The Road to Rosh Pinah

Gravel road between Aussenkehr and Rosh Pinah, southern Namibia.

It may sound like something out of one of Edward Lear’s nonsense poems, but there really is a place called Rosh Pinah.  It’s a small mining town in southern Namibia, along the C13, a road that runs from near the South African border at Noordoewer to the small town of Aus.  For about 100km, between the wine-growing settlement of Aussenkehr and Rosh Pinah, the C13 is a gravel road, but good enough to drive in a normal saloon car with care.  This section of the road follows the north bank of the Orange River, and for virtually the whole of this stretch, the view across the river is of the Richtersveld, perhaps the most remote region of South Africa.

Gravel road and mountains between Aussenkehr and Rosh Pinah

Driving the gravel section of the C13 can take anything from one hour to all day, depending on how often you stop to admire the view, take photographs or look at the plants, animals and rock formations.  Travelling west the road arrives at the border post that serves the (very) occasional crossing at Sendelingsdrift, which consists of a small pontoon ferry attached to a wire crossing the river to prevent it from being swept downstream.  The border post itself is an old caravan, incongruous in its remote desert setting.  From here the road turns north-west and you will shortly arrive at Rosh Pinah.  After this the road north is tarred all the way to Aus, 165km away, and the journey is more comfortable, but less interesting, and takes about one and a half hours without stops.

Border post between South Africa at Sendelingsdrift and Namibia at Rosh Pinah

Border post between South Africa at Sendelingsdrift and Namibia at Rosh Pinah

Quiver tree, Aloe dichotoma, along the C13 road near Aussenkehr

Aloe gariepensis

Aloe gariepensis growing along the northern bank of the Orange River, southern Namibia.

Leave a Reply