’s and at the end of the morning we spotted both the rare black rhino and two young male lions who just had a wildebeest for breakfast!

As you are only allowed to stay in the crater for 6 hours we left around lunchtime to drive to Arusha.

Overview of the crater from the rim.
Overview of the crater from halfway up the ascent road.
Yes, we were at the crater!
Yes, we were at the crater!



It is only a 2 hour trip from Ngoro to Arusha and the trip went smoothly apart from another police stop; overspeeding, again…. Since we’ve entered Tanzania, we were stopped at least 30 times and fined 8 times, all for overspeeding where they stop you at the most ridiculous places without any clear speed signs, or just outside a village.

We arrived early at the campsite. We had done some shopping so we could prepare ourselves a meal with fresh veggies and meat, joehoe! It was also good to have a warm shower again and get rid of the dust. The next day we had to go to the garage (again) as the second-hand spare part from the Ngoro mechanic was worn out. At the garage they advised to replace all four ball joints of the steering, which made sense as the car wasn’t balanced well. Four imported parts is again a lot of money. This car is turning into a goldmine but with those roads, the car suffers a lot.  We were happy to be in a town again to do some good shopping, have a coffee, have the laundry done (everything came back one size smaller….) and have dinner at a good restaurant (thx for the recommendation Rene and Bianca, it was delicious!). We had also been looking forward to eat bitterballen and Jasper knew of a Dutchman named Ad who has a lodge in Arusha where they serve them. After a hell of a ride we found the lodge. Jasper had been here before with Rene and Bianca, but he didn’t recognise any of it. Apparently Ad had moved and sold the place to  the Dutch Annelies but she has replaced the bitterballen by samosa’s :(.

Zambia and Malawi


Kabwe and Kasanka

Early morning we’ve said goodbye to Zimbabwe and a sweet goodbye as this country has a place in our heart (even the police 😉 . We planned to go to Kasanka NP and as this was too far for one day we looked for a place to stay but, nothing to be found… No campsite and only some crappy hotels or lodges so we ended up in Tuskers hotel, the local business hotel. The next day we continued our trip to Kasanka NP. A beautiful park with a lot of water and grass and since it was rain season, some rain too. We celebrated Jasper’s birthday here with a good lunch and a boattrip. the campsite was just beautiful, close to the water with a lapa and a fire place and every day, staff would come to ask about our ‘program’ to make sure that we would have a warm bucket shower and a fire at night. When checking out the guy at the main lodge asked us to pay another USD 40,- as we hadn’t settled the complete bill yet according to him. After a while he admitted to have made a mistake and was afraid to loose his job. We asked for the manager, a lovely lady from London and she immediately said to leave it like this. We chatted for about an hour about our trip and her trips, everything is ok when you aren’t in a hurry :). Apparently minimum wages had increased with 100% recently so they had to raise prices but didn’t think it through.


We intended to go to the Bangweulu Wetlands but they were too wet so we decided to go to Kapishya Hotsprings. However, the road between east and west in north Zambia has been under construction for a while and the other road couldn’t be used because of the rain season. The only alternative was to leave the hotsprings for what they are and go to South Luangwa via Lusaka, a detour of about 800km….
On they way back to Lusaka we needed a place to sleep and we coincidently found Fringilla Farm, a lovely farm with its own restaurant, butcher, coffeeshop, rooms and campsite. As we were experiencing another problem with the car, we drove straight to the landrover dealer in Lusaka. We couldn’t brake on the motor, so we had to drive carefully on the hilly and busy roads. At the garage they couldn’t find the problem easily and later on we found out that they’d been having troubles with training staff and had little experience with the Defender TD5. We ended up to spend 3 days at the garage just finding the cause of our problem, even with Jasper and the manager eventually helping the mechanics. After the first day at the garage, we were quite late and the traffic jam was just horrible, we bumped into another car. Luckily it was just the taillight that was broken and the guy offered to settle it without police. However a police office saw it happening and took the drivers licences as a back up. So the next day, Jasper and Chris (the guy we bumped onto) went to the office and Chris had warned us that the officer wanted to have some money (KW 200 a 300). The police officer wanted a chat with Jasper alone and said that he wanted us to have a positive feeling about Zambia however we could show some gratitude. The table even had a double layer to give some money under the table :). Jasper said: well I could give you some but I wouldn’t want to be bribing you?! The police officer said ‘well I think we have a miscommunication here,’ and clumsily started rephrasing his question, handing back the drivers licence. Eventually Jasper put KW 40 on (eh, under) the table and the guy walked out leaving the money behind! That was when Jasper took back the money and ended up not paying anything at all.

