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Namibia itinerary

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Jun 29th, 2003, 07:22 AM
  #1
Peep
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Namibia itinerary

I'm trying to plan our first trip to Namibia for sometime in Sept-Oct. Here's what I've come up with so far (with help from Cardboard Box and fodors).

- Arrive in WDH early, spend the day and night there. Pick up our rent car at the airport on arrival.
- 2 nights in Erongo Wilderness Lodge. CB recommended this and it looks nice but I probably wouldn't have come up with it.
- 3 nights in Etosha, probably in the rest camps if they're available. How is that accommodation?
- 3 nights at Mowani Mountain Camp. Nicci's report made it sound great and so does the lodge's website.
- 2 nights in Swakopmund, stopping to see Cape Cross on the way. Is one full day in town enough to poke around and shop? I was thinking we could see Walvis Bay on the drive down to the Sossusvlei area. Does that sound reasonable?
- 2 nights around Sossusvlei with a daytrip to the dunes.
- On the last day, drive from Sossusvlei to Windhoek and have the afternoon there. Leave early the next morning.

How does that sound? Is that enough time in Windhoek? We like cities, wandering around, shopping, etc. Should I take a day away from somewhere and tack it onto the end in Windhoek? Thanks for your opinions!!
 
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Jun 30th, 2003, 02:43 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We too are going to Namibia for the month of September. Cardboard Box has helped us as well. Do you like to hike and have you ever been to Africa? We are including the Fish River Canyon, Epupa Falls, Kunene River Lodge, and Naukluft Desert in our plans. The extreme north of the country sounds really remote and interesting, ie Epupa Falls. The transport is fairly pricey and to go to the north you need a 4X4 vehicle. What dates will you be there, we may overlap, we are pretty much the month of September.
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Jun 30th, 2003, 03:15 PM
  #3
 
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The rest camps in Etosha are excellent, with Okakuejo being the best situated with the best waterhole, Halali second and Namutoni third. I found the game viewing near Namutoni to be much less spectacular than at the other two, but game viewing is, of course, highly seasonal and varies depending on many factors.
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Jul 1st, 2003, 01:00 AM
  #4
Peep
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I'm not sure we're going. I've been e-mailing lodges directly and working with Cardboard Box and haven't had much luck getting responses. Cardboard Box said they're really busy, but they take several days to respond to each e-mail and in the meantime the airfare has jumped over 25%. Bummer. I don't want to book flights until I'm sure I can get decent accommodations in the places we're interested in, but by the time I get anything confirmed, the airfare will no doubt have gone up again. Maybe I'll put this on hold until next summer (for the 2nd time) and go to plan B, Capetown and that area for a week or so. I should've just bought the tickets last week and hoped the accommodations would work out, but CB said this was the busiest year they've seen and lots of places were already full for fall. Pooker.
 
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Jul 1st, 2003, 06:18 AM
  #5
LizFrazier
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Peep-
My heart goes out to you. I've been doing this just as you are for these two trips we have coming up. It is really disheartening. The funny thing with our trips was when I was at the lowest emotionally, the trip all came together and everything worked out. I, too, saved the airfare until last. You just have to. You are doing it right. I didn't know the airfare was increasing, the fares go down the first of September. Anyway, I found the agent that Dick Snyder used and she got us the best fares. That was for our February trip to Tanzania. I'll have my fingers crossed for you and pray it all works out. Hang in there, buddy! Liz
 
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Jul 1st, 2003, 06:44 AM
  #6
 
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Hope it works out OK for you Peeps...
x x x
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Jul 1st, 2003, 12:21 PM
  #7
Peep
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I heard from Cardboard Box today and we exchanged several e-mails and it looks like we can get good accommodations, so I had my travel agent reserve our flights and we can hold them until Friday. I'm bummed the airfare has gone up so much and still can't figure that one out! It went up for most LTU flights from Munich to Windhoek in Sept and Oct, overnight! They couldn't possibly have all suddenly filled up. Anyway, we may just bite the bullet and dish out the extra bucks to go. Flights to Capetown look equally as expensive; so much for plan B! I wanna go so bad I can hardly stand it!!! ar ar ar

bholson, we like to hike and have never been to Africa. We're thinking of going the last week in Sept.
 
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Jul 1st, 2003, 06:38 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We got our reservations through a consolidator, www.airlineconsolidator.com and got a great deal. We booked through to Johannesburg and then used South African air from Joberg to Windhoek separately. We made these in May and the prices were cheaper then but got a great deal compared to the other search engines. When you log onto the consolidator everything will be full but click on search other fares and there are several options. We got the Joberg flight from Orlando through Atlanta and to joberg for 1400$ and the Joberg to Windhoek for about 325$. We will be leaving on September 26th to return home, maybe we can connect. We used Cardboard Travel and they were very prompt and helpful.
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 12:40 AM
  #9
Peep
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Hey! Assuming we go, we'll arrive early on the 26th! The consolidator showed the fare I've been quoted. The thing is, there are direct flights from where we live (MUC) to WDH, twice a week (how nice is that?!), and that's really what we want to take. Namibia is really popular with Germans so it's likely the flights will end up full and there won't be any last minute deals.
 
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 05:06 AM
  #10
Peep
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Hey! Can anyone give me an idea of how long it takes to drive between these places (at what speed) and road conditions (gravel, paved, etc)?

1) Windhoek to Etosha, shortest route
2) Etosha (from wherever you happen to know about) to Twyfelfontein area of Damaraland
3) Twyfelfontein to Swakopmund
4) Swakopmund to Sesriem
5) Sesriem to Windhoek

Any bits of info you can share with me would be much appreciated!

Has anyone damaged their rent car and lost their deposit? Should I pay double and get full coverage/no deposit?

Thanks!
 
