Windhoek, Namibia:  We picked up our 4×4 in Windhoek and drove south towards Sossusvlei. Based on what we’d learned from our camping experience in New Zealand, we thought it would be reasonable to make it 220 km on our first afternoon. We were wrong. The roads turned from paved to gravel within 20 km of leaving Windhoek, so we were slowed considerably. At twilight, we started seeing wildlife come out for a visit, so we decided to pull off and call it a night. Our campground was situated 8 km off the main ‘road’ overlooking an idyllic canyon where the only others close by were the cicadas who hummed us to sleep.

On day 2, we awoke with the rising sun at 5:30am, packed up our cozy second story tent and headed south to Sossusvlei. The path was full of kudu antelope, a few baboons, some springbok and a friendly fox. Once entering the park, we drove another 65k into the Namib-Naukluft National Park in search of some petrified trees. We didn’t realize it would be so early into our trek that we’d encounter sand driving and the need to engage the 4×4 capabilities of our truck. Thankfully, the car handled it well and we didn’t have to use the sand tracks, rope tow or shovel stowed in the back that many told us we’d inevitably need to use. Camping in Africa…so far, so good.