Planning a trip to Namibia - advice please

Dec 14th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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hi and thank you for all comments and pics. PacoAhedo , Whats the name of the camp at Palmwag ? Is there a Wilderness Safaris camp there now. When I was last in Namibia I remember a very basic camp (more like a bush bar...) and a Fort with palm trees. Is that a lodge?

I'm looking at April 2008 and want to combine self-drive with flying. I've been sending enquries to a few travel agents who do Namibia. Will post my preferred itinerary when I get one! Does anyone know of Southern Destinations?

Snowy77 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2007, 12:01 PM
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Onguma is on the eastern fring of the Etosha and outside the park, however it looks across into fishers pan, which is the last to dry. Yes the game viewing there is good and I do believe more consistent throughout the year, which gives this location an edge over the western camps at certain times of the year.

No I did not cry, but was sad to leave Wolwedans, great people and just an inspiring place all round.

Snowy, I suspect that the fort that you are referring to is Namutoni, which is a rest camp in the eatern Etosha national park.
mkhonzo is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 12:02 AM
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You are probably referring to Palmwag Lodge.

This was our meeting point,here we left our car and where pick by Chris for an almost 3 hour game drive to the camp that is in a very remote area.
Desert Rhino Camp is a Wilderness Safaris camp and i believe has eight tents each with an en-suite bathroom with hand basin, flush toilet and a classic bucket shower that is filled with hot water on request.
Common areas are also in a tent.Everything basic but very nice with a true camp feeling.

The most important part for me was the reserve.
The wilderness experience of the concession is great!
I would recommend this camp to enjoy the vastness of the area and the ability of species to survive in such an arid, inhospitable environment.

PacoAhedo is offline  
Dec 15th, 2007, 06:37 PM
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For those of you so knowledgable about Namibia, is it typical or economically reasonable to have someone drive just one person around for part of the trip?

There seem to be so many places that lend themselves nicely to self drive. But I am just not comfortable doing that alone, especially on the opposite side of the road from what I am used to. It wouldn't have to be just me, but I don't want 16 and I have not found a group trip that does what I want to. But maybe that's because the perfect itinerary I am thinking of is not affordable.

Any kind of accommodation or food along the way would be fine.

The other conclusion I am coming to is that Namibia needs a couple of visits to fit in just the highlights.

Thanks for the answers so far.

Kavey, Enjoy your crew on this next Antarctic trip, while they are all yours.
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 07:10 AM
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No I don't think that that is economical or normal. Advertise around a couple of traveller websites and I am sure that you will find a partner to travel with, or pitch up stay at a couple of backpacker lodges and surely there will be handful of wanderlust kiwis or aussies heading your way, negotiate and take them along.
mkhonzo is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 08:22 AM
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Lynn, thanks!
Kavey is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Hey Lynn-
I'm up for a self-drive around Namibia too, in case you're looking for a "co-hort in crime" for this trip.
Although I think you're right, there may be just too many places in Namibia to try and see during one trip.

divewop is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 11:10 AM
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Snowy, I hope some of this rambling on your thread will assist you. If not, pardon the intrusion.

Mkhonzo, I think you are right. A private chauffeur throughout Namibia is not an option for me.

We have not even gone on Trip #1 together and we may have a #2. You are to blame for moving Namibia out of the running in 2009. Now it looks like 2010 or later.

atravelynn is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 03:05 PM
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Moi?! You're blaming Moi?! As I recall, you already decided to push Namibia back before I got involved with the gorilla trekking.

And now you're pushing it back to even later than 2010?! I think I'll have to hit Namibia sooner than later. It sounds like a fascinating country to visit! (Not that there aren't lots of other fascinating countries out there!)

Too many countries, not enough time nor money! *sigh*
divewop is offline  
Dec 16th, 2007, 06:38 PM
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I am already anxiously awaiting the Namibia report, Sandy!
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 18th, 2007, 03:07 AM
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I've just remebered that its not Palmwag that I was thinking of, but Sesfontein in the Kaokoveld - That was the furtherest north we dared to go (two girls in a Combi Camper!) I remember we met an Italian guide with a group of guests in the minibus and two spare tyres which he said was vital if we were to go any further. It was a stark and out-there place. I wonder if it has become more hospitable. The rundown fort-like building... is it perhaps a lodge now? Anyway, I've given my specs to an agent. lets see.
Snowy77 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2007, 06:06 AM
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Sorry for my delayed response - I was in Nelspruit and surrounds for a few days. (Never flown in before- wow, what an airport!)

Okonjima is a research facility that uses tourism for education and funding. Cats are collared, which can make it seem contrived if viewed against Etosha (for example), but the experience offered and the context are entirely different. I could also talk about the ways that "safaris" are contrived, and wouldn't want to judge either as superior. They are different, and Okonjima does what they do very well. I did not find it busy.

Having been to Twyfelfontein and Brandberg in 2002 and in mid-2007, the experience has been fundamentally changed, and I CANNOT recommend visits to either place now. The range of engravings one is permitted to see at Twyfelfontein is a tiny portion of what was offered before. The distance travelled on rough and remote roads to see it is not justified. Even if you have the means to fly in and out, for a 30 minute walk it is NOT WORTH IT. Sadly, it is the same for the Brandberg. 45 minute walk in to see the White Lady and 45 minutes back out. That's it. You'll have to go on a second walk and pay again to go to see different paintings, and then only 15 or so panels/paintings. Frankly, it was terrible. There is better rock art elsewhere in Southern Africa, and easier to get to. I strongly recommend both of these stops NOT be included in your itinerary unless you are really, really keen for some reason.

