12 years have gone by since I did my first walk in the Namib. Back then a friend used to call me Numzanlunchie. Numzan from the zulu word for chief and lunchie as in lunch. I was the king of lunch. I did it well 😉 By 2015 I was only having a liquid lunch and I was not the king anymore. Life was spiraling out of control.
The reason I did my first walk was purely to save my own life. I was physically at deaths door and mentally in a very dark place.
I have always felt better when in nature, so I decided to walk. I packed my VW Kombi with a backup driver and my 2 dogs. Drove to Lüderitz, dipped my toe in the ocean and started to walk. 65 days later I walked into the ocean in Swakopmund. I was not trying to break any records or feats of endurance. I was and always have walked for my own reasons. Mainly mental health. I had found healing. I had found some peace and I had lost 15kg’s. My spiritual side had newfound meaning and I was happy.
Now 12 years on I went on a walk with the most important person in my life. We walked for the love of it and because I know first-hand what extended periods in nature filled with positivity can do for a person. We walked 300 km from Windhoek to Swakopmund. It was one of the happiest times of my life. Ellen is a very positive person and her personality outshines her physical beauty. This walk and my first walk are poles apart and it highlights how far i have come. For those of you who think there is no way out. There always is. You just have to keep trying and dont stop. If i can come back from where i was everyone can.
Its a good life if you dont weaken.
Here are some pics 😉
Big Jim & the twins.
Sunsets, sunrises, and rainbows. 😉
On Xmas day after we had walked, we were sitting in the shade when a car pulled up and asked us what we are up too? We told them and they headed on to Windhoek for a xmas lunch with family. A few hours later he drove passed again. They stopped and asked us what we had eaten for xmas lunch. We had just popped a bowl of popcorn and showed him. They then pulled out a few containers of leftovers from their lunch and a tupperware full of trifle. My favourite 😉 We could not believe our good fortune. Yayyy. Thank you so much Jan & Ane-Marie Liebenberg. You made our day. 😉
Here are some pics from our walk.
The Koakoveld Camino
In 2016 I walked from Swakopmund to the Huab river. I walked via the Skeleton Coast up to Cape Cross. I then turned inland to the Messum crater. Past the Tafelberg and through the Ugab river at the Save The Rhino Camp. Past the Mikberg to the Huab river.
A year later I had discovered my demons were not in my head but in a bottle, I was starting to find a little peace so I decided to do my dream walk. The Hoanib river to the Kunene River through Koakoveld.
I have always loved the Koakoveld. Since the first time I was there I have wanted to work there. Its becoming a reality 😉 I started walking to save my life and i really did not think i would be able to make a living from it. Life is full of surprises 😉
As I had put my demons to bed I also decided to walk with a friend. The perfect candidate was my artist/rock god friend Stephen van der Schyff. He is simply a good human, chilled and funny.
It was one of the most incredible times of my life. This area is extremely remote and has a very small population. The Himba people there live traditionally and the terrain is widely varied and possibly one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is everything you need out of an adventure. I loved it.
So, I have decided to share this walk/Camino with others in the hope that they find some peace, wellness, mindfulness, self-love, forgiveness, and friendship. Just like I did.
It is a logistical nightmare for me and 2 days travel both ways for the guests, but it is worth every step.
It was and will be one of the highlights of your life.
I walked it in May, but June/July or August are the perfect months to visit.
Our walk was 300 km, and it took us 22 days.
I will run one of these a year in august. For the Koakoveld Camino we will start in Puros and it is then 222 km to the Kunene.
If we are lucky maybe, we can twist Steve’s arm to walk it again with us 😉.
We will provide 4×4 transport there and back, they will be 8-seater safari vehicles. Also due to the remoteness of the area they will stay with us all the way through the Camino.
You only carry your day bag. All camp chores are done by the staff. They erect tents and camp, cook, clean etc all done by our backup team. We provide bush toilets and shower cubicles. Loo with a view.
You can book a single or shared tent. Each tent has a camp bed, mattress, mattress cover. You bring your own sleeping bag and pillow.
It could be cold at night and early morning so bring warm clothes, torch, spare boot laces, sunblock, hat, insect spray, wet wipes, eco-friendly soap etc……
The Kaokoveld Camino starts and ends in Windhoek. You need to be there the day before. Pickup starts from 6 am and we will get back to Windhoek late. So please don’t book flights for first and last day of the Camino.
Here is the itinerary and it will all be loaded onto the website www.wildcherryadventures.com in the following days.
