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Pictures & Trip Report - Self-drive: South Africa & Namibia 2008

Pictures & Trip Report - Self-drive: South Africa & Namibia 2008

Feb 24th, 2009, 08:18 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,085
Hi Tockoloshe! Good to hear from you! I hope to start posting Namibia tomorrow. I did quite a bit of writing today, and now just have to select the photos to go with the text.

The game count was Anne's idea - I never would have thought of it - too school-like for me! However, it was interesting to look at our tallies at the end of each day and at the end of the 12 days.

We never know what we are going to see in Kgalagadi. On this trip, we saw cheetahs and 20 lions. No leopards! In 2007, we saw no lions, 2 leopards and several cheetahs. What a difference! In 2005, we saw all three. Go figure! I think it helped to have four adults in the 4x4. Also, I think Robert and I get better at finding the game with each trip.

The walks are restricted to the wilderness camps, where the rangers are able to conduct them out of sight of passing vehicles. The parks people are afraid that if passing motorists (in the park) see people out walking, they may decide to strike out on their own. The park doesn't advertize the walks - you have to ask the rangers at the wilderness camps.

They have upgraded several of the camps since 2005. We found all of the accommodation to be very comfortable and clean.

I don't believe I can print a photo album from the Smugmug website. I use the website mainly for family and friends here in Canada. I provide the link with my annual Christmas letter. We have several family members and friends who are armchair travelers. I plan to make a hardcover book on Blurb. With the text complete and the photos selected in the making of the Smugmug website, it won't take long to put the book together. The work is already done. I will email Smugmug once the SA/Namibia section is complete and ask what is possible before I undertake the Blurb book. It would save me some time if I could do it using the website.
Back to my photos! Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Feb 27th, 2009, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Hi Robin, I see you've been busy again
More beautiful photos - I particularly like the sunset and quiver tree.
Paying even more attention now for ideas for our trip this year - haven't done a thing yet apart from the vehicle rent, so still open to suggestions!
Is the border crossing from/to South Africa always such a nightmare of paperwork at the major border crossings - even camera equipment checks? Worth knowing that it could be so time-consuming. The only time we did a SA border was Pont Drift to/from Mashatu in Bots and that was no trouble at all, though admitedly it wasn't with a vehicle. The Namibia/Bots border crossings by car were absolutely no problem either, very fast and efficient.
So the list .... 1 tortoise, a few cows ....!
tockoloshe is offline  
Feb 28th, 2009, 01:00 PM
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Hi Tockoloshe! I have been busy writing and have added even more photos since your post yesterday. I have added photos from Fish River Canyon and Eagle's Nest Lodge in Aus - one of our favourite places in southern Africa.

That border between SA and Namibia is not usually a problem. It was the couple from Namibia that held everything up. On our two previous trips, we were through both border posts in less than half an hour. Just bad luck/timing this year!

The list has grown a little - goats, ostriches, springboks, a lone zebra and a couple of bird species - the southern plains of Namibia are not known for their game viewing but the scenery well compensates!

On to the dunes! Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Mar 13th, 2009, 10:44 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Hi again Robin

You’ve managed yet again to transport me back to Namibia without the need for aircraft! Eagle’s Nest does look like our kind of place, just can’t see how we’ll fit it in this time, thinking of heading up North to Caprivi, but still keeping an eye open for your next instalment – you have the power to change our plans! I don’t visit the forum much these days, but keeping an eye on your report. I’ve just heard from friends who visited Namibia last month and they said it rained every day for 2 weeks, the country must look totally different in the rain, I’ve never seen a drop of rain there. I like your comment on the taxi on the B4 in the middle of nowhere – it’s something we always comment about, how people just pop out of nowhere when the landscape seems devoid of life. It usually happens to me when I need to heed the call of nature, you think there can’t possibly be anyone around but when you actually stop there’s a boy looking after his goats or someone waiting for a ride.

I was wondering if you knew of any places in Namibia which offer guided walking trails – doesn’t have to be a day-long trek but we’d like something more than a bush walk stroll (very disappointed with the bush walk at Planet Boabab in Bots, it was just a saunter around the perimeter fence). The rhino tracking at Palmwag looks good but is too expensive as a package, ideally we’d like somewhere we could camp and still join in activities. Ideas anyone? Anyone done the walks with the San? I'm always a bit uncomfortable about doing 'cultural activities' and feel that we're intruding.
tockoloshe is offline  
Mar 13th, 2009, 08:03 PM
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Hi Tockoloshe!
I hope to get the next part of our trip - Kulala Wildreness Camp and the dunes - posted tomorrow. Work and the Brier (curling!), which is taking place here in Calgary, have been distracting me!

We loved the wilderness camp and, of course, climbing the dunes is always a highlight of any visit to Namibia. We haven't done any guided hikes in Namibia, but I know that Kulala (both the lodge and camp) offers hikes with their guides - I suspect that most lodges/tented camps in that area do. There might be more information on the Wilderness Safaris website (they own Kulala).

I know that Edo's Camp (Ker and Downey) near Ghanzi offers walks with the San, but Edo's is very expensive and they insist on a minimum two-night stay. We debated an overnight stop there on the way to Maun, but it was just too expensive. If you're lucky, they might have some good deals on at the moment.

