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Offline Gavie

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The Wrong Time of Year
« on: October 27, 2016, 12:51:31 am »
Planning to do a trip from Cape Town, up through Namibia, across to Botswana and then the long way back again possibly via Lesotho and as many senic routes as I can fit in.

So far, so ordinary!

As I intend setting off early January 2017 (with approx 6 weeks start to finish) which is "the wrong time of year" for Namibia & Botswana due to the heat and it being the rainy season, the question I have is, on a scale of "don't be a pussy, it'll be fine" to "are you freeking crazy? This is suicide", how tough will this be?

Trip will be solo on a 1200 GSA. Current thinking is to mostly camp as but stay in a proper bed every week or so if I feel the need.

I'm coming over from the UK and it's been over 30 years since I was north of the Orange River so I very little personal experience to draw upon.

Any advise on must see (or must avoid) places, routes, stop overs, etc would also be greatfully recieved!

TIA
 

Offline Fudmucker

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2016, 06:02:16 am »
I think it safe to say you won't feel cold...  :sip:

Take plenty of water.
LIFE'S MUCH COOLER WITHOUT UNDERWEAR,
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Offline cheesy

Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2016, 09:49:24 pm »
In 2011, December. we did Southern Namibia up to Windhoek, mostly gravel roads, the roads were good with occasional serious (large type caused by trucks) corrugations, be aware of the dry "driffies" (shallow dry river beds) could become a challenge. the highest temperatures we experienced was 33,0 Deg. C. Try contacting Sardine on this forum on Botswana, she is in Maun and should be able to give you more info.
Enjoy the experience.
Bum in the saddle, always.
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2016, 09:38:11 am »
How much of Botswana do you want to see? ie are you looking at travelling on cutlines and the outskirts of the national parks.

If you need help in Maun, feel free to give me a shout. :)

Offline GRAVELTRAVEL

Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2016, 09:47:59 am »
If you can be more specific on what you want to see in Nam I can send you a few routes as well as some recommended camping/lodging places. If you get to the coast you should definitely look us up for a cold one or two. I also have accommodation for you here in Walvis if required. Send me your e-mail address as it might be easier to send maps etc.
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2016, 09:49:05 am »
Namibia will be hot, but you should be fine - you may get rain, bring rain gear, but the roads drain well mostly - chat with the locals, particularly if using "D" & "E" roads. Carry plenty of water and a day or 2's food - no need to carry more, every single village has sardines & biscuits & beer. Top up fuel wherever you can. In the Ride Reports my thread is called "The Hot & Wet Tour" from 2012 - might give you some ideas of where to go - also look for RR's by Vis Arend - they have travelled lots up there....

Cant help on Bots - never been!!
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"And if I knew I was going to be this thirsty, I would have drunk more last night"

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Offline Gavie

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2016, 04:20:01 pm »
How much of Botswana do you want to see? ie are you looking at travelling on cutlines and the outskirts of the national parks.

If you need help in Maun, feel free to give me a shout. :)

I think the short answer to your question is "as much as possible!". However, as I'm going to be on a fully loaded GS, I don't want to go too far off the beaten track and onto overly technical stretches.

Maun at the moment is on the route I have in mind so any advise you can give about accommodation would be gratefully received! As I mentioned I'm not adverse to camping but if there are any reasonably priced lodges/B&B's or such then I'd be up for that!
 

Offline Gavie

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2016, 04:23:56 pm »
If you can be more specific on what you want to see in Nam I can send you a few routes as well as some recommended camping/lodging places. If you get to the coast you should definitely look us up for a cold one or two. I also have accommodation for you here in Walvis if required. Send me your e-mail address as it might be easier to send maps etc.

Generally when I do trips I have the approach of it's not the destination but the journey that counts. In other words I'd much rather take the time to do the scenic/fun routes even if that means the evening stop over is not all that great.

Also...

Thanks for you kind offer - Sent to you a PM
 

Offline Gavie

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2016, 04:25:50 pm »
Namibia will be hot, but you should be fine - you may get rain, bring rain gear, but the roads drain well mostly - chat with the locals, particularly if using "D" & "E" roads. Carry plenty of water and a day or 2's food - no need to carry more, every single village has sardines & biscuits & beer. Top up fuel wherever you can. In the Ride Reports my thread is called "The Hot & Wet Tour" from 2012 - might give you some ideas of where to go - also look for RR's by Vis Arend - they have travelled lots up there....

Cant help on Bots - never been!!

Thanks for the advise!

"Sardines, biscuits and beer" - the breakfast of champions!  O0

I'll certainly make a point of looking up your thread.

