Koakoland – A 4×4’s best friend


Wow! From the most spectacular waterfall (Epupa Falls) intrepid mountain passes (Van Zyl’s pass), through valleys (Marienfluss and Hartmans) with undergound rivers, up and around sand dunes, through river beds and inside huge canyons, Koakoland can capture the mind of everyone who is willing to to do this route through Northern Namibia.

We met up with the Kuipers at Epupa Falls camp and got right back to where they had previously left us in Malawi after a month and a half of traveling through Tanzania. We explored the waterfall the next morning, which is a natural wonder to lay your eyes on. I would go as far as to say it’s even more impressive than Vic Falls… but then again we did see it when the water level was very low.

At dinner that evening we discussed the road ahead. The intrepid route of Koakoland and especially Van Zyl’s Pass. It’s a 4×4 guy’s living dream to take this pass on. Passengers be warned, your kidneys will be tender the next day. The 11 km pass takes you 3 hours to complete and this is due to some pretty steep and rocky descents. Gerro started the journey with a small puncture which he patched up in no time and with fingers crossed we hoped that would be the end of punctures. Both our cars managed just fine and we all had a gas as we would set about getting out of the car when the impassable sections arrived, and we devised the route we would take. Of course Thumper went first and Emma (Gerro and Margie’s car) would then learn from our mistakes and pretty much perfect the slow grind down.

With Van Zyl’s finally over we headed into Marienfluss Valley. One thing about Nam, is that whatever landscape you see out the left window, will not match the landscape out your right window. It is a country of a thousand lanscapes, each corner changes the mountains, terrain and plains before you. It’s unexplainable, it’s quite magnificent and definitely worth doing.

When you do a trip through Koakoland, you will be told that you have to take a lot of fuel and water as there is nothing along the way. We both had reserve fuel but the water was no issue at all. At each community campsite had washing up areas with fresh water and flush toilets (Luxury for the middle of nowhere).

At our last community campsite we attempted to drive down The Puros river Canyon. Thumper got stuck as we passed through quite a watery section of the river, the sand was very soft and we sank right in. The exhaust was just above the waterline spluttering away. The boys got out the High lift jack to rise the car out of the sand and we used the winch to pull her out. However amidst all the panic, Gerro let the handle of the high lift jack go and it snapped back and smacked him right above his eye. This was not good, we were in the middle of nowhere, miles from any medical care. Sister Sparkes attended to the wound and patched it up as best she could! Once we were finally in the clear we backed out of the river bed and headed for dryer roads. We spent that night camping at a deserted village (due to lions) and administered Myprodol and red wine to the patient and sang “I am sailing” all night long. I am sure we scared  awayany Lion that may have been close by with our tone-deaf rendition. Rodders would have been proud.

The next day we found a doctor at a lodge we stayed at and she saw to it that Gerro was properly cared for. He certainly did need stitches, so Doc glued the gash together and covered it up all nicely. I was certainly relieved that his eye was ok.

Note to anyone wanting to travel through Nam don’t give up much of your time on the road to see sights such as, Burnt Mountain, Organ pipes and The Meseum Crater. You will be disappointed. After seeing these three.

Ciao for  now 🙂


The glorious Epupa Falls

The glorious Epupa Falls

Van Zyls

The start of Van Zyl’s pass, with a puncture

One of Thumpers many descents

One of Thumpers many descents

Mike leading "Emma Calemma" down a rocky part of Van Zyl's

Mike leading “Emma Calemma” down a rocky part of Van Zyl

Ama Glug glug goes Thumper

Ama Glug glug goes Thumper

At a deserted camp due to Lions with Gerro all bandaged up to keep miggies out!

At a deserted camp due to Lions with Gerro all bandaged up to keep miggies out!


2 Responses to “Koakoland – A 4×4’s best friend”

  1. gerro says:

    I am fully repaired thanks to sister Sparks prompt action

  2. Elnize says:

    It was our greatest pleasure helping and giving you assistance when you needed it. We sure hope you have a very safe and splendid trip ahead.

    Daisy Truck & Auto
    Rosh Pinah

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