Leisure Wheels 4×4 Safaris offer this adventure into the Namib Desert between Luderitz and Walvis Bay formerly known as “Diamond Area no 2”. Places visited on the way include Silvia Hill, Meob Bay, Conception Bay & Sandwich Bay. Desert wildlife, spectacular scenery, untouched beaches, abandoned mining settlements, miles of sand driving and shipwrecks are some of the attractions along the way. Join us from 1 October to 30 November.
The discovery of diamonds in 1908 around Kolmanskuppe resulted in an uncontrollable diamond rush forcing the Government to establish the “Sperrgebiet” between 26-degree (Gibraltar) and the southern border stretching 100-kilometer inland. Prospectors were forced to turn northwards beyond the Sperrgebiet. This resulted in the discovery of diamonds at Spencer Bay in December 1908 and between Meob and the Conception Bay area (Diamond area no 2). This resulted in a total of 5000 diamond claims being registered in 1909 and hopeful prospectors tried their luck in the area between Saddle Hill and Conception Bay. However, the small yields of diamonds from these claims resulted in only a few prospectors in the long term being successful.
Transporting of supplies and mine equipment was effected mainly from Swakopmund by ship via Conception Bay and Meob Bay. Various shipping casualties occurred, such as when the Eduard Bohlen intend to off-load mining equipment, was consequently lost at Conception Bay (1909).
In the area between Conception Bay and Meob Bay the mining settlements of Holsatia, Charlottenfelder and Grillenberger was established and no form of engine-driven transport was available during the first 15 years. One sample of an oxwagen fitted with special wide iron bands to make transportation in sandy areas is visible north off Grillenberger. This wagon and surfboats at Meob Bay are examples of pre-World War I historical relicts depicting the immense difficult pioneering days in those inhospitable desert conditions. It is not totally clear as how many pre-fabricated buildings were erected at the various settlements and only the foundations of some of these are today still visible. There are a limited quantity of hand-operated mining equipment left, two surf boats at Meob and ox-wagon north of Grillenberger giving some in-sight into the hardships endured by Indigenous Namibians and Early settlers to Namibia. Today only some remnants of the activities are visible and are deteriorating at an alarming rate
In 1932 the price of diamonds dropped considerably and almost all known diamondiferous ground has been worked over at least once. The small diamonds left in the tailings of earlier workers made productions uneconomic.
After World War II, Mose Kahan, (born in Konigsberg, Prussia) after immigrating to South Africa became involved in prospecting and mining in Diamond area no 2. To reach his claims with food and mining supplies, Kahan had to make his way through shifting dunes with transport available in those years, which was indeed a hazardous undertaking. He bought some Ford “stompneus” lorries from surplus war stock, fitting them with Dakota DC3 aircraft tyres. With these low-pressure aircraft tyres he was able to bring supplies and equipment to Saddle Hill. However one of these lorries, nick named Suzie, had unfortunately to be abandoned in the dunes, today still awaiting the return of a repair crew. The route will take you past ‘Suzie’ and a Bulldozer used to pull trailers with supplies and equipment close to the Uri Haugab Mountains.
Luderitz to Walvis Bay Adventure
The Adventure starts at Luderitz were the group assembles at 18h00 the evening before at the Luderitz Yacht Club or Hotel Zum Sperrgebied for dinner and briefing before venturing into the dessert the next day. (Participants have to organise their own accommodation at Luderitz)
Day 1: After backtracking 30km on the Luderitz to Auss main road it is time to say goodbye to tar roads, starting an adventure of a lifetime. On day one we pass the ‘stompneus Ford and camp close to Suzy.
Day 2: On the second day the trail leads north past Suzy, and the Bulldozer before crossing into the dune belt on way to Sylvia Hill. For the next couple of days participants will experience ‘camping under the desert sky’ in true expedition style.
Day 3: Dunes are getting progressively higher and driver experience and skills acquired during the previous 2 days will be tested and honed to perfection. Camping on the beach.
Day 4: The dune belt opens up at Meob bay and it is in this stretch between Meob Bay and Conception Bay that where active diamond mining were in the order of the day during the early 1900’s. The Settlements of Holsatia, Charlottenfelder and Grillenberger are visited on the way.
