From 5 to 7 September 2022 we stayed at the White Lady Lodge at Brandberg, a famous area to spot desert elephants!
Leaving Spitzkoppe meant we had to cross back over the corrugated local road but we made good time and enjoyed the scenery. The roads and gravel tracks were in good order so it looked like we would be in the lodge quite early. We spotted some nice birds along the gravel road and stopped to take pictures when the truck wouldn’t restart.
Troubleshooting the reason for this took a while and we found out that the main relay to switch the batteries power on and off wasn’t working. We checked and fixed some of the wiring but still no luck. Further troubleshooting showed that one of our 2 12v batteries had died and we didn’t have 24v anymore but closer to 20v. This meant the battery wasn’t working anymore nor that we had enough power to start the truck. We tried to charge the dead battery but it wouldn’t hold any charge at all.wouldn’t hold a charge and showed 16v during the charge..
A few tourist and local cars had stopped and we thought of the different options. The small town of Uis was about 40k’s out and our best bet for a new battery. Some nice Swiss tourists stopped in town for us and asked around for a mechanic and kept us updated via sms.
Then an overland truck with 20 orso French pensioners stopped for us and with the battery from their fridge we jumped started the truck! Hurray!
Gerrit from the local lodge just arrived too, he had gotten our messages via the Swiss people and had come our way too. He escorted us into town and offered a few options. We decided to head for the white lady lodge as planned and make a plan there. The lodge is located in a great spot, next to the Brandberg mountains and in a river bed. The gardens were beautifully crafted and the campsites private and spacious, perfect!
We quickly settled in and spent some time with Mia and Jack, the 2 almost tame Meerkats of the lodge. Sweet little creatures that enjoyed the attention that all visitors gave them. The gardens are amazingly crafted and are fertilised with elephant poop! A sweet sight!
We had our usual appletizer and first rock shandy for the trip before heading back to the truck where we were stopped by a guide who told us that a large herd of elephants was only a few kilometres from the campsite and 2 lone bulls approaching the campsite from the other side too.
Shortly after dark we heard the elephants distinct trompeting sound but as darkness had set in we couldn’t spot them between the bushes yet.
Then all of a sudden they were all there and passing in front and behind our truck, within centimeters off our front and back bumper. Standing outside and watching them quietly pass by and head for the bins was amazing 😂. 18 elephants we counted in total that passed by our camp that evening.
What a gift after such a bad day!!