Teens and Namibia


Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:11 PM
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Teens and Namibia

I'm trying to decide where to go for my 50th birthday trip, and I've narrowed it down between Greece and Namibia. (Strange combo, I know - but they are two places I really want to go that my husband is not interested in and since it is my birthday I get to choose! We went to Germany for his - not high on my list!) We will take our boys who, by then, will be 17, 15, and 12. I would want a mix of game viewing, towns, remains of German forts, and outdoor/active/adventurous things (rafting? ballooning? easy hikes? beaches? what?). I know this is really vague
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 06:14 PM
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I'm not sure what happened...anyway...Has anyone travelled with teens in the area? If you've stayed at a game reserve, have you seen kids? Any suggestions about travel agents/safari planners who might be useful? Any help would be appreciated!
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 07:48 PM
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Visiting a game reserve is a great activity for a family to do together. When I was growing up in Swaziland, my family did it all the time. Although we lived in the bush and were surrounded by wild animals, we loved game viewing so much that we STILL visited the South African game reserves in what are now the provinces of Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.

Just one thing about beaches. The ocean on the west coast of Africa south of the equator is cold because of the Benguela Current that originates in Antarctica.

I lived on the west coast of South Africa for 3.5 years, and very few people there swam in the sea.

The ocean on the east coast, on the other hand, is warm because of the Agulhas Current that originates in the equatorial regions of the Indian Ocean.

Sorry, I can't answer your specific questions about Namibian game reserves, balloon rides, etc. For those who would be in a position to do so, it probably would help if you could indicate the length of your vacation, the time of year you want to go, and your budget range.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
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Apr 22nd, 2004, 09:17 PM
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I saw quite a few families on holiday in Namibia-- and most of them were Italian! Namibia is very popular with Italians, and they all seem to flock to Namibia in August, with their families. Sometimes 3 generations together!
Etosha is a must for gameviewing. A place like Mokuti Lodge is family-friendly and reasonable (it is just outside the park entrance). It has a lovely pool...saw lots of teens around this. Also the Reptile Center/ Exhibit is fun for teens-- and it is located adjacent to Mokuti (just a walk across the grounds).

If you drive to Etosha from Windhoek, you'll go past Otjiwarongo, home of Cheetah Conservation Fund. The education al center is worth a drop in, and they have several captive cheetahs (former orphans, unreleasable) which you can see (through a fence) and photograph... You can also get guest house accomodations with a conservation-oriented/ cheetah-friendly farm family associated with the Waterberg Conservancy. I'm sure they offer activities like hiking and horseback riding in this area. You might visit CCF's website for more info about Waterberg Conservancy guesthouses. (Sorry-- nowhere to raft! Namibia is one of the dryest places on earth. The "rivers" are only dry riverbeds that very occasionally fill with water during the rainy season.)

Many people like to visit Okonjima, home of Africat-- lovely lodge accomodations, and they have tame resident cheetahs that wonder the grounds, as well as other unreleasable big cats. More expensive, but many people enjoy this.

Towns...hmm...well not much. Windhoek is not particularly interesting...but it is safe. Lots of people visit Swakopmund on the coast...might be nice for a brief stay.

The other major tourist attractions are Sossuvlei, which has spectacular sand dunes, reportedly the highest in the world, and the Skeleton Coast. Skeleton Coast is a major trip-- you must fly-in, and its on a small charter flight. And you must have a guide there-- don't try to undertake this on your own.
Sossuvlei is an easier visit.

Also-- if you are comfortable driving on the "English" side of the road, driving in Namibia is quite safe and easy...as long as you stay to major roads.
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Apr 23rd, 2004, 06:42 AM
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I'm an American living in Namibia and I would definitely say that this is a great place to bring teenagers. Besides all of the game viewing you can do at Etosha and other private lodges, you can do whitewater rafting on the Kunene River (not quite Vic Falls, but fun none the less), in Swakopmund there are quite a few 'adventure' sports such as quad biking, sandboarding, 4x4 trips in the dunes, sea kayaking, hot air ballooning, deep-sea fishing or fishing for sharks from the beach, a desert golf course, etc. And there's hiking in many parts of the country as well. No question that they would have a fantastic time.
Oipuka is offline  
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Apr 23rd, 2004, 07:55 AM
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What a lot of information - thanks everyone! As for as time of year, etc. we would probably go mid-June of next year and spend two weeks (maybe we could add a couple days to that). Budget is difficult to say - I guess you would say we do a mixture of moderate and splurge. We don't stay in expensive places just because they are expensive or have more stars - we spend more for interesting/fun/different. When we were in Englnad, we stayed at a well-located, moderate, older hotel in London for 3 nights - and spent less than we did for one night in a wonderful old castle near Hadrian's Wall.
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