Day 5: From Holsatia the trail leads to Conception Bay and along the beach northwards towards Sandwich Bay. On route the wrecks of the Eduard Bohlen & Shawnee are visited. Passing ‘Langewand’ where massive dunes ends in the sea, given a very limited time span to negotiate this stretch of beach. After Langewand the trail once again leads into the dunes, circumnavigating the Salt Pans ‘extensions’ of Sandwich Harbour. The dunes are still getting progressively larger to offer an ever changing new experience of ultimate dune driving. The night is spend approximately 1.5km from the sea close to Sandwich Bay at URI Adventures’ ‘Sandwich camp’.
Day 6: From Sandwich the trails enters the ‘Roller Coaster’, a series of massive ‘roaring’ slip faces, not only giving the participants a new thrilling experience but also offering breathtaking views of Sandwich Harbour and a panorama of Sandscapes exiting onto the beach south of Walvis Bay. The trail ends at Walvis Bay after a final 50km stretch of beach driving.
PRICES (2012 / 2013):
The above prices include:
- Concession fees
- Park entry fees
- Government Levies
- Dinner in Luderitz
- Lunch in Walvisbay
- Accommodation in Luderitz on the first night.
Luderitz to Walvis Bay Adventure
|Luderitz||S26 38.934 E15 09.280||Perdekar||S24 32.004 E14 41.211|
|Koichab afdraai||S26 22.174 E15 35.516||Meob||S24 30.500 E14 37.000|
|Suzie||S25 25.330 E15 05.403||Grillenberger T||S24 26.877 E14 36.665|
|Bulldozer||S25 23.480 E15 10.550||Grillenberger||S24 15.048 E14 37.195|
|Sylvia Hill||S25 08.152 E14 51.300||Ossewa||S24 13.482 E14 37.207|
|Kamp 2||S25 06.793 E14 51.767||Charlotten||S24 11.784 E14 37.303|
|Viewpoint||S25 02.806 E14 51.898||Holsazia||S24 09.257 E14 37.023|
|Gat 1||S24 57.896 E14 51.122||Edward bohlen||S23 59.757 E14 27.464|
|Blackrock||S24 56.500 E14 48.400||Conception||S23 55.799 E14 29.738|
|Gat 2||S24 56.352 E14 49.865||Shawnee||S23 40.378 E14 30.173|
|Free Willy||S24 54.107 E14 48.349||Langewand||S23 34.358 E14 29.512|
|Kamp 3||S24 51.069 E14 47.779||Kamp sandvis||S23 21.661 E14 30.885|
|Fishersbrun T||S24 40.186 E14 41.966||Sandvis View||S23 21.184 E14 30.238|
|Fishersbrun||S24 38.833 E14 43.259||Graveyard||S23 19.593 E14 30.464|
|Perdekar T||S24 34.627 E14 41.381||Strand||S23 18.070 E14 29.811|
The following items are mandatory for each participation vehicle:
- 60 liters water
- Tyre pressure gauge
- Toilet paper & matches
- Plastic bags to carry waste (e.g. empty cool drink tins, etc)
- Brake fluid
- Gear oil
- Engine oil
- Spare V- Belt set
- Sufficient Petrol/Diesel to cover the distance – (see route map & distances attached). Heavy sand driving conditions (+/- 3 km/liter and +/- 5 km/liter consumption for larger petrol and diesel engines respectively) will be experienced.
- Vehicle to be fitted with points to attach tow ropes both in front and at the rear. NB!!
- All equipment and luggage must be strapped in and securely fastened
- Vehicle must be loaded in such a way to ensure that the vehicle is not “Top Heavy” – e.g. only light items, camping gear on roof carriers
- 2 Large bags of firewood per vehicle
- The trail passes through heavy dune area, which requires high flotation tyres (“fat takkies”).
- Communication radios for all participating vehicles
- Meals (Only Tea/Coffee and fruit juices supplied with meals)
- “Communal” camping equipment (e.g. braai grid, cooking facilities & equipment, tables, wash-up facilities, Showers etc.)
All you need:
- Tent, folding chair & sleepwear (bedroll, tent etc.)
- Eating utensils (Cutlery, Plate, Bowl, Glass & Mug)
- Own snacks & refreshments (alcoholic beverages, cool drinks etc.)
- Torch & batteries
- Camera (extra films/memory cards & battery)
- Sunglasses & Sun Tan lotion
- Clothing (very hot and very cold), Toiletries & towels.
- Prescribed medicine
For more information or to make your booking contact [email protected]