Hitting the Spitzkoppe on an iron horse

Desert laughing – the great Namib desert
June 26, 2013
Graceful Himba of Namibia
June 27, 2013

By Marita van Rooyen

With the first burst of light on a chilly Saturday morning before the much-anticipated Supermoon illuminated the night skies, two adventurers in leather suits mounted an iron horse.


The iron horse beckons!

The iron horse beckons!
© Bernhard Walther

They were ready and (sort of) prepared for a journey of venture-some proportions: hitting the road to the most magical mountain: the Spitzkoppe. (Of course the Brandberg is also high on the list of natural magnificence).

With only a backpack filled with avocados, bananas and a container of kefir (which turned out to be a not-so-clever item of road food) for picnic breaks en route, two litres of water, and high spirits, the voyagers kick-started the iron horse and embarked on the lengthy journey of 250-something kilometres.(Now, we know what you are thinking, “250km, lengthy? In this country?” On a Yamaha 600 ttr, at a mean of 51km per hour, it is.)


Imagine an infinite stretch of wide-open tar, with half the county’s population of warthogs causing challenges for eyes opened in slits against the fast raising sun. Then keep in mind that this horse was fitted with off-road hoofs, specifically inscribed with the note, “not for highway use”.  Add the wonder of fast-changing landscapes opening up in unspoilt panoramas, and you’ve got the recipe for a unhurried trip to the middle of nowhere.


With 1km pit stop signs pointing to every major tree, the journey was additionally delayed, but ultimately enjoyed (yes, avo and banana in mouth). Apart from the warthog amusement, the en route entertainment entailed passing by two hasty vehicles, three small dots on the map (also known as Okahandja, Karibib and Usakos), and a bunch of goats on a mission to find the juiciest leaves.


Cruising the Trans Kalahari Highway. © Marita van Rooyen

Cruising the Trans Kalahari Highway.
© Marita van Rooyen

Eventually, six hours (and two very uncomfortable bums) down the line, the duo reached their destination. They celebrated with a cold beer, stretched their legs, and hit the nearest boulder to take in what they perceived to be the ultimate endpoint: the Spitzkoppe.



The ultimate magical mountain. © Marita van Rooyen

The ultimate magical mountain.
© Marita van Rooyen



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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