Erongo is a region in eastern central Namibia.
- 1 Arandis, a mining town in the middle of the Namib Desert
- 2 Henties Bay, a coastal holiday town, famous for its angling opportunities
- 3 Karibib, a small town halfway between the capital Windhoek and the coast of the Atlantic
- 4 Omaruru, a small town in the northeast of the region
- 5 Swakopmund, a coastal town and holiday destination with plenty of German colonial architecture
- 6 Walvis Bay, Namibia's most important harbour town
- 1 Brandberg, a mountain massif that contains Namibia's highest mountain, the Königstein, as well as San rock art, with the White Lady the most famous of it
- National West Coast Tourist Recreation Area
- The northern part of the Namib-Naukluft National Park
- 2 Spitzkoppe, a group of inselbergs rising from the Namib Desert
Erongo is situated on the Atlantic Ocean and has domestic borders with Hardap in the south, Khomas in the southeast, Otjozondjupa in the northeast, and Kunene in the north. Most of its area is desert—rocky north of the Kuiseb River and sandy south of it.
Due to the scarcity of other options, most travellers will arrive by car. The major highway in the region is the Trans-Kalahari Highway (B2) that leads from Walvis Bay to Okahandja.
There is a train service from Windhoek to Walvis Bay via Karibib, Usakos, Arandis and Swakopmund. It runs a few times a week during the night. The train is predominantly for freight, with only one or two passenger cars, and it stops at every
tree rock, as there are few trees in the desert. But the 11-hour trip is cheap and safe, and safes a night of accommodation. Bring a sleeping bag; the desert is cold at night.
By public transport
Between towns you can catch a minibus. Karibib, Usakos, Arandis and Swakopmund have local shared taxis that can take you around.
The B2 highway is tarred and in very good condition, as is the C33 from Karibib to Otjiwarongo. The C34 from Swakopmund to Terrace Bay is paved with a sand-salt mix. It behaves like tar when it is dry, and like soap when it is wet, drive carefully. The Bosua Pass on the C28 can be problematic when driven uphill (from the coast inlands): It starts off with patches of sand and layers of rock which have to be navigated very slowly in order not to damage the car, and it then becomes very steep for a few meters. All other C-roads are gravel roads and in fair condition, easily passable with an ordinary sedan. Other roads (D-roads, F-roads, and those without letters or numbers) tend to be rough, sandy, heavily corrugated, and will further deteriorate after rainfall.
Farms are private properties. Don't drive onto a farm road, even if the gate is open, unless your destination is signposted there, or you intend to visit that farm. If you open a farm gate to drive through, close it again.
- 3 Cape Cross seal colony, 44km north-west of Hentiesbay
- Moon Landscape, an area of unreal results of the erosion of the Swakop River, 25km east of Swakopmund. The road there further extends to the Welwitschia Plains which contain one of the largest of these plants that exist, estimated to be 1,500 years old. The entire trip has roadside markers every now and then to explain selected plants, artefacts, and geological features. However, the descriptions have disappeared or become illegible. Download them in advance, for instance from here or use mobile Internet access, the round trip has cell phone coverage. The road is rough and crosses the sandy Swakop. You will feel sorry for your car. If you don't have the nerves, come in a 4x4, or do the trip by joining one of the frequent organised tours that start in Swakopmund.
- 4 Rössing Uranium Mine, one of the largest open-pit uranium mines in the world. There is a guided tour every first Friday of the month, departing from Swakopmund. The machinery shown is impressive, particularly for kids, but you are also forced to watch a boring PR movie. Tickets at the Swakopmund Museum.
- Visit 5 Gobabeb, an environmental research center for desert conditions. The center holds an annual open day on which you will be shown around. If you miss that one you might still contact them to ask if you are welcome. All roads to Gobabeb require a permit for the Namib-Naukluft National Park
Erongo is touristically well developed. There is tourist accommodation in all towns and villages. Between tourist destinations there are many guest farms offering accommodation, for instance:
- 1 Donkerhuk West (Off the C28 about halfway between Windhoek and Swakopmund, west of the Bosua Pass. That pass, and another 30–40km stretch of C28 in the direction of Windhoek, will be challenging with an ordinary sedan.). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 10:00. Three camps about 1km away from each other: Duiker's Den and Andi's Camp are exclusive camp sites, only one group allowed per camp. Barbarossa Camp is a tented camp (tents provided) with a nice large shaded meeting place. Barbarossa is self-catering, chairs, tables, cutlery, crockery provided, with a gas stove and a fridge. The 4x4 drives are easy, the owner provides a map. Camping N$ 100pppn, children under 12 free. Self-drives on the farm N$ 50pp.
- 2 Omandumba (Halfway between Okombahe and Omaruru off the D 2315). Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 10:00. Several camping spots for one party each, situated in a scenic valley of the Erongo Mountains. Bush toilet and shower. If you heat the "donkey" (wood-fired water boiler) you'll have hot water, too. No electricity. If you want to braai you need to bring a grid. The camping spots are nestled around big boulders that provide some natural shade. Camping N$ 200pppn, children under 12 half price.
The Ugab riverbed in northern Erongo is inhabited by desert elephants. If you are driving through it, remember that the area is theirs, not yours. They certainly know it. Don't drive too close towards a herd of elephants. 10-15 m is close enough for good holiday pictures and will normally not put your party in danger. Otherwise, the younger ones might play with your car, the older ones might get angry, either way your car might end upside down. You'll know that an elephant is angry when it shakes its head. In this case, stay in the car, switch off the engine, and avoid all unnatural noise (cell phone, camera, such things). They will eventually walk away; wait for this to happen instead of trying a daring escape.
The following regions of Namibia border with Erongo: