Leaving Etosha and roadtripping for a week was not only an awesome camping trip, but an absolute blast because of our roadtrip crew. We had me, Steve, a city-girl from New York, and 2 australians that literally had beers in their hands from the moment they woke up. We had dance parties in the car despite barely fitting in the crew cab and squished all our stuff, food, and water for your week-long bush camping.
There is a river that feeds into the northern boundary of Etosha called Ekuma and we spent a night there capturing jackals surrounded by the receding riverbanks. It was so strange to see this abundance of water, both because Namibia is an extremely arid country, and also because it flows into the completely dry salt pan. Since there were so many water points, animals were scarce and we only ever saw a couple honey badgers and some antelope horns far off… and a jackal skull, but that doesn’t really count as an animal sighting.
The next night we camped in the dried out Ugaub river bed which only flows for a short time during the wet season. It has a sandy bottom so made tent pitching easy. It was another beautiful camping location, with the most amazing backdrop of a river path winding its way through big, red, boulders and rocky mountains. The next morning we decided to drive back to the main road by following the river bed west, but somehow made a full circle return to the same road we had been driving all along, but didnt realize that til we turned around, drove the riverbad back to our original camp site, and drove along the road just to see the same spot we thought was east of us.
It would have been annoying except it was just exciting to actually drive the hilux in low 4-wheel drive, although only Griffo managed to really manage with the deep sand.
In the afternoon we made it to a huge seal colony in Cape Cross on the skeleton coast, with thousands of seals just lying around moaning and playing and fighting… and pooing. They stank. But, they were very cute and entertaining, and I was so relieved to see and smell the ocean after my 6 weeks in dry Etosha.
As we drove south towards our next destination, Swakopund, we passed the spookiest ship wreck ever, just barely seeing the mast of it from the road in the thick fog. Along the way we could stop for a salt lick from raw blocks of salt being sold on the roadside, since a handful of salt factories were pretty much the only form of civilization we saw for our hours of driving along the Skeleton Coast.