Tatler - Namibia: Road Trip
February 2013

Just look at them, those shiny hunks of four-wheeled loveliness. How clever of Nature Wheels to pair up hard-as-nails Jeep Wranglers with Namibia’s more far-flung north. You could fly up there but why would you? Hit the road and brace yourself for punctures, sand drifts and frisky warthogs careering into the road. And views. Gosh, those views -- vast, desert-blinding, awesome. You’ll have a satellite phone and lunch will be a packet of crisps at an isolated petrol station. Man up: this is proper, no-frills travel -- until you bump into Mowani Mountain Camp and flop into a breezy safari tent. Loosen your limbs in the pool and don’t drink too many sundowners. It’s northwards again next morning for a day’s drive (don’t moan, it’s only a day -- and look at those views!) to astonishing Okahirongo Elephant Lodge. You’ll have bragging rights at supper (say things like ‘it really handles in the sand’). Keep going -- always north, to the mountainous Angolan border . You’ll be in the groove by now, ducking and diving over scrubby tracks through the Marienfluss Valley, home to the semi-nomadic Himbas. But you’ll not see another soul -- you might as well be on Mars. Finally, miraculously, you arrive at Okahirongo River Camp, proud as punch (you adventurer, you), for a few nights in a minimalist-cool tent overlooking the crocodile-infested Kunene River. The circuit ends back in Windhoek, where you can scrub up at pretty, perky the Olive Exclusive. And off-street parking means there’s no need to wave bye-bye to your NBF, the Jeep.

Michelle Jana Chan travelled with Red Savannah (www.redsavannah.com).