Need help planning Africa trip

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Feb 11th, 2013, 10:47 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Nov 2005
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Need help planning Africa trip

Hello fellow travelers,

I have read a few trip reports on Namibia and done some research online. My husband and I are planning a trip to Namibia - our very first trip to Africa. I picked Namibia because my memories of pictures of red dunes and Etosha Park - it seems like a surreal place. Of course we are also interested in sighting game.

This is our tentative plan: fly into Wondhoek. Should we spend any time in Windhoek? Drive to Etosha Park. Need recommendations for where to stay and how long. Some travelers stay at different lodges in the same park; what's the advantage of that?

Next, drive to Swakopmund. Accommodation recommendations on or near the beach?

Drive to to Sossusvlei? Need help deciding whether to stay overnight - inside or outside the park. Sunrise hike? Balloon ride?

We'll have about 7 nights in Namibia. And since we're flying into Namibia through Johannesburg, we're hoping to spend 2 nights in Cape Town.

Thank you in advance for all your suggestions!
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Feb 11th, 2013, 07:36 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Are you using a safari planner? The Wild Source in Colorado has a new planner, Jeremy Allen, who has not only lived in Namibia, but written a guidebook for the country. You might consider working with him to plan and book your trip.
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Feb 12th, 2013, 09:27 AM
  #3
 
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That's a lot of ground to cover in 7 nights. It's do-able but you'll have some long stretches of driving.

In Swakopmund we stayed at the Stiltz. We had bungalow #7 which overlooked a lagoon(where flamingo and other water birds gathered), the beach and ocean and the dunes on the other side.

At Sossusvlei I think you'll need to stay at Sossus Dunes Lodge if you want to be there for sunrise. We stayed outside at Desert Homestead partly because we were doing an overnight horseback campout with them.
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Feb 12th, 2013, 11:16 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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I highly recommend Gemma Dry from Discover Namibia Tours http://www.discover-namibia-safari.net/index.html . She will be best able to guide you on what to see in 7 days. We recently spent nearly 3 weeks in Namibia and could have stayed longer. Gemma helped us put together a wonderful trip and we found her rates very competitive.

I doubt you could see all that you want to in only 7 nights (don't underestimate the distances you will be travelling). But, in terms of where to stay we had some great accommodation on our trip.
Sossus Dune Lodge inside the park is well worth the money as it allows you to get to the the dunes by sunrise (and we loved the setting of the lodge as well).
IN Swakopmund, we stayed at Beach Lodge which we liked very much (they have a lovely restaurant upstairs as well). http://www.beachlodge.com.na/
In Etosha we stayed 2 nights in a waterhole chalet at Okaukuejo Camp which we lovely. http://www.namibiareservations.com/okaukuejoe.html
We also stayed 2 nights in a gorgeous bush chalet at Namutoni http://www.namibiareservations.com/namutonie.html

All our accommodation was lovely. We saw HEAPS of animals, and found the Namibian landscape amazing. We were there October / November, and already the weather was very warm.

I will try to find the time to put together a trip report really soon.
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Feb 13th, 2013, 05:43 PM
  #5
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I will rethink our plan since you have all said it's a lot in 7 days. I was not thinking of using a planner since I was doing all the research online. Should I reconsider that?

Looking forward to your trip report PRLCH!
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Feb 14th, 2013, 07:44 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I found Namibia fairly easy to self book. I did a lot of research and knew exactly where I wanted to stay and what I wanted to do. I booked our rental car and accommodations directly and all except one accommodation took credit cards for the deposit.
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Feb 14th, 2013, 08:49 AM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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I also used Gemma in Oct 12 and she was great. There is no cost for her services and we did get some free upgrades.(including frig in our truck). I also think an agent making special requests for her clients carries more weight. I did a trip report http://www.fodors.com/community/afri...tober-2012.cfm

Also nice to have someone hold your hand or be available if trouble arises. And she was great at answering all my questions. We loved Namibia so much that we are going back in 2014.
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