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Found 88 results

  1. Having an interest in Africa’s culture/history as well as it’s wildlife I thought it was time for a thread on a subject that perfectly combines these two interests and that hasn’t come up as far as I can recall very often and that is rock art. I’m not any kind of expert on this subject and haven’t visited a huge numbers of sites but I thought I’d write a brief intro before getting to some photos from the places I have been to. All over Africa there are fine examples of rock art, ancient paintings and engravings or petroglyphs, such art has been found on all continents except Antarctica but there is more of this art in Africa than anywhere else in the world. The Saharan Region is especially rich in both paintings and petroglyphs which provide a fascinating insight into the lives of the ancient peoples of this region and the of wildlife that they lived alongside, much of this artwork dates from a wet period when the Sahara was not a desert but a lush green land of rivers and lakes, lush grasslands and savannahs. Besides depictions of people and their cattle and other livestock there are numerous representations of easily recognisable wild animals like giraffes, elephants and white rhinos in countries like Libya and Algeria far outside their modern historical distribution. Sadly much of this rock art is found in areas of the Sahara that are no longer accessible to tourists due to ongoing political instability, I don’t know enough about all of the countries of this region so there may be some sites that are safe to visit, certainly it should be okay to visit some of the sites in the Ennedi region of Chad, I have not done so. I have only admired the extraordinary engravings of giraffes for example found in Niger in photographs in Nat Geo and online. Here’s a link to the Trust for African Rock Art click on the countries highlighted to see photos of this extraordinary art. While rock art can be found in various places in East Africa the largest collection of paintings (that I know of) is as at Kondoa in Tanzania just south west of Tarangire NP, although I’ve not visited Kondoa the rock art sites are not that hard to get to being only 9kms from the main highway going south from Arusha to Dodoma. While the site is accessible it’s only 3.5 hrs drive south of Arusha it is somewhat off the beaten track as far as Tanzania’s northern safari circuit is concerned and most people going from Arusha down to say Ruaha NP or Selous GR would tend to fly rather than drive. You really need to make a special trip to visit Kondoa as you’re not likely to be passing by, therefore few tourists visit these paintings. The depictions of elongated human figures and local wildlife are thought primarily to have been painted by the Sandawe people, related to the San peoples of Southern Africa and speaking a similar click language the Sandawe were likewise originally hunter gatherers. Here’s a guide to Kondoa Rock Art of Kondoa Irangi Further south, Southern Africa has an abundance of rock art, around the whole region numerous caves and rock shelters have been richly decorated with depictions of the local wildlife and people, for the most part these paintings and pictographs were created by San hunter gatherers and later Khoekhoe herders. The pictures are in many cases not actually depictions of the real world as observed by the San, but are in fact scenes taken from the spirit world visited by their shamans during trances brought on during ceremonial dances. The frequency with which certain animal species were depicted depended on their spiritual significance to the people of the area. In South Africa (& Lesotho) where there could be anywhere up to 30,000 rock art sites and over 1 million images, the eland was the most totemic species in the Drakensberg and Maloti Mts for example there are whole galleries of eland paintings. In Namibia and Zimbabwe depictions of eland are far less frequent and giraffes much more common, other animals like zebras, rhinos, elephants and ostriches are also commonly depicted. I don’t know if this reflects a difference in the past abundance of these animals or simply their significance to the artists who portrayed them. Many of the painting and petroglyphs date back to around 2,000 years or so ago, although it’s recently been confirmed that some of the oldest paintings in South Africa date back to 5,000 years ago. The tradition may go back far longer but paintings on sandstone apparently don’t last for more than a few thousand years due to the porous nature of the rock. There are also much more recent paintings but it’s generally thought that certainly in South Africa the San stopped painting soon after European colonisation, large numbers of San died from smallpox brought in by the settlers or were killed in conflicts with the newly arrived whites and also the expanding black tribes that were encroaching into their territory. Conflict was inevitable as the San saw no distinction between wild game and domestic livestock regarding both simply as meat to be hunted, the severe reduction in their numbers, the disruption to their culture and mixing with other peoples