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Vespa Veterans recall their never to be repeated Canyon adventure

15. July 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

Taking a scooter through the Fish River Canyon? Impossible! This would be the reaction of any sensible person who has seen the second largest canyon on earth with their own eyes. Yet this didn’t stop six members of the Cape Town Vespa Club to nevertheless attempt the impossible in 1968 – getting themselves into an adventure without equal! They wanted to be the first to take a vehicle through the second largest canyon on earth in 1968. They planned to descend into the canyon at the main viewing point and take their Vespa’s to Ai-Ais, 80 km to the south.

Vespa Veterans recall their never to be repeated Canyon adventure

Baobab - The King of Trees

08. July 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

There is no doubt that the baobab is a special tree with its massive trunk, unique shape - that according to legend is the result of God planting it upside down - and its powerful presence. This king of trees seems to emanate aeons of life-experience, much like a wizened old elephant matriarch or a tall rugged mountain. It is one of nature’s cathedrals, offering shelter, food and relief from sickness. It is no wonder that this gargantuan deciduous tree has inspired myths and superstition and holds a place in our hearts. It is the stuff of legends.

Baobab - The King of Trees

The Wild Horses of the Fish River Canyon

01. July 2016, inke - Discover Namibia


Namibia is home to the Namib wild horses of the Namib Naukluft Park, yet there is another population of wild horses that is often overlooked. A separate, younger and smaller population of wild horses is occasionally seen from the Sulphur Springs viewpoint. Independent and free, the canyon horses live a tough existence evident in their rugged appearance. They drink from the puddles and pools of the Fish River as it makes its way southwards, feed on reeds and hard grass, are preyed upon by leopard and suffer in years of drought.

The Wild Horses of the Fish River Canyon

If you master this one you are fit to drive anywhere

24. June 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

The view from the top of the mountain pass is overwhelming. The magnificent vast desert scenery spreads out far below, and the dry Marienfluss riverbed meanders through it. Now is the time to take a deep breath, compose yourself and gather your wits. Because the only way into the valley is down Van Zyl’s Pass, the most notorious pass in Namibia. 

If you master this one you are fit to drive anywhere

Gondwana Canyon Park: Re-wilding the land

17. June 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

Twenty years ago the swathe of land bordering the Fish River Canyon was overgrazed and barren. At the tail end of years of severe drought, farmers were putting their farms up for sale, seeking greener pastures. Once, the land had been in balance and the wildlife abundant. Herds of springbok took days to pass and rhino and giraffe roamed the savannah. The intense heat that builds up in the canyon walls chasing the clouds away, didn’t affect the animals. They were adapted to the arid-zone conditions and migrated, following the scattered rainfall. 

Gondwana Canyon Park: Re-wilding the land

Camel expedition conquers the highest dunes on Earth

10. June 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

These days the dune belt between Walvis Bay and Lüderitz is a popular 4x4 route. At the start of the 20th century, however, intrepid explorers ventured into it without any resources worth mentioning. Most of the expeditions which attempted to cross the Namib from east to west did not make it very far because they simply got stuck in the sand. In 1909 Georg M. Stillger became the first European who managed to reach the Atlantic coast by crossing the dunes with camels. The Lüderitzbuchter Zeitung reported about Stillger’s expedition which had set out from Sesriem.

Camel expedition conquers the highest dunes on Earth

Salt - the white gold of bygone times

03. June 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

Salt is vital: human beings should take in 3 to 6 g per day. We use it without thinking twice – and often far too liberally. But it was not always like that. Advanced civilisations of earlier times valued salt almost as highly as gold. More than 60 types of industries are based on salt and the chemicals which are made with it, and it is hard to imagine life without them. The supply of salt seems virtually inexhaustible. Apparently the salt domes of the world contain 100 trillion tons of the ‘white gold’- enough for the next 400,000 years. In addition there is the salt from the oceans, which is also harvested here in Namibia. 

Salt - the white gold of bygone times

Leopard was scared off with sticks

27. May 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

‘Mountain Zebra Drive - Permit Only’ – A couple from Hanover, Germany, came across this sign on their way to Canyon Lodge. They had arrived in Namibia just two days earlier and the husband was thrilled. “Let’s go now, we’ll pay afterwards”, he suggested. He left the regular road and off they went through the breathtaking landscape in the north-western parts of Gondwana Canyon Park. It is a challenging route and even though the couple were driving a four-wheel drive vehicle they managed to get stuck in a sandy dry riverbed. 

Leopard was scared off with sticks

The Taming of the Shrew

20. May 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

The pioneer mule trekking tour in the Fish River Canyon had a few hiccups – in the end the animals actually deserted us. It was a clear September morning when we set off to find out how the mules would manage in the canyon. Mannfred had invited me to join the pioneer tour: Four days trekking across country, drinking from waterholes, eating at the campfire, nights spent under the star-studded night sky. Awesome! But from day one it was clear that quite a bit of work was needed to prepare the mules for their new job.

The Taming of the Shrew

Making a difference – Namibia with heart & soul

13. May 2016, inke - Discover Namibia

What a celebration! Who could have imagined such a wonderful (and challenging) journey when Gondwana began humbly twenty years ago - inspired by the spirit of a new Namibia - with just a handful of people and a dream.  The vision to make a difference – to both people and nature – led a group of like-minded friends to purchase our first farm east of the Fish River Canyon, with the intention of creating a conservation area. Our first lodge, Canyon Lodge, opened its doors in 1996 to help fund the dream. 

Making a difference – Namibia with heart & soul

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