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About Levante

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  1. Thanks LarsS for your post. Unfortunately or may be luckily the fog was real !!! The first day fog and low clouds prevent us from seeing the sunrise at Deadvlei. They disappeared when the sun was already "high". Anyway the second day was OK even if we chose to skip the Deadvlei and go for the Hidden Vlei, in my opinion an hidden gem.
  2. Thanks to you all for the support
  3. Day 25 - Ameib / Windhoeck - Km.271 This was our last day of vacation Our programme for that day was to visit Phillips Cave inside Ameib property, but unfortunately it rained.... We waited to see if the weather improved, but no chances so, a little bit sadly, we left Ameib. We had rain all the way and it stopped just before Windhoek. We chose the same hotel of our first night which was very convenient to car rental location. Just in front of the hotel there was a pump station with car washing so we decided to clean the car since it was red for the sand, the dust and the rain. 130 $N to have it clear inside and outside, they did a very good job At the hotel we emptied the car and then we dropped it off. As told we didn't have any problem, so the formalities were very quick. We thought to take a taxi to visit downtown, but decided to come back to the hotel by foot, to rest a little bit and prepare the luggages. Day 26 - Windhoeck / Paris At 11.30 am the taxi organized by the rental company picked us up at Arrebush Lodge. Our British Airways flight to Jo'burg was expected at 3.05 pm. We left on time and after 1.50 hours we arrived at destination. The Air France flight to Paris was expected at 7.50 pm and it left on time. Day 27 - Paris / Italy We landed in Paris at 5.30 am and waited for the Bologna flight expected at 8.05. Finally at 9.45 we arrived at destination where my sister, my brother in law and my young niece were waiting for us. As told this wasn't our first trip to Africa, but for sure was one of the best !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  4. Day 24 - Okonjima / Ameib Ranch - Km.292 To reach Ameib we decided to take the longest and gravel road instead of the tarred one (which would have been B1 till Okahandja, then B2 till Usakos). The choice was good since the landscapes were impressive. After about 35 Km. on the B1, we turned right into D2404, then D2329 till Omaruru which is a very nice village. From there we took the D2315 which runs inside the Erongo Area. At the Tjunction at the end of D2315 we turned left on D1935 towards Usakos. About 10 Km. before Usakos there is the sign for Ameib Guesthouse. Before reaching Ameib (about 60 Km.) we passed in front of the San Living Museum https://tracks4africa.co.za/listings/item/w274111/san-living-museum-omaruru-area/ That area reminds some west America landscapes with red balanced rocks We left Okonjima with the sun but during the day the weather got worse and at about 40 Km.before the junction to Ameib we ran into a thunderstorm. We arrived to Ameib, checked in and left for Elephants Head and Bulls Party which are inside Ameib property. You can visit them also as day visitor by paying an entrance fee. We left the car at the parking and started to climb the rocks. Elephant's head from the Bull party Climbing Elephant's head While coming back we stopped along the road to see some giraffes and arrived at the guesthouse which was already dark. The dinner was very good with a great buffet choice.
  5. Day 23 - Okaukuejo Camp / Okonjima - Km.342 During the night rained a lot and in the morning was still raining, this was the situation a Okaukuejo Camp. These pictures have been taken after breakfast when the tents which were in the foreground, where you see the water, had already been taken away. As told we scheduled just one night in Etosha since we had already been to Africa many times and saw several parks. That morning we didn't see many animals, some jackals, giraffes, impalas and lions in the distance. Anyway the landscape was unusual and, in a certain way, romantic. We left the park around 11.30 towards south, we stopped in Outjo to buy some foods and have lunch and arrived at Okonjima at 3.40. The road is tarred all the way apart the last 25 Km. from Okonjima entrance gate on B1 to the lodge. Consider 30 to 40 minutes since the road isn't so good. We just had the time to park the car to take part to the leopard viewing activity leaving at 4. Leopards are "radio tracked" and roam and chase freely inside the 200km2 of the reserve therefore the sightseeings are not sure. And actually we could see a leopard just in the distance while it was moving into the bush. Anyway we saw many other animals and another wonderful sunset. The pictures reproduce exactly what we saw (the sun was low and its light really coloured everything of red, furthermore the sky was cloudy so the contrast was even greater), the .jpeg files haven't been modified (as already told the .nef haven't been developped yet) Okonjima is a wonderful place, the rooms are fantastic with a great view, the service and the food are great and, in my opinion, not so expensive compared to what you get and the prices applied by similar lodges.