brought an end to their production of rock art. While I’ve not visited rock art sites in the Sahara or East Africa I have been to a couple of sites in Zimbabwe and in Namibia, as with the rest of Southern Africa the San were the original inhabitants of Zimbabwe and would have lived throughout the country, they produced the majority of the rock art found at over 15,000 sites around the Zimbabwe. One of the highest concentrations of rock paintings can be found in the Matobos Hills just south of Bulawayo throughout these beautiful hills caves and rock overhangs were decorated by the San. The most accessible of these caves sites in Matobos National Park is Nswatugi Cave which has some of Zimbabwe’s most impressive paintings and is also conveniently close to Malindidzimu or World’s End the spectacular burial place of Cecil Rhodes. Nswatugi Cave a Guide to the Big Game of the Matobos. Rhodes Matopos NP as it was originally called was created in 1926 after Cecil Rhodes bequeathed the area to the country, much of the original big game that would once have been found in the Matobos had been hunted out. When it was decided in the 1960s to set aside an area of the park as a game preserve that would be restocked with suitable wildlife, they needed to know which species they should reintroduce, caves like Nswatugi provided a perfect guide to the original fauna of the park. At another site that I’ve not visited known as the White Rhino Shelter is the faint outline of what is clearly a white rhino, a species that was entirely extinct in the country when Southern Rhodesia was founded in the 1890s, exactly when they became extinct is not known (as far as I know) but this evidence of their former presence led to their reintroduction. There is now a healthy and seemingly well protected population of southern white rhinos and also black rhinos in the park. Some of the other game hasn’t fared quite as well some species like buffalo were actively exterminated some years ago for reasons of foot and mouth disease control and a lot of game was poached during the recent chaos, but hopefully more restocking will be carried out in future when the opportunity arises. Photographing rock paintings can be a bit of a challenge as you can’t use flash which would damage the paintings, so I wasn't sure how well my photos would come out when I visited Nswatugi a few years ago. These paintings are perhaps 2,000 years old and have survived remarkably well considering that Ndebele rebels hid out in caves like this one during the first Chimurenga or freedom war that lasted from 1894-97. It was from hideouts in the Matobos that they launched their guerilla war against the white settlers that nearly extinguished the fledgling colony of Southern Rhodesia. The large animal in the centre of the scene is an eland The artists would often simply paint on top of the earlier paintings frequently creating a jumble of images which can make it a little difficult to make out some of the individual animals and people, the shapes below the eland appear to be entirely abstract and I don't recall what their significance may have been if known. Probably the finest painting of giraffes in Zimbabwe This would appear to be a female greater kudu Greater kudu bull Giraffes, zebras, antelopes and other animals Plains zebra
  2. Our trip to Namibia is in a month, and we're nearly ready, but I have a few questions. 1. During our time in Namibia, we are staying in lodges where breakfast and dinner are usually provided. As these lodges tend to be fairly remote, and as I have read advice not to keep food in our room (makes sense), what would we do about lunches? Do the lodges usually have lunches/snacks available for purchase? 2. While we're on the topic of food, I have been advised, both by the travel clinic nurse and by my cousins who spent 3 months in Kenya and Tanzania, to avoid eating salads or fresh fruit or vegetables unless I can wash something myself in bleach diluted in bottled water. They said to buy a small bottle of bleach when we arrive. Is this prudent or overkill? I have trouble digesting fat, so I do much better on a diet that has lots of fruits and vegetables. I've travelled in Europe and Asia, and while in Hong Kong ate from street stalls often, and had a problem only once (in Madrid, after eating snails in a restaurant). 3. I understand that some lodges won't launder underwear, and my pants and some shirts are SPF, moisture-wicking, quick-drying fabric, so I don't mind laundering them myself, and I might prefer it if they could be ruined by too much heat in the process. I am used to hand washing some stuff when I travel. However, I have heard/read that putsi/tumbu/bot flies can be an issue in Africa (which is one reason why clothes are ironed by the staff when they do the laundry). So, if I have to hand wash my undies, do I need to worry about these flies? Or is this not an issue inside a lodge room? Or not an issue in Namibia, since it's so dry? (We won't be in the Caprivi area.) 4. Since we have already paid for our accommodation, meals, and transportation, how much cash per day are we likely to need? I guess our main expenses will be tips and lunches, if applicable. Thanks.
