Starting point in Putney, London N51°27’40” W0°12’03”
Cap Spartel: 1st February 2010: Camping Ashakar (N35° 47? 23 ? W5° 55? 64 ?) Camp spot about 5 minute drive from Hercules Caves. Camping 30 Dirham, no hot water. Bungalow 400 Dirham sleeps 5, hot showers. Nothing spectacular but clean with small bar and cafe next door.
Chefchouen: 2nd February 2010: Camping Azilan (N35° 10? 52 ? W5° 15? 98 ?) About 40 Dirham to camp, plus 10 Dirham for a hot shower. Beautiful campsite amongst tall trees, about a 10 minute walk down the hill to the old town. Internet cafe and restaurant on site.
Fez: 3rd and 4th February 2010: Camping International (N33° 59? 94 ? W4° 58? 12 ?) About 90 Dirham a night. Warm showers. Very large campsite with restaurant, bar and pool. Was very quite when we were there. The campsite owner organised a guide and mini bus for a tour of the medina.
Azrou: 5th February 2010: Camping Azrou, (N° ? ? W° ? ?) About 25 Dirham per person. Small campsite set amongst Cherry Orchards. Great bathrooms with boiling hot showers.
North of Rissani: 6th February 2010: Camping Tifina (N31° 22? 91 ? W4° 16? 40 ?) Brand new campsite with smart showers, pool area and bungalows. About 50 Dirham per night.
Desert: 7th February 2010: Auberge Tazoult, (N30° 48? 76 ? W4° 09? 77 ?) about 50km from Merzouga on the Chriss Scott MS6 route. 20 Dirham to camp per person. Fabulous little spot, with such delightful locals. They were so hospitable, offering us mint tea on arrival, setting up a fire for our dinner and playing the drums for us in the evening. A really magical spot (hot showers at 20 Dirham per person)
Tagenoute: 8th and 9th February 2010: Les Palmieries, (N29° 58? 333 ? W5° 34? 778 ?) Small establishment, but great hosts yet again. 30 Dirham a night to camp including hot showers. Small bungalows cost 50 Dirham per person. We ate soup and tagine dinners in their tented restaurant for 60 Dirham each. They also organised camel rides in Chigaga for us – well worth it. The dunes are about a 1.5 hour off road drive from M’hamid, but the drive itself is spectacular.
Tabourahte: 10th February 2010: Le Tissa, (N30° 58? 502 ? W7° 05? 854 ?) 10km from Ait Ben Haddou About 30 Dirham a head. Showers are 5 Dirham per person – some were hot and some weren’t. Very small, not the greatest spot, but convenient to get to Ait Ben Haddou the next morning. Had a fantastic dinner that evening at a restaurant at the end of the town.
Just South of Marrakech: 11th February 2010: Hotel Le Coq Hardi, (N31° 32? 771 ? W7° 38? 790 ?). Small hotel that doesn’t have camping, but we asked if we could camp as it was getting late and we didn’t want to continue to Marrakech in the dark. They charged us 50 Dirham per person for camping and double rooms were 180 Dirham each. They kindly let us cook our dinner in a courtyard. Not sure they would have been so accommodating had it been tourist season. They have a bar that sells beer and wine.
Marrakech: 12th and 13th February 2010: Riad Linda, just off the main square. How spoilt we were with this luxury Riad! (Luxury for us after 2 weeks of camping in Europe and Morocco!) But really, the Riad is so beautifully finished with 6 en suite rooms, living area, terrace and most importantly – a washing machine. Breakfast was laid on by two ladies and the house guarded by a young chap. We parked our car in the 24 hour secure parking near the main mosque with no problems at all. The Riad is a 5 minute walk from the square and great value at 200 Euro a night (out of season). Just watch out for Kameel – the manager – a bit of a snake, but luckily we had hardened up to the ways of the Moroccons by this stage.
Ech Chiana, south of Rabat: 14th and 15th February 2010: Hotel Les Gambuisias, (N33° 53? 234 ? W7° 00? 754 ?) Unfortunately an awful place! The only camping site in Rabat is closed so we scoured the coast and this was the best place we could find. No toilets, showers or any amenities and the grass had cow pats all over, so placing tents and cars had to be very strategic. The charged us 50 Dirham a head which was extortionate, and also allowed us to use the shower in one of the rooms for 20 Dirham per person.
