A bit of hitching hiking, an unofficial taxi and a nights sleep at a rest camp, it’s relatively easy getting to Windhoek from the Botswana Border.
The minibus from Maun, Botswana dropped me at Charles Hill about 7 km’s from the Botswana/Namibia border. My fare had been to the border and sure enough, they loaded me into a taxi which took me there at no extra charge. I left Botswana through the border, called Mamuno with no hiccups and virtually alone. Nobody else seemed to be departing or entering Botswana at around 8 o’clock that night.
Turtle In The Dark
It was a little unnerving beginning my walk across no-mans-land towards the Namibia border. With no street lighting, it was pitch black and I could hardly see my feet stepping out. I started chuckling at the absurdity of it all as I imagined myself arsing up and looking like a turtle stranded on its back, with my too heavy backpack on my back.
I hear a truck changing down gears behind me and I sensed he was going to offer me a lift. Which he did and which I declined as I couldn’t imagine how the heck I was going to be able to climb the steps up into his cab. The next car I did accept the offer of a lift from by rolling backwards into the back seat. They deposited me at the Namibian border crossing called Trans Kalahari (Buitepos) where I received my entrance stamp with no issues or questions about onwards trips.
The same generous driver was waiting outside for me and would have taken me to Windhoek if I had wanted but instead dropped me at the rest camp, 400 meters from the border which with an aversion to risk, I had safely booked myself into.
For a border crossing / truck stop East Gate Rest Camp was a lovely spot. Grassy areas around the chalets with seating, a restaurant with quality, well-priced meals, a mini-market, and good wifi although only in the restaurant area. My chalet cost na$200 ($13 usd) and contained two very comfy single beds with warm bedding, power and lighting and ablution blocks with nice hot showers and outside tables. Unfortunately, there’s no power during the day. But as I was filling in time waiting for friends to arrive in Windhoek so the two days I stayed there, I spent occupying myself on my computer in the restaurant or sitting in the sun.
Hitch-hiking is very common in Namibia and so that’s exactly what I did from the East Gate Rest Camp. Someone in the mini-market offered me a lift in his buckie aka ute and so I sat in the back, on top of an old mattress. It was my first experience of the straight seemingly endless roads of Namibia where 120km/hour is the speed limit so most people are clocking 140km/hour. It was also my first experience of the Namibia wildlife as not only did I see signs warning us of Warthogs, I also saw heaps of them in person. Not the most beautiful of creatures, there is still something sexy about their pert, very muscled backsides, however.
My driver dropped me at the unofficial taxi hang out in the nearest town of Gobabis and I paid na$130 ($8.60 usd) for the next two hours of my trip to Windhoek. On arrival in Windhoek, he passed me onto a local, unofficial taxi that took me directly to Chameleon Backpackers.