  3. As our landscape photography workshop group was leaving Luderitz, Namibia, I noticed these railroad tracks disappearing into a sand dune. Naturally, I yelled “stop”—the image was just too full of irony to pass by, but only one other participant thought it was worth photographing—and ran the several hundred feet from the road to take the photograph. (I may have a Wanted poster hanging in Namibia, since I don’t know how far off the road the Diamond Exclusion Zone starts!) Relentless winds off the Atlantic Ocean during the previous several weeks had caused this Namib Desert sand dune to travel across the tracks; these narrow gauge tracks are not used regularly, so I don’t know when last they were cleaned. The track cleaning crew was probably a kilometer away, clearing sand off the tracks with heavy equipment; this prompted our driver to say “they must be expecting a train today”…
  4. From Windhoek to Walvis Bay … with a lunch This was our first trip to "black Africa". Namibia seemed to be a perfect destination as we love to do things on our own, driving et all. Easy driving and taking a lot of photos was our main goal of this trip. Therefore it will be more photos than words in this trip report; most of the sites and lodges are well known to readers here so I will spare you with too many details. Hopefully photos will be able to tell the story better than me. That is me, driver and second shooter/assistant: And here is the photographer: Arrived in the afternoon at WDH airport where a driver from ACR was waiting for us. Our first night we slept at Villa Violet. A small, 5 room, very nice b&b with great hosts. Early to bed early out of it. That will be the standard of this trip. Cloudless morning, great breakfast and off to Advanced Rental Car to pick up our car for next 2 weeks. A new Toyota Hilux Double cab with diesel engine. So new it still has only its original fuel tank, 80 litres. The procedure was meticuluose, every aspect of the car showed, and it lasted 60 minutes. Next stop petrol station. We filled the tank with 57,50 litres for 750,00 N$, withdraw some more cash from the ATM, and filled the Engel fridge with water bottles and juices. It was 10:00 am when we left the gas station (Shell, if anybody interested; and 1 l of regular diesel cost 13,50 N$). ​C26, first of many gravel roads, just out of Windhoek We took C26 out of the city and towards Gamsberg pass. The road turned gravel soon after the police check point (just waved through) and the scenery started to attract our attention. The speed was kept around 60 km/h as advised by Allison from Advanced. Soon we started to climb and then to drive downhill. But where was the Gamsberg Pass?! We might have overlooked the sign for it, yet I somehow doubt it. This must have been Gamsberg Pass We travelled about 160 km in 3 hours, and it was time for our lunch stop. Back home my quick research of option pointed me to Corona Guest Farm, and it was excellent decision. From C26 it is 18 km on a scenic D road. The guest farm lies inside a natural amphitheatre; there are walking trails and we saw also the modified Landy for transporting persons. On site manager Janus greeted us and invited us to nice outside patio. The lunch itself, a gourmet delight. Main course was kudu steak local style; and we were told that it cannot get more local then this steak. Not only Janus is a great cook, he is also a great host, sharing many useful informations with us. The hour past fast and we have to say hello and to continue our drive towards Walvis Bay. The road offers some great scenery all the way to Kuiseb Pass and also an hour after it, then it is a flat monotonous drive. Bridge over Kuiseb River We reached Walvis Bay in time to see the sun sinking into the Atlantic Ocean, and parked our car at Spindrift B&B at 18:00 sharp. We were on road for 8 hours, out of which 1hr 45 min was used for detour and lunch stop. We maintained a steady speed of 60 km/h until after Kuiseb Pass, then the road allowed us to drive up to 80 km/h (all based on speedometer in the car). What we appreciate on this drive is the car. Yes it is big. And more expensive than a regular car. And one can do the drive in a regular sedan. But we have just loved to be in Hilda (yes, you need to give a name if you want it will serve you well). Its robust tyres were just “eating” all the gravel and corrugation and stones. We came to Walvis Bay not tired, no back problems, just normal wear and tear after 6 hours on the road.