Mahamedia: 16th February 2010: Camping L’Ocean Bleu, (N° ? ? W° ? ?). Ok place – lovely trees to camp under and the bathrooms were decent – great hot showers. About 30 Dirham per person to camp.
14km South of Essaouira: 17th and 18th February 2010: Camping Le Calme, (N31° 25? 950 ? W9° 39? 477 ?).The only site in Essauoria was full so we headed out of town and down the dirt road to Camping Le Calme. A really lovely, quiet spot with very clean bathrooms and warm showers. 70 Dirham a night per couple and the site staff were very friendly. They also have a restaurant and a pool.
Guelmim: 19th February 2010: Camping International, (N29° 01? 056 ? W10° 01? 675 ?). Right on the side of the road, but attached is a bar/restaurant which was very vibey – playing fantastic music and serving Shisa pipes! The actual campsite did not offer the greatest bathrooms but there were little huts that were great for cooking. 30 Dirham per person.
30km North of Laayoune: 20th February 2010: Le Roi Bedouin, (N27° 27? 701 ? W13° 03? 118 ?) A great spot run by a French Couple, Luc et Martinne. 5km off the road, the campsite overlooks a dramatic plain and has a small waterfall running to the side. The site comes complete with clean flushing loos, solar heated showers and resident goats (who feed off the camper’s left-overs in a controlled manner). 30 Dirham per person.
Dakhla: 21st February 2010: Bush Camp, (N° ? ? W° ? ?). Overlooking the West Coast, about 500m from a really great swimming beach. 22nd February 2010: Bush Camp, , (N23° 48? 306 ? W15° 53? 138 ?). Overlooking the East Coast of the peninsula – flat and very nice, albeit the whole section is dotted with Campervans.
Border Post: 23rd February 2010: Front of the queue! (N21° 21? 861 ? W16° 57? 638 ?). We arrived at the border post at 11am to a line of about 70 cars. For some reason, things were very slow (apparently this is not the norm) and we got the front of the queue at 6pm, which meant that they closed the post and we had to camp there. Not too bad as was probably preferable to staying in no man’s land and we had met some great Senegalese people who were just behind us.
Nouadhibou: 24th February 2010: Camping Baie de Levrier, (N20° 54? 946 ? W17° 03? 022 ?). Lovely little spot and so well kept. There is a small kitchen with gas cooker and a Bedouin tented area to relax. Warm showers and clean toilets. We did a whole bunch of laundry and dried it on the roof terrace within hours. 2000 Oguiya per person.
Noukchott: 25th February 2010: Hotel Sabah, (N18° 06? 591 ? W16° 1? 514 ?). On the beach with thatch umbrellas, table and chairs and waiters who bring drinks. Run down hotel with nice beach frontage, predominantly dominated by expats and tourists. A 5 minute walk to where the fishing boats come in at dusk – really fun to watch. The hotel let us camp for 2000 Oguiya per person, and gave us a bathroom in an old room to use. They are not really geared up for campers, but as it was the quiet season it worked out well for us all.
Diawling National Park: 26th February 2010: Bush Camp, (N16° 23? 938 ? W16° 21? 421 ?). Really lovely spot just off the main road toward the border post at Diamma. So quiet and open, a few locals walked past in the morning, but other than that we were left in peace.
Accommodation Senegal (1):
St Louis: 27th and 28th February 2010: Camping Ocean, (N15° 59? 502 ? W16° 30? 392 ?). Situated at the end of the point after the island of St Louis. Really great spot, with the Senegal River on the one side and the beach on the otherside. The whole area is unfortunately littered with rubbish, but the people and the vibe of the area was really fantastic. The pirogues come in with fish mid-morning and things are action-packed. 5000 CFA per couple, cold showers and clean toilets and a little restaurant to relax in. Exceptional wi-fi – definitely a place for R&R.
Dakar: 1st, 2nd, 3rd March 2010: Oceanium Club, (N14° 39? 669 ? W17° 25? 969 ?). Not specifically a camping spot, but they kindly allowed us to stay – just requested a donation towards their humanitarian work in Senegal. Very central to the town, and overlooks the sea and overlooks Ile Goree. Can hire canoes and local fisherman next door cooked us fresh fish the one evening. Fantastic find in bustling Dakar.
