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Desert Express train / Sossusveli Shuttle

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I'm likely to be traveling solo after volunteering in South Africa in August and thinking of Namibia as a destination. Probably won't rent a car just for myself, so thinking of a 'small group tour' or bundling some adventures together to create a trip since the distances are vast across the country.

I'm wondering if anyone has taken the multi-day 'Desert Express' train from Windhoek to Swakopmund (or vice versa) that stops along the way to visit the dunes and see wildlife, and can share thoughts on the experience: train, demographics of people on board, accommodations, food.

And similarly, there's a shuttle van service that operates between the two cities, Sossusvlei Shuttle that spends two nights at a lodge near the dunes and a presserve, to give you easy access to them. Same questions on the experience.

Exploring this before looking at Etosha, Damaraland, Skeleton Coast possibilities.

Thanks.

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