Edit -

Just read your RR. Absolutely fecking epic! Actually inspired me to go further North than I was originally planning. And the Skeleton Coast Park is defiantly being considered too!
Only bummer is that all of the pictures have gone!  >:(
« Last Edit: October 28, 2016, 05:26:42 pm by Gavie »
 

Offline ClimbingTurtle

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2016, 02:33:06 pm »
Namibia will be hot, but you should be fine - you may get rain, bring rain gear, but the roads drain well mostly - chat with the locals, particularly if using "D" & "E" roads. Carry plenty of water and a day or 2's food - no need to carry more, every single village has sardines & biscuits & beer. Top up fuel wherever you can. In the Ride Reports my thread is called "The Hot & Wet Tour" from 2012 - might give you some ideas of where to go - also look for RR's by Vis Arend - they have travelled lots up there....

Cant help on Bots - never been!!

Thanks for the advise!

"Sardines, biscuits and beer" - the breakfast of champions!  O0

I'll certainly make a point of looking up your thread.

Edit -

Just read your RR. Absolutely fecking epic! Actually inspired me to go further North than I was originally planning. And the Skeleton Coast Park is defiantly being considered too!
Only bummer is that all of the pictures have gone!  >:(

Oh Dear!! Thanks for letting me know - I will find another host for them!
www.majita.co.za - we sell tools!

"And if I knew I was going to be this thirsty, I would have drunk more last night"

2010 R1200GS Adventure - 2007 G650x - 1981 XT500 x2 - 1980 XT500 - Gone to Mud Island for a better life with Roadcat the Lordly, Keeper of the Mead...!
 

Offline Hayu Overthere

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 11:49:46 pm »
Gavie:  let's stay in touch?  I'm doing the same General route, same bike and sound about the same age and preferences.  I'll try to figure out how to PM you.
Steve
 

Offline BSD65

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2016, 12:35:45 pm »
Hi
I did Namibia last February, sure its hot but not unbearable, 33-37deg.  On the way up from south Africa it was hotter, 45 deg in Sutherland.  Couple of items help, camel pack and also the BMW therma cool vest, you soak it in cold water and it gives you couple of hrs relief.  Highligh for me was the Orange river canyon, stay at the roadhouse,  gravel roads were in good condition.
I plan of doing the same again next year, Jan - March with a 5 week work trip in between, will go to Northern Namibia and then across to Botswanna.  I had a fully loaded GS and was solo, no issue's apart from one drop on a slippy water crossing.  I took camping gear, but stuck with B&B as needed the AC after a hot run.  350-400km per day is enough in that heat.
 

Offline Hayu Overthere

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2016, 04:35:49 pm »
BSD65:  Thanks for the suggestions.  Much appreciated and particularly as you are a solo rider of a heavy bike.  That is a whole reality that many forget.  I am not a spring chicken anymore and appreciate the thought that I'm not going to run into too much that I can't handle.  The wife is considering doubling up the life insurance and the kids is putting his dibs on my most prized possessions?!?  :eek7:
I have ridden in that heat before and have good air flow gear but you're right...AC is a life saver after a long day...that and an ice cold pint or two.  Are the B&B's readily apparent?
Can you tell me what to expect as far as cell service or cellular data availability outside of the major centres?  I have used Booking.com a lot in the past for accommodation on short notice.  Do you do the same or just take your chances when you arrive?  I intend to purchase T4A for my harming when I arrive.  Is this a good resource for accommodation listings or accurate fuel info?
Thx.
 

Offline Gavie

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2016, 11:43:39 pm »
Hi
I did Namibia last February, sure its hot but not unbearable, 33-37deg.  On the way up from south Africa it was hotter, 45 deg in Sutherland.  Couple of items help, camel pack and also the BMW therma cool vest, you soak it in cold water and it gives you couple of hrs relief.  Highligh for me was the Orange river canyon, stay at the roadhouse,  gravel roads were in good condition.
I plan of doing the same again next year, Jan - March with a 5 week work trip in between, will go to Northern Namibia and then across to Botswanna.  I had a fully loaded GS and was solo, no issue's apart from one drop on a slippy water crossing.  I took camping gear, but stuck with B&B as needed the AC after a hot run.  350-400km per day is enough in that heat.

Thanks very much for your advise. As Hayu Overthere mentions it's comforting to know that I'm not totally insane doing this!

I got a 3l camel pack already but your suggestion about getting a cooling vest is worth looking into too.

I would be interested in seeing what route you did on your last trip. Is there anyway you could jot down a rough route?

Also keen to know the answer to Hayu Overthere questions re B&B's. Did you pre-book in advance or just rock up?

 

Offline Casting from Turd

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2016, 08:13:45 am »
Namibia will be hot, but you should be fine - you may get rain, bring rain gear, but the roads drain well mostly - chat with the locals, particularly if using "D" & "E" roads. Carry plenty of water and a day or 2's food - no need to carry more, every single village has sardines & biscuits & beer. Top up fuel wherever you can. In the Ride Reports my thread is called "The Hot & Wet Tour" from 2012 - might give you some ideas of where to go - also look for RR's by Vis Arend - they have travelled lots up there....

