First trip to Namibia: when to go ?

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Jan 6th, 2006, 06:19 AM
  #1
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First trip to Namibia: when to go ?

We have 2 kids aged 11 and 5. Due to school holidays we can have our 2 weeks trip between 15th june and 7th september. When would you go ?
Top priorities are selfdriving to Etosha for wildlife viewing, then Sussuvslei and Skeleton coast
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Jan 6th, 2006, 06:53 AM
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I went in August 2002, and the weather was perfect. I drove from Windhoek to Etosha (and stayed at Ongava, and then the three camps in Etosha for one night each), and saw a lot of wildlife in Etosha (including lion on many occasions, cheetah and black rhino). Based on my visit, I would recommend staying at Okakuejo, the westernmost camp in Etosha, and the one with the best waterhole (constant action).

I then drove back to Windhoek and due to time constraints flew to Sossoslvei (this was pricey b/c I chartered my own plane), but with more time could have driven to Sossosvlei.

I would think August would be ideal.
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Jan 6th, 2006, 08:48 AM
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I agree with thit cho. August is a great month for Namibia. The days are warm and sunny, but it does cool down at night.

I also agree with his assessment of Okaukuejo. I am totally hooked on the place. Book a luxury bungalow if you can. They are spacious with 2 bedrooms and some kitchen facilities and are the closest to the waterhole. You can see the animals from your bungalow. Anything at Okaukuejo must be booked as early as possible. Whenever I am there, which is just about every year, I book for the following year before I leave. Check out Namibia Wildlife Resorts on the web for more information on Etosha.

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Jan 6th, 2006, 09:56 AM
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thank you both

I will try to get the august leave.
Alternative, due to my wife's job, could be the second half of june. Which are the downsides in that case ?
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Jan 6th, 2006, 10:05 AM
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I think Summer (Namibian Winter) is generally fine. I went in August, but that's because its easy for me to get away in August. Its a very dry country, and I'm sure June is also very nice. The only difficulty, as safarilover indicates, is that some nice lodges, like Okaukeujo, may be filled up for dates in June (and they are likely even filled up for some dates in August), but with two weeks you should have no problem.

I went a few years ago, but I worked with Cardboard Box, based in Windhoek, and they arranged everything for me via email.
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Jan 6th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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thank you

Having 2 weeks how many nights would you stay in Okaukuejo and in general in Etosha Park ? Should we also pick another location within the park for overnight ?
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Jan 6th, 2006, 10:37 AM
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Etosha is an excellent park, and I was glad I spent three full days in the park (one at each of the three camps: Okaukeujo, Halali and Namutoni). If I revisit, I likely will only stay at Okaukeujo since you can visit a lot of the park and return to Okaukeujo -- its waterhole at night is incredible (lots of action). There's not a lot for kids to do at night on safari so they may like spending time at the waterhole. I would think three/four days would be great in Etosha. Its a long drive, and perhaps too far for only a two-night visit, and beyond four days it may be a bit redundant.
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Jan 6th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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you helped me a lot. Thank you again !

4 nights 3 full days will be our choice !
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Jan 6th, 2006, 04:54 PM
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I spent May-August in Namibia in 2003 and 2004. Weather is good the entire time you are considering. In higher elevations, it can get pretty cold in the evenings so bring something warm. A stop at one of the cheetah conservation areas going or coming from Etosha should be considered. If you happen to get to Sossusvlei Mountain Lodge before August 10, stop by the telescope and say hello.
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Jan 6th, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Forgot to add my standard advice, be very careful driving in Namibia, especially on unpaved roads. I saw several fatal accidents when I was there and heard about many more. Most were caused by tourists driving too fast. I almost had an accident myself when with no visible change the surface became extremely slick. Listen to (sane) locals and if you go the speed they recommend you should be ok.
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Jan 7th, 2006, 08:44 AM
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I have not been to Namibia in June, only at various times from mid-July through late August into September. As far as I am concerned, late August is the best. The weather is a little milder and the rain-fed waterholes are drying up, so there are masses of animals to be seen at the permanent waterholes. I think the downside of June would be the shorter days and the colder weather, but otherwise, it should be fine. Also, in June there probably would be fewer European tourists there.

As far as Etosha goes, Okaukuejo is definitely the place to be. However, there are some nice waterholes in other parts of the park, including my personal favorite, Goas which is a photographer's paradise just east of Halali. You can make a day drive to Halali without too much trouble if you leave early in the morning, but driving east the sun is in our eyes.

In a perfect world, I would recommend three nights at Okaukuejo and one night at Naumatoni on the other side of the park. If you can't get a luxury bungalow in Okaukuejo, try for a normal two-bedroom bungalow. They are only a little further behind the waterhole, but also nice and a little cheaper.

If your budget permits, you might want to spend a night or two at Okonjima, the cheetah conservation project. It's pricey, but part of the fee goes toward the project. Without checking my map, I believe it is just north of Otjiwarongo.

And, of coure, do be careful about driving particularly if you are going to be driving on gravel roads.
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Jan 7th, 2006, 10:02 AM
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Both our trips to Namibia have been in June. The days are warm and sunny but not overwhelmingly hot (which is perfect for us as neither of us can stand too much heat) and the nights are cold but this isn't a problem either as everywhere we stayed had good quality duvets and hot water bottles in the beds before we got in them. It was a little cold when getting out of bed in the morning but worth that minor discomfort for the perfect day weather. We took our showers during the warmer early afternoon breaks rather than on waking.

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Jan 7th, 2006, 11:37 AM
  #13
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You made this trip very closer to me !! thank you again ! I can't wait....
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