Sun up at Bridge Camp, halfway Lusaka and South Luangwa
Sun up at Bridge Camp, halfway Lusaka and South Luangwa
South Luangwa

According to the books and internet this should be one of the prettiest parks in Zambia/ East Africa. We found a beautiful campsite close to the river, a place where overlanders often go to. We’ve spent to 2 days in South Luangwa and to celebrate Jaspers birthday (a week after!) we had dinner at Flatdogs, a nearby lodge and restaurant. We’ve also had the most warm and humid night ever here, incredible it just didn’t cool down!




Pouring with rain we entered Malawi, where signs ironically say: The Warm heart of Africa. As there is a drought in the south, the rain is needed badly and it only stopped raining at 20.00h that evening. We hadn’t expect that so we decided to camp at the local golf club where they have a (worn out) campsite as well. Luckily they served good food :).

It's mostly women carrying stuff along the roads.
It’s mostly women carrying stuff along the roads.
Majete- Blantyre

The next day we headed to Majete and the last 30km the road became a bit rough. We decided to continue as a detour would take us 2 extra hours and it would get dark in 3 hours. The first part was just horrible with rocks and steep parts and the second parts was ok, but then we had to turn right and our navigation said: 4×4 road. We decided to try a few km’s and after 200m Jasper said that he felt no pressure on the brakes. Oh no, not again a failure of this red monster?! Luckily we were 40km from Blantyre and with some South African help via the satellite phone from Mark of Landrover Adventures (Thx!) we managed to drive to Blantyre on low gear with 3 brakes via a beautiful route though!

Sunset near Blantyre

We found another Landrover garage (we could start writing customer reviews for them and comparing as we’ve seen many already…) and they managed to find a caliper, as our caliper had broken off. They would schedule it for the next day and it would take them 3hrs. This turned into 3 days as they had found the wrong caliper at first and had troubles taking out the remains of one of the broken bolts from the axle casing.

We were very happy to drive to Majete (via tarred road this time) and as it was a short drive from Blantyre we arrived early. We decided to do a boat safari as the last one in Botswana was wonderful as was this one. We saw hippo’s barking again and again, crocodiles, birds, antilopes and a commmon eland all at a beautiful sunset. Back at the campsite the friendly host Henry made us a fire to braai; just a perfect day!

Common Eland in Majete NP, one of the biggest antelopes.
Common Eland in Majete NP, one of the biggest antelopes.
Zomba Plateau

As it was easter weekend we did some shopping in Blantyre before going to the Zomba Plateau. We drove on the plateau with beautiful views and a lot of green and found a lodge run by an Italian couple just at the beginning of the mountain. The Italian guy was very friendly and we had a chat about a lot of things, before we knew we had drinks and dinner there and went straight to bed. Our easter breakfast was one with eggs, Italian cappucino and a lovely view! The Italian guy told us about the population of Malawi and as there is no control it is expected to grow incrementally in the coming years. This will become a problem as it is already crowded. Furthermore the country is relying on help of NGO’s and other non profit organisations. We’ve met a lot of volunteers from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and to us it is difficult to see how this will help Malawi in the long term as the country depends on this help. But what will help to make a country self supporting and is this the aim of these NGO’s?

Lake Malawi

Our first stop was at Monkey Bay where we stayed at a beautiful but weird place: it appeared to us that the owner and manager and some friends were bloody stoned and we were interfering. Other than that it was a beautiful bay and we took a swim and snorkeled the afternoon.

