This is a great comparison in
fuel economy between two Land Rover Defenders, a v8
petrol vs Tdi diesel, on the same off road trip in
two families and two 1996 Land Rover Defenders,
spent 3 weeks of July touring Namibia. One Defender
is a 3.5l V8 Petrol and the other a Tdi Diesel. Both
vehicles had roof racks loaded to the height of a
low lid ammo box and roof top tent. The average fuel
consumption, over the 7000 km, was 19.2 for the
petrol V8 and 13.6 l/100km for the diesel Tdi. For
the 950 km section between fuel at Opuwo and
Sesfontein we carried a total of 200l of petrol and
140l of diesel. The only car problems we experienced
were a number of tire punctures that we quickly
fixed with a plug - without even removing the wheel.
"Van Zyl's pass must
be negotiated from east to west, thus downhill." We,
however, encountered 2 vehicles coming up the pass,
towing TRAILERS! Thus it can be done - but you will
cause damage to the track and reversing when you
encounter somebody coming down , can be tricky.
disappointment was the camping at Epupa falls.
Everybody recommended Epupa and we expected it to be
the highlight of the trip. We did not, however, find
the unspoiled wilderness we expected. Instead, razor
wire, a NOISY generator and water pump awaited us.
At Sesriem (Sossusvlei)
everybody arriving without booking is allowed to
camp on the open field outside the main camping
area, after paying the full camping fee. This was
great, but the BP Garage has a massive generator
running 24 hours a day!
Booking for camping
beforehand seems to be a waste of time. We went to a
lot of trouble to book camping at Etosha and Ai-Ais.
The booking office seems always to be fully booked,
but when you arrive there is a lot of space.
At Etosha and Ai-Ais
a daily entrance fee is charged, in addition to the
camping fee. This fee must be paid every day and
thus queuing at the office became part of our daily
All B and C number
roads travelled were in an excellent condition.
Namibian roads in general are better than South
You can expect long
delays at the border the day after the schools
close. We had to queue for 2 hours! (The normal
delay is only in the order of minutes.)
Camping at Epupa falls. (Overcrowding, noise from
generator and razor wire)
Generator at Sesriem.
Track in Marienfluss extremely corrugated.
Van Zyl's pass was easily negotiated after replacing
rocks dislodged by the vehicles coming up.
Spitskoppe. Must be the best un-developed camping
Purros, Hoarusib river.
Tire repair kit and pump.
Shade cloth for a groundsheet.
Warm clothes. The temperature does drop below
freezing in the south.
Maps used :
Namibian 4x4 Routes, detailed maps and GPS
coordinates by Jan Joubert. Expensive, but it has
excellent, hand drawn maps.
Namibia Roads Authority map (2002 update), Available
at shops in Namibia. (R20)
AA (Automobile Association) Map.
Shell map of Kaokoland.
Notes on fuel
Highest consumption was in deep soft sand, when the
tires were not deflated, from Sesfontein to Kamanjab
via the Hoanib river.
From Swakopmund to Kamanjab very strong head winds
and fast driving increased consumption.
During the return journey to Cape Town consumption
also increased due to high speed.
Submitted by Stephan Theron