Namibia for One Week! Where to go, what to see?!!

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Apr 13th, 2012, 02:06 PM
  #1
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Namibia for One Week! Where to go, what to see?!!

Hi all -- you guys were so helpful in planning my first safari trip to South Africa and a subsequent trip to Kenya and Tanzania. So, I am looking forward to some good suggesstions for Namibia.

I will traveling to South Africa for one week in mid-June with my three kids on business. I will then have 7 days to spend in Namibia! Please know that my kids are very well-traveled as this will be their 6th trip to South Africa, they were on the above-mentioned trips and they have traveled extensively through West Africa on vacation and for bare bones non-profit trips.

With this said, where should we go, where should we stay and how should we travel???!!!

In reading the forums, I am interested in Sossusvlei, Damarland and possibly Swakopmund or Kaokoland. However, if that seems like too much, I would skip Swakopmund or Kaokoland. Please note that Swakopmund would be for adventure sports and Kaokoland would be to visit the Himba. I would really like an experience visiting a native tribe. What do you guys think of visiting these three places? Yes or stick to two stops?

I am looking at Sossus Dune Lodge, Little Kulala, and And Beyond Sossusvlei when visiting Sossusvlei; Camp Kipwe or Mowani Mountain Camp for Damaraland. I have no options yet for Swakopmund or Kaokoland as I do not yet know if it feasible to do so much.

In terms of companies to help me plan, on the forums I have read about ATI, Discover Namibia, and Cardboard Box. Any thoughts, comments or recommendations?

I am looking at a combination of flying and driving. I would probably do guided drives as I can't make it around my own town with a GPS, so I cannot imagine driving myself in Namibia (husband has to work and cannot make this trip). I do want to be driven at least one leg as the posts have just raved about the scenery. However, I would add air as well just to conserve time. Again, thoughts or comments?

Lastly, I really do not have a strong opinion about what to do first, second, etc., so please feel free to weight in.

Thanks all. Sorry I wrote a book here but wanted to get out all my thoughts in order to get your great advice. I am looking forward to hearing from you and locking this down!

Enjoy the weekend.
Lolazahra is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2012, 12:52 PM
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Hi - we spent 3 weeks in Namibia in 2010 and had a great time. For one week 3 locations seems a lot to me....we were thrilled with Gemma Dry (owner of Discover Namibia) and highly recommend you send her an email. She was a huge asset to our itinerary planning.

We loved Sossusvlei but wonder if kids will find miles of sand all that interesting? Stayed on Sossus Dune Lodge and recommend it for the early access to Deadvlei.

Blog link here

http://lizandrichardsa.typepad.com/africa/g-namibia/
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Apr 14th, 2012, 04:11 PM
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Thanks for your reply. Your pictures are wonderful and I had actually already seen them. But I happily looked at them again! Yep, I think Gemma is the one to go with. Great to hear you were so happy. And the Sossus Dune Lodge seems perfect. But dont worry about my kids. They are quite unique having first gone on a safari at age 2 and 4 and since trekking with me all over Africa to find the most unique experiences.

Any thoughts on Damaraland?

Thanks so much.
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Apr 15th, 2012, 08:50 AM
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Damaraland is a long drive from Sussusvlei - we drove to Swakopmund (about 5 hours) and stayed there then drove to Cape Cross (90 minutes) and the next day to Palmwag Lodge (near Hobatere) and that was 4 or 5 hours as I recall. I think with a week it's either the coast or Damaraland/Etosha, but not both - but Gemma's opinion matters more than mine!
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Apr 15th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Thanks Elizabeth. I am going to contact Gemma tomorrow. Etosha is not on the radar for us this trip. Having gone on 4 safaris in South Africa and 1 in Kenya/Tanzana, for only one week, I'm feeling more of a pull to landscapes than to animals. But up, I may have to give something up. Or add a flight?....that is what I am wondering...

Thanks!
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Apr 15th, 2012, 08:22 PM
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Here's my Namibia trip report http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...uth-africa.cfm

We drove everywhere and I listed driving times. We didn't go as far north as Damaraland but I think a Damaraland/Swakopmund/Sossusvlei combination is do-able in one week. If you're willing to fly, then anything's possible. It just depends on how much driving vs flying you want to do.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 11:59 AM
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Hi,
we just returned from a trip to Namibia.

If you have just one week, Kaokoveld is too far away and probably Damaraland, too. Flying (besides being very expensive and with severe limitations on baggage) does not help much, because you will lose time to get the rental car etc. My recommendation is to go to the Erongo Mountains instead, especially if you are interested in scenery.

Here are my recommendations:

- Sossusvlei is really great scenery. sossus Dune Lodge is the only choice to watch the sunrise. In fact, we watched it from Dune 45 which is about 45 min driving from Sossus Dune Lodge and another 15 min climbing. If you want to watch the sunrise from Big Daddy/Deadvlei, you will need 60 min driving, at least 15 min for the shuttle, and over 30 min hiking and driving to Big Daddy Dune. Sossus Dune Lodge is a worthy experience; I just wrote a review in Tripadvisor (same screen name).

- Swakopmund has small colonial town charme and offers excellent opportunities for outdoor activities (sandboarding etc.). Moon Landscape and Weltwitschia Drive are scenic highlights. We stayed at a luxurious self-catered apartment called "Atlantik Sicht".

- From Swakopmund, you can easily drive to the Spitzkoppe and see more scenery and rock paintings. From there, it is another short drive to Ai Aiba Lodge in the Erongo mountains. You will enjoy more scenery, more rockpaintings, animals and a beautiful lodge. In addition, 2km from the lodge there is a "living museum" where you can meet the San bushmen. They offer several tours from 30 min to 7 hours. We chose the hunting tour which was really great. For us, visiting the bushmen, was another highlight of our trip.

- From Erongo, it is an easy drive back to Windhoek.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 12:28 PM
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That's exactly what we ended up doing, going only as far north as the Erongo Mountains, then heading south to Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, etc.
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Apr 16th, 2012, 07:07 PM
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Hi Patty and Traveller1959,

Thanks for sharing your trip report and your advice. I never thought of the Erongo Mountains but I will now. The experience with the Bushman is very enticing. Traveler, your photos are amazing. This is really good food for thought. Will update shorty.

Thanks!
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Apr 17th, 2012, 02:57 AM
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Patty, you have written the best trip report ever -- with more useful details that I've ever seen. Thank you! I am so sorry that I have to do a little thing like get the kids up for school instead of finish reading it. But I will be back at it this afternoon. I looked at pictures of the Erongo Mountsins -- astonishingly beautiful.
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Apr 18th, 2012, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for your comments about my report. I tried to be thorough.
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