Great camping spot at Lake Malawi in Monkey Bay.
Great camping spot at Lake Malawi in Monkey Bay.

Heading north we’d got a place recommended by a few people we’ve met (Makuzi Beach Lodge) so we had to go there as well. Again a beautiful and tranquil place with its own beach and sunbeds.
The last place near the lake before going to Tanzania is Lukwe lodge near Livingstonia, owned by Auke a nice Belgian guy and also recommended by other people. The drive up the mountain is quite epic but the lodge is beautiful with stunning views, runned eco friendly and with a (organic) garden from which they take everything to prepare the meals. You could call Auke a wood artist: he’d made everything himself and it looks great.

South Africa (again) and Zimbabwe

South Arica again: Blyde River canyon and Panoramic route

Since the middle and northern part of Mozambiqe recently became a bit unstable, we decided to travel via SA to Zimbabwe, a bit of a detour but a beautiful one! We decided to start from Sabie and drive up north via the panoramic route and the potholes. The waterfalls were quite dry because of the drought and we decided to drive up north instead of visiting a lot of them. This would help us the next day as we were going to one of the busiest and chaotic border posts of SA and Zimbabwe.


Bourke's Luck Potholes in Blyde river canyon
Bourke’s Luck Potholes in Blyde river canyon
Detail of the potholes
Detail of the potholes


Entering Zimbabwe

Around lunch we managed to leave SA and drive to the Zimbabwian border post. It started off promising since we already had a visum. But then we had to qeue for the TIP (temporary Import Permit) and although there weren’t many people waiting, nothing was happening really, the 2 officers were just staring at their screens and papers. 2 guys up front had already been waiting for 3 hours! Eventually the new shift started at 15h and aparently they did know what to do so at 16h we could enter Zimbabwe.

The next day we continued our trip to Great Zimbabwe. The road we took was one of the highways and the beautiful sceneries and friendly people surprised us: what a beautiful country! Every 5 to 10km and sometimes every other KM the Police asked us to stop. Sometimes we only had to show our TIP and drivers licence and other times they aparently wanted money as we were fined for: not having the right reflecting triangle, not having the right reflectors on the car and 4 lights on the roof (only 2 were allowed). to them it didn’t matter that they weren’t working! After a few times we became trained in how to deal with them and managed to get away with it or only pay USD 10,- since we had no more cash and had to pay toll fee as well :).

One of Zim's beautiful rock formations
One of Zim’s beautiful rock formations
Driving through 'Zim' at dusk
Driving through ‘Zim’ at dusk


Great Zimbabwe

When we arrived at Great Zimbabwe we decided to go the abandoned city at sunset, since it is less warm to climb the mountain and the light seems to be beautiful early mornings or late afternoon. The place is quite unique in a way that you’ll find old ruines in the middle of nowhere where people used to live a well developed village. The place feels peaceful and quiet, as if you could feel that they’d lived happily there ages ago. Zimbabwe is named after Great Zimbabwe after independence.


Bvumba mountains

Up to the mountains; the Bvumba mountains. As this was not too far from Great Zim, we arrived in Mutare around lunchtime. We found a lovely place to have lunch in a beautiful garden. We spent the night in the botanical garden with magnificent views over Mozambique. The friendly staff made us a fire and they were happy to have guests, as Zimbabwe’s tourism has dropped over the last years. I had read about Tony’s coffeehouse and the next day we went to have coffee and cake. Tony is famous for his cakes (and coffees+ teas) and without any doubt it was the best cake we’ve ever had (and the richest!). Besides that he is a charming and friendly guy, one who is living with passion and has a story to tell. Luckily I bought the recipe book :)! That afternoon we hiked for several hours as we took a wrong direction. Well at least we’ve burnt the calories of the cake by walking in this beautiful area.



