We have it on good authority that if you’re the adventurous sort looking to get off the beaten track, then Namibia is unbeatable. For lovers of gravel, the sandy gravel roads of |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park present the ultimate destination—although to be strictly truthful, this national park spans a big portion of South Africa too, and so do some of these routes.
North of the River Orange, which marks the natural border between Namibia and South Africa, is where you’ll ride through the most spectacular geological sites, with plateaus, deep canyons, and expansive sand dunes.
The ride around the Fish River Canyon, the world’s second-largest, sticks to Namibia’s finest gravel terrain, revealing jaw-dropping views that are not dissimilar to those you’d see in Arizona.
Keeping north of the River Orange – and therefore still in Namibia – there’s a seemingly never-ending, fairly mellow gravel track from Assenkher that climbs up beside Mount Gamkabmond. At times on this high plateau, you’ll glance back over your shoulder and be rendered speechless as your eyes make out the ribbon of the road that traverses the Aussenkher Nature Reserve. In the tranquility of this gravel paradise, you’ll be close to finding perfection on the pedals.
These sorts of heightened emotions are everywhere in Namibia.
Leaving Richtersveld Park behind you and heading further north into Namibia, it won’t take long until your tyres are rolling over the diamond-rich, arid landscape of Tsau //Khaeb National Park, which used to be known as the Sperrgebiet.
Once a diamond mining region, this desert landscape consists of soaring sand dunes and the C13, a dirt road that runs through it, bringing riders up-close with awe-inspiring geological formations and making you delirious with the many shades of ochre that dominate the scenery.
On the fourth day of this Namibian gravel adventure, it’s time to go to the small town of Aus in the heart of the Namib Desert, surrounded by sand dunes and resplendent in ochre tones, which are so synonymous with this region. sand dunes and resplendent in ochre tones, which are so synonymous with this region. It’s a quiet place, known for the herd of wild horses, who have called this inhospitable landscape their home for over a century after scattering during the turmoil of World War I.
As you watch the wild horses roam in this breathtaking landscape, it may finally start to dawn on you what an authentic, wild gravel riding adventure you’ve just been on.
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