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Namibia--fly-in or guided drive?

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Jul 27th, 2015, 10:31 AM
  #1
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Namibia--fly-in or guided drive?

Hello

Am looking for help in deciding between two Namibia safaris. I'm a solo traveler and usually plan my own trips, but decided that a small group safari in Namibia may be the more economical way to go. Both safaris I'm considering are for small groups (8 people max) and are 11 days, but the itineraries are a little different. And, one is a fly-in and the other is mostly driving between destinations. Of course, the cost of the fly-in is higher, but I'm willing to pay the difference if it means more time in parks and seeing more wildlife. But, if the driving trip is like being on an all-day game drive, I may opt for that. Here are the two itineraries:

Driving:
Day 1 Windhoek
Days 2-3 Drive through Khomas Hochland mountains into the Sollusvlei region (driving time approx. 5-6 hours). Two nights Kulala Desert Lodge.
Days 4-5 Flight to Swakopmund. Two nights Hansa Hotel.
Day 6 Drive up the Skeleton Coast (approx. 236 miles). One night at Terrace Bay Lodge.
Days 7-8 Continue driving through Skeleton Coast National Park (86 miles). Two nights at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp.
Days 9-10 Drive to Palmwag Reserve. Two nights at Desert Rhino Camp.
Day 11 Fly to Windhoek

Fly-in
Day 1 Windhoek
Days 2-4 Fly to Namib Desert. Three nights at the Kulala Adventurer Camp in the Kulala Wilderness Reserve. On day 4 we drive into the Naukluft Mountains for a half day hike, then back to Kulala Reserve.
Days 5-7 Fly to Hoanib. Three nights at the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp.
Days 9-10 Fly to Kunene River Region. Three nights at Serra Cafema.
Day 11 Fly to Windhoek

Any thoughts, opinions, advice is greatly appreciated.
phernska is offline  
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Jul 27th, 2015, 11:53 AM
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Boy - hard to decide. We drove from Windhoek to Sossusvlei (spent 3 nights) then drove to Swakopmund (4 nights) then stopped at Cape Cross for one night (not far from Swakopmund) then to Palmwag for 3 nights and then on to Etosha and up to Caprivi.

We did a self drive and loved it. The itinerary I described didn't have much potential to be a game drive until the approach to Palmwag but we were there in the dry season so not much wildlife to be seen. (what time of year are you considering?)

All told we did about 4,500 km in about 3 weeks.

We both like driving trips so that's a factor - and we really loved driving through Namibia. We could go a couple of hours without seeing another.....living thing. (as in even a blade of vegetation!). In particular we enjoyed the drive from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund -- the area of the Kuesib Pass was beautiful.

The presence of Serra Cafema in the second itinerary is very tempting - I wish we had done it (but oh my it's expensive!). When we were at Palmwag there was almost a chance to go --- we got to know the staff there and the pilot and they tried to get us in at a reduced rate - alas it didn't come to pass.

Hard choice - but no bad decision!
Elizabeth_S is online now  
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Jul 28th, 2015, 04:30 AM
  #3
 
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I would take the flying safari hands down. We did one in Namibia few years ago, and it was awesome. Such great views from the flights. Also the camps for the flying, esp. Serra Cafema would make me choose the flying safari.
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Jul 28th, 2015, 10:06 PM
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This one's a no brainer...a fly in safari is the way to go.
Flying over the sights, especially the dunes is a magical experience.
planningtravel is offline  
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Aug 8th, 2015, 08:59 AM
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If you can afford it, would like to spend less time in-between destinations, and more time at these fantastic places, then go for the fly-in safari option. You will see beautiful desert areas from the air, and have enough time at each location to explore the destinations with your safari operator which has a very good reputation (if you are using Wilderness Safaris).

For people planning self-driving trips to Namibia, check out the very practical and visitor friendly Namibia Road Map (www.namibia-raod-map.com) with complete accommodation guide. The locations of all accommodation establishments in Namibia are indicated on the detailed maps, and their contact numbers are listed on the list pages. Now visitors to Namibia can see at one glance all accommodation available in the area they like to visit. The map brochure is also available a eBook to download.
clawyn is offline  
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Aug 8th, 2015, 10:05 AM
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the correct link above should be www.namibia-road-map.com
clawyn is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2016, 10:42 AM
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We are planning a trip there this November. Can anyone recommend if we need a 4x2 or 4x4? Also, what car companies did you use?
europe2011 is offline  
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Apr 20th, 2016, 05:24 PM
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europe 2011 - best to start your own topic as this one is from 2015 and may confuse people.
KathBC is offline  
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May 7th, 2016, 03:51 PM
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Phernska, nice to see you are planning another exciting adventure.

"I'm a solo traveler and usually plan my own trips, but decided that a small group safari in Namibia may be the more economical way to go."

I was in your exact position a couple of years back. The group trip is definitely more economical than a private trip.

But none of the group trips I looked at did what I wanted to do. Nothing against all those itineraries, I just wanted more time in each spot. I ended up with Wild Dog Safaris on a private trip that was great.

Here is the whole big report with photos, etc.

http://safaritalk.net/topic/13187-de...istas-namibia/

My itinerary did not include Skeleton Coast, though, and it appears that is a priority of yours. I have thought I probably would do a group trip someday for Skeleton Coast. That region just seems to lend itself well to group travel.

The privately guided trip with Wild Dogs was in the same cost range, or maybe even less than privately guided trips in East Africa.

Right now the USD is doing well against the Namibian dollar, which is favorable if you are paying in USDs.

In June (about a month) I am returning to Namibia with Wild Dog Safaris on another private trip, this time Damaraland for desert ele/rhino tracking. Plus Hobatere (Western Ethosha) and a little more desert but not dunes.

Also, self drive is very common and safe. I did not and I won't but for many it is a good option you may wish to consider.

Have a great trip, whatever you decide!
atravelynn is offline  
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May 7th, 2016, 05:28 PM
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atravelynn: >>Phernska, nice to see you are planning another exciting adventure.<<

Phernska's thread is nearly a year old --it was topped by someone planning a different trip (note the two posts just above yours)
janisj is offline  
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May 10th, 2016, 09:14 PM
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Oops, well I hope Phernska has gone to Namibia and is NOW planning another exciting adventure somewhere else--or back to Namibia.
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