  5. Ever fancied a safari holiday ? Like so many I have done so for a long time but always been frightened by the cost. My only experience of an African safari was a three night trip to Tsavo East and West in Kenya and that cost £765 6 years ago. Prices have risen considerably in many places since. Why are safaris so expensive? Good question and one I can't answer but they do have to reflect the cost of park entry fees and they alone are now $75 US pp per day in places such as Kenya. Add in accommodation, transport , guides, food and drink and you can soon be looking at a re-mortgage or in my case selling off the family silver by dipping in to the pension pot again. Fancy Gorilla trekking ? You need to be minted! The licence to enter the park costs $750 US pp . Yes, that's right no decimal points missing. For that you get an allowance of 1.5 hours in which to see the Gorillas. Tough luck if it's a no show I suppose. I can understand the need to restrict numbers and it's good news that the money raised helps to protect the wildlife but it's a bit sad that safari trips can be very much for the rich ( but there again I suppose it always was). I made some enquiries about a guided Botswana trip and was quoted £8k for a 7 night tented trip for Claire and myself. The cost would reduce if we increased numbers to 4. You still had flights to add as well as any extended stay costs. Out of my league I decided. Then I discovered Namibia! Actually I was recommended by a friend who has worked out there as a geologist and he had nothing but good to say about the country. The decision was sealed when I spotted an advert by Qatar Airways offering discounted prices for the next 5 days to celebrate their new direct route to the capital city , Windhoek. £480pp economy. Only slightly dearer than travelling from the UK to The Gambia, an African favourite of mine. It was a no brainer. On impulse the tickets booked for a 25 night trip. I had been told self drive was the best option, the roads were good and it was safe. Car booked via Rentalcars.com. Pick up at the airport from Avis, an Hyundai Tucson or similar was a reasonable £880 including the extra insurance to reduce the excess from sky high to nothing. All I had left to do was decide were to go when I got there! I did a fair bit of research online... discovered it was the rainy season and the pitfalls...hey ho, too late now ! The good news was it was peak season for birds so I was fine with that. Besides, Namibia is a desert country and the rains are not very heavy anyway. My plan put together I published it on Trip Advisor asked for advice on anything that was missing. Most of my accommodation was sorted. I use Booking.com for most as you can check availability and reserve rooms without paying a deposit for most places so you can tweek your plans later if need be. Accommodation which is run by the National Parks isn't as flexible. You pay up front and loose a fair chunk if you cancel so the 4 nights I had booked were now tablets of stone. I got some good feedback, some a bit negative, some positive ideas though. I was missing out on Damaraland were Rhino and desert adapted Elephant tracking are specialities so I added a two night stay at Grootberg Lodge. This made my journey plan a little odd as it didn't quite run in the order that you'd expect but I wasn't too bothered about the criticism. I couldn't afford to cancel. My final plan including some idea of estimated mileage and travel time looked like this. If you don't have any knowledge of Namibia it won't mean too much but there again, much of my blog is aimed at those who have never been to help them decide if this is the trip for them. From previous experience we have learnt that trying to take in too much of a country in too little time is a big mistake. We had three and a half weeks but we decided to skip on all of the southern half of the country as well as the major tourist destinations of Sossusvlei ( big sand dunes and dead trees) and Caprivi ( leading in to a visit to the Victoria Falls). No Namibia is nearly as big as Germany and France put together and you wouldn't contemplate trying to see everything there in one go would you? We were still looking at driving 3500 kilometres and moving to new accommodation 11 times. I was already concerned that we were not making enough longer stay stop overs. Too much packing and unpacking, checking in, checking out. Living out of a suitcase. I suppose a camper van might be an alternative but I didn't even consider that. A tent was out of the question. How would it pan out ? Only time would tell and you are about to find out! I had 6 months to contemplate and savour the prospects. I bought "The Photographers Guide to Etosha National Park" and took in all the details of each waterhole and what I might see. Took note of equipment used etc , read every blog I could find. As a passionate and avid wildlife photographer I had some big decisions on what gear to take. The more you have the worse it makes it. Decisions made, guide books bought, plans printed we were ready for the off. February 6th 2017. T.B.C