Accommodation The Gambia:
Sekuta: 4th, 5th March 2010: Camping Sekuta, (N13° 25? 176 ? W16° 42? 941 ?). Renowned amongst overlanders – lovely well-developed campsite catering for overlander’s needs – including kitchen, showers, washing machine, restaurant and wi-fi. Most at a price! But still a great place to explore the northern coast without being in the thick of it. Around 5 Euro per person per night.
West of Soma: 6th March 2010: Bushcamp, (N13° 22? 180 ? W15° 50? 443 ?). Turned off the main southern road and drove up a small track. Managed to find a very secluded clearing and were only disturbed by passing cattle.
South of Basse: 7th March 2010: Bushcamp, (N13° 16? 772 ? W14° 12? 344 ?). Had hoped to stay at Ferrakunda campsite but the ferry to the North bank was not working. So we headed South toward the border and pulled off the road. The track lead to a rubbish dump, but as it was late and the sun had set, we settled for staying halfway up the road, in the middle of the road! At about 9pm, 3 policemen surprised us wondering who we were – they were very nice and we told them to join us for breakfast the next morning. Sure enough, they arrived at 7pm to share a cup of coffee and chat with us. A very fitting way to end our stay in The Gambia, as the people have been so friendly and welcoming.
Accommodation Senegal (2):
Mako: 8th and 9th March 2010: African Safari Campement de Mako, (N12° 49? 175 ? W12° 18? 083 ?). We spent two nights here. Such a lovely spot overlooking the Gambia River, with a sparkling pool. They allowed us to camp here (generally just chalets) and we paid extra to use the pool. We ate at their restaurant the one night, which was delicious. A real little hideaway that was great to relax at.
Bush Camp near Kenieba: 10th March 2010, (N13° 3? 952 ? W11° 9? 130 ?). We continued over the pass toward Bamako and camped right at the top overlooking an amazing vista of typical African savannah. Really special spot, with only a few visitors the next morning as the cycled over the pass.
Bush Camp near Bamako: 11th March 2010, ().We didn’t quite make it Bamako, so after a long day’s drive (stopping in at a wedding celebration in one of the villages, which was very special) we pulled off the road. We had the spot to ourselves, other than the few cows that passed us in the morning.
Bamako: 12th and 13th March 2010, Campement Kanguba, (N35° 47? 23 ? W5° 55? 64 ?). Such a great set-up – beautifully completed with bar/restaurant, pool (extra to use) and an amazing vantage deck overlooking the area. About 10km out of Bamako and 3500CFA per person, but really lovely and good setup for campers as well (can also stay in dorm style taureg tent).
Bush Camp near Djenne: 14th March 2010, (N13° 13? 829 ? W4° 47? 877 ?). After a day’s drive, we pulled off the road. We drove through some kids playing with a small plastic soccer ball, so after handing out a new one and playing soccer with some youngsters, we continued and found a nice spot under some large trees. One chap joined us for breakfast and hung around until we were all packed up and ready to leave! Back past the spot where the kids were playing the night before, and they were at it again!
Sevare: 15th and 16th March 2010, Mon P’tit Repos, (N14° 33? 281 ? W4° 5? 312 ?): A quite spot at the end of the Sevare main road. The camping is ok, the ablutions share with the staff. There are also air-conditioned huts to stay in. The owners introduced us to our guide for the Dogon Country and there was wi-fi, although a bit slow.
Ende: 17th March 2010, Campement du Hogon, (N14° 11? 008 ? W3° 32? 178 ?): This was our guide’s family’s camp. It was so lovely though. We each got a room, or could choose to sleep outdoors on the roof or undercover. The bathrooms were clean and a lovely shaded area to relax during the mid day heat!
Begnimato: 18th March 2010, (N14° 14? 771 ? W3° 28? 321 ?): On top of the excarpment – fantiastic vista. We slept on the roof – wind swept during the eveining! Was a little bit run down, but great to observe the family life, with all the kids helping their moms.
