From Windhoek to the coast
Travelling from Windhoek to the coast, there's a choice of three obvious roads: the main tarred B2, the C28 and the more southerly C26. If speed is important, then you must take the B2: about four hours of very easy driving. Both the 'C' road options are gravel, and will take at least six hours to drive. However, they are more scenic.
Note that some of the side-roads off these three main roads are used very little. The D1412, for example, is a narrow, slow road whose crossing of the Kuiseb is wide and sandy. It would probably be impassable during the rainy season.
Guest farms and lodges
Between the B2 to the north and the C26 to the south are several good guest farms and lodges. Details of these are given under the route itself, or under the relevant town.
Between the C28 and the B2, Tsaobis-Leopard Nature Park and Etusis Lodge are probably better as stops when travelling north–south, as they are somewhat off-piste between Windhoek and Swakopmund. In contrast, Rooisand, at the foot of the Gamsberg Pass, would make an excellent stop on the C26.
In the same area around the Gamsberg as Rooisand are several farms which cater to parties in their own 4WD vehicles, who want challenging 4WD driving and hiking. Some allow you to follow trails across their land and neighbouring farms, and on to the Gamsberg itself.
17km down the D1278 from the C26, is at the foot of the Gamsberg and offers basic camping for N$30 per person per day, plus a fee of N$30 per vehicle to drive around the farm's marked 4WD trails. There are also hiking trails. Book with Mrs Rosalie, tel: 062 572108.
16km south of the C26 on the D1265 (signposted Nauchas and Rehoboth), has some beautiful riverbed campsites for N$30 per person per day including firewood, water and a 4WD trail through the farm. There's a N$80 per vehicle per day access fee for this area. Book with Joachim Cranz on tel: 061 228839, or cell: 081 1245588 – and contact him if you want further information on the hiking and 4WD trails in this region.
Hakos Guest Farm
(7 rooms and two private campsites) Tel: 062 572111; fax in Windhoek: 061 256300; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; web: www.natron.net/tour/hakos
Run by Johann Straube, this small guest farm is signposted 7km to the left (if you're heading east) from the top of the Gamsberg Pass. There are great views over the surrounding mountains, various hiking trails on the farm and a 4WD route over the mountains. More unusual attractions include the indoor swimming pool and a small observatory with a 'roll-off roof' which has mirror and lens telescopes on a heavy mount with automatic tracking. That said, Johann encourages amateur astronomers to bring their own equipment, and enthuses about the clarity of the night sky.Rates: doubles N$420 per person sharing, singles N$510, including dinner and breakfast.