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Africa Yet another Angola Tour completed...

El Stiemo

Offroader
Hello everybody,

back from Angola since the weekend.

Itinerary:

Day 01 Swakopmund to Ruacana (campsite close to Namibian border post) - good gravel road driving, no special happenings

Day 02 Ruacana via border into Angola via Chitado to Ovipaca - the usual heavy going type of driving in Angola, Border crossing one hour both sides (they've speeded that upsubstantially, thank you). Then our new year's party in the bush...

Day 03 Ovipaca to Espenera to meet up with a friend of ours from Windhoek (travelling alone, as always...), camp, nice scenery

Day 04 Espenera across Namib Desert to Foz de Cunene (Kunene river mouth), looking at rapids in Kunene river, camp close to dunes at coast.

Day 05 drive along great wall of dunes to Tombua and Namibe, hard offroading, suffering severe fuel starvation on Padda (very annoying when driving on the dunes), camp north of Namibe

Day 06 fishing from boat at bay, camp again on beach. Get Kawakawa, striped bonnitos.

Day 07 go exploring via Bentiabia in direction north of Lucira, try to reach Liagem Bay, no go. Only got out of that ravine because both vehicles are fitted with front, center and rear difflocks... Not nice... Divert to Pescas Bingas, arrive at night bay deserted and camp.

Day 08 fishing from Bingas bay, catch Dorados, grill Dorados, what an excellent meal! camp in bay again. Locals from bay next door pitch up and cannot believe that tourists would actually go down into that bay. They started walking from about five clicks distant across a mountain range after they heard the cars...

Day 09 go exploring to Meva bay, the Cruiser breaks a front spring (well some of the other blades had sheared off before, but the main blade snapped here) and has to return slowly with chain repair to next city (Namibe, about fifteen hours driving south) we agree to split up and follow two days later to meet up again in Lubango. Landy team cvamps in Meva.

Day 10 nice beach life in Meva, fishing, camp again.

Day 11 After packing Padda (the green 110) we want to start and leave... No joy, no start! Battery flat. :eek: We manage to push start it - 2 persons, fully laden 110, in the sand. Well, it was standing a little downhill. Luckily. Drive to Lucira for fuel. Sorry, no fuel. Not enough left in tanks to reach Lubango the way we wanted to drive, so must return to Namibe.
Camp in bay en route.

Day 12 road up Leva pass to Lubango. Padda starts with its luel starvation antics right on the pass (when you see the pics you know why you do not want to have to stop there), so stop and have to bleed the fuel supply, which is full of air. Get it fixed and continue to Lubango.
Sleep in Planca Negra Lodge outside of town after a pub crawl in Lubango.

Day 13 visit Swapo camp outside Lubango, then race for Cahama to get as close to the border as possible... Visit Cuban camp with lots of live ammo lying around :eek: and make for Chitado and border. sleep 20 clicks in front of border.

Day 14 cross border (30 mins for both sides - unbelievable, this used to take six hours if you were lucky!) continue home to Swakopmund, arrive after 790 kms of gravel road driving...

Tired but happy!

I will post up pictures tomorrow.

Conclusion: The higher springs are worth the money when vehicle is laden. We need double shocks in the back.
We need solar panels.
Carrying a satelite phone is a good idea.
You need to get your timing exactly right for the Foz de Cunene to Tombua beach crossing.
Petrol prices in Angola have almost doubled since beginning of last year and now stand at approx. ZAR 4,- per litre.
The 4,6 consumes a LOT of petrol in thick sand conditions.
 
That sounds like an awesome trip Frank. Looking forward to seeing the pics.

Do you know what your fuel consumption actually was? The reason I ask is because I was doing slow driving recently in a game reserve that had thick sand, but not as thick as you'd have had, and my consumption was just under 3 km/l.

I know the feeling of push startinga fully laden landy. As luck would have it it was POURING with rain. No start. Just finished filling with petrol. My son and I try push and just about break our backs. This is on tar! Dripping with rain I go to the front and find my wife has not released the handbrake. Yes I am still married.....
 
So now the pics as promised.

Pic 1: Espenera, deserted army camp where we camped.
Pic 2: Rapids in the Kunene River, on the other side is Namibian soil
Pic 3: To give you an idea how much room you have to manouvere between the dunes and the sea at places (this is a lagoon, but still salt water and you cannot go around outside it
Pic 4: Why it's called the Skeleton Coast
Pic 5: Why one should have diff locks
 

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Wow looks like a super trip El, am very jealous. Love the bleached whale bone too!! :)

The road round the outside of the dunes reminds me of the old road from Brunei to Sarawak back when I was a kid, except it was the jungle we had to skirt round not dunes! Oh and bandits too! :D
 
