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#GoingPlaces – XPDTN3 Crossing the Namib Desert one gravel road at a time

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  • XPDTN3 Namibia

 

Did you know that only 20% of Namibia’s roads are tarred? Which leaves an incredible 35,000 km of gravel and earth-graded roads to be discovered and explored. This is music to the ears of the XPDTN3 team and this summer two of their intrepid female explorers headed out to the African desert to take on over 400km of the region’s best routes.

 

Just when you think that the scenery won’t change again, you reach the coastal dune belt with its towering yellow sand dunes just outside of Walvis Bay. The highest, Dune 7, lies about 2km off the route, but is absolutely worth the side trip!

  • XPDTN3 Namibia

As far as off-roading goes, riding through the desert gives as much varied, dry terrain as you could hope for. One moment flying along smooth gravel roads, the next you’re slipping around on loose stone trying to stay upright and pointing in the right direction. 

Loose sand and gravel often result in even general downhill riding requiring a fair amount of effort and calculated risk as to how hard you’re willing to push it before unexpected rocks change your trajectory. However, the hard work is all worth it with the stunning vistas for kilometers on end out over the Namib desert.

 

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A standout landmark to look forward to on day 2 and 3 is Gamsberg, also known as Namibia’s Table Mountain. It marks the half way point and start of the drop off from the Khomas Highlands Plateau into the Namib Desert.

 

With distances limited – or stretched out – to what seldom accommodation is available out there, the rides were often long for the XPDTN3 team. Yet, hidden gems like the Namib Valley Lodge at the end of their third day in the saddle make it worthwhile, and giving a reminder of why we all ride our bikes and explore such often rarely uncovered areas.

 

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The XPDTN3 team voyage around the world on their two wheel adventures with their 3T Exploro bikes safely travelling with Scicon Bags, using the Scicon AeroComfort ROAD 3.0 TSA Bike Travel Bag

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Words and photography by Kati Csak.

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