@5410Africa Weekly Travel Update #5

Courtesy of the Namibian newspaper

Namibia is in lock down! Well two of the main regions are and this includes the one that I live in. This severely jeopardizes my upcoming travel plans. Currently, I am still at sea and remain unaffected by the lock down, but come 08 September I might be. Government has scheduled to lift the lock down on 28 August, but cases are rising at an alarming rate in the capital so I am not too sure how the situation will play out. I guess this will be the new norm for travelers. You can plan, but always be ready to adapt on the fly.

Current travel

I have spent the last week at sea going through the motions of a regular day job whilst using as much of my time planning for my big @5410Africa trip. Don’t tell my boss 🙂 So except for a bit of rough weather and strong winds there are unfortunately no exciting travels to report on.

With the announcement of the lock down, I now have to make two separate sets of plans for my time off. The first is my original plan to head to North Western Namibia. This will be via the Palmwag conservancy which I’ve heard some great things about, then to Opuwo and finally Epupa Falls. The falls are one of Namibia’s main attractions and the road there leads you through the beautiful Kaokaland home to the Himba people.

The drive from Windhoek to Epupa falls on the Angolan border.

From there I’ll head East along the river and pass through Ruacana, Nkurenkuru, Rundu and end up at the border town of Katima Mulilo, the furthest point East you can reach via the main road.

Heading East along the Kunene & Zambezi rivers to reach Katima Mulilo

Then I’ll go off road  and explore the pan handle before heading back to Windhoek via Botswana. On my way home I’ll stop over in Tsumkwe, home of the San people and explore a the extremely remote Khaudum National Park.

The drive back via Botswana, Tsumkwe and the Khaudum National Park

This is Plan A and will be done if the lock down is lifted on 28 Aug, if not I will have to execute plan B, but I’ll share that next week. It mainly involves getting a lot of work done and completed to the vehicle.

My Vehicle “Luxie”

Luxie is still safely parked at home patiently waiting for my return. I’ve decided that I will fit a canopy and one is being custom made for me by Oryx Aluminium Canopies in Swakopmund. They are the best at what they do in Namibia. The canopy together with the replacement bumper will be fitted as soon as I am back in Windhoek regardless of the status of the lock down.

So the list of mods I need to do currently stands at:

  • Bumper & winch (for safety)
  • Upgrade lights (safety, the old lights are not good enough)
  • Canopy (more and secure cargo storage)
  • Fitted awning (provide shade when there are no trees around ie the desert)
  • Drawer system (better and more organized storage in the back)
  • Dual battery system with solar charging (supply electricity off the grid locations)
  • Shock absorbers (old ones not good enough and provide more support to original suspension)
  • Tires (but only once the current tires are worn)
  • Compressor (to enable me to control my tire pressures)
  • An array of recovery gear (get myself out when I inevitably get stuck)
  • Camping (tent, table, chairs etc etc, to enable me to live on the road

This list is not exhaustive, but quite a bit needs to be done and then off course I need go on a few trips to ensure the entire set up works together.

Also see “The Toyota that will take me to all of Africa

Equipment and Others

Well I nearly covered all the equipment that I’ll fit onto Luxie above. So I wont be going into too much detail here except of course for my electronics. My wish list includes a Canon mirrorless camera, 70-200mm & 400mm L lens. All of it a bit pricey, but I think it will pay for itself over 10 years. I already have a APS-C with a few lenses which I’ll then use in conjunction and as a backup. I’ll probably also add another GoPro with accessories, new laptop and hopefully the new DJI Mavic Air 2 Drone. That is it for now….

The Mavic Air 2 drone that I want to get for the trip

Social Media

Thanks to all the new followers. Remember I am on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook @5410Africa. I also have this blog and I’ll be starting my YouTube channel in Sept/Oct when doing my next trip. We’ll have to see what the content will be about as Namibia might still be in lock down at that point.

My Twitter has grown to 816 followers during the last week. I am always happy with growth. I’ll be hitting 1k very soon, that was my initial target for when I leave in June 2021. (Ultimate goal: 250k).

Instagram has been steady which I am grateful for as I do not have any access whilst at sea. Another 3 weeks before I have full access again. I currently have 92 followers. (Ultimate goal: 100k).

I’ll be doing my first YouTube videos during the next trip. Super excited!!! I hope that everyone will enjoy that. (Ultimate goal: 100k).

Gained another follower this week on my WordPress blog. Thanks 🙂  that makes it 26. I am now posting 3 times a week, just need to find a winning formula. But as I said last week I am not concerned at this point. Currently I am working on my consistency and improving quality. Later when I travel full time and tourists are returning to Namibia and Africa I should see some real growth. This week I’ll do something different and post a bit about myself. I think I’ll talk about being an introverted traveler, my hardcore solo backpacking days and some more, maybe there is something you would like to know??? (Ultimate goal: 1k).

Oh yes and I’m on Facebook, but don’t worry I’ll get to that eventually. Its mainly for friends and family, but I haven’t announced the trip to them as yet.

Thanks for reading, and if you are traveling, be safe and enjoy 🙂

Nick from Namibia @5410Africa

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