Cant help on Bots - never been!!

Thanks for the advise!

"Sardines, biscuits and beer" - the breakfast of champions!  O0

I'll certainly make a point of looking up your thread.

Edit -

Just read your RR. Absolutely fecking epic! Actually inspired me to go further North than I was originally planning. And the Skeleton Coast Park is defiantly being considered too!
Only bummer is that all of the pictures have gone!  >:(

You cannot have sardine for breakfast..............  She will moer you  :3some: :3some: :ricky: :lol8:
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Offline Hayu Overthere

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2016, 12:35:32 pm »
I hate sardines!  I'm bringing peanut butter.
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2016, 08:15:51 pm »
Namibia will be hot, but you should be fine - you may get rain, bring rain gear, but the roads drain well mostly - chat with the locals, particularly if using "D" & "E" roads. Carry plenty of water and a day or 2's food - no need to carry more, every single village has sardines & biscuits & beer. Top up fuel wherever you can. In the Ride Reports my thread is called "The Hot & Wet Tour" from 2012 - might give you some ideas of where to go - also look for RR's by Vis Arend - they have travelled lots up there....

Cant help on Bots - never been!!

Thanks for the advise!

"Sardines, biscuits and beer" - the breakfast of champions!  O0

I'll certainly make a point of looking up your thread.

Edit -

Just read your RR. Absolutely fecking epic! Actually inspired me to go further North than I was originally planning. And the Skeleton Coast Park is defiantly being considered too!
Only bummer is that all of the pictures have gone!  >:(

You cannot have sardine for breakfast..............  She will moer you  :3some: :3some: :ricky: :lol8:

 :spitcoffee:

Offline Hayu Overthere

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2016, 09:03:29 pm »
Okay then.  I'm prepared to make an exception.
 

Offline BSD65

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2017, 12:50:30 pm »
Hi
I did Namibia last February, sure its hot but not unbearable, 33-37deg.  On the way up from south Africa it was hotter, 45 deg in Sutherland.  Couple of items help, camel pack and also the BMW therma cool vest, you soak it in cold water and it gives you couple of hrs relief.  Highligh for me was the Orange river canyon, stay at the roadhouse,  gravel roads were in good condition.
I plan of doing the same again next year, Jan - March with a 5 week work trip in between, will go to Northern Namibia and then across to Botswanna.  I had a fully loaded GS and was solo, no issue's apart from one drop on a slippy water crossing.  I took camping gear, but stuck with B&B as needed the AC after a hot run.  350-400km per day is enough in that heat.

Thanks very much for your advise. As Hayu Overthere mentions it's comforting to know that I'm not totally insane doing this!

Hi Sorry for the late response.  I went from George, Via Sutherland, then stop at Okapia near the border,  Then headed to The Roadhouse at the fish river Canyon, then on to Luderitz, visit the old mining ghost town.  Then onto Keetmaskoop for the night, and then Mariental and on to Windhoek.  I left my bike and went to work overseas for 6 weeks.  had to cut my trip short, so just drove home on return to Windhoek.  May be setting off for extended tour, Namibia- Botswanna in the next week or two depending on the work situation.   Was mostly good gravel and highway.  I booked in advance with booking.com, but just did ad-hoc booking on the way back.  took camping gear but did not use, but will camp this time.


I got a 3l camel pack already but your suggestion about getting a cooling vest is worth looking into too.

I would be interested in seeing what route you did on your last trip. Is there anyway you could jot down a rough route?

Also keen to know the answer to Hayu Overthere questions re B&B's. Did you pre-book in advance or just rock up?
 

Offline BSD65

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Re: The Wrong Time of Year
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2017, 12:57:30 pm »
BSD65:  Thanks for the suggestions.  Much appreciated and particularly as you are a solo rider of a heavy bike.  That is a whole reality that many forget.  I am not a spring chicken anymore and appreciate the thought that I'm not going to run into too much that I can't handle.  The wife is considering doubling up the life insurance and the kids is putting his dibs on my most prized possessions?!?  :eek7:
I have ridden in that heat before and have good air flow gear but you're right...AC is a life saver after a long day...that and an ice cold pint or two.  Are the B&B's readily apparent?
Can you tell me what to expect as far as cell service or cellular data availability outside of the major centres?  I have used Booking.com a lot in the past for accommodation on short notice.  Do you do the same or just take your chances when you arrive?  I intend to purchase T4A for my harming when I arrive.  Is this a good resource for accommodation listings or accurate fuel info?
Thx.
Hi hayu
I also planned ahead and prebooked the hotels with booking.com,   One day I was enjoying the ride, so much I just kept riding and went to the next town. As its going into low season, short notice bookings should not be an issuie.  Cell reception was okay, but my sa sim did not work.  this time I will buy a loacal sim for my I-pad and use that..  may be setting off my self shortly.