Madisa Camp

8&9 September 2022

It says 8 and 9 September but actually we only stayed one night in Madisa camp. Arriving there after driving only 100km’s from the White Lady Lodge. 

It was good to be rolling again and hitting some smooth tarmac from time to time. It really felt as if we had hit the ‘middle of nowhere’ in Namibia, traveling via D roads to Madisa we came across a few smaller villages to finally hit the final turn off to the campsite itself. The gps showed a small shop at the turn off but this wasn’t there anymore. Any way, not to worry as the campsites tend to have small restaurants and the option to buy a loaf of bread or two. The arrival at Madisa was very ‘rustic’, it looked like a quaint campsite and well situated across a dry riverbed. We checked in and had a short wander around the place, a funky round (donut shaped) but greenish swimming pool and a few nice seats on the shade around it and across the dry river bed the campsites, I think about 10 orso, all nicely situated with private ablutions built on stilts along the rocks. This campsite unfortunately was ‘haunted’ by fly’s! We have never had so many fly’s as here and the local lizard population was living the high life because of it. We found it less appealing and it drove us crazy from time to time. We did however invent the ‘game’ of ‘fly fishing’, tying a dead fly to Zev’s fishing road and dangling the fly in front of the ever present lizards in the hope of catching one. The lizards seemed to enjoy hunting our fly’s but ofcourse we didn’t hook one 😂. Late in the day the Dassie’s arrived in force and we realized the big population of Dassie’s meant plenty of Dassie poop 💩 and therefore the fly’s!

We decided to just stay a single night and continued our journey early in the morning. 


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!!


Now we were truly heading deep inland, deep inside what Nambia has to offer and we were on our way to the famous dunes area of Namibia called Sossusvlei.

Most people must have seen the famous images of the red dunes with the white sand on the ground and the contrast of the dark, black, dead trees. This is Deadvlei and arguably for most the highlight of the area.

The drive from Namtib to Sossusvlei was EPIC!!! I have never experienced the changes in scenery that we experienced that day, from the beautiful rolling and sandy hills into rugged and rocky terrain before we ’descended’ into the Sossusvleu or Sesriem area. Amazing!

Zev fells alseep on the way in and missed the wild Zebras, a beautiful small herd on top of ridge before we saw the next group in the valley below. EPIC again!

We were happy that our friends from Ultimate Routes had booked a few nights for us in a lodge, just outside the gate of the national park, so we had a proper bed and chance to get our laundry done properly too!!

The lodge was great and we enjoyed the breakfast and dinner settings too, not having to cook and try Gemsbok, Kudu and all other wild meats was nice,

The corrugations just outside the park and on the way to the Canyon were less nice as was the same for the amount of ’rooftop tent tourists’ too.

Mostly European tourists, these Hi-Lux driving, who drive 4000 kilometers in 11 days to see all the ’sights’ of Namibia and beyond were less nice, most of them were stuck up and not very social, but the National Parks do like them, as ’International’ guest pay twice what Southern Africans do in most place and THREE times was the ’locals’ do….

Aus, Klein Vista

We left the Canyon Roadhouse in good spirits, happy to be back on the road again. Filled to the brim with diesel we left the campsite and heading out onto the gravel road and make good progress.

It wasn’t long before we ran into some Italians, that we had previously seen on the campsites, parked on the side of the road.

We pulled up next to them, asked them if they needed help and were answered: ’Giraffes!’.

Standing 20 meters orso from the road were 3 giraffes enjoying their morning’s breakfast and we had totally overlooked them, not even spotted them.

Zev was really excited, as were we ofcourse and we shot as many images and videos as we could and some might even make it onto this blog at some point 🙂

Before long we continued on our way, enjoying the good gravel roads with the odd bit of dust, passing by dade and sheep farms before hitting the main tarmac road that leads all the way to Luderitz on the Atlantic coast.

We slowly drove higher and higher, up via sloping hills and into the tiny village of Aus, we thought it might be quite big initially but after having seens signs for a deserted village earlier, we were greeted with the cutest little village so far. It had a great fuelstation/supermarket/ATM/Liquourstore/Bakery, so we filled out on groceries and sweets before making the last 4km’s to ’Klein Aus-Vista’ , a lodge/campsite from Gondwana.

The lodge has quite a few chalets, dotted around the property, out of sight between the rocky hills as well as a great campsite with super neat ablutions in another neat little valley, a good 15 or 20 minute walk from the main building.

The food in the lodge was really nice, and we enjoyed the german sausages and stuffed Zev with pasta and fries, trying to make sure he would gain some weight. His coughs had gotten worse and we know it can take more then a week for him to recover.

Poor little trooper!

We ran into a nice young English couple too, who were travelling this part of Africa, before flying to Nepal and Japan to continue their gap year, what an amazing trip that must be!