Harare- Kariba

As we had ‘lost’ almost 6 weeks in Namibia due to the accident, we have a bit of a schedule, so time to drive up north! We spent 2 days in Harare and walked through town to visit the National Art Gallery and a restaurant to have lunch. The restaurant wasn’t easy to find and a friendly guy saw us walking and asked where we were heading to and gave us a ride to the restaurant. Again interested and friendly people! The Lonely Planet describe Kariba as the riviera of Zimbabwe but what we experienced was a dried lake and a kind of worn out village. Again people told us that tourism had dropped and then the drought added to that, so they were struggling to survive, but that they will find a way, as Zimbabwians always do!


Rainbow over lake Kariba
Rainbow over lake Kariba


Namibia: Part II

The day after the accident- Twyfelfontein

We spent one more day at Twyfelfontein Lodge (close to Kipwe, which was unfortunately fully booked) since our car was going to be towed away on monday and it was sunday. The towing trip was an adventure on its own! Stephanie had spent the whole morning from 9.00h to 13.00h at the ‘nearby’ police office (60km) to get the police report. First they didn’t want to write the report since she wasn’t Jasper. Then the police officer didn’t write down all the details when he came to visit us, so Stephanie had to contact Jasper which wasn’t possible since it was a remote location. Eventually she got hold of him via the satellite telephone and could ask for the details. Then the copy machine was broken and they wanted us to drive another 100km to the nearest police station. We managed to drive to Palmwag Lodge, ‘only’  about 40km on dirt road. At 14.00h Stephanie had arrived and the towing car was able to drive to Swakopmund. The roads were in such a bad condition that the driver had decided to drive via the north (Torra Bay). This what you call a detour! After the 2nd flat tire (and only one spare tire with him!) we understood why he wanted to get rid from this part of Namibia. We arrived at 22.00 in Swakopmund although we had a good time with the friendly driver and again a flat tire…..

Swakopmund- Swakopmund- Swakopmund

Again a warm welcome and a helping hand from Jeroen and Roos. Jeroen had booked us a hotel and the next day Roos picked us up to make a plan for the car and look for a self catered apartment.  That morning they called a mechanic to check on our car and we were a bit afraid of the verdict, as the car looked seriously damaged. He told us it could be fixed, joehoe! Now we had to wait for parts to be found: a ‘new’ roof, 2 doors, a windscreen, a new diff, a new prob shaft, new springs. Especially the mechanical parts took a while to arrive, but after 2 weeks they could start fixing the rear axe and springs. This seemed to be the ‘easy’ part. From there the car was driven (!) to another garage to have the body parts done. We even saw our own car on its way to the other garage: yes the Landy is driving again! Now this turned out to be the difficult part in terms of time and patience…. It took this garage about 2,5 weeks to have the car fixed and the last week Jasper has helped them to rebuild the car after the spraying. Lean management, structuring and efficiency aren’t in the dictionary here……

Meanwhile we were visiting every lunch cafe and bar in Swakop, checking them on good food and wifi and reading books and watching films. Roos and Jeroen offered us to stay at their place and we were also offered to temporarily use one of their cars. We really appreciated those gestures! Though 5 weeks in Swakop is quite long and sometimes a bit boring, we do like the fact that we got to know Roos and Jeroen and have a great time with them.

While writing this blog I (Stephanie) see Jeroen and Jasper together working on the LaRo to rebuild it into our car again! Hopefully we can continue our trip on feb 11th.

Namibia: Part I

Windhoek- Sossusvlei

On boxing day we hit the road again to Namibia. The landscape changed from green, trees and bushes into dry desert. Late afternoon we arrived at a lodge where the lovely lady prepared us a X-mas meal with the best veal and game ever; how food and friends can make you a happy camper!

The next day we visited a general practioner (again) since Stephanie was having an abces that started a few days before X-mas and now she had an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. They gave her another type of antibiotics and that one turned out to work well.  Early afternoon, we continued our trip to Sossusvlei. The landscape was beautiful with dusty and bumpy roads. We arrived in the afternoon and bought entrance tickets to the valley for the next morning. This campsite had a swimming pool and since the temperature was far above the 30’s, we dipped in the pool. Again a beautiful place to have sundowners and enjoy the sunset. The next morning we left at 5.00h to be able to see the sunrise at Death Valley. Either we arrived a bit too late or the weather wasn’t all that great but we didn’t see those beautiful skies. The dunes and the valley were still very beautiful though!


