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Getting around in Namibia

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Nov 3rd, 2006, 07:46 PM
  #1
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Getting around in Namibia

How easy is it to get around in Namibia if you are not doing a self-drive?

Are there scheduled charters between the main parks in Namibia?

I get the feeling you don't just pick out destinations like you do in other African countries and figure an agent can easily arrange the transport. Or am I wrong on this?

Wilderness Safaris has numerous group departure itineraries that look good and would take care of the transportation. To add a few days to the first and last stop, plus maybe one more destination would be ideal but is that do-able for one person?

I'm concerned I would have to charter a private plane to fly throughout the country, which is not possible.

Thanks for your help.
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Nov 3rd, 2006, 08:49 PM
  #2
santharamhari
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Good question, Lynn....i would like to know the answer also. My understanding is, Namibia is best done through driving point to point to enjoy the stunning vistas.

Maybe, Johan or someone else with Namibia experience will see this and add their thoughts.....

Hari
 
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Nov 3rd, 2006, 11:59 PM
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Hi there
Sefofane have flights between most of the main areas, ie Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, and the Wilderness lodges, and it is quite easy to coordinate. If you have the time, it is better to drive but the distances are quite something, and one must be careful on the roads. I drove about 2000 kms last year and found it quite easy. The link for Sefofane is www.sefofane.com and they have quite a lot of information and the routes they fly. Road transfers are expensive, probably more than the flight. Hope this helps.
Peggylou
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Nov 4th, 2006, 05:47 AM
  #4
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Peggylou, that's just the kind of link I was looking for. Thanks!

I would also consider being driven to get a good feel for the land. I'm not going to drive those distances alone. For one it can be less expensive to fly than to drive, especially if my travel dates don't fit with a group departure and I need my own vehicle.

I believe Johan did a group trip to Namibia and I've seen the professional photos that resulted.
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Nov 4th, 2006, 06:25 AM
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Lynn, even if you don't want to drive the very long distances, you may want to drive some short legs (at least relatively short for Namibia), such as from Windhoek to Etosha (a very easy five-hour drive). This would allow you to self-drive at Etosha, which, in my opinion, is much, much better than staying at Ongava, Wilderness' camp outside Etosha (I did both, and you can also choose to do both). In fact, Wilderness generally spends the day within Etosha, but is not allowed to remain in the park after it closes. But, if you stay at one of the Etosha camps (admittedly much less luxurious than Ongava), especially Okaukeujo, you can spend the night at the waterhole, which is amazing.

Michael
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Nov 4th, 2006, 06:34 AM
  #6
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I have noted your recommendation of Okaukeujo on several past posts. It appears to offer what is important to me.
Thanks!
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Nov 4th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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Hi

I agree with thit_cho's comments. Staying in Okaukuejo preferably with your own car is considerably better than Ongava and at a fraction of the price. If you don't mind being on your own, the Etosha camps are very comfortable where you can eat in a restaurant or grab a snack at the shop. The bungalows are equipped with fridges and some have braais and hotplates, so it's quite easy to do a bit of self-catering.

As thit_cho stated, Wilderness takes their clients into Etosha; therefore, you can go everywhere they do in the park. There are good maps and the roads are simple to navigate. Really, the best game is seen at the waterholes, and Okaukuejo is one of the best.

Namibia is easy to drive on your own--just be careful of gravel roads if you are not used to driving on them. There are good, tarred roads from Windhoek to Etosha. Just keep in mind that there is no virtually nothing between one city and the next. It is also doable to drive in a circle from Windhoek, Swakopmund, Etosha, and back to Windhoek.

Namibia is one of my very favorite travel destinations! Good luck with your planning, and let us know what you decide.

