Corny or Cornie?

We had a few lovely days in Epupa and now where making our way east, along the Kunene river on one of the most famous roads as far as I can tell, the infamous D3700.

This little road follows the Kunene river on one site and the rocky outcrops of some hills on the other hand, quite often the road is ‘interrupted’ by small washouts or larger rivers in the wet season, when all the water has come down from the hills and flows into the Kunene.

The river is hidden from time to time by beautiful palm trees and there is hardly a village you will pass, so best stock up in Opuwo if you are heading east.

The road has had many washouts over time and a bad name because of it! But we were very surpised to find out that the road had been graded and alltough still tough from time to time due to the washouts, still relatively easy, even in a 10 tonne truck 🙂 I dont think we ever used low range or diff locks and just gently crawled our way out the riverbeds when needed.

Our destination for the day was Camp Cornie!

With a name like that I was expecting quite a big campsite but in true Africa fashion, I think there were only a few spots to camp on the lovely white sand, overlooking the river and gazing into Angola in the distance.

We were greeted by the young caretaker, as the owner had recently passed and his wife needed a break from looking after the campsite. This young man did a great job and had us parked up and into the bar for a cold beer in no time!! Our son loved playing with the dog and before long we were walking along the river, fishing rod in hand! The river ran very low this time of year and there wasn’t a crocodile insite so we waded in halfway and planted ourselves onto a huge boulder in the stream and started to catch fish quite quickly!

Before long it was ‘sandcastle building time’ and we sat in front of the truck while Nadia practised here yoga a few yard up, under one of the great coconut trees, when something caught my eye….

A small little snake was crawling over a fallen tree and making it’s way towards Zev and myself!!!

We got up quickly and shouted for Nadia to get her camera out, not knowing what was going on the caretaker came running our way as well and the poor little snake was surrounded on 3 sides and had only 1 way out!!

With the upmost haste it slithered and climbed over some of the coconut trees and it was gone in seconds!! Psammophis subtaeniatus , the speediest little sand snake in the world and luckily not thread to us!

Speedy Gonzalez

Looking back, Camp Cornie must have been one of my favourite campsite of all the one we have visited (>100 campsites), pristine, not too big, lovely little bar and good ablutions. Access to the river and great views into Angola. Only downsite is perhaps the little motorbikes you hear in the evenings in Angola, but thats about it.

The campsite also serves as an impromptu medical center with the local himba people coming for help for whatever they might need. We got to help a Himba mother and child, the child hair was covered in lice and as we had brought ample supplies of anti lice Shampoo, Nadia made a small pack of whatever could be needed for the little baby and his mother. W left a few tabs of asperine and the likes, some plasters and what other things that might be needed before we left for the Kunene River Lodge

Falling falling falling…

Falling falling 

From Opuwo we took the C43 north, towards the ‘end of the world’, or at least the border with Angola. For us a new stretch and something we had been looking forward to as the Kunene river meant that there is water, and where there is water there should be green vegetation, something we hadn’t seen for some time! At one point the C43 has a turn off where it meets the D3701 and this truly nearly felt like the end of the world.

The currogations increased in height, intensity and quantity and we had to drop our speed to a snails pace, we didn’t even get overtaken by a rental car, well maybe one, but not many anyways. Towards the end of the road and coming into Epupa the landscape really changed and we saw palm trees and a lot more vegetation on the hills.

We had arrived at long last at Epupa Falls where we spent 3 or 4 nights at the Gondwana owned lodge and campsite. A great spot where we not only enjoyed the fishing but also nearly caught a water monitor lizard but also spotted our first (baby) crocodile! T.I.A. as they say, this is Africa. The water levels were not really high but still enough for the falls to be a spectacular sight and we spent a fair few hours beside the falls as well as ‘below’ the falls as we hiked to the little beaches further down the river. A few lovely spots with great viewpoints across the river and into Angola. The waterfalls are ofcourse small when compared to Victoria Falls or Niagara Falls but the remoteness makes up for it!