  6. I want to open with a 'thank you' to my friends on SafariTalk as your input significantly influenced my trip plans (in a good way) My first trip to Africa was a self-drive trip to Chobe National Park, Botswana in the early 2000’s. I went in with a group of acquaintances from South Africa. On the nights before, I had a lot of discussions about what I would see. Chobe was said to be one of the greatest destination in Africa to see abundant wildlife. That sounded great, but often I would hear ‘the only place where you will see more wildlife is Etosha!”. That trip to Chobe was all I had dreamed it would be and more. Africa was in my blood and I’ve been into the bush more than two dozen times since then; however, I never got to Etosha … and I continued to hear about how great it could be. Today, I lead small groups to Africa locations like Chobe, Timbavati, Sabi Sands, Hwange, Zimanga and Madikwe. I only take folks to places I’ve visited first hand so I really can share with them what to expect. I’m hoping to lead a group to Namibia, including Etosha in 2017, so I decided it was time for a scouting trip. In addition to Etosha, I wanted to check out a few other regions in northern Namibia. In particular, I’ve had great interest from travelers in getting a chance to visit villages, meet indigenous peoples and have a more cultural experience. Since I would be ‘moving quickly’ to check out several locations, I decided to make this a self-drive trip. To share the experience and to have a little ‘back-up’ for the trip, I enlisted 3 friends to go along. We took two vehicles, that way one person could sit up front and shoot left or right and one person could sit in the back and shoot left or right without interference. In addition, the second vehicle would provide a little safety insurance in case of vehicle troubles since we were going rather remote. Just a little more background and I promise to get on with the primary story and some photographs. For my 2017 Namibia trip, we will be with a larger group of photographers via train visiting the Quiver Tree forest for night photography, Kolmanskop for some ghost town taken over by desert shots, Sossusvlei and Deadvlei for the classic sand dune shots. Considering the size of Namibia and the travel times, I am concerned that following the first portion of the trip, travelers will not want to go too far before a stop and to see some wildlife. Basically, I wanted to find one high quality stop between Windhoek and Etosha. The two best options seemed to be Africats (Okinjima) or Erindi. AfriCats is a non-for-profit organization that rehabilitates cheetahs, wild dogs and hyenas. While I have heard good things, that sounded a bit zoo-like. In my research on Erindi, it sounded a bit like a variant of the private reserves around the Kruger. Write-ups noted that Erindi is known for big cat sightings and has both self-drive regions and also off road tracking. In addition, they have a few animals I know I won’t be seeing elsewhere in northern Namibia such as crocodiles, hippopotamus and wild dog. While I’ve seen these many times, some of my 2017 travelers will be taking their first and possibly only trip to Africa so these are a nice add. I finalized upon an itinerary as follows: · Day 1 - Arrival night in Windhoek with overnight at a Guest House · Day 2 - Drive to Erindi in the mornig, afternoon game drive and overnight. · Day 3 - Morning game drive at Erindi, mid-day drive to Etosha, afternoon drive to Etosha, stay first night at Halali. · Day 4 - Morning and afternoon game drives and 2nd night at Halali · Day 5 & 6 – On the 3rd and 4th nights in Etosha at Okaukuejo Lodge. · Day 7 - Etosha game drive to the western gate (Galton Gate) then proceed to Grootberg Lodge for overnight stay. · Day 8 & 9 - From Grootberg, head north to Khowarib Lodge, just south of Sesfontein for two nights. On one day I wanted to visit a Himba settlement and on another full day I wanted to look for desert elephants along the Hoanib River. · Day 10 - On the last morning, we would drive back south to Otjiwarongo for a night · Day 11 - The next morning, drive to Windhoek to fly out that afternoon to Jo’berg and back to the States That’s a pretty grueling week and a half with 2000 miles of driving including 1500 miles of driving on gravel and dirt. I would never do that schedule with a tour group, but this was a scouting trip and I was taking along some seasoned travelers/photographers. Now, let the story begin! Okay, I have to throw in at least one photo to start things off.