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Nov 4th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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Just a quick update, the camps in Etosha are being refurbished which is great as they were looking a little old. I agree it is better to visit the park in your own vehicle. I was lucky to have 2 companions with me which made it more fun.
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Nov 4th, 2006, 12:00 PM
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Here are the per seat rates for Sefofane flight routings http://www.namibweb.com/sefofane.htm

Note that it says seat rates are based on a minimum of 2 guests travelling together, so I think there would have to be another passenger booked on the same flight to qualify for those rates.

Air Namibia http://www.airnamibia.com.na/ has a limited domestic route network but it's mostly between cities and not safari destinations.

There's the Desert Express train that runs between Windhoek and Swakopmund http://www.desertexpress.com.na/ (the train is only doing the Fri/Sat departure now, the Tue/Wed departure has been discontinued).

We also considered the WS group itineraries as some of them looked interesting but ultimately decided to self drive, although I probably wouldn't do it solo either.
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Nov 4th, 2006, 01:42 PM
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How easy is it to do a combination self-drive and flying itinerary? Wolwedans' website suggests doing self-drive from Windhoek to Etosha and then onward through Damaraland to Swakopmund where you drop off the rental. From Swakopmund, you can do a flight to Sossusvlei, and then onward to Windhoek.

I ran the numbers and doing a drive/fly combination works out pretty close to an all-drive itinerary - even more so if you wanted to add in a scenic flight at any point. My only concern would be catching scheduled flights rather than charters.
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Nov 4th, 2006, 02:02 PM
  #11
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Lynn,

The problem with the scheduled WS safaris is that the time spend in most of the camps is too short to explore the area in depth. Also when staying at Ongava (near Etosha), you only explore the area around Okaukuejo. To my opinion, if gameviewing is your only concern when in Etosha, I would stay in the restcamps (Namutomi/Halali/Okaukuejo). Actually the western part is more interesting because less developed (less tourists).

For me an ideal safari in Namibia would be partly self-driving and partly flying to less accessible areas.

But if you don't want to drive yourself (which I fully understand), I would advice to use Sefofane because you don't have to drive all the way to see the stunning scenery. I think it's best then to pick out some spots and do excursions from there. And you know, which places I should visit.

Best regards,

Johan




 
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Nov 4th, 2006, 05:58 PM
  #12
DJE
 
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atravelynn,

Another great company that puts together trips in Namibia is called Nature Friend Safaris and they co-ordinate with Nature Wings for flights in the country.

On our trip in June we had a wonderful experience with this outfit and could not have been more pleased with how everything turned out. They were very professional and the service we received was top notch. Our trip combined a self drive portion and some fly in camps as well. It all ran very smoothly.

You might want to give them serious consideration as a possible provider for a trip to Namibia.
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Nov 4th, 2006, 09:33 PM
  #13
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When I started planning our trip (we leave on the 20th)last spring, initially I was most interested in going to the Skeleton Coast and to Sossusvlei--but eventually decided to only to to Sossusvlei. We looked into doing a self-drive first from Cape Town--and then from Windhoek to Little Kulala, and were advised not to because of the road conditions in a lot of places--the number of accidents (although I've also read the opposite) and the time. Then we looked into having a driver--but Little Kulala said that wouldn't work (no place for driver to stay, etc.)--and then as an alternative looked into a four day group trip (minimum of two) from Windhoek to Sossuvlei, which is quite reasonable. You're spending a lot of time driving--but some of it should be through great country. Most of the agencies (we're using Siyabona) have this option on their sites. And they also have combinations of going to Swampkoland and the dunes, pretty reasonably. The charter flights start to mount up--so much is dependent on your budget and the time you have. We weren't as interested in game viewing in Namibia as in the scenery. From everything I looked at there were quite a few trips that you could do (not just with Wilderness) that would take you to some of the main parks if that's your goal. The Skeleton Coast was the most difficult to arrange--but the others seemed to be manageable, if you were willing to do it as you said, by adding a few days to the first and last stops.

Good luck.
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Nov 5th, 2006, 11:28 AM
  #14
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Thank you for all of the helpful replies.
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