Trip to Namibia

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Jul 21st, 2005, 08:18 PM
  #1
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Trip to Namibia

We would like to spend about 3 weeks in Africa next spring. The major part will be in Namibia.

Would you recommend a self drive or a packaged tour through Wilderness Safaris?

We want to see the dunes, Swakop, Damaraland, Etosha, and the Skeleton Coast.

Do you have any suggestions about what other areas in Namibia we should include, or other countries we could visit? Someone suggested Malawi, another person recommended Mozambique. This year we went to Jack's Camp, Chitabe, Xigera and Mala Mala as well as Livingston.

Thanks.
mollybee is offline  
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Jul 22nd, 2005, 03:30 AM
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You say spring do you mean March? If yes it is after summer and the rains and it is the time for new grass and flowers. It is the time to see new life and young game. It is still warm.

If it is March you can go to Ruacana and see the falls if the rains are good.

Ruacana falls is very beutiful and few and none go to see it. You must ask Nampower if they let the Kunene run.

Ruacana is very big, higher than victoria but not so wide.

You can cross into no mans land to see it. It is quite safe now.

I must ask how much you like to drive as there is a lot to do.

If the tour goes to just the tourist stops then you can drive just as good. If you want the hidden Namibia and see the wilderness then you must take a private guide. I dont know if WS do that and their guides may not be Namibian.

To see the wilderness you need an old timer if you can find one.

In the far northwest Koos Verwey is the best also the only local guide I think.

The desert of west Kaokoland is very beutiful and few few tourists.

Damaraland has more game with ellies giraffe and if lucky wild desert rhino and maybe you see the desert lions. It is open wilderness not park land.







Elle_a_chaud_au_cul is offline  
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Jul 24th, 2005, 08:05 AM
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Mollybee: I did a similar trip to what you are describing last November. The trip report is here:
http://fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=4

We drove ourselves, staying at Wilderness Safari Camps and loved it. However, we only saw the Skeleton Coast for a few hours of desolate driving but to really experience it you would be well advised to fly to one of the remote camps in that region. Our budget was stretched or I would have pursued that and it comes highly recommended. Other than remote Skeleton coast you can have an amazing self drive trip which adds to the adventure.

The trip report also includes a juant over to islands of Mozambique to give you a feel for that area.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
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Jul 24th, 2005, 08:17 AM
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A lot depends on budget and preferences.

Our first trip to the region included just 6 nights in Namibia and 8 in Botswana so we did 2 nights in 3 different camps and booked via a UK agent with Wilderness Safaris.

That said, they simply used a local operator to manage the airport transfers etc so you could certainly book direct through a local operator and see if you can get any savings.

Alternatively, lots of people drive and you do get a freedom from that as well as more chance to see the range of environments as you drive through them.

Then again we loved our internal flights as they were in small cessnas that were able to fly fairly low and afforded us some absolutely magical views.

On our second trip we stayed in only one place for 4 nights at the end of a trip that was spend mostly in South Africa and Botswana.

In terms of camps to recommend:

We loved Wolwedans Dune Lodge (and the camp, which we visited whilst there looks great too for a smaller budget). We spent 2 nights first time and 4 nights second time.

I'd also strongly recommend Wilderness Safari's Damaraland Camp - a joint venture between WS and the local Damara community and one that repeatedly wins international recognition and awards on both ecological merit and community involvement. Well run with wonderful, wonderful staff.

I'd love to visit the Skeleton Coast camps and Etosha too but I'll have to wait for the next time!
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Jul 24th, 2005, 09:40 AM
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Oh, and I would recommend a visit to Sossusvlei and the surrounding area... just not the hotel in which we stayed (Movenpick) - nothing wrong with it per se but toooooo big and not as well run as smaller, classier camps.
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Jul 24th, 2005, 03:30 PM
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Mollybee, with three weeks, you could split your time between WS camps AND some do-it-yourself driving options.

I believe the only way to really see the Skeleton Coast is to do a flyin trip. WS has the only place one can stay inside the park, but their is a local operator with an excellent reputation that does an air safari where all camping is done just outside the park.
I did the WS Skeleton Coast trip several years ago, and it was stunning.

You can (and should ) add Etosha as part of the selfdrive for a couple days--it's a really unique environment.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 06:53 PM
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We spent 3 weeks in Namibia Nov. 05. We had a private tour for 2 1/2 weeks by car, arranged thru CCAfrica, staying at a combination of their camp sites/lodges and other outfitters lodges. Ongava Lodge run by Wilderness Safaris is spectacular as is CCAfrica's Soussusvlei Lodge.
After that we went on a 3 day flying safari. The best part of the trip!!. Our small plane landed where there were no people or roads in remote parts of Namibia. We stayed each night at a different camp run by the people who fly the planes. We saw lots of animals, drove thru sand dunes, skimmed the Skeleton Coast. Just fabulous adventure. Check it out at: www.skeletoncoastsafaris.com. Pricey but worth it. All of Namibia is fascinating as the others have commented. Not mentioned is Africat foundation worth a visit if you're in the area. If you drive yourself do your homework. Gas stations are far apart and few... Enjoy.
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