Leaving Namibia with hassles

Finally leaving Namibia


In the morning we left early in direction Rundu still in Namibia, another 500 km. Behind Oshakati we turned off the main route and phoned to immigration in Grootfontein and asked if we can extend there. The lady on the phone explained no way, only in Windhoek and only if we have a very severe reason, which we did not have.
Nevertheless we tried it at the border to Angola, but no chance as well. Along Okavango we headed on to Rundu. We had to cross the border to Botswana, only one day left. In Namibia you get into jail, if you are not serious with your visa. And of course we had no movement paper for the dog which you need for crossing borders.

Campsite at Okavango River, Namibia
Campsite at Okavango River

On the way we stopped at a little town to see the state vet, but he had no forms, so no movement paper. We gave a shit on that paper, the most important thing was to leave the country in time. It got dark already and we still had 30 kilometers to the campsite. I switched on the headlamps, but they did not work. So we were driving in the absolute dark – still 8 km to go, you cannot sleep in the bush in this area, much too dangerous. Driving in the dark is a nightmare as well and suddenly a huge cow in front of the car. I managed to get on the other side of the road preventing an accident. Completely nerved we reached the gravel road which led to the campsite. No traffic here, still 5 km to go, slowly we managed to reach the campsite. All this shit only because the Namibian authorities are ridiculous with their visa regulations. No other countries in Africa are that strict. Tourists should boycott Nambia.

Now our only possibility left was to leave Namibia to Botswana. Exit was no problem, entry to Botswana was friendly and the officer gave us a three month visa without problems. Which was new since our last visit in Botswana was, that they now charge a tax for foreign registered vehicles, which is about 20 US$. We paid and were in. As there was no campsite on the main road we turned off into gravel road to Tsodilo hills.
After an hour’s drive on terrible gravel we reached the gate to the Tsodilo hills where there was a campsite. At the gate there was a guy who said the campsite was free, only we must buy firewood for 25 Pula, about 3 US$. We did and drove in. When we arrived at the site we learned that camping here is not allowed anymore only outside at a community campsite and that it is not free of charge but about 30 US$, which was rather expensive for Botswana. But the guy made an exception and let us stay at the campsite. Somehow we had a series of bad luck, we hoped it would change soon. Tara was exhausted and although there were two dogs she stayed outside and could relax.

In the morning we left when we arrived at the gate, this time the gate had real rangers, Alexandra bargained the price, she was really furious and could get some reduction. We now headed to Island Safari Lodge in Maun, a place we had been before years ago, situated scenically at the river. When we arrived, much had changed, especially the price tripled and the place was crowded. We decided to stay for a night but would change to another place next day.

Campsite in Botswana
Campsite in Botswana