Daily (Almost-Double) Dozen: Hoarusib River Drive

Twelve (or twenty-two) photos from each day of our Africa adventure.

The Puros Community Campground is in the dry Hoarusib riverbed. The Hoarusib River is an ephemeral river, which means that every now and then, but not very often, for a brief period of time, there’s running water here. There is, however, underground water in the riverbed, which explains all the greenery. The surrounding area? Dry, dry, dry.

Sunrise on the Hoarusib

Sunrise on the Hoarusib. Click for a larger image. Use your back button to return here.

It’s a beautiful morning on the Hoarusib. We walked to the edge of the riverbed to see the sun rise on the surrounding hills. We happened upon several ostriches and giraffes. It was way flipping cool to see giraffes while on foot, to be roaming about with them in the wild. We didn’t try to get close to them. In fact, we made a point of circling around so they didn’t run away. Still, it was interesting to get a sense of their size compared to ours while standing with them in the sand. The perspective from outside a car is different from the perspective from inside a car.

The ostriches were funny. They caught a glimpse of us and took off across the desert plain. They ran and ran. When they got far away, they didn’t stop. They were tiny specks racing across the desert last we saw them.

Seeing the beautiful day in store, we decide we’ll drive out the riverbed a ways, and if the going isn’t awful, we’ll stay here another night.

Jen and the truck on the hill.

The view from a rocky hill.

First, however, we decide to drive up a rocky knoll for a 360-degree view of the valley. To me, this little hill looks like something we should walk up, not drive up. It’s steep and narrow with big rocks to climb.

(This is when we spot some Himba women and visit their village, which you’ll hear about next time. This post will be about the rest of the day.)

The sandy riverbed with trees and brush.

Hoarusib riverbed.

Our camp is somewhere down there in the green area.

A giraffe in the Hoarusib riverbed.

Wildlife. Click for a larger image. Use your back button to return here.

There is wildlife down there, too. See? A giraffe.

The Hoarusib river valley.

Where we are headed: Up the Hoarusib riverbed. Clickable pic.

This is where we will head, up the Hoarusib riverbed.

A track in the sand.

Our track.

Our track up the riverbed.

Palm trees and brush in the Hoarusib Riverbed.

So much green in the riverbed. Clickable pic.

The riverbed is lush.

Giraffe under a shady tree.

Another giraffe.

We spy a couple more giraffes as we head up the valley.

Hoarusib River valley.

Looking back.

At the top of the valley, we head up a rocky pass into the surrounding mountains. That’s the Hoarusib valley back there.

Rocky pass above Hoarusib River

Rocky pass above Hoarusib River. Click for a larger image. Use your back button to return here.

We’re going this way.

Tree in rocky pass.

Rocks. A pass. A tree.

Not much up here but rocks and a few trees. Very few trees.

Gemsbok comfy in the shade.

Gemsbok comfy in the shade.

And a gemsbok.

Gemsbok running from comfy shade.

Car! Run away!

Gah! A big, rumbling white thing! Run!

Gemsbok re-thinking its decision to run from the shade.

Is this really necessary?

Dang . . . I really want that shade.

A mud hut and a small shelf holding a few rocks.

A rock shop.

Wonder of wonders: a rock shop offering quartz, rose quartz, crystal-wannabe rocks, and the like.

Mud hut.

Shop-owner’s abode.

The shop proprietor lives here, I guess. Sometimes. Probably during the peak travel season. I wonder how many people come out here during the peak travel season. Not very many, I suspect. It’s a wonder a shop can stay in business.

Me with an oryx horn on my head.

Oryx gazella jenella

The fire poker is a gemsbok horn.

Look. I’m a gemsbok

Jen picking up rocks.


With the rock shop closed for the season, we’ve no choice but to find our own rocks.

Our track over the pass.

Our track over the pass. Click for a larger image. Use your back button to return here.

It’s pretty easy. Cool rocks are everywhere.

Beyond the pass.

Beyond the pass. Shall we go? Click for a larger image. Use your back button to return here.

At the top of the pass, the road continues on and on and on to another green valley in the distance.

Rocky top.

Rocky top.

We’d love to continue on, or at least camp out here, but we left our tents set up back at the campground. We turn around.

Two waterholes dug by elephants.

Elephant-dug waterholes.

We take a different track—or several tracks—through the Hoarusib riverbed and discover waterholes probably dug by animals, probably dug by desert elephants. We read about these waterholes in the guidebook, and we hoped to see some. It would be nice to see the elephants, too. Maybe there are some around after all.

Categories: Africa, Africa, Travel

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