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Rain in January?

Cape Town, South...
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Rain in January?

Hi everyone,

I have read some of the previous posts about rain or no rain :-) I am planning to go on an organised camping tour to Namibia in January, but am getting increasingly worried that I will be permanently soaked (which also makes camping less fun...) I will be doing the usual circuit - Fish River - Sossusvlei - Swakopmund - Etosha - Windhoek. At this stage I am considering going for an accommodated tour instead... Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Karen

Edited: 27 November 2013, 16:08
Isle of Man, United...
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1. Re: Rain in January?

Rain is Namibia is very relative. A lot of rain means about an inch (25mm). This will probably come in one short burst over an hour or so. In some parts of Namibia this would be a years supply.

Don't worry. You won't drown.

Rome, Italy
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2. Re: Rain in January?

Hello! I m also going to Namibia this January. I booked a partially camping and longing self-drive tour...now i m feeling bit worried regarding rain and camping too. Glad to read mfuwe reply...Can i also ask how are the conditions of the road in case of rain ( my itinerary is: wdk, sossusvlei, swakopmund,etosha, waterberg plateau, wdk).

Thanx!

Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: Rain in January?

Others are more experienced than I but a lot of roads are tar so no trouble. On the gravel roads and some less used roads in the Hinterland heavy rain can be disruptive for a time. Be aware of flash floods and never cross a flooded river without being sure of the depth. Wait a few hours and it will go down just as quickly.

Windhoek, Namibia
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4. Re: Rain in January?

Good advice from Mfuwe, I would echo what was said. Last year we had hardly any rain, but during the year before that we had some serious deluges. It's still true to say that even when it does rain hard it rarely lasts very long, which allows you to seek shelter for a short time and shouldn't effect activities.

I would still camp during this time, yes you may have a bit of inconvenience but you would be very unlucky to have so much rain that it would become a big issue.

Charlotte ATI Holidays

Rome, Italy
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5. Re: Rain in January?

Hello! I m also going to Namibia this January. I booked a partially camping and longing self-drive tour...now i m feeling bit worried regarding rain and camping too. Glad to read mfuwe reply...Can i also ask how are the conditions of the road in case of rain ( my itinerary is: wdk, sossusvlei, swakopmund,etosha, waterberg plateau, wdk).

Thanx!

Rome, Italy
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6. Re: Rain in January?

Thank you very much for ur reply Charlotte.

It s very reassuring to read you.

After all we d want to try something we' ve never done before, and Namibia seams the right place to do it!

Thanx again!

Valentina

Edited: 01 December 2013, 22:32
Windhoek, Namibia
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7. Re: Rain in January?

Hi Valentina, the most difficult roads during your route if you encounter rain will be from Windhoek to Sossusvlei and Sossusvlei to Swakopmund as they are mainly gravel, and are crossed by a lot of usually dry riverbeds. Just take it easy, drive no faster than 60-80km per hour depending on the condition of the road, and use your judgement. If there are rivers flowing across the road, get out and try walking them to see how deep they are. Often they can be flowing faster than you imagine and even in a 4x4 it's much better to err on the side of caution and find another route than to risk being washed away!

Make sure that you have a good map with you, and allow plenty of time for your journey so that you can find alternative routes if you need to, and so that you don't have to drive after dark. Driving after sunset is considered negligence by most car hire companies as there are no street lights, and there can be lots of animals on the roads which are a potential hazard and difficult to see.

The road from the coast to Etosha is mostly tar, although if you drive via Twyfelfontein then take care as those gravel roads can be slippery. The last 25km into Waterberg from the main road can also be difficult in rain, but again it's just a case of being sensible and keeping your speed down. Keep your lights on while you drive on the gravel as it helps oncoming drivers see you in dusty conditions.

And have a wonderful time!

Charlotte

Adelaide, Australia
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8. Re: Rain in January?

Checking the depth of (as you say - potentially fast flowing) water over an unfamiliar road is not something I would do as I think it is rather dangerous. I'd rather sit by and watch for a while and wait for it to hopefully recede.

Windhoek, Namibia
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9. Re: Rain in January?

If it's not flowing fast then it's fine to take a look, and walk in a short distance to see how deep the water is. Obviously if it is flowing fast and the dip in the road looks as though it could be deep then it's a not a good idea. The waters tend to keep flowing for a while if they are too deep to drive through, so it would probably be best to turn around and find an alternative route rather than waiting for the water to recede. But you have to use caution and common sense, and take each situation as it comes.

Charlotte

10. Re: Rain in January?

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