Is Namibia a Wildlfe Destination

Old Apr 21st, 2008, 08:46 AM
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sniktawk
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Is Namibia a Wildlfe Destination

There appears to be a lot of threads about Namibia lately, with many people visiting Etosha. There has also been a lot of responses saying that Etosha is not very good for wildlife viewing.
What are your views?
 
Old Apr 21st, 2008, 09:07 AM
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The terrain of Etosha is strikingly barren, but between the vast empty areas, you will find remarkably exciting concentrations of wildlife. The wildlife viewing at the various waterholes is truly stupendous! Here are some photos taken by another traveler:

http://www.pbase.com/ianfulton/nam_animals
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 09:10 AM
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I enjoyed my trip to Etosha last summer. IMO game viewing was pretty good. It was obviously not as good as Botswana, but I went to Namibia first. In the other order (Bots first), Etosha might have been a let down. I thought Etosha rounded out my Namibia trip nicely.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 09:35 AM
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I would rank Etosha as the third best place in Africa to see wildlife (of the parks I've visited). I'd rank it behind Serengeti/Masai Mara (by far, the very best place), and just behind the Okavango/Chobe ecoystem (and I include them together).

But, I would rank Etosha as the park I would most like to re-visit, based on several factors -- I really enjoyed self-driving, which permitted me 10+ hours of game drives per day (compared to two several hour game drives at high end lodges); I was able to spend the evenings at very active and dynamic waterholes (especially at Okaukeujo); I enjoyed the evening braai, and while my meals were not gourmet, nothing tasted better than a grilled steak and a South African red wine at the end of the day; and I was able to spend as much, or as little time, as I wanted at each sighting.

The animals are plentiful in Etosha, with lots of elephants, giraffes, rhino (my best daytime black rhino sightings); resident game (wildebeasts, gemsbok, springbok); decent cat sightings (including lots of lions and one cheetah); and lots of raptors.

Michael
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 12:43 PM
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I visited Etosha in early September and it was awesome. Absolutely huge concentrations of Red Hartebeest, Kudu, Giraffe, Elephants, Zebra, Rhino, Lion, Hyena.

The barren landscape adds a special dimension to the experience.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 01:11 PM
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Etosha is fabulous and amongst the top National Parks to visit for wildlife viewing. It is tremendous to sit at a waterhole and see 9 or more different large mammals species all interacting at the same time, no where else have I seen so many species interacting at once within a small area.

Beyond Etosha Namibia is definitely rightly known more for it's amazing scenery and wilderness but there are many specialized wildlife experiences where quality makes up for quantity. Tracking rhino on foot, observing desert adapted elephant at close quarters, visiting 60,000 strong Cape fur seal colony, and witnessing the specialized desert life centering on oryx and springbok, but for me also producing 8 African wild cats and my only sighting of Cape foxes were all outstanding wildlife experiences that I had visiting Namibia.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 02:29 PM
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Etosha is a great wildlife destination, but is very different. The desolation of the Pan and the mixed species at the waterholes are what made it special to me. (If people were expecting to see the same amount of big cats as in Mara/Serengeti maybe that has caused them to be disappointed).

The seals at Cape Cross are unforgettable and the birds at Walvis Bay are prolific.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 03:34 PM
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Namibia is more than a wildlife destination...
If you go there expecting the migration of the Mara, then no it will disappoint, however if you wish to see a diversity of species that you wont see elsewhere then it is most definitely a game destination.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 03:53 PM
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I like this topic.

What do you think of this itinerary, which is billed as a wildlife focused trip for people who want to photograph animals? I'm interested in the guided option.

Here is the link.
http://namibia.safari.co.za/Speciali...ng-safari.html

Day 1: Windhoek, Namibia
Arrive in Windhoek and head north via Okahandja to the Waterberg Plateau Park. If time permits, a late afternoon hike in this lovely area is planned for this Namibia safari.

If clients have chosen the Lodge (guided) option, then accommodation will be in Namibia Wildlife bungalows. Breakfast and Dinner will be included. If on the Self-Drive option, clients will also be accommodated in the Namibia Wildlife bungalows, but no meals will be included.

Days 2 - 6: Etosha National Park
Four full days are set aside during this Namibia safari to spend on game drives and game viewing at numerous waterholes in this beautiful game reserve. View numerous species of animals drinking at the same waterhole, not often seen in other African parks.