Some more

Pic 1: Oh yes indeed, there is in fact supposed to be a rubber there. These were replaced about 3000 kms ago. New ones fitted in Lubango, this is the rear axle. :eek:
Pic 2: Road to Liagem, we had to turn around here as it got a lot worse afterwards...
Pic 3 Myself with the Dorado
Pic 4 Pescas Binga from Exit road
Pic 5 Ahh what nice Land Cruiser and broken spring arrangement... :D
 

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Almost done

Pic 1 cliff at camp close to Bentiabia
Pic 2 filling station scene at Namibe, if you can get the zoom up that far, check out the dials on the bike of the soldier front right
Pic 3 approach to Leva pass, from 630 m altitude to 2200 inside 25 kms
Pic 4 can never have report without pics of potholes this is the Lubango Cahama road, a TAR road, by the way
Pic 5 destroyed ammo in cuban army camp
 

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HEck bet without that bush your truck clunked alot! :eek: Can't quite make out the dials, resolution is too poor. Whats up with them?
 
Last for now

Pic 1 carriers for SAM system ( I presume SAM 7)
Pic 2 at Cahama airport
Pic 3 T 55 tank, engine still in (V12)
Pic 4 Please look at facial expression
Pic 5 Sunset at Chitado
 

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Geo,

oh yes, it clanked, especially on those roads.

is this better for the dials?

K&S,

worst consumption was around 35 l / 100km, best 22.5 l / 100 km. Luckily, fuel is not yet as expensive as here...
 

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Geo,

oh yes, it clanked, especially on those roads.

is this better for the dials?

K&S,

worst consumption was around 35 l / 100km, best 22.5 l / 100 km. Luckily, fuel is not yet as expensive as here...

LMAO thats class!

Uuuuh do you know what speed were you doing back there mate?

Why yes officer, look it says just there on me gauge!!!! ;) :rolleyes:
 
Great pics Frank. My wife is ooohing and aahhing and asking when are we going. I want to get there before it gets spoilt.
 
Great pics Frank. My wife is ooohing and aahhing and asking when are we going. I want to get there before it gets spoilt.

K&S,

I must say that we saw quite a few more people travelling than the last years.

Best story is in Meva bay
We enter the bay down a sorry excuse for a road when we spot a sign stating "no entry, private access" in portugese but since we do not understand these words in portugese :D we enter anyway. Arrive at the bottom, drive to the houses with roofs on and a 110 in front of the door. Guys greet us very nicely, "welcome" etc. You should have ssen his face when we told him that no, we do not want to stay in the house which he was offering us, we'd just like to camp on the beach. So we pitch camp, the guys come over again to tell us how very welcome we are and that everything is very safe and are we only one vehicle? We say yes and he looks very impressed. Later in the evening a group of three vehicles arrives in the same bay, also yellow number plates (down here in southern Africa,, that means they're from Nam) and stop at the house, offload, etc. We go up the next morning to say hello, turns out its a group of Namibian entrepeneurs and VIP's (whom we know) and they had been allowed to stay at the house by the owner of the bay who lives in Lobito and who had promised them that they would be utterly alone there, and could we please explain why we are here...

Oops. But it wasn't a problem.

The fact that a lot of scenic areas in Angola are now safe to travel is making the rounds amongst enthusiasts and it will probably not be long until you get the first article in Getaway or similar and then it'll start with the influx proper. But yes, I also enjoy it more while there are still no facilities and the infrastructure is cr*p, but it will not stay that way forever.
 
K&S,


The fact that a lot of scenic areas in Angola are now safe to travel is making the rounds amongst enthusiasts and it will probably not be long until you get the first article in Getaway or similar and then it'll start with the influx proper. But yes, I also enjoy it more while there are still no facilities and the infrastructure is cr*p, but it will not stay that way forever.

There already was an article last year in SA4X4. Also showed pictures of tanks on the side of the road.
 
There already was an article last year in SA4X4. Also showed pictures of tanks on the side of the road.

Yeah I remember, but I think Getaway propably gets some more readers than SA 4x4... Is it a good or a bad thing to show tanks next to the road?
 
The tank is in Uganda, the APC is in Angola. There's a downed chopper on the opposite side of the road to the APC, but I couldn't get a decent shot because of landmines.

Nice photos Frank. I'm looking forward to going into the area. I've flown into Lubango and wasn't too impressed, but I believe that Namibe and Benguela are very nice.
 

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The tank is in Uganda, the APC is in Angola. There's a downed chopper on the opposite side of the road to the APC, but I couldn't get a decent shot because of landmines.

Nice photos Frank. I'm looking forward to going into the area. I've flown into Lubango and wasn't too impressed, but I believe that Namibe and Benguela are very nice.

Hi Marc,

yes, Lubango is not all that nice, but Leva pass in the area, La tundavalla and the Cristo Rei are all worth exploring...

Namibe and Benguela are quite nice indeed, still lots of visible colonial architecture and the beaches, obviously...

If you need info and maps etc. Give me a shout.

Cheers Frank
 
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