After our morning visit to Kolmanskuppe, it was time to hit the road. Our journey today would take us east (inland) to Aus and then north-east to Helmeringhausen where we would stop for lunch. After lunch, we would head north west to the NamibRand Nature Reserve and our home for the next few nights, Greenfire Desert Lodge.
It was another spectacular morning with more beautiful skies and plenty of wide open spaces…
We backtracked towards Aus, stopping along the way at a waterhole for coffee/tea/hot chocolate (and rusk!) and hoping to see the wild horses of Aus. Because of the recent rains, the worry was that the horses wouldn’t need to come to the water hole for a drink. We had our snacks and drinks and waited – nothing. Sad that we hadn’t seen anything we packed up and, just as we were pulling out, someone spotted something wayyyyy off in the distance. It was a horse and it was heading our way!
Also known as the Namib Desert horse, the origin of these horses is still unclear. Most likely brought over by the German settlers or soldiers and released during WWI these are the only wild horses in Africa. They are quite rare, numbering only 90-150 (estimated) in this vast expanse of land.
This is one of many artificial water holes in Namibia, they help to give the wildlife a fighting chance in this harsh and unforgiving land.
And after a nice drink, what could be better than a nice roll in the sand?
As the horse made its way back to where it came from, we packed up once again and headed east towards Aus. At Aus, we headed north-east towards Helmeringhausen.
Along the way, we encountered this female ostrich with many youngsters of all different sizes and ages. Ostrich daycare!
Our lunch stop was the Helmeringhausen Hotel & Guesthouse, an eclectic little place with rusty old trucks outside and the advertised “best apple pie in Africa”. We didn’t spend a lot of time outside because, well, it was raining again! Here are a few shots of the trucks…
Lunch for me was Bratwurst – very good I might add. A reminder of the German presence in Namibia.
And of course, the world famous apple pie!
With our bellies full, we continued along the way to the Namib Rand, enjoying the beautiful scenery and magical light along the way.
For the first (and I think the only) time we were running late. Possibly because we kept stopping for photos? As we were arriving at the lodge we came across these little bat eared foxes.
We arrived in the rain, just in time to head out for twilight.
After our evening photo shoot, we were treated to a lovely dinner, homecooked by the amazing staff at Greenfire.
The NamibRand is a designated a Gold Tier International Dark Sky Reserve, the first in Africa. Even though it was cloudy when I went to bed, it’s hard to sleep knowing all those stars are out there in that incredibly dark sky. This next photo was literally taken outside my room. I didn’t think it worked very well when I looked at it in camera, so I went back to bed. Part of me wishes that I stayed up, but you do have to sleep sometime!