  7. Edited to say that, of course, that should read "Are We SOL". Can't see a way to edit the subject line. After spending some time researching, browsing these forums, looking at travel books, reading reviews, etc., my husband and I (well, mostly I, as I'm the trip planner in the family) made a decision for our first (and probably only) trip to Africa. (Yes, I know some of you will say we will want to return, and that may be true, but given our age and stage of life, it's not likely.) We decided to do a 10-12 day tour of Namibia, including Soussusvlei, Damaraland, Swapkomund, and Etosha. We don't want to do self-drive, and I decided I would be most comfortable with lodges or permanent tented camps (but preferably lodges). I made a spreadsheet comparing a few small-group safaris (8 ppl or less), finally narrowing it down to a couple of top choices. Well, it turns out that these choices are fully booked until late October. We wanted to travel sometime between the beginning of May and the end of September. So, it seems as if we may be out of luck for Namibia, and we are again considering other options. Wildlife viewing and scenery are our top priorities. I love taking pictures. We may also be interested in indigenous culture. We aren't particularly interested in cities or beaches for this trip. We would like to stay under $4200 Canadian (3200 US or 300 Euro) per person, excluding flights to Africa. Our top choice is Namibia, but we would also be interested in Botswana and would consider Tanzania or South Africa. Our time is fairly flexible, but we'd prefer to travel during dry season/winter, and if we can manage a somewhat less busy time (i.e. just before or just after peak season), so much the better. As mentioned, I prefer lodges but would not completely rule out camps (the kind with real beds, though). I'm kind of a baby when it comes to camping, insects, etc., but I realize that in Africa, I might have to pull up my big girl pants. We aren't really fussy about luxury. (We like it, and that would be nice, but we don't necessarily expect it or want to pay through the nose for it.) We laugh at reviews where people complain about not having the right brand of tea or lack of wifi in the room or post a picture of a little hole in a sofa, when they are in the middle of the bush. We aren't that unrealistic. However, I don't want to sleep on the ground, and I probably wouldn't sleep well if there were, say, scorpions or venomous snakes in the room (as in a couple of reviews I've read). Part of the appeal of Namibia is that it is supposedly less buggy in dry season than some more tropical locations. My brother went there in September a few years ago and loved it, and said he was surprised by the lack of bugs at that time. Our ideal itinerary would have us staying at least two nights in most places. Some Namibia itineraries I've seen change accommodations every night, and while these cover a lot of ground, I think that would wear rather thin. Living in Western Canada, it is nothing to us to drive for hours to get someplace, but I don't want to travel for hours every single day, unless it is on game or sightseeing drives. I also have zero interest in visiting wine country in South Africa. (I don't like wine, and, anyway, we often holiday in the Okanagan in Canada, which is a wine producing region.) I mention this, because many of the tours I've seen in South Africa include two or three days in the winelands. If you have experience or ideas regarding a trip that you think might appeal to me, based on what I've told you, I am interested in your suggestions. Thanks!
  8. We are planning to spend several days in the north of Namibia, to be followed by 2 nights Sossusvlei. I've come up with 3 options. Option 1. WDH-fly to Hoanib Skeleton Coast for 3 nights - fly to Kulala Desert Lodget - fly to WDH. Hoanib Camp looks spectacular, but it is incredibly expensive for 4 people. We have a very generous budget, but $30K for 5 nights is definitely a deterrent. Option 2. WDH-Fly to Okahirongo Elephant lodge for 1 or 2 nights - drive to Okahirongo River Lodge for 1 or 2 nights - fly to Sossusvlei for 2 nights at Kulala - fly to WDH. Not sure how much that would be (waiting to hear back from TA and the lodges), but probably a lot less. Judging from their 6 night package, significantly less. But I am not sure if there is a visit to the coast itself. Option 3. WDH-Fly to Khowarib Lodge - Kunene Safaris to drive around the north, with camping accommodations- Khowarib - fly to Sossuslve-WDH. The least expensive option (no actual costs yet, waiting to hear from the co...tough to connect with time differences and no weekend hours)....however, I have not broken the great news about camping to my wife and 2 teenage daughters...who are decidedly NOT campers at heart. I can probably convince them to do 1 night for contrast though. Again, not sure if the visit to the coast can be arranged...very likely not. Any input on these options would be greatly appreciated.