Kone Kombolo: 19th March 2010, (): We stayed at the local spot – they had been watching our cars for 3 days. The family was so lovely and accommodating, allowing us to cook our own dinner and not disturbing us at all. We slept on beds on the sheltered cover on the their roof.
?: 20th March 2010, Hotel du Lac Bam, (N13° 19? 087 ? W1° 31? 388 ?): We pulled into this old hotel and they kindly let us use their courtyard to camp, giving us one room for the use of the bathroom.
Ouagadougo, 21st and 22nd March 2010, Hotel OK INN, (N12° 20? 115 ? W1° 30? 843 ?): Fantastic find. Free to camp, and you get to use their pool. They request that you purchase a few meals from their restaurant, but the steaks are so fantastic that we had them two nights in a row. You drive through a trucking stop the get to the hotel and down the road is a really fantastic shop with all the culinary needs of an overlander.
Nazinga Game Ranch, 23rd March 2010, (N11° 9? 313 ? W1° 36? 373 ?): You can not camp here and have to stay in the chalets or dormitories. Not much price difference, so we went with the chalet. The place is really run down, but the hide that overlooks the water makes up for it – we saw about 30 elephant traipse through our campsite to spend the day frolicking in the water. Apparently this is the norm and you’d be unlucky not to catch the herd.
Bush Camp, 24th March 2010, (N10° 52? 189 ? W1° 08? 605 ?): we crossed the border quite late, so pulled off the road and camped in a farming area. All very suddenly has the landscape changed – much more greenery and humidity. The next morning a local tried to sell us a barn owl that he had caught for 100 Cedi – we bargained him down to 5 Cedi and let the bird free.
Mole National Park, 25th and 26th March 2010, (N9° 15? 598 ? W1° 52? 333 ?): The campsite is lovely, and we had it to ourselves other than the numerous annoying baboons that trooped through on a daily basis. We set up our tent on a tree covered deck that overlooked the savannah. The hotel is a two minute walk from the campsite and you can use their pool and the food is decent. The road to the reserve is really bad – allow at least two hours.
Techiman, 27th March 2010, Emmanual Inn, (N7° 34? 777 ? W1° 55? 759 ?): What a spot! We thought we may be in a brothel at time! We arrived quite late and battled to find accommodation, so settled on the Inn. They were very accommodating to us, and we parked the car in their courtyard. Very interesting stay, to say the least! Wouldn’t recommend!
East of Cape Coast, 28th an 29th March, Anomabu Beach Resort, (N5° 10′ 282 ” W1° 07′ 785 “): Lovely expat resort, that allows for campers as well. Rate was US$10 per night, but included buffet breakfast. We had dinner at the restaurant both nights, which is a lovely wooden deck overlooking the sea. Staff really relaxed and friendly.
Akwadaa, 30th March – 4th April 2010, Green Turtle Lodge, (N4° 45? 511 ? W2° 01? 341 ?): Fantastic spot. The beaches are idyllic, and the lodge caters for a very relaxed atmosphere, the kitchen churns out fantastic food at cheap rates. They have bungalows and allow campers – our tent was 1 metre away from the beach, under a coconut tree. We spent 6 days here, and could have extended our stay! Paradise found.
Accra, 5th, 7th and 8th April 2010. We were lucky enough to be hosted by Chris and Alet Fell. Thanks guys, for a great reprise from a big city! And especially spoilt to get a dinner on the Weber braai!
Kokrobite, 6th April 2010, Big Milly’s, (N5°29.733′ W0°21.937′): Spent a night here – great backpacker vibe but definitely a step down after Green Turtle Lodge. The camping area was a bit cramped and no running water at the site, so bucket showers and toilets. The beach is quite vibey with lots of fisherman and pirogues coming in and out.
Amadzofe, 9th April 2010, Mountain Paradise, (N6°51.059′ E0° 25.230′): Lovely spot right at the top of a hill. So lush on camped under a huge mango tree, with dropping mangoes to be cautious of! From here we drove to the base of Amadzofe and climbed the mountain – only took about 20 minutes to climb.
Klouto, 10th April 2010, Bush Camp at the top of the Mountain, (N6°57.202 E0°34.215′): we weren’t too impressed with any of the options for accommodation and one of the locals said we could camp at the top of the mountain. He took us on a guided tour the next day, so he got something out of going out of his way for us. Campement de Klouto, at the start of the road up to Mt Klouto allowed us to use a bathroom the next day for showering.