These are recent changes made to help with the conservation of the art, but the restrictions have killed what made the places special: the sheer magnitude of the art work that surrounds you. This has been one of the few disappointments from recent changes in Namibian tourism.

I also feel that Ludertiz and Kolmanskoppe aren't worth the effort required to get there, especially on a first visit. Rather spend the money on one of the aerial 'fly overs' of the coast from Swakopmund across the Namib down to Luderitz and up the coastline over the shipwrecks, etc., back to Swakopmund.

I stayed at Onguma a few months ago. Very nice, especially for the price. Some of the best "camp" food I had on the trip.


kurt_a is offline  
Dec 19th, 2007, 08:25 AM
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This is the super duper itinerary that has been proposed to me :
2 nights at Mowani Mountain Camp to see bushman paintings, desert ellies and rhino
2 nights at Okahirongo Elephant Camp in Purros to see the desert elephants and Ovahimba
3 nights at Onguma tented for game viewing in Etosha
2 nights at Okonjima Bush Lodge for cheetahs, leopard and bushman experience
3 nights at Wolwedans Dunes Lodge for desert experience

Another option would apparently be to start at Wolwedans and end at Lianshulu in the Caprivi for river cruises and land based wildlife, going onto Victoria Falls and back to Johannesburg from there. But probably out of my budget seeing as this requires a lot of flying around. Off to show it to my better half!
Snowy77 is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 05:32 AM
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Great itinerary.
Don't expect to see the ele's at Mowani. If you do it will a bonus.
mkhonzo is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 06:29 AM
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Great itinerary, but my personal opinion is that you don't need three nights at Wolvedans. If you get an early start, one full day to see the dunes and the surrounding area is enough. Thus, I think a two-night stay is adequate. Personally, I would add another night or two on the Okaukuejo side of Etosha, preferably inside the park.
safarilover is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 07:23 PM
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So much helpful stuff. It looks pretty super duper to me Snowy77.

Now I can't wait for your report.
atravelynn is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2008, 07:28 PM
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My wife and I are planning another safari trip this November and really like the itinerary you've come up with. We do have a couple of questions for you.
Did you come up this yourself or have you been working with someone?
If so, who?
How are you moving from camp to camp?
d110pickup is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 06:07 PM
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One of our "finds" from our July 2007 visit to South Africa and Namibia was Eagle's Nest Lodge, Klein Aus Vista, in Aus, Namibia. Aus is definitely off the beaten track! We stayed in the Rock Cabin (one of 8 cabins) and it, and the surrounding scenery, were amazing. I would highly recommend a stay there. For us, what was a convenient stopover between Fish River Canyon and the dunes at Sesriem became a highlight of our trip - we wished we had booked more than one night at Eagle's Nest. Their website doesn't do it justice:
Be warned - Eagle's Nest is popular and you have to book well in advance. We are booked for a return visit in August 2008 (2 nights this time!), and we are looking forward to it. Robin
canadian_robin is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 12:13 AM
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Robin, that looks wonderful!
Kavey is offline  
Feb 24th, 2008, 03:25 PM
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Eagle's Nest Lodge is a great place - one of those wonderful places that greatly exceeds your expectations!

Snowy - for something different, why not combine the trip to Namibia with a trip to South Africa.

Here is a favourite itinerary of ours (all self-drive):

Cape Town
Karoo National Park (SA)- 1 night - beautiful scenery and wonderful self-catering cabins
Upington, SA - La Boheme Guest House - one of the best B&Bs we have stayed in - 1 night
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park (SA) - 10 nights as follows: (you would need a 4 x 4 - the wilderness camps are wonderful - unfenced, with only 4 self-catering tents, maximum 8 people)

Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp - 2 nights
Nossob Restcamp (area known for predators) - 1 night
Gharagab Wilderness Camp - 2 nights
Nossob Restcamp - 1 night
Bitterpan Wilderness Camp - 2 nights
Kalahari tented Camp - 1 night
Urikaruus Wilderness Camp - 2 nights
Upington - La Boheme again - 1 night
Canon Mountain Camp, Namibia - near Fish River Canyon - 1 night - stay at Canon Mountain Camp but have dinner at Canon Lodge - the camp is so isolated and beautiful but we had a most memorable meal at the lodge!
Visit the canyon in the morning (when the light is best) before leaving for Aus.
Eagle's Nest Lodge, Klein Aus Vista, Aus, Namibia - 1 night - stay in one of 8 cabins - one of our favourite places!
Kulala Desert Lodge near Sesriem - 2 nights so that you have time to do the balloon ride one morning, and hike up Big Daddy and visit Dead Vlei on the 2nd morning - located close to Wolwedans that everyone is recommending, so you could stay at either - we have stayed at Kulala Desert Lodge twice and it is also a favourite of ours
For Kulala -
1 or 2 nights in either Walvis Bay (Lagoon Lodge is great) or Swakopmund (Beach Lodge)
Then head north to Etosha with an overnight stop at Vingerklip Lodge - a stopover really, but kind of a neat place (the "finger" is beautiful at sunset) with nice cabins!

Then to Etosha for a few nights!

Whether you then return to Cape Town or Windhoek from Etosha (to fly home), you would pass Okonjima (which is another spot that has been mentioned in this thread - the Africat place) when going south on the B1 in Namibia - we spent two nights at Okonjima and loved it - you can't help but love it if you are a cat lover - we were upgraded to their bush camp (having booked at the main camp, which isn't as expensive), and the tents were the nicest we've stayed in!

Just some ideas! Happy planning! Robin

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