Namibia isn’t really known for its mountain passes. You rather think of flat, open plains.
But carefully inspect a good map and you’ll see there’s a handful fun (and sometimes rough) mountain passes. Just think of Divorce Pass, Brandberg West Pass, Jouberts Pass, Sesfontein Pass, and the mother of them all, Vanzyls Pass.
And then there’s a whole bunch of gravel road passes descending from the Khomas Hochland, the central plateau west of Windhoek, to sea level from an altitude of up to 2 500 m above sea level.
If you want, you can drive six gravel road passes between Windhoek and the Namib, and then two more, just for fun:
*The tame Kupferberg Pass on the C26 outside Windhoek is one of the entry routes into the Khomas Hochland.
*The C28 via the Bosua Pass is the shortest, but not the fastest, route from Windhoek to Swakopmund, and it’s one of Namibia’s steepest passes.
*The D1982 via the Us Hoogte Pass is the shortest route between Windhoek and Walvis Bay.
*The Gamsberg Pass on the C26 between Windhoek and Walvis Bay is Namibia’s longest and highest pass and looks out over Namibia’s own Tafelberg.
*The Spreetshoogte Pass, on the D1275, is another steep one, and is often called the Namibian pass with the best views.
*Further to the south the Remhoogte Pass twists along the D1261 between Windhoek and Solitaire.
*On the C14 between Solitaire and Walvis Bay are the Gaub- and Kuiseb Passes. If you’ve read Henno Martin’s The Sheltering Desert, you’ll especially enjoy the Kuiseb Pass. You can explore any one of these passes on a comfortable 5-6 hour day trip from Windhoek. You can take a short cut to the coast and stay off the tar roads, or you can drive them one after the other and make a holiday out of it
Come full circle in Damaraland
Theatre of the wild