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Patty & Mark's Namibia trip with a little bit of South Africa

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Oct 5th, 2007, 02:20 PM
  #61
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Kiripotib (our last stop!) – Charlton drove us back to the reception area where we got our 20 liters of petrol and set off for Kiripotib. On the drive out of the NamibRand reserve this morning, we saw 2 more young oryx calves, a herd of zebra and several kestrels and goshawk. It was a scenic drive through Zarishootge pass with view of mesas and canyons along the way. It took us about 2.5 hours over gravel roads to Maltahohe where we stopped for gas. Here there were many adults and children begging which was our first such encounter in Namibia.

After Maltahohe, the road was tar and we stopped at Hardap Dam just north of Mariental for lunch. There’s a circular restaurant with a glass wall overlooking the manmade lake created by the dam. The whole place looked like it had been built in the late 60’s/early 70’s without anything having been done to it since. It reminded me of some place that could’ve been the backdrop in an early James Bond movie. Tom Jones’ rendition of “Green Green Grass of Home” was playing and we felt like we’d just entered a time warp. There were a few other guests here, the food wasn’t as bad as I expected and we watched the pelicans in the lake, so it turned out to be not a bad lunch stop overall. I wish we’d had time for a game drive on the other side of the lake. As we’d eaten lunch, we just had to show our receipt on the way out and didn’t have to pay park entrance fees.

We drove up to Kalkrand before turning off of the paved B1. From there I think it was another hour and a half on gravel through Uhlenhorst to Kiripotib Farm. Not counting our stops, I think it took us close to 6 hours total. Driving back to Windhoek probably wouldn’t have taken any longer as you’d stay on B1 all the way back. The weather was noticeably cooler here and there were more trees and vegetation.

We arrived at Kiripotib and were shown to our room which was the end unit that’s part of a triplex. There are 2 other individual guest chalets on this 10,000 ha farm and approximately 5000 head of karakul sheep. There’s an onsite weaving project as well as a jewelry making workshop though no jewelry making was going on while we were there. Their products are sold here and in their Swakopmund and Hout Bay stores. Hans gave us a tour of the farm and weaving project. His wife, Claudia, the creative force behind these projects was down in their Hout Bay store so unfortunately, we didn’t get to meet her.

The next day was spent relaxing with our new feline friend, Kalulu, and going on a farm drive in the afternoon. On the drive we saw oryx, zebra, steenbok, blesbok, and red hartebeest though many were fleeting moments and I missed the aardvark entirely while Mark just saw a glimpse of its back. We had sundowners by the hide and toasted our last sunset. Dinner tonight was our first and only braai on this trip and was delicious.
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Oct 5th, 2007, 02:29 PM
  #62
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The Journey Home – We were worried Kalulu might decide to come along with us and made sure to check the car after we packed up and loaded our stuff. Sure enough she’d managed to find her way to the back seat. I could just see us showing up at WDH with a little surprise in the car!

It only took us an hour and a half to drive to the airport so we ended up getting there way early as Comair doesn’t open up check-in for JNB flights until 90 minutes prior to departure, but we did use up a lot of that time returning the rental car (see long explanation above). After that, we spent the rest of our Namibian dollars on a sandwich and drinks until check-in started. Our flight out of WDH was delayed about an hour. Luckily, Comair was able to check our bags through to LAX, so we only had to stop by the Air France transfer counter to pick up our boarding passes and go through security. The transfer desk was staffed by a rather unhelpful and bored looking fellow who was too busy texting on his mobile to look up at us and managed to mis-enter one of our bag tags resulting in it getting stuck in CDG for an extra day, but that’s OK.

Our flight departed out of gate A9. This area of JNB looked brand new and we even had two jetways to the aircraft for a very orderly boarding. I’d previously read some negative comments about JNB and did see the old boarding areas which are still in use and they did indeed look horrific. The rest of the journey was uneventful except for the one missing bag upon arrival at LAX which we’d expected as they’d caught the mistake as we were boarding at CDG. At LAX they had a form prefilled for us and the missing bag was delivered 3 days later.

