The Camping Files

Kamanjab – Place of Stone
July 4, 2018
Botswana’s Nxai Pans
July 4, 2018

Driving through the bush in the 80s.

Photographs Tony Figueira 

The camping bug bites the most respectable members of our community. Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula started exploring Namibia with fellow supreme court judge Dave Smuts and the late photographer Tony Figueira in the early 80’s. And even though work seems to be getting in the way of his hobby, we do believe that once a camper, always a camper. Here Judge Angula shares his thoughts on the best camping cars, scaling the Brandberg and why you should never leave your shoes outside the tent.

I went camping for the first time with my friends Dave and Tony. We explored Botswana, Damaraland, Sossusvlei. Nowadays you have a GPS; the roads are clearly marked, you find other people along the way. You are never far from civilisation. It was not like that back then. The tracks were not that good, and you had to depend on your maps and your calculations.  When we went to Damaraland the first time, Dave had a Toyota double cab, the first double cab on the market. The backseat was tiny! One sat folded up in the back. When we went camping in Botswana, Tony had an Isuzu. A small bakkie, but it performed very well. And then we had a Land Rover. It did well, but I remember we had to buy some parts in Maun to get it repaired.  Each place is unique in its own way. Sossusvlei is beautiful in the morning and the afternoon, with the changing colours of the dunes. Damaraland is entirely different, with its wide open spaces, its emptiness, and yet you find living creatures there.  Once, when we camped in Sesriem, I put my shoes outside the tent, and a jackal came in the night and grabbed one of them. So the rest of the trip I struggled on without it.  What I love about camping is sitting around a campfire with friends; the conversations we have. I only go camping with friends, because you have to camp with people that you know well. When you are together in the wilderness for three or four days there is nowhere to hide.  During one Christmas holiday, a bunch of my friends and I decided to camp at Mile 14 outside Swakopmund. For some, it was their first camping experience. You sit there and talk nonsense, just mingling with your friends and spending quality time together.  My last camping experience was six years ago when I climbed the Brandberg, the highest mountain in Namibia. Our team leader was Andy Chase, who had a lot of experience. It was my first climb, and I did not know what to expect. We had to carry our supplies, our food and water, for five days. We started climbing in the morning and by midday we were almost on the plateau. Once we reached the summit, we hiked on the plateau, which is relatively flat. Early in the morning, from the top of the mountain, we could see the mist at the coast. We were almost in the clouds. It’s a good feeling. An achievement.  When you go camping in wild parts of Namibia you need to make sure you have enough water. You can have food, you can have everything else, but if you do not have enough water to last, you are in trouble. 

Deputy Judge President Hosea Angula, Victoria Ashipala.
When we were young: Smuts and Angula relax in the desert sun.
On every journey, no matter how epic, there will always be a tyre that needs to be fixed.
This article was published in the Winter 2018 edition of Travel News Namibia.
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia
Travel News Namibia is a high-quality glossy Namibia travel and lifestyle magazine tasked with promoting Namibia to the world. With riveting stories, first-hand encounters and magnificent photographs showcasing tourism, travel, nature, adventure and conservation, TNN is the ultimate and most comprehensive guide to exploring Namibia. Travel News Namibia is published in five different editions per year. These include four English- language editions and one German. Travel News Namibia is for sale in Namibia and South Africa.

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