Lome, 11th, 12th and 13th April 2010, Chez Alice, (N 6°10.081′ E 1°20.421′): We didn’t intend to spend 3 nights here, only had expected to spend 1! Unfortunately our AC broke as we were about to leave Lome so we had to mission around for 2 days trying to sort it out. Chez Alice was adequate, the camping is a short walk away from the main section and in a sandy courtyard. There is good wifi and the restaurant food is quite nice.
Grand-Popo, 14th April 2010, Auberge de Grand Popo, (N 6°16.754′ E 1°49.820′): Lovely, lovely spot. The beach is fairly rough but nice for a dip to cool of them heat. The camping is on grass under lovely pine trees facing the beach and the bathrooms, although a short walk away and shared with the staff, were really clean. The restaurant looked really good and reasonably priced.
Abome, 15th April 2010, Chez Monique, (): We were allowed to camp in the back garden under large trees and use the showers and loos. The place had what looked like a nice restaurant and bar.
Abeokuta, 16th April 2010, Mokland Inn, (N7°07.862′ E3° 20.794′): We battled to find a place to stay, and Mokland Inn allowed all 7 of us to stay in their Presidential Suite – a double room with lounge and en-suite bathroom (running water, but bucket shower!). We ate at the restaurant and the food was good - no menu, just tell them what you want (within reason of course). 10,000 Naira for the Presidential Suite.
Jebba, 17th April 2010, VIP Guest House, (N 9°07.133′ E 4°48.777′): Small cleanish rooms. We weren’t allowed to camp but the rooms were reasonably priced. We were allowed to use the kitchen to cook and watch TV and the chap running the place was really helpful and kind. 3,000 Naira per room.
Abuja, 18th – 20th April 2010, Sheraton Hotel, (N 9°03.830′ E 7°29.114′): A common place for overlanders to stay in Abuja. You get to camp at the back of the hotel, overlooking the almighty mosque. It comes with the waft of decomposing oranges in the compost heap and the sounds of barking dogs from the nearby kennels. But all-in-all a central and convenient place to stay, you can use the squash court showers (warm water!) and the stay is free. Happy hour at the bars is between 6 and 7pm and the drinks are then only just affordable!
Makurdi, 21st April 2010, Dolphin Inn, (N 7°45.764′ E 8°33.619′), having left Abuja late afternoon, we could only get to Makurdi. The Dolphin Inn is very basic and the toilets left a lot to be desired. No showers for campers but there was a well where you could hoist up some water and have a wash (would we EVER do something like this at home!?) 5,000 Naira for all of us.
Calabar, 22nd April 2010, Le Chateaux, (N4° 59.419′ E8° 20.431′), we were told that we could camp on the grass for just one night, provided we were packed up early in the morning. Whilst having dinner in the restaurant, the owner Thelma came and was overjoyed that their hotel was in the GPS (the only one in Calabar) and she said it was not appropriate to let us camp on the lawn and she kindly gave us two rooms to sleep in.
Ikom, 23rd April 2010, Heritage Hotels, (N 5° 57.428′ E8° 43.360′), After about an hour of negotiating the staff allowed us to camp provided we took one room. The place was fine but not the greatest spot to stay – rather try to continue to the Drill Ranch if you have time (we ran out!). We were caught out on the Saturday morning driving around, as the last Saturday of the month is reserved for ‘Sanitation’ and street cleaning occurs. The cops were not happy with us and told us not to drive until after 10am.
Mamfe, 24th April 2010, Data Hotel, (N 5°45.113′ E 9°19.265′). The owner here was fantastic – he pointed us in the right direction to get Insurance for Cameroon and then allowed us to camp on the lawn and gave us a room to use the bathroom. We had drinks and dinner in his restaurant whilst a massive storm brewed and then hit us. He was very insightful and discussed varying topics with us such as the Cameroonian government, why Africa needs to get off it’s butt and start doing things for itself, gender inequalities…he left us when we continued with the gender inequality debate with much gusto.