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 05:58 AM
  #11
itlyen
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Peep, based on past reports, Kavey may be your best source for details. Also, I am assuming you've done an extensive research on this website. Namibia has been discussed a lot in the past two years.

About rental cars: is there a reason you believe damage is likely? I would assume you're not going off road, and that the worst would be dirt roads into reserves. I've used new Mercedes (as a lark!) in SA, and no problem so far. Perhaps Namibia is wilder - probably is. Again, Kavey, what can you advise? Liz too. Both could be running the SA site on their own.
 
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 06:17 AM
  #12
LizFrazier
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Thanks Itlyen, but never been to Namibia. Kavey is the one!

Bholsen-That is a good air consolidator site. I marked it as favorite to check when I need fares. Rates match the one we got to Tanzania. I say matched because it was $100 less than we paid, but taxes were approximate and that usually jumps between $100-200. Liz
 
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 06:31 AM
  #13
Peep
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Hey! Yes, Kavey's a good source, but she did a fly-in deluxe package kind of thing, nothing like what we're planning (lower budget, driving). I believe I've read most everything posted here about Namibia, especially since this is the 2nd time I'm trying to plan this! The reason I'm asking about the car and insurance is because I've heard most roads are dirt/gravel, distances are great and it's not for nothing that most rental agencies want a deposit (or charge slip) to cover damage. Apparently it's not like driving on interstate highways in the US. Anyway, it's hard to guess how long it might take to drive X miles on gravel roads; that's why I asked.
 
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 07:13 AM
  #14
 
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Of the routes you've identified, the only one I drove was Windhoek to Etosha's southern gate, about 5 hours on a tar road the entire way. A very easy drive with very few cars. One thing to note is that there are some terrible drivers in Namibia, and I had to rescue a young girl who decided it would be wise to make a right hand turn onto a dirt road at around 60k, and she flipped her pick-up truck. She was bloody and dirty, and her truck was ruined, but she was better off than I initially expected. So, get the insurance -- its not that expensive and will be well worth it if you suffer damage from gravel, hit an animal or get in an accident with another auto.
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 11:07 AM
  #15
sandi
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Peep -
Re: driving distances and time needed - from the information I received from our tour operator (we have since postponed trip till maybe next year) I have the following:

Windhoek to Etosha - 275 miles, about 5-6 hrs. however, we were not going to East gate, rather to Ongava, but that's an idea.

Etosha to Tweylfontein - from East Gate approx 5 hrs. but here you are on both blacktop and gravel roads and there are lots of areas to stop in this vicinity - Burnt Mntn, Organ Pipes, etc.

From Tweylfontein to Swakopmund - again about 4-hrs, depending on whether you stop along the way and again we were advised that it was mix of roads.

Cannot give you info from SWA as we were going to leave our car here and fly in to Soussesvlei and fly out to WDH. I would suggest you get a map of Namibia and will see immediately that there are only two or three main roads, blacktop (no superhiways here) that run N/S and some E/W, the rest are gravel, dirt or sand. Of course, once you arrive in WDH you'll get a more detailed map especially detailing gravel roads and their road numbers.

The reason it is recommended that one take "super coverage" when renting cars is that because there are few drivers on the roads one is tempted to speed. And while you might have control of your car, many Namibians are not very good drivers. Rollovers are not uncommon and with "super" they include emergency medical and evacuation, if necessary. It is also NOT recommended to drive at night as there are animals on the roads.

An earlier post from Celia indicated that they had no driving problems and believe she only took out regular insurance coverage. The choice has to be yours.

Our request was for an automatic car and with the super cover and it would have averaged about $100/day.
 
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 12:34 PM
  #16
Peep
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Thanks everyone! For a 2WD with a/c, I've found 20 euros a day with a depost of about 2700 euros (ouch!) up to 50 euros a day with no deposit or deductible (super coverage). I think I'll either go with super or something in between. That way if our car is attacked by a gang of baboons in Etosha we won't have to pay for it! ar ar Cardboard Box has been really helpful lately so hopefully we can get an itinerary together pretty soon. Unfortunately, lots of places are already booked for Sept-Oct!
 
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 01:27 PM
  #17
 
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I also worked with Cardboard Box (with Rachael, I think) and they have their eye on the ball, so they know if and when things open up.
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Jul 2nd, 2003, 03:24 PM
  #18
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Message:We rented a 2WD from Pegasus Car & Camper Hire in Windhoek for our trip to Namibia last Sept. They will pick you up from the airport at no extra charge, and provide 2 spare wheels and a large coolbox.
www.natron.net/tour/pegasus
Re: Etosha. I agree with a previous poster that the Okaukuejo restcamp has the best waterhole, and would recommend staying at one of their "luxury" bungalows which are frontline to the waterhole.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 02:32 AM
  #19
 
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Was just browsing some of my bookmarks and came across this page:

http://www.wolwedans.com/car/index.html

Don't suggest you get car through them but thought comments on car type might be of interest.
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Jul 8th, 2003, 03:48 AM
  #20
Peep
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That sounds great, but it's about twice the price of a regular car! Cardboard Box assures me a 2WD is fine, and other posters have said the same. I think if you go during the rainy season a 4WD is better though.

Here's the itinerary we've come up with:

1 night Windhoek
3 nights in or near Etosha (hopefully we'll get the rest camps in the park)
2 nights Mowani Mountain Camp
2 nights Erongo Wilderness Lodge
3 nights at Sea Breeze Guesthouse in Swakopmund
2 nights waitlisted at a few places by Sossusvlei
1 night Windhoek

I really wanted 3 nights at Mowani and 3 near Sossusvlei but they're already booked, as are other similar places nearby. Oh well! This sounds pretty cool.

Has anyone ridden camels near Swakopmund? That sounds like fun!
 
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