I can't imagine it even raining in Namibia, never mind for two weeks. It would be fascinating to see what it did to the landscape. I guess some of the vleis would have water in them. I wonder if the Tsauchab River actually flowed.
Back to writing! Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Mar 13th, 2009, 08:12 PM
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From Edo's website!

"Other activities include walks with San bushman tracking white rhino on foot as well as joining the women and children of the village in gathering edible roots and plants – a fascinating insight into their traditional life."
canadian_robin is offline  
Mar 19th, 2009, 02:06 PM
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Hi there Robin
Hope you're enjoying the curling!
Thanks for your input, Edo's looks good and I've emailed them but have been waiting nearly a week for a reply, and so will probably have to go through a Ker and Downey agent to get details, which is not my favourite way of doing things. However I also found a place nearby on the Namibian side called Kalahari Bush Breaks which seems to offer something similar AND you can camp, so that might well be a stopping-off point if we do a circular Windhoek-Caprivi-Moremi-Maun-Windhoek route. I've seen that many lodges do guided walks but we're back to the old budget problem, it's difficult to find somewhere where we can camp and join in activities. Must get on with some real planning now, today managed to get Moremi reservations so we're not feeling so bad about leaving everything to the last minute! We're deliberately not booking everything in advance this time because we've found before that we had to move on from a particularly lovely place just because we had reservations elsewhere.
Hope to see more of your report soon.
tockoloshe is offline  
Mar 22nd, 2009, 10:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Hi again Robin
Will keep an eye on your Smugmug page, very much enjoy your reports, but signing out of Fodors for a while, will however pop back to read up on how your Kenya holiday went. Wishing you & Robert a great trip and many pangolin sightings! All the best, Lisa (aka tockoloshe!)
tockoloshe is offline  
Apr 1st, 2009, 08:46 PM
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Wonderful - thank you for the time to create and share. Looks fabulous and is quite helpful for a trip I'm looking to plan!
hmileski is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2009, 06:22 AM
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Hi Lisa! Sorry for the slow response and the inactivity on the Smugmug website. It has been Spring Break here, so I was away visiting my children at their various universities. I hope to get back to the website later today.

I am curious to know how you make your Moremi reservations - do you make them by telephone? I tried to do that from Calgary, but was left on hold indefinitely on three different occasions and had to give up.

Enjoy the new facilities in Moremi - I assume the new ablution blocks are now functional - they were nearly complete when we were there in August. I envy you going to Moremi - I would love to go back. I have such fond memories of camping there, especially at Third Bridge.

Reservations certainly can tie you down - we would have spent longer at Third Bridge and less time at Savuti had we not had to adhere to our reservations. As it was, we cheated and left Savuti a day early and arrived at Ihaha a day early - the rangers didn't seem to care.

I will be finishing the report ASAP - if I don't get the website and book finished before we leave for Tanzania and Kenya at the end of August, they'll never get done.

Happy planning! I am looking forward to your report. When is it you are going? July? August? Go well! Robin

Happy to learn that you enjoyed the report Hmileski
canadian_robin is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Just wondering whether, when you were at Mata Mata, you heard whether or not the road crossing to Namibia was open? The SANParks site seems to think it is. I have a guide book that says firmly that it isn't. Staying at the Kalahari Tented Camp in early August this year, we're thinking of exiting to Namibia and then heading south back to South Africa.

With thanks.
PeterN_H is offline  
Apr 21st, 2009, 11:42 AM
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Belay that. I've now tracked down reports from people who did this late last year. Thanks.
PeterN_H is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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Thank you all for the very useful information. I'm excited to hear that I can book the trip myself instead of going through a travel agency. Every agency I've contacted they propose places we are not really interested in going.

Do you think we should just concentrate on either the northern or southern area instead of trying to do as many towns as possible. My thought was to go as far south as the dunes and north to Etosha. Thanks again for the information.
KWCooper is offline  
Jul 17th, 2013, 11:51 AM
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Where are you beginning your self-drive - in Windhoek?
The dunes at Sesriem and Etosha NP would be a very good combo - beautiful scenery (the dunes) and wildlife (Etosha)! CR
canadian_robin is offline  
Sep 4th, 2016, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 6
Hi Robin.
I realize your trip was over 8 years ago. It's possible that is why the link to your photos and itinerary didn't load.
Would it be too much trouble to repost that for me as I intend on taking my family on a similar trip next June.
Much thanks,
psychotours is offline  
Sep 20th, 2016, 11:14 AM
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Hi Robin,
Like Andy, I was unable to access the posted link. I would love to read your trip report. Please post again.
goodtwogo is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2016, 11:02 AM
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Hi Andy and goodtwogo

My apologies - I am not on Fodor's as much as I used to be, so I have just found your posts. Below is the link to the 2008 trip report, and a link to a more recent (2011) version of a very similar SA/Namibia trip. Hopefully, the links will work. Enjoy! Robin


canadian_robin is offline  
Sep 22nd, 2016, 12:10 PM
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Second link works - beautiful shots, looks a great trip. Thanks for posting
tjhome1 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2016, 06:33 AM
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Not certain why the first link will not work, but they are virtually the same trip. Happy you are enjoying the blog.
canadian_robin is offline  

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