Etosha is well known for the vast numbers of plains game such as Zebra and Springbok as well as being home to Lion, Elephant as well as the endangered Black Rhino. All the resorts have floodlit waterholes with Halali and especially Okaukuejo being very good to spend the evenings. Overnight at Namibia Wildlife Resorts at Namutoni, Halali and/or Okaukuejo.

On days 2, 3 and 4, if clients choose the Lodge (guided) option, accommodation will be at the Namibia Wildlife bungalows. Breakfast and Dinner will be included.

If on the Self-Drive option, clients will also stay at the Namibia Wildlife bungalows, but no meals will be included. On day 5 and 6, accommodation on the guided and self-drive option will be at Onguma Bush Camp. Dinner and Breakfast is included.

Day 7: Okahandja Lodge, Namibia
Exit Etosha at the southern gate and head south to Okahandja and then to the lodge for the last night of this Namibia safari.

If clients have chosen the Lodge (guided) option, they will be accommodated at the Okahandja Lodge. Breakfast and Dinner will be included. If on the Self-Drive option, clients will also stay at the Okahandja Lodge. Dinner and Breakfast at the lodge included.

Day 8: Windhoek, Namibia / End of Safari
Depart after breakfast and head on to Windhoek, where you will transfer to the airport where this Namibia safari will come to an end. Breakfast is included

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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 04:48 PM
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Lynn, I'm not sure if you're hesitant to drive in Namibia, but I would really recommend seriously considering renting a car (automatic) in Windhoek and driving the very empty, excellent roads to Etosha (a very pleasant 5-hour drive). I think you'd be much happier having the freedom that a rental vehicle allows in Etosha -- its very well-signed, with several loops off of a very few main roads (impossible to get lost). Its the easiest of the self-drive parks I've visited (and I have also self-driven in Kruger, Hluhluwe and Kgalagadi). I would bet that more than 95% (at least) of the visitors to Etosha are on a self-drive -- that's what its set up for.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 05:48 PM
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Thanks, Thitcho!
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 06:40 PM
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Lynn, RE thit_cho's note and others that have referenced self-drive in Namibia... I know you've got a lot on your agenda with Gorilla planning etc., etc. (to borrow a HariS phrase), but I for one would be very much up for a few Fodorite solos banding together for a Namibia self drive. Any others out there?
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 07:09 PM
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RickMck,

Can you pencil me in for about June of 2011? I promise not to keep asking are we there yet.
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 07:44 PM
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Ken,

I don't know, as i have never been to Namibia, so won't answer your question.

Here's a guess, though - in a different thread you made a reference to a group of a large number of cheetah that was seen in Etosha - that speaks enough volumes!!!

Cheers
Hari
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 07:46 PM
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Lynn - you have everything planned out until 2011? Very impressive .......
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 08:01 PM
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2011 sounds good to me!
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Old Apr 21st, 2008, 08:07 PM
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2010 to the Panatel with Lynda, 2011 to Namibia with Lynn. Sounds good and I'll drive Lynn!
Guess 2009 will be Tasmania.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 04:57 AM
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Actually, if you get a small group, you could rent a really nice 4WD vehicle and gain some game-viewing height. Since a lot of Etosha is open, flat and not covered in thick foliage, height as not as necessary as in some other parks, but it would be beneficial. I visited in a 2WD (actually a very nice automatic, C-class Mercedes -- which was a very common, affordable rental car), but would have rented an SUV if it was not much more expensive (which it was).

Lynn, I'm impressed that you're planned into 2011. I just ticketed February 2009 (El Salvador), and am getting ready to ticket May 2009 (Lebanon, Syria and Jordan), but I'm at least two years behind you. My next return to Africa is scheduled to be Ethiopia (and maybe Djibouti depending on Air France flights) in December 2009, a long way off.

But, I have less than four weeks to go before I leave for Easter Island!
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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 05:32 AM
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Thanks for the vehicle stats, Michael. I am not truly "planned" out to 2011, just wishful thinking to that point.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2008, 02:39 PM
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Well it appears that apart from the fall off at the end the general consensus is that Namibia has jolly gooid game viewing, I could not disagree with this.

I still love this link to a real tourist guide to what Etosha is like

http://www.africatravelresource.com/...FQhWMAodfzIMxA

an you believe the arrogance of these people?
 

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