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Gamsberg Pass

   

Gamsberg Pass

Probably the most popular of the three passes, the Gamsberg is sometimes called ‘Namibia’s Garden Route’. It certainly offers spectacular scenery, and is well provided with accommodation and activities en route. The name is a mixture of the Nama word ‘gan’ meaning ‘closed’ or ‘shut’ and the German ‘berg’ meaning ‘mountain’, and refers to the flat-topped Gamsberg Mountain (2347 m) which dominates the view. This 1000-million- year-old granite mountain rises 500 m above the surrounding highlands and has survived further erosion, thanks to a sandstone cap formed about 200 million years ago when most of this area was covered by an inland sea. It is worth stopping at the top of the pass to enjoy the views of the surrounding hills and to contemplate the snaking descent towards the desert floor. Before reaching the Namib, however, the road must still make its way through the Kuiseb Pass after which it joins the C14 for the final 110 km stretch to Walvis Bay.

The Gamsberg Region boasts some challenging terrain, and proximity to Windhoek attracts hikers, horse riders and 4WD enthusiasts. There are hiking trails from most farms: the Namibgrens Guest Farm has one of the more popular, the Dassie Trail. Reitsafaris Namibia offers the 12-day, 400-km Namib Desert Ride and has completed it more than 50 times in the past 10 years, though it is ranked as one of the toughest horse trails in the world. The route runs from the Khomas Hochland across the gravel plains of the Namib-Naukluft Park, ending on the beach in Swakopmund. The Isabis and Weener 4WD drive trails are signposted off the D1265 and C26 respectively, both within 15 km of that junction. Visitors interested in astronomy should head to Hakos Guest Farm , a star-gazer’s paradise with its own observatory and state-of-the-art telescopes.

   
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