A 4200 km long mineraltrip in Namibian sand- and stone desert 2002
©2002 Lennart Borg
Part 3 of 3
Day 9: This morning we woke up with 3-4 degrees C below freezing point. Hoppin -and we went on to Grootberg and the Zeolite valleys and mountains. There were two good spots on the side of a dry river with traces of elephants and zebras. There were also many good spots 300 m up on the mountainside with Stibnite, Heulandites, Quartz and Amethyst. In the oasis, Palmwag Lodge, we later had a warm and nice shower and in the surroundings we could see palms and wild animals.
Day 10: This night the temperature was several degrees below freezing point C. But as soon as the sun climbed over the cliffs we pointed with our faces against the sun and smiled again.
We now went to the German fort Sesfontein and had a cup of coffee in the garden. It was lovely.
Next place was now the Omaue Dioptas Mine. We are now as far north as possible on this trip and not too far from the Angolan border. The Dolomite here belongs to the Damarasekvens and it is 800 million years old. Here we found Chrysocolla, nice green Dioptase, and Malachite. Dark blue Shattuckite, small honey collared Barite xls and pale bleu Plancheite.
Here lives Marius Steiner with his wife and two children in the middle of nowhere and as we could see they had made their own paradise and kingdom - Camp Aussicht with some help from Dioptase and the water well. We worked hard this day and when it was dark we went to his home and bought some nice things and mostly Dioptase. On the picture you can see David from UK.
Animals of all kinds are we passing during this trip such as baboons, giraffes, ostriches and springbucks.
Day 11: We start the day with more buying from Marius´ mineral shop and then we travelled to Opuwo and to Hobaterre Campsite in the evening. The scenery changes all the time and we are close to the Angolan border. Hobaterre was our first visit to a big waterhole and in the evening we could see herds of wild animals. We were warned of lions being close to our campsite. So this night there were new rules - always have your flashlight on when leaving your tent and don’t go away from the tent. Two fires were burning all the night and it was easy not to leave the tent this night.
The food during a day starts with breakfast at six o’clock with the, coffee or coco. We also were served dark and white bread with butter, sausages and marmalade. Everybody made his own bread and some extra for the rest of the day. Mostly it was two breads and a bottle of water in the backpack.
In the evening it was important to put up all the tents before six o’clock and sunset. After that it was totally dark except for the stars and the moon. André and his wife Thea made many excellent dinners for all of us. The firewood was all the time dry Acacia wood bought in a village or collected in the neighbourhood. Dinner was served between 8 and 9 o’clock in the evening.
Day 12: Today we travelled around in the biggest national park in Africa -Etosha National Park. The area is about 200 x 400 km and has a lot of wild animals. Here we could see antelopes, elephants, giraffes, rhinoceros, ostriches, zebras and others.
At Halali we stayed overnight on a concrete floor. 300 meters from our sleeping bags was a big waterhole with big searchlight and there we could see some of the animals. Priority at the waterhole for the elephants. The Big one drinks first.
Within Etosha park is a big salt lake - Etosha Pan and its area is 110 x 60 km. There was not a drop of water now in the winter, but later in the summertime it is filled up again with 1-2 dm of water. The Catfish now wakes up from being 1-1,5 m down in the mud during wintertime.
Day 13: Today we continue driving along the “seashore”. But is it not water over there, I asked André. No it is a mirage, he answered. We all saw the same mirage - a big lake with a forest on the other side.
After some hours we arrive at the second German fort - Namutoni. Here we visited a museum from World War II and remnants from the freedom fighters.
And now at last we are at another highlight of this trip - Tsumeb. The town turned out to be a real modern and clean African town. We could also see the old famous copper mine in the town. Here we visited a museum and saw a lot of wonderful xls. In the street I bought a couple of Descloicite clusters from The Kombat Mine.
Tonight we put up our tents on lovely green grass outside Tsumeb and the evening ended with dinner at The Miners Hotel in the centre of town.
My clothes were long trousers, long sleeve shirts and a big hat as protection against the sun. Every naked part of my skin was also covered with sun lotion. On the feet I had leather shoes as protection against all nasty needles.
Day 14: A lovely red sun wakes us at 0545 today. We leave Tsumeb and go for Berg Aukas. It is a mine rich of Cu, Pb Zn and V-mineralization. Here we found some Cerussite, Desclozite, Dolomite, Smithsonite and Willemite.
Next stop was at the biggest meteorite in the world. The name is The Hoba Meteorite and some think it is 80,000 years old. The size is about 10 x 10 x 1 meter.
Some hours later we visited this trips latest site. Okorusu Fluorite Mine is a little mountain pointing up 1,700 m from the sand desert and is situated close to the town Otjiwarongo. We were only allowed to pick two clusters size of a fist. It was like heaven for a mineral collector and xls all over the dumps. It was planned for us to buy from the workers shop. And we saw a lot of material lying behind fences. But sorry to say, we were not able to buy anything from them. The chief was not there.
Instead we went to our camping site at Hohenfels south of the town Otjiwarongo. We did not sleep so much this night. The baboons made a lot of noise as soon one left the tent in the night.
Day 15: We got up early today and off we went now on paved roads to the town Okahandja. Here we bought some local made handicraft such as ebenholz and Malachite.
At lunch we are back again in Windhoek and here we continue to pack all our minerals and buy some goodies from Andrea’s own shop.
Day 16: With a little tear in my eye we leave this lovely town. We had breakfast along the road and the baboons are still looking for food and soon we are at the airport. We were told not to bring any minerals in our handbags and we did not have any problems with the customs.
Off we went to Johannesburg, London and Oslo and came home a lot richer from our experiences and minerals.
All in all: This was the trip of my lifetime and I hope there will be another one in the future for many mineral collectors and for myself.
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