  6. I also would have preferred spring time for many reasons: beautiful sky, clean air, less crowd, better prices, but for us it is quite impossible to have vacation in that period.....
  7. Day 21 - Namutoni gate / Okaukuejo Camp - Km.210 Namutoni opened at 6.30 and we were the third in line. It was a very very windy day so, even if it was sunny, the sky was grey because of the lot of dust in the air. We started from Chudob waterhole and immediately we saw a lion. The strange thing was that the lion had a collar (I learned afterwards that there is a project relevant to lions inside Etosha) In this picture it is clearly visible the strong wind The lion was upset and it moved to a quieter place We continued with a stopover in quite all waterholes along the road: Kalkeuwel, Ngobib, Springbokfontein. Then we took the Elands Drive which was in bad conditions and we had very few sightseeing along that road. We stopped in Halali to eat our breakfast box After lunch we continued visiting Rietfontein (where we saw a lot of animals, including elephant) We continued to Charitsaub, Salvadora, Sueda and Homob. We liked very much the landscapes of this part of the park. We started the day with a lion and we finished with a lion...we stayed a lot to see that lion because we thought it would have chased. The lion was crouched and a group of zebra passed very close to her, but she didn't react ! May be she had already eaten :-) We arrived at Okaukuejo at around 6 pm, just the time to check in and go to the waterhole to see an incredible show. Sorry for so many pictures, but I wanted to share with you that sunset All the pictures haven't been developped yet, therefore the quality will be improved a little bit in post production. After dinner we came back again to the waterhole and we saw lions, jackals and rhinos. It was quite an intense day.
  8. Thanks @PeterHG
  9. Thanks
  10. Day 21 - Ohange Namibia Lodge / Namutoni gate - Km.172 After a very reach breakfast we left Ohange and we stopped at Lake Oshikoto. It is one of the 2 natural lakes existing in Namibia and inside it there is war material (guns, cannons and so on) threw away by german troops before surrending during 1st world war. At the junction between B1 and the road which goes to Namutoni gate we gave a ride to a young girl which had to reach the Etosha park. She told us she worked at the curio shop of Namutoni gate. I'm wandering if each day she has to count on people giving her a ride to reach her job. At lunch time we already reached Onguma Bush Camp. We relaxed near the pool and at 5 pm we left for a game drive. We were lucky since we saw a group of lions. Another wonderful african sunset.
  11. Day 20 : Mururani Camp / Ohange Namibia Lodge - Km.269 From scenic point of view the road from Mururani to Grootfontein is not so bad and the 130 Km. till there passed quickly. In Grootfontein there is a big Spar and we stopped to buy some foods. Then we continue through D2859 to Hoba Meteorite. From then we reached the D2860 which is a beautiful road which runs along the railway. After having reached again the B8 we continued till Kombat where we took the D2863. In my opinion a wonderful road not to be missed if you are in that area. We reached the D3022 junction and we turn left, we passed in front of Ghaub Guest Farm and arrived at Ohange Safari Lodge. I loved so much this place :-) The rooms are basic, anyway there is all you need to pass a comfortable night (good bed, big shower, hot water). The pool is fantastic and the common area (breakfast area, reception, bar and so on) is wonderful, warm and cozy, with fireplace and a lot of books. The dinner and breakfast were superbe and the hosts welcoming and very kind. The beautiful sunset from the veranda This is the common area from the garden The dinner was served under the sky with just fire and lanterns to light :-) This is the waterhole in front of the lodge with the animals we could saw while dining. Another wonderful starry night