Itinerary Kaokoveld Camino
Pick-up from your accommodation in Windhoek and travel via Okahandja, Ojiwarongo, Outjo and Kamanjab to Palmwag Lodge. Rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Hang by the pool or sit on the deck waiting for the desert elephants while sipping a G+T 😉.
Travel via Warmquelle and the little dusty town of Sesfontein to Puros. You have the rest of afternoon to find your feet and prepare your walking gear. We will then do a late afternoon scenic drive through the Puros canyon.
Today is the start of the walking on the Koakoveld Camino. We walk 20 km up the Horiseb river. This river is a very important water source for the cattle and people of Puros. It flows all year round but mostly underground. Often you will come across the local Himba people digging for water. We wild camp in the riverbed and reflect on our first day’s walking.
We start early and walk up the Hoarusib river and see if we find any of the desert elephants or perhaps even a lion. Wild camping in the riverbed.
We leave the hoarusib river and walk up and over Mount Himba to the Khumib river. This is a 22 km walk today. It is one of the hardest but also one of the loveliest days. Wild camping in the Khumib river.
We do a full day walking up the Khumib river today. We will start to see more and more Himba living in their traditional way. Wild camping.
We walk up the Khumib river to the little village of Orupembe. We stop at Shop 1 for a welcome coke or quart of beer 😉. Wild camping in the Khumib river.
We walk east and spend the day easy walking on gravel tracks and enjoy the scenery. Wild camping en route.
Todays walk takes us past some farming done by a local farmer and we see some of the rural people working in the field. We walk on to Marble mine and stay at the camp site there where you can enjoy the facilities.
We go check out the marble mining site and the incredible blocks of marble. Unfortunately, the transport costs from this remote area makes it not viable to run the mine.
is some rocky terrain, and we will certainly start to see some the rural Himba still living in their traditional way and herding the goats. Most won’t speak any english but are very friendly when approached.
We camp in a riverbed in the Joubert mountains.
is a walk up to red drum. We walk through the Joubert pass and this is a very scenic section. You may also catch a glimpse of the famous stone men of the Koakoveld. Sculptures of stone from a local artist that have been placed in some interesting poses. We walk to the intersection of the Marienfluss and the Schoeman’s valley. At red drum, we see a lot more Himba and wild camp overnight at the beginning of the Marienfluss.
Today we walk along the unbelievably beautiful Marienfluss with its plains and the distant mountains. Wild camping in the Marienfluss.
The sunrises and sunsets of the Nangolo flats are spectacular. We spend the day walking and camping at night in this magnificent area.
Today is out final day and the last part of the Marienfluss.
We end our Camino at the Kunene river and celebrate our achievement at one of the local community camp sites.
After a well-deserved sleep we travel down to Sesfontein and out of the Kaokoveld. It is our last night camping before finishing this Camino.
We arrive back in Windhoek and say goodbye to new friends and reflect on the incredible adventure we have just experienced.
Good to know & what to bring
Price includes transport from Windhoek to Koakoveld and back in 4×4 vehicles, 24-hour back up team and guide.
Includes 2.1×2.1×2.1 safari dome tent equipped with camping bed, mattress, mattress cover (please bring your own sleeping bag and pillow), all cutlery, camping chair and more. In the afternoons there is a 10 x 6 meter shade net to protect us from sun and heat – here you can relax, read, write, chat and just simply enjoy. 3 meals a day made with love are included.
This is a slackpacking Camino, you carry only your day bag and we do the rest. Cook, clean, set up camp and tents etc….
I carry a 24 hour GPS emergengy messaging system. However you need your own medevac.
You bring your snacks, drinks & mineral water.
N$ 24 999 pp sharing
N$ 26 999 pp single tent
11-26 August 2023
I will start a waiting list. As soon as we have 10 guests this incredible adventure is happening (limited space for 16 pilgrims).
Please contact me on email@example.com
More Caminos 2023
The Kunene Camino in may is almost full so don’t hesitate. There are also Kunene Caminos in June and September this year.
The Brandberg Camino seems to be just as popular and the first one is from 4-12 April 2023.
Don’t forget SADC residents get 10% discount.
Please have a look at the amazing article from Larry Dolley about the Kunene Camino, published this week in the Daily Maverick:
Thank you Larry 😉
I am off on a trip around the south but am live on the mails and whatsapp. Feel free to contact me for bookings or questions.
Stay strong and keep on walking.
See you on a Camino.
Chadmanwalking out 😉