From Sossusvlei we drove via Naukluft to Swakopmund, a beautiful trip with breathtaking views! Swakopmund is  an old German village, a bit like a skiing village in summer, obviously without snow :). We spent a spontaneous afternoon having fun and drinking beer at the Brauhaus, a famous German beer stube. Shame Jan, Joost, Inge and Tijn were about to leave us since it was great fun to travel together!  After a good bye dinner, J,J, I and T (thx for it guys!) had left the next morning to continue the last part of their trip. We decided to stay one more day in Swakopmund to clean the LaRo. Little did we know then…..

Brandberg:  White Lady Lodge

We booked a chalet at White Lady Lodge to celebrate new year. Unfortunately Jasper wasn’t feeling that well so we didn’t do much besides swimming and relaxing. This area is the home of the desert elephant, although we didn’t see him :(. We wanted to see the paintings on the Brandberg but the first time we got there they were ‘about to close’ and the next morning they hadn’t arrived yet. Maybe they were still recovering from the festive season??


Twyfelfontein- Etosha

We decided to go more up north to Dolomite rest camp in Etosha via Sesfontein where we would spend the first night. The road from Brandberg took us via the beautiful Twyfelfontein area. Just after having crossed a river bed (there are many), we heared a sound followed by another sound and the car started spinning. Then we got off the road and the car rolled over on its right side. Luckily we drove only 60km/h. Immediately a German tourist bus stopped to help us. They helped Stephanie to get our of the car and carried all our luggage out of the car. On the bus were 2 docters and they helped us with our small injuries. We are still very thankful for all they have done for us! After a while 2 guys from the nearby lodges arrived and offered us to stay at their place and take all the luggage. It was still high season but they had a guide room available at their beautiful Lodge Kipwe. We were still a bit in shock about what just had happened and the way Anton and his wife Kirsten helped us at Kipwe was just incredible! We soon realized that we’d been very lucky only to have a few scratches and bruised ribs.



Heading east

It has been a while sinds we have posted anything and we have been travelling a lot. After the wineries we went via Cape Point to Gansbaai. Jasper did some shark cage diving here! From there we went to the most southern part of Africa, Cape d’Agulhas, for us the most southern part of our trip. We came up with the idea of travelling to the most Northern part somewhere in Scandinavia, although one must have dreams :).image

The car seemed to leak oil so we made an appointment at the garage in George. Although it was quit busy due to festive season, they managed to squeeze us in on tuesday morning. We are quite relaxed after a few weeks of traveling now and well waiting for a day isn’t a problem to us anymore…. The car was fixed at the end of the day and we drove to Knysna. We had found a camping just outside the village and again a beautiful place. Knysna is a lovely but touristical place so time for a decent lunch!

From Knysna we drove in 2 days to the Drakensbergen, Sani Pass. On the road to the mountains a guy filled our car with petrol instead of Diesel and a mechanic had to come to let the petrol out. Luckily we we found it out just in time. Time to buy a diesel sticker!


We have spent a few days at Sani pass to do some hiking and drive to Lesotho. Times are changing and the Chinese have paved the roads in Lesotho, incredible!


At the Sani Lodge we’ve met a few dutch group and they tipped us to go to Cape Vidal in the Wetlands. Thx for the tip guys, it do is a beautiful place! Unfortunately those wetlands suffer from lack of rain and the lake is half the size. It looks a bit desolate and it’s a pity to see the effects of global warming and not looking after our planet.

Yeah, time to go to Amakhosi Lodge, our most luxurious and exciting part of our South African trip because we are going to see game with a ranger in this beautiful game resort. They looked a bit confused to see us arriving with a big dusty Defender, all set for camping! Our time at Amakhosi Lodge was fantastic, mainly due to the great stories of the ranger, the game he showed us and the lovely couple we’ve met! Monique and Tal; we do hope we will meet again and the good thing about life is that time will tell :).