Drive the Bosua Pass to Windhoek
I needed to go back to Windhoek and meet my friend at the airport. This time instead of taking the Gamsberg Pass, I decided to drive through the Bosua Pass. Like the Gamsberg Pass, this is also one of the “scenic” routes between Windhoek and Swakopmund. In terms of navigation, the Bosua pass is the most simple because you never leave C28. It is just a straight run in either direction. However, as with everywhere I traveled in Namibia I would not have done it without a sturdy 4×4 and some common sense.
Namib-Naukluft National Park Bosua Pass Permit
If you stay on C28 for your entire journey, then Namib Naukluft National Park permit is not necessary. However, if you do intend to venture off of C28 and you will need a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Office in Swakopmund. As mentioned before in previous posts, this is easy to acquire.
Take The Bosua Pass to Windhoek
The drive itself is again visually astounding. Traveling from west to east, you will pass through the Namib Desert, The Great Escarpment and the Khomas Hochland Mountains. After passing through the mountains C28 takes you straight into Windhoek.
If you are traveling from east to west then everything is reverse and the stages of the journey are similar to when I drove over the Gamsberg Pass.
See The Great Escarpment On The Bosua Pass
When going over the Bosua Pass the stage that includes The Great Escarpment is more subdued. This is on account of the less weather resistant composition of the rocks in this area. You will be going through what is called “The Escarpment Gap” however, this does not diminish the rewards of the journey. It is at least as thrilling as the Gamsberg Pass and is a bit easier to travel. It is shorter in duration and features the navigational advantage mentioned above. However, when you are entering/exiting the Khomas Hochland Mountains the C28 road gets challenging, you should be prepared for this.
Visit the Blutkuppe on Bosua Pass
There are several stops worth a visit on your way to Windhoek. I chose to stop off at the “Blutkuppe”. The Blutkuppe is a giant “inselberg” that arises out of the level Namib Desert plain. An inselberg is defined as an isolated small mountain, rock, knob or hill that arises out of a flat or gently sloping plain. They are typically composed of lava risen from the deeper layers of the earth in earlier periods. The lava solidifies below the surface of the earth and becomes granite. Then softer minerals surrounding the harder granite Blutkuppe are eroded and washed away. Then the inselberg is prominently exposed.
Locating the Blutkuppe on Bosua Pass
The Blutkuppe is easy to find and is about a 1-2 hour drive outside Swakopmund on C28. You need to turn north on an offshoot road off of C28. It is only a few kilometers from there, you will be able to see it well off in the distance before you arrive. I don’t recall if the offshoot road is marked on C28. They have a very helpful little map that they give you for free at the Tourism office in Swakopmund. You can pick one up when you get your park permit.
Climbing up the Blutkuppe
The climb up the Blutkuppe is pretty simple. I approached from the far end and was able to scamper up to the top from there. There is no technical climbing skill required.
It was a rather simple ascent and the view from the top was fantastic. Notice the flaking granite in the foreground. This is typical of the desert erosion forces in the Namib Desert. The morning fog deposits a layer of moisture, then the granite is blasted by the heat and wind during the day. Then cold temperatures set in at night. This pattern repeating itself over and over, creates this type of flaking erosion.
The area surrounding the Blutkuppe is also very fascinating. From the top of the Blutkuppe you get a fantastic view of the Tinkas Plain and also the Moon Landscape in the distance.
The Quiver Tree
The surrounding area is peppered with the famous and very unique looking “Quiver Tree”, formally known as Aloe Dichotoma. It is a tall branching species of the aloe and it is native to South Africa and Southern Namibia. It is locally referred to as the Quiver Tree because the San (Bushman) used its branches to make quivers. A quiver is a container used for holding arrows. The tallest of the quiver trees are commonly 2-3 centuries old. Although this sounds a bit pretentious compared to the extremely venerable Welwitschia.
The Khomas Hochland Mountains ON Bosua Pass
The Khomas Hockland Mountains extend west of Windhoek as far south as the Gamsberg Mountain and as far north as the Swakop River. Named after the Nama word Khomas (for mountain) they rise on average about 2000 meters above sea level. They were formed around 650 million years ago during the Damara Mountain Building. This occurred while the plates composing the Gondwana Continent were still crashing together in massive collisions. The drive gets steep here on C28 and it is very scenic. I was entering the mountain range in late afternoon. This is a great time to stop off at some of the view points.
Discovering Petrified Forest on Bosua Pass
Near the view point pictured above I pulled over and did a bit of exploring. I happened to be in an area where the remains of a ancient petrified forest were located. This was rather amazing as it was completely by accident and was not marked or expected, not even by a trail.
The rest of the drive into Windhoek was uneventful for the most part. Once again as with the Gamsberg Pass adventure I had timed it perfectly and dusk was setting in as soon as I pulled into my hotel in Windhoek. Now it was time for a cold beverage and await my friends arrival at the airport the next morning. A 5AM flight! Ughhh…