Buea, 25th 28th April 2010, Presbyterian Misson, (N 4°09.693′ E 9°13.981′): Rooms were CFA4,000 and immaculate! Shared bathrooms with running water and toilet paper, we don’t ask for very much anymore. The staff were very friendly and the kitchen can be used by guests. Choose the rooms that face away from the boarding school, otherwise you may get very little sleep whilst you listen to the loud kids late into the night and early in the morning. The Duke and Harvey restaurant, a short walk away, was excellent – recommend the Chicken DG.
Mount Cameroon, 26th and 27th April, Hut 2 and Mann Springs: The hike up Mount Cameroon was a fantastic experience, but far more challenging than any of us had anticipated. Day 1 was 7km, Day 20 was 20km and Day 3 was 17km. The total height climbed was about 3,000m up to the top of 4,070m. The views were spectacularly varied and really was a lovely 3 days. The accommodation is very basic and the porters carry all the bags and food (that you provide). Definitely recommended but pack for cold and hot weather as it gets very cold at the top of the mountain and at night.
Limbe, 29th and 30th April, Madisson Park, (N4° 01.832′ E9° 05.631′): Near 8 mile beach, this rather bizarre venue boasts a fantastic swimming beach. We were allowed to camp on the grass and use the toilets and showers, cook under the gazebo and you can hire paddle boats – not the best for getting in and out of the waves, but rather fun whilst you out there.
Kribi, 1st and 2nd May 2010, Auberge Tara Plage, (N 2°54.341′ E 9°54.128′): Set on a lovely bay with nice beach. Tara Plage has a really relaxed atmosphere to it – and is filled with expats. The restaurant is relatively expensive. We were given a room to use the bathroom – the room was clean and very nice. Kribi grew on us and we ate fish on the side of the street grilled by ladies (delicious), had a fantastic lunch at Hot and Cold Snacks, and ate prawns on the beach prepared by locals just outside Ilombo hotel (walk from the hotel north along the beach and stop at the rocks where you will see that ‘restaurant’ set up. You will need to notify them in the afternoon that you want to eat dinner in the evening and they will prepare it for you).
Youande, 3rd, 4th, 5th May 2010, Presbyterian Mission, (N 3°52.789′ E 11°31.347′): lovely green lawn to camp on and use of the shower and toilet in the main house. A real find in a capital city, as it is quite, safe and secure and easily accessible.
Somalomo, 6th and 7th May 2010, Dja Nature Reserve Accommodation, (N 3° 22.448′ E12°43.990′): After a day of waiting to collect our visas and an intense drive through mud we arrived here at 2am. It was such a welcome relief – the wooden bungalow had 4 rooms and two bathrooms (no running water though) and electricity when the generator was on. We had two ‘house helpers’ who brought us water, swept the house when we were out and did our washing.
Bush Camp, 8th May 2010, 30km South Youande, (N3°36.700′ E11°29.338′): Not easy to find decent camping spots in dense rain forest. However, we found a track and managed to make a home for ourselves. We were told of by locals for not informing the chief that we were camping for the night, so we made a visit to the nearby village the next morning to send our regards.
Bush Camp, 9th May 2010, (N 0° 43.437′ E11° 30.224′): Another difficult bush camp – we went down an old logging track and camped in the middle of the slightly muddy road. The next morning we were eaten alive by gnats!
Cap Esteria, 10th and 11th May 2010, La Maree, (N0° 37.097′ E9° 19.406′): What a find. 30km north of Libreville, and along a dusty road you get to a fabulous stretch of coastline. We camped for free at La Maree, which is essentially a restaurant that is very busy with expats on the weekend. We were allowed to camp in the restaurant (being midweek) which overlooked a beautiful beach and basically had the place to ourselves. We had a fish braai the one night on the beach in front of the house. The cleaner was so lovely and did our washing for us for a small fee.
The cars (with two visiting fathers from South Africa) took off to Lope National Park, whilst Neil and Mikaela opted to hang around Libreville and check out the coastline for a week.
Nyonie, 12th and 13th May 2010, Nyonie Camp, (): A really relaxing getaway. They collect you at Michelle Marina in the morning and you transfer by speedboat up the estuary. After about an hour you are transferred to a 4×4 and you drive to the Atlantic Coast. The area is really unspoilt and untouched – forested areas interspersed with rolling savannah that overlook an outstanding coast line. Our little bungalow was great and we spent our time eating, drinking, walking on the beach and going on game viewing drives (forest elephant and dolphins were ticked off, but we missed the buffalo and panther, only seeing their footprints).
