Action Mobil Test in Namibia 2016
The chassis of the ATACAMA 6300, in which we are on tour here, has been optimized in some respects and we are testing it now. Technical innovations have been developed for improving the driving behaviour with regard to short and deep bumps.
A three-point suspension of the sub-frame allows for an optimum axle articulation in off-road terrain. Innovative damping elements are to reduce the pendular movement of the vehicle body. Test results and our experience during the journey will be reported in Part 3.
This wide gravel road will take us to the most remote regions of Namibia. The Kaokoveld lies in the Northwest of Namibia. In the West it borders on Skeleton Park and in the North on Kunene, the river that marks the border between Namibia and Angola. In this area any character of terrain is present, which makes it ideal for testing vehicles.
However, this “motorway” has a lot of tricky features too, and every year it turns into a lethal trap for tourists who are simply driving too fast. After that, this wide road turns into narrow 4x4 trails used almost exclusively by Land Rover and Toyota of narrow tread.
It is here at the latest that the challenge begins!
The landscapes in the Northwest are waiting to be conquered!
After hundreds of kilometres via frequently rough gravel roads once you have reached the region of elephants, the 4x4 trails become narrower and narrower – the start of adventures for a somewhat wider vehicle!
However when you have mastered that, you are rewarded with incredibly romantic resting places and up close experience with the fauna. It is right now that you will feel the strain has been worth it.
Our tour was documented by a drone from above and the result were impressive pictures and videos. A video documentation will be available on Internet at the beginning of 2017.
The striking circles in the sandy ground are known as the famous “fairy circles”, which can be admired only in Namibia. Research as to their origin are still going on, but it is assumed that they have been made by a special kind of termites.
After the strain of the day - romantic camp in the Giribes Plains
As in years before, the experienced and reliable crew of this test tour is the founding couple and producer of ACTION MOBIL.
Harmony within the family and more than 45 years of hands-on experience with travelling in off-road regions are fundamental for the further development of our special-purpose vehicles.
The equipment of the ACTION MOBIL kitchen can compete with many a modern kitchen. Nevertheless, a barbecue around an open campfire is an essential part of any African safari.
Sharp, pointed stones and rocks in mountainous regions are the biggest concern of any driver. In some cases it is a question of millimetres to drive around the knifelike rock edges. This is where driving skills are put to a hard test.
The mountain passes in Namibia are feared routes and only few of them can be mastered in bigger vehicles. Turning a truck around is practically impossible. Such an enterprise should only be undertaken with the help of an experienced local guide. In many cases, however, there are bypass earth roads that will take you to your destination. So why take a risk?
The second part of our travel report will tell about the green stretches of countryside in the PUROS area. The HOUARUSIB is one of the most beautiful landscapes in Africa’s South. The deep-sand paths in the river beds provide for action and the encounter with wild animals is up close.
Unspoilt landscapes where you feel like being on the moon - not to be reached in a common motorhome!
ACTION MOBIL globetrotter motorhomes are built and equipped to master such landscapes. As nature in Namibia is highly sensitive and in many places totally untouched by civilization, we deem it our duty to protect those landscapes and to leave as few traces as possible when travelling through. You should not deviate from existing tracks in order not to leave fresh tyre traces in areas that have been untouched so far.
The special characteristic of Namibian landscapes is that their appearance can change completely within a few kilometres, for example in the Kaokoveld where, after strenuous rocky passages, you will suddenly be rewarded with a view of lush river oases. These places abound with animal life.
For us terrain conditions change. Deep sand, muddy passages and sudden encounters with elephants, giraffes and other wild animals. Quite often, quick and clever reactions are required.
In coastal fog along Sceleton Coast
Inside the roof tent – chilly and damp. In the comfortably furnished ACTION MOBIL ... warm and cosy!
Daniela Reitz -Wirths, apart from being in charge of management is also responsible for the ambience of the lounge cabins, which is not bad at all. Certain pride is justified! Also the senior boss and co-founder of ACTION MOBIL, Steffi Reitz, enjoys the amenities of the cabin in weather like this.
The “Grizzly”, an impressive rock formation in the Khumib region and up front the delicate blossom of a bushman candle - an endemic plant that grows nowhere else.
Travelling in comfort, a long way from any civilization and in any type of terrain - That´s what means “being ACTION MOBIL(e)”
On the way in PUROS Canyon, the green river oasis in the HOARUSIB
Encounters with desert elephants may happen any time. With a bit of luck also a desert lion may show up.
Most time of the year the riverbed is dry, only in the Puros Canyon the water surfaces also in the dry period. As one can see by the level indicator in the picture below, the situation during the rain season can change all of a sudden and many a vehicle gets swept away by the mass of water.
PUROS Dust, Dirt, Poverty, Alcohol!
However, it is the only place where you can stock up with the most essential food in 100 km around and it can be reached only by 4x4 vehicles. Nevertheless, we believe that the Puros area is one of the most beautiful and most exciting landscapes of Namibia.
The Puros area is home to the HIMBAS. Still today people partly live their traditional way of life, but the expression on the old woman´s face Civilization has brought a lot of negative influence. Here two worlds clash. The people take every opportunity to beg money or some food from the tourists. Since such opportunities open up only for a couple of minutes, the person who tries fastest and most radically, will win. There are hardly any jobs for the people and the money they have managed to get hold of is mostly spent on alcohol.
Only the children radiate charm and joy - what will the future hold for them?
Only a few kilometres outside the village we experience untouched Africa
Above Puros the Houarusib forms a lengthy oasis with gorgeous shadowy trees and open watering places. The Action Mobil has no problem threading its way through deep river sand. We are surrounded by wild animals and during the night it may happen that the camp is visited by nosy elephants.
We were on our way in the Action Mobil ATACAMA 6300 for 3 weeks. The tank volume of 600 l Diesel was sufficient for covering the entire distance outside civilization. 500 l water on board provided drinking water, industrial water and also allowed for refreshing showers in this hot climate.
Food supply was sufficient, made possible by a 150 l freezer and a big ACTION MOBIL fridge. Every day we enjoyed bread rolls freshly baked in the Miele oven-there was room also for them in the freezer - and all the energy needed was supplied by the solar installation on the roof. A perfect and exciting tour in the ACTION MOBIL through the wilderness of Namibia.