  12. Day 19 : River Dance Lodge Divundu / Mururani Camp - Km.367 I forgot to tell that along the Caprivi from Epupa till Divundu the temperature was of about 40° so it was very difficult to sleep during the night. Today we didn't expect any visit. We did again the B8 till Rundu and then we continued south on that road till the veterinary gate of Mururani. The road is boring all the way. Since we arrived there early, around 2 pm, we decided to visit the Mangetti Park which is not too famous. We knew that it was not the best hour to visit it, but during the 3 hours we stayed inside we didn't see any animal apart from a group of gnus at a waterhole and a lot of yellow billed hornills. Sightings are difficult also because the vegetation is very thick. Very few people visit that park, when we filled the registration book at the entrance we saw that the last visit was 5 days before us !!! Here is the map of the park with the road that can be driven. One road inside the park @xelas, I suppose this is a bird of prey, but which kind ? For the night we stayed at Mururani Camp, just after the veterinary gate. It is managed by a very kind family, there is a basic shop where you can also find meat, a very small pool, an outside bar and braai facilities. That night we were the only ones and opted for a very new chalet, they have 2 and just finished to build them, on the day of our arrival they were installing the aircon. They are equipped with a living area with fully equipped kitchen apart from microwawe or burner, table and chairs and 2 single beds. Then, there is a bedroom and a bathroom with tube. The value for money is good, 600 Nam. The only problem was the mosquitos even with the windows closed and the aircon on. The pictures of the room have been taken with a phone and no flash so they are very bad, but just to give you an idea of the chalet. The living room The kitchen The 2 single beds in the living room The bathroom The bedroom The new air con and the thatched roof The big window in the living room (no curtain, but I think they will put them in the near future)
  13. @xelas apart from the carmin bee eater and the vulture I don't know the others birds. Can you tell me the name ? Thanks
  14. Day 18 : Mahangu Game Reserve Divundu / River Dance Lodge Divundu - Km.126 The lodge is very very close to the park entrance, just few Km. We asked for a breakfast box in order to be at the park very early in the morning. At the entrance we filled some papers, we paid 50 Nam/each, we received a map with detailed roads and instructions. There are 2 roads to take, both branching from the main road about 1 Km. from the entrance. The one on the left is good and accessible to all cars, it overlooks the floodplain and return to the main road close to the Botswana border. At the time of our visit it was not possible to travel all the way since it was closed at about half way. So, at some point, you must come back to the beginning and take the road again from the south entrance. The one on the right is accesible to 4wd only. The instruction received at the entrance was to travel this road for 10 km. till a waterhole and then come back to the beginning. Till the waterhole the rood was very good. Unfortunately, instead of coming back, we continued along the road with the intention to come back after few km. BAD BAD decision, the road is very very narrow with any possibility to come back and deeply sandy. I was quite nervous because I knew the instructions were to come back, there was no phone coverage, we didn't deflate the tyres since till that moment absolutely no need and we couldn't get out from the car because of the animals. Therefore the only possibility was to continue crossing our fingers. Finally after 19 unending Km.we reached the main road In front of the loop exit we took again the other road to see the big baobab and to stop at Kwetche picnic spot to have our breakfast and recover after the big scare. The park was a surprise. There were very few people, many animals and birds and the sightings were very easy, it is a birdwatcher paradise. We took some bird pictures even if we don't have the proper equipment. We left the park and continue towards River Dance Lodge. This was the worst choice of our trip, I don't reccomend this lodge. We had dinner on the terrace facing the river, but nothing to do with the one we had yesterday at Mahangu. The correct decision would have been to stay two nights at Mahangu.
  15. Day 17 : Rundu / Mahangu Game Reserve Divundu - Km.226 In the morning we had a walk in Rundu market and did some grocery shopping. The B8 is tarred and again boring, the only distraction is given by the river reed, sold along the road. We stopped at Popa Falls Resort to visit the falls - entrance 20 Nam/each - we sat on the terrace, but also here the water level was low therefore the falls was not visible. Around 4 pm we arrived at Mahangu Safari Lodge. I loved this place, it was one of my favourite. At 5 we left for the sunset cruise, we were 6 plus the boatman and it was wonderful. We saw many many animals and birds and the sunset was incredible The dinner is served on the terrace and it was very good with iced beer. We heard hyppos, frogs, cicadas and saw a wonderful starry sky.

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