Coming from Springbok you have 2 options - both on good dirt/gravel roads and fully accessible in a 2WD any time of the year (possibly with the exception of the last month or so when it has been pouring with rain). As some rivers and streams have water in them for the wet season, you could have had to forward a couple that cross the road. You should not have to cross any water for the rest of the year but the road could be a bit rocky where the water was crossing. Graders live on these roads so even that is not likely. I got all over Namibia for 2 years in a VW 1.3 Golf and never had a problem!
Coming north from Vioolsdrift border you can either:
1. Stay on the B1 tar road for approx 100km then turn left onto the C10 (dirt) towards Ai-Ais. (Ai Ais has been recently fully renovated by the way). Approx 55 kms turn right onto the D324 towards Hobas/Fish River Canyon. Approx 40kms to Hobas. It is all signposted and this is the most common route for any traffic going to Hobas from the south.
2. Stay on the B1 tar road for approx 135km then turn left at Grunau onto the C12(dirt). After about 60kms turn left onto the D601. Hobas is 25kms away. Also well signposted and this is the common route for any traffic coming to Hobas from the north.
From the border post to Hobas averaging 80km/hr on the tar and 60km/hr on the dirt via option 1 above, will take you max 3.5 hours.
Don't start thinking you are lost as you are driving along. You will see almost nothing but scenery until you are right at Hobas which appears around a left hand corner at the bottom of a slope almost at the last minute. As you stop at the boom gate, the reception office is on the left where you can sign in and pay, ahead on the left is the campsite and pool and on the right is the road to the Canyon itself which is 10kms from the camp. There is a VERY basic shop where you can get snacks, sometimes ice, a few tins and a ice cream but there is no other facilities within 100kms so if you are camping make sure you are stocked up.
I would look at your routefinder to see if it is working properly - I could PUSHBIKE from Grunau to Hoabs in 8 hours!
We have trucks on this road twice a day, 5 days a week so feel free to PM me if you need any road or route info.
I was talking about the hobas campsite, but sounds like its pretty close to the viewingpoint anyway.
Thats good to know about the roads.. its the routefinder on the TomTom website - supposed to be 'iq routes' - based on actual experienced driving times rather than speed limits. Guess it needs a little work though!
I couldnt find any other routefinder for Namibia.
Although we are considering coming from Augrabies falls national park, taking the N14 to upington, then the N10 into Namibia,(which becomes the B3), driving to Karasburg, Grunau and then Hobas.
Do you have any idea how long this route would take?
From there we would drive down to CapeTown.
PS - Is it safe to drive at night in South Africa/Namibia along the major roads? There are 8 of us a large bus.
Hobas is the campsite for Fish River Canyon. You have to enter Hobas to get to the Canyon viewpoint - they have the same gate entry point. The Camp is 10kms from the canyon.
The N10/B3 is all tar road so you should average about 100kms/hr although you don't have to go all the way back to Upington to reach the N10. You can save 100km by taking the dirt road from Augrabies to Lutzputs to the N10 which brings you out 70kms east of the Nakop border post (as opposed to 130kms from Upington). It is then about 1.5hrs to Grunau. At Grunau go straight ahead onto the C12 and 60kms later you reach the D601 turnoff to Fish River Canyon/Hobas on the left.
It is safe enough to drive most of southern Africa at night although I wouldn't recommend it in the Namibian areas you are looking to travel through on the dirt roads. Animals, no street lights or road markers, long haul trucks and skinny roads make it a bit too hairy at night time. South of Springbok is OK except for 70kms around Clanwilliam/Citrusdal where the roads are pretty skinny and the trucks are huge! During the day it is OK but it can be a slow drive stuck behind a truck with no where to pass until you get to Piketburg.
FYI Upington to Grunau is 310kms and 4.5 hours in a Overland truck allowing for toilet stops.
Think well take that dirt road to lutzputz.
Thanks so much for the advice....
you've been really helpful
sites. So after getting to the canyon there is an additional distance to drive to get anywhere useful (hotel, camping, restaurant) but I cannot remember how far- in all honesty, i'd had a few beers and was probably asleep on the backseat at that stage, but probably no more than 30-40 minutes.
"probably".....? Anyhow, I thought it was the wine as opposed to the beers that knocked you out!
There is a campsite at the entrance to the Canyon (eg the bit you have to pay to get in to) which is more expensive to camp in, but fine if you need to. from there to the Hobas viewpoint is about 12km, which was fine in our little 2wheel drive polo, though quite slow going in places as the dirt road isn't as good as the public one outside.
It was about 45mins from - admittedly sketchy - memory from the Canyon viewpoint to the Hobas roadhouse place where we stayed which was a pretty nice place (though we camped) and did decent food as well