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Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

Seattle, Washington
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Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

Hi again!

In a month we will be visiting for a two-week self-drive through Namibia. As part of that trip, we will be driving south from Khowarib Lodge to Swakopmund.

Google earth offers two routes of similar length, one going along the coast for the most part and one going inland for most of it.

coastal route:

https://goo.gl/maps/GrJCX

inland route:

https://goo.gl/maps/FQoSk

I am thinking the inland route would be more scenic? Any thoughts about this leg of our trip?

-Karl

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1. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

My only thoughts are that you need to forget Google Earth and get yourself a proper map before you get lost or stranded!

Edited: 28 July 2014, 09:26
Seattle, Washington
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2. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

Hi mfuwe!

Certainly don't want to be stranded! I do have the Globetrotter Namibia map (1:1 550 000), which provides pretty good detail on types of roads, but not so much as to which would be most scenic. For example, I see that the inland route (C35) passes by Brandberg Mountain which I have heard mentioned on this forum as a place to visit.

Alternately, this same map indicates the drive along the coast from Torra Bay to Swakopmund in green, as a "scenic route". Is this indeed a scenic drive? Preferable to the inland route past Brandberg Mountain? Would the inland route be too obscure and prone to getting lost or stranded? The road (C25) looks pretty straightforward from photos.

This is how I imagine the coastal drive would look for much of the drive:

wildzone.it/en/…towards-torra-626f.html

Whereas this is what I seem to see for the inland route:

assecaa.org/English/…image003.jpg

The latter, I think, would be a nicer drive, if do-able! :)

Thanks! -Karl

Edited: 28 July 2014, 13:47
Isle of Man, United...
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3. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

I have not been along the inland route but can assure you that the coastal road is most certainly not scenic in that glimpses of the ocean are rare. The bit from Torra inland is quite scenic through he Damaraland mountains.

Next time I will go the inland route if only for the change.

Seattle, Washington
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4. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

Thanks for the tip! It's great to hear from someone who has actually done that stretch.

-K

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5. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

My problem with Google Maps is its calculation of driving times. I am absolutely convinced that only a local shuttle driver (or a Norwegian :)) ) can do that stretch in 7 hrs or whatever is indicated on your maps. Some of those roads have max speed limit of 100 km/h ... not only driving so fast is not safe it is also against the rental car insurance policy. My suggestion is to calculate an average of 50 km for each 50 minutes. That would give you time to stop every 2 hrs, and to refill your fuel tank at least once. Do not forget the time needed for a (quick) lunch.

Personally I have not been on the coastal road. We did C43 from C35 (parts) and both were scenic enough, specially the C43.

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6. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

Good advice xelas! I think you're right: better to assess kilometers and divide/calculate drive times yourself rather than depend on whatever algorithm they might have put in place.

That said, it does look like the drive from Khowarib Lodge to Swakopmund is a long one (about 500k either route), so we should plan accordingly.

This is the route we're currently considering, going anticlockwise from Windhoek.

https://goo.gl/maps/Hzdrm

-Karl

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7. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

Good routing but I have misgivings about two stretches on that map where you leave main roads and cut the corners, SW of Khorixas to Palmweg and from Kamanjab NE to Etosha. Unless somebody who has done those stretches comes on to say "fine" I would summise that it is quicker to go 'the long way around.'

In Africa you quickly learn that the "shortest" route between two points is not necessarily a straight line and shortest does not always mean quickest. I have driven Khorixas to Palmweg several times and it is quite scenic enough for me.

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8. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

Great advice! I'm thinking we should also be flexible once on-site and talk with folks at each stretch of the way.

>> SW of Khorixas to Palmwag

I also wondered about this segment, being on a D road (D2612). But it did look epic! And it didn't look like there were lots of roads to get mixed up on. That road didn't look too bad, but there certainly might be bad stretches. I will ask before doing.

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/71698033

>> Etosha to Kamanjab...

I think you're right. One thing that worries me about that segment is that it looks like there are lots of back roads through there, and easier to get off on the wrong one. For this segment, better to stick to C38/C40. Good advice.

-Karl

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9. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

On that latter one that is what I do. Down the tar at 100kph, turn left in Outjo. Repeat.

Of curse with the Galton Gate to Etosha open one could consider staying at Dolomite Camp which is much nearer to Kamanjab. Then the haul to Okaukuejo is through Big Game country.

If your schedule/budget permits this then I would do that.

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10. Re: Route choice from Khowarib to Swakopmund?

Hi Karlitos

We are doing the clockwise route from Windhoek in September and were planning on using the D2612 from the C35 to get to Palmwag. With an early start from Swakopmund we were hoping to get to see Twyfelfontein Rock engravings +- Burnt Forest on the way through. Our 2nd plan (depending on road conditions) was to take the C35 then C39 via Korixas (longer) then divert down to Twyfelfontein if time permitted.

from Palmwag we are heading to Dolomite but are dropping our son off at the campsite just out of Galton Gate (no room at the inn, shame!!). We then plan to pick him up the following morning before heading to Okaukuejo. If you are camping and didn't want to stay or can't get in to Dolomite it might be an option to extend the wildlife watching as Mfuwe says.

David