Point Denis, 14th May 2010, La Maringa: After getting back from Nyonie we quickly jumped on the ferry going to Point Denis. The beach here is also lovely and lined with some really smart holiday homes. Unfortunately there are currently only two places to stay at Point Denis, as many have closed down. The accommodation at La Maringa was great and the food also superb. It gets busy on weekends when the expats flock in. From La Maringa you can walk around the point and up a long beach – never got to the end!)
Cap Esteria, 15th – 18th May 2010, La Maree, (N0° 37.097′ E9° 19.406′): We were missing our tent and had our fix of luxury so headed back to Cap Esteria for more beach time. We were there over the weekend and had lunch in the busy restaurant. Truly grateful for the hospitality shown to us here.
Lamberinie, 19th and 20th May 2010, Catholic Mission, (): What a special place. So well kept and maintained and the nuns really take care of you. You camp on the grass between beautiful, old, colonial style buildings and at the end is a primary school with delightful children arriving from 7.30am, so no lie in!
Tchibanga, 21st May 2010, Nyanga Hotel, (S2° 55.791′ E10°59.176′): Set up on a hill overlooking the town and a river, this is the smartest hotel in the town. They very kindly let us camp on their tennis court at the entrance to the hotel, as we were only going to be there for one night and were leaving early in the morning. There is a lovely swimming pool and showers and when we were there the restaurant was not working.
Gamba, 22nd May 2010, A small hotel: As we arrived at the last ferry crossing to get to Gamba, we were told that it was currently being repaired. A big Super 14 Match was being played that afternoon and we were very kindly taken care of by Kolo from Shell who took us to the Shell compound to watch the match – we even got to eat the most delicious pizzas! They then took us to a small hotel for the night, but unfortunately the name has slipped my mind.
Setta Cama, 23rd and 24th May 2010, the WCS house (S2° 31.462′ E 9° 45.396′): we were lucky to arrange this accommodation. It is situated on the lake side of Setta Cama and the beach is a 5 minute walk away. The house is an old wooden hut with 3 bedrooms and they allowed us to camp on the verandah as well.
Bush Camp, 25th May 2010, (S3° 03.015′ E10° 23.553′): We left Gamba, two members lighter as Dee and Ted flew to Libreville and then Johannesburg. After getting back to our cars on the other side of the river we drove a short while and then bush camped in the savannah. Charlie lit a great fire that at times threatened to burn the savannah down!
Mayumba, 26th and 27th May 2010, Rich and Erin’s Place, (S3° 24.608′ E10°39.408′): Having previously stayed there, Bones and his crew led us down the gauntlet to Rich and Amy’s place. The road is very overgrown and the boys constantly had to jump out the cars to hack down some trees…our cars still have the scratch marks to prove it! Their spot is 30km down the peninsula from Mayumba and you can either swim in the sea or the lovely lake. Their house is very rustic but full of charm. Showering and laundry consists of taking out the canoe to the middle of the lake, dropping and anchor and jumping in with soap! Pity the canoe trip back makes you hot again! We had a lovely fish and crayfish dinner on the first night, with one crayfish weighing in at 1.2kgs!
Mayumba, 28th May 2010, Richard and Erin’s Place, (S3°25.990′ E10°39.792′): we woke up very early and headed to the ferry – the Super 14 finals was playing the next day and we wanted to get to Pointe Noire. Much to our disappointment, the ferry was broken and we were completely stranded. We were given mixed reports all day so we parked our cars at the slipway, hoping for something positive to happen. It did not! We luckily could stay at Richard and Erin’s house (they work for WCS) and we had a great fish dinner.
Tchibanga, 29th May 2010, Hotel Nyanga, (): we were at the ferry first thing in the morning, and again we waited all day. Eventually a team of engineers came to fix the ferry and as luck would have it we were finally on the ferry as kick-off for the rugby was taking place! Very disappointing and all reather tired after spending two days on the slipway. However, we headed back to the Nyanga hotel and had a delicious meal out at the Chicken Man again, who serves Chicken to rival Nandos.