That’s all folks.
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Oct 5th, 2007, 05:00 PM
  #63
 
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Patty, thanks for the informative report. I was exhausted and overheated just reading it! What did the temperatures get up to? All the photos are great (esp. the close-ups of white spiders and such), but the meerkats are to die for. You should be a travel agent in your next life. Any estimate of how many man-hours (make that woman-hours) went into the planning and booking?
Leslie
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Oct 6th, 2007, 03:55 PM
  #64
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Thanks, Leslie! I think the high temps at Sossusvlei and Wolwedans were in the high 90's, maybe 100 F. Other areas were not as hot. There's a weather station in the NamibRand and weather stats are posted online http://www.namibrand.com/weather.htm

I was just looking at that and noticed that temps for this past week were almost 10 degrees C cooler than when we were there so it seems we hit a heat wave.

I wouldn't even know where to begin trying to calculate how much time goes into research, planning and booking, but that's the fun part! Other than the actual trip of course
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Oct 7th, 2007, 08:08 AM
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Patty, thanks for this information packed report with domestic cats as an important plus. I only wish you’d seen more of the blesboks.
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Oct 7th, 2007, 09:46 AM
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Hi Patty:
I have been looking forward to this report but it seems that everytime that I start I get interrupted. I have enjoyed what I have seen and read so far. How old are the rock paintings?
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Oct 7th, 2007, 01:25 PM
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Hi bat!
That's one thing I don't remember. I was looking through my guidebooks and depending on which one you consult the rock paintings in the general area, not the ones at Paula's Cave specifically, could be anywhere from 6000 years old to 1800's. Pretty wide range, huh?
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Oct 9th, 2007, 06:40 PM
  #68
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Well that's quite a spread--but what's a few millenia here or there.

I am really glad that I finally had the time to see all of the pictures and read the report. Living vicariously through you these days--and so really appreciate the great report.

"We" are going to Kenya again soon? and the Seychelles? Nice to look forward to it;

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Oct 10th, 2007, 02:27 PM
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Thanks, bat! Yes, Kenya/Seychelles in late Jan. We'd originally planned to stopover in AMS on our way to Kenya, but while I was in SA, I saw Michael's update here that KQ finalized their entry into Skyteam and well, the Seychelles sounded better than AMS
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Oct 14th, 2007, 08:15 AM
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Hi Patty! I'm still catching up..great report and beautiful pictures. How cool the meerkats! I noticed you didn't wear your chaps this trip while riding?
Thanks!
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Oct 14th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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Hello Patty,
I've looked forward to reading your trip report since we got back from Namibia. I'm glad you found the information that I posted about the Stiltz and Wolwedans useful - I'm envious that you managed to go to the Lodge at Wolwedans as well as the camp so that you could make the comparison. Thanks for a very detailed report - glad that you had a great time despite the problems with the car. Where next ?

Gaynor
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Oct 14th, 2007, 09:11 AM
  #72
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Thanks, Dennis! Nope, no chaps this time. We rode through open areas with no acacia thorns plus it would've been way too hot. I haven't had a chance to look through your photos yet but am looking forward to them and your report!

Thanks, Gaynor! As you can see I put your info to good use. Next big trip is Kenya and Seychelles in Jan/Feb.
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Oct 15th, 2007, 06:16 PM
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Patty, you are an organizational genius. Is the Kenya/Seychelles itinerary up anywhere on the board?

Mmm, not to be selfish or anything...
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Oct 16th, 2007, 09:59 AM
  #74
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Leely,
Most of our itinerary is in this thread http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35081357 I still have to figure out what to do with our first day and we're spending 4 nights at the Hilton Northolme on Mahe at the end before flying home (a 34+ hour journey!).
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Apr 27th, 2014, 01:41 PM
  #75
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Topping and adding current photo links for Cattail.

South Africa:

share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbGSg

Namibia:

Erongo
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbGaA

Swakopmund
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbGhg

KuanguKuangu
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbGpA

Desert Homestead
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbGwg

Wolwedans & Kiripotib up later.
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Apr 27th, 2014, 03:40 PM
  #76
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Wolwedans
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbG4A

Kiripotib
share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AZNnDlk5YtmbHHg
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Apr 27th, 2014, 05:47 PM
  #77
 
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Instant coffee??!!? Say it isn't so as I pack to leave this Saturday!

Ok that was 7 years ago anyone been recently and can advise on coffee situation? Do I really need to pack my french press?

This is serious people.
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