Lobetso, 30th May 2010, Mission house, (S3°14.410′ E12°07.751′): after another dull border crossing we continued south to Dolisi on the very terrible roads the Congo had to offer. As night was falling we found it very difficult to find a bush camp as the vegetation was so thick. Luckily we drove past a small village with a beautiful church surrounded by green grass and we asked te minister is we would be able to camp on the grass. He said, no that would not be possible, but they had an old mission house we could stay in. It was fantastic, and such a lucky find. The next morning we visited the Mission school and handed out some soccer balls.
Pointe Noire, 31st May to 6th June 2010, Fortis Logistique house: Thanks to Jungle Jon and his colleaugues we had a fantastic few days in Pointe Noire staying in utter luxury for us grubby campers (utter luxury for most people, actually). It was great to catch up with Jon
Matadi, 7th June 2010, Catholic Mission, (S 5°49.901′ E 13°27.639′): We arrived fairly late after a long day from Pointe Noire, through Cabinda. The mission is really nice and you wake up in the morning to the nuns singing and the little children arriving for school. US$5 per person per night.
20km East N’Zeto, 8th June 2010, Bush Camp, (S7° 07.564′ E12° 59.092′): We had another long day’s drive and decided to call it a day before we hit the bad roads after N’Zeto. We pulled off the side of the road, not too far as we were cautious of landmines, and set up camp.
Cabo Ledo, 9th June 2010, (S9° 40.723′ E13° 12.161′): We camped at lovely resort. They gave us a room to use the showers and toilet. We had a fantastic braai on the beach and it was really bliss.
Lubango, 10th June 2010, Casper Lodge, (S14°56.249′ E13°28.071′.. not too sure about these coords but somewhere near there!): You can camp at the rather smart lodge. The facilities for camping are great with a braai, washing up area and private bathroom. Rather expensive at US$25 pp, but it includes buffet breakfast the next morning which makes up for it!
20km South Chibia, 11th June 2010, Bush Camp, (15°19.015′ E13°51.147′): After watching the opening ceremony and first match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Soccer tournament in Chibia, we headed a little bit south and found a fabulous bush camp on a cattle path, quite a bit off the main road.
Onkwando, 12th June 2010, Onkwando Rest Camp, (S 17°54.722′ E 15°58.483′): 6 days of solid driving and we were happy to be in Namibia. The rest camp has a good restaurant and hot showers, but other than that not too memorable! We were lucky enough to be there on a Saturday night when they were pumping out ‘lekker treffer’s till the early hours. Just what you want after 6 days of early starts!
Etosha, 13th June 2010, Halali Camp, (): What a privilege to be in Etosha. We misjudged the time to get to the campsite so arrived after dark (whoops, but we got to see Hyena and bat-eared foxes at dusk!). Etosha is really well maintained and a pleasure to stay in after 4 months in West Africa!
Waterberg Plateau, 14th June 2010, Waterberg Plateau Camping – Anderson Camp, (): A really tranquil spot – with excellent facilities – private braai area and fantastic ablutions. A lovely little place to get away and do nothing!
Windhoek, 15th June 2010, Joy and Ken’s place: Home away from Home.
Xaragu Tented Camp, 16th and 17th June 2010: great campsite with lovely restaurant/bar area. The permanent tents are really nice with own ‘garden’ and braai area and ensuite bathroom. Really convenient spot to explore the rock engravings, petrified forest and hikes.
Skeleton Coast, Terrace Bay, 18th June 2010: Very adequate accommodation, the new rooms are really nicely decorated. Three course dinner should put you to sleep nicely.
Cape Cross Lodge, 19th June 2010: A little bit of luxury after a hell of a lot of sub-standard accommodation. Fantastic food.
Etusis Lodge – Farm house, 20th June 2010: More than adequate, self-catering. Very friendly lodge and went for a really nice walk to the waterfall (although dry).
Windhoek, 21st June 2010, Joy and Ken’s place: Home away from Home again. This time Chippy joined to compete with Joy on the conversation front.
Orange River, Campsite, 22nd June 2010: Last night of camping, last night of the trip. Got to the campsite in the dark (stopped to watch SA beat France!). Woke up to an idyllic, calm view of the orange river and SA on the other side.