  9. I'm heading for Namibia in a few weeks and can't make up my mind. So if any of you can help me out, that would be much appreciated! The itinerary will ofcourse include Etosha. It's the national park which gives me headaches. I have max 4 nights to spend. But where? At first I thought of Okaukuejo and Halali. But I've been reading these camps are quite large and can get crowded by overlanders. Then I switched to Onkoshi, as it's much smaller, but from there it's too far to Swakopmund. I've also been reading wildlife at Okaukuejo is great and that this makes up for the size of the camp. If the latter is true, should I spend all 4 of my nights at Okaukuejo? Or should I go for 2 nights at Okaukuejo and 2 nights at Halali? Or are there private concessions at the south(west) of Etosha I could consider? In the end, I'm there for the animals, but usually I like smaller camps... If you're interested, I'll also be going to see the seals near Swakopmond and visit Sossusvlei. Some other activities (sandboarding, balloon flight) in that area, but will decide when I'm there. TR will follow afterwards.
  10. I have an upcoming trip to northern Namibia. It will be four of us, all serious photographers. It is a short trip. I originally planned 1 night Windhoek, 2 nights in Erindi and then 2 nights Halali and 2 nights in Okaukuejo I added time 3 nights in Kunene (1 night Grootberg and 2 nights in Khowarib) and in doing so I'v eaccientally decreased my stay in Okaukuejo to one night. Flights are booked so we can't change duration. My question: - should I keep my two nights at Erindi and accept I lost one night at Okaukuejo? - should I adjust reservations to one night at Erinidi and reschedule to 2 nights Halali and 2 nights Okaukuejo? Remember photography (and waterhole night photography as well) is the purpose of this short trip. Thanks for the advice.
  11. Hi everybody, I just did a short introduction in the newbie part of this forum and there I mentioned that we have been to Namibia in 2014. So this is an "old" trip report. I just translated my Dutch trip report into English. This means that some info might not be interesting at all to some of you because it is not only focussed on the animals but on the total trip. This was our first trip to Southern Africa and we booked this trip through a Dutch agent who worked together with an Namibian agent. Just a little bit of background on how we came to do this trip. We had been in Asia a few times and my husband said that he wanted something different this time, so why don't we go to Africa. Africa for me has always been Namibia because I used to work in travel industry and heard that this was one of the best parts of Africa for wildlife and scenary. So Namibia it was. We found out that my favorite animal, the hippo, only lives in the Caprivi area so that area had to be included. This meant that because we only had 3 weeks, we could not travel more South than the Sossusvlei. We are both not into the culture things, such as visiting tribes so that was kept out as well. With this info we headed to the agent and they came back with the following route: 31/08/14 Amsterdam Johannesburg (overnight in a hotel at the airport) 01/09/14 Johannesburg - Windhoek - Sossusvlei (2 nights Desert Camp) 03/09/14 Sossusvlei - Swakopmund (2 nights Cornerstone Guesthouse) 05/09/14 Swakopmund - Vingerklip (1 night Vingerklip Lodge) 06/09/14 Vingerklip - Etosha (1 night Okaukuejo, 2 nights Halali) 09/09/14 Etosha - Grootfontein (1 night Seidarap guesthouse) 10/09/14 Grootfontein - Mahungo (2 nights Mahangu Safari Lodge) 12/09/14 Mahangu - Kwando (2 nights Camp Kwando) 14/09/14 Kwando - Kasane (3 nights Chobe Bakwena Lodge) 17/09/14 Kasane - Vic Falls (2 nights Ilala Lodge) 19/09/14 Victoria Falls - Livingstone - Johannesburg - Amsterdam Monday 18 August 2014 Final preparations It is starting to itch. 12 More days and then we get on the plane to Johannesburg. Last Friday we bought the international driving licenses. Another thing taken of the list after the malaria tablets, the hiking pants, beautiful hats and telephoto lenses for cameras. The crate with things which we certainly must take with us is getting fuller. Sunday 31 August 2014 The African adventure begins At Schiphol, 45 minutes and then our flight back to Johannesburg will leave. The first part of the trip to Windhoek. Tonight at 21:15 we land and then after a short night in a hotel at the airport, we fly at 06.00 to Windhoek. Monday 1 September 2014 An exciting day Where do I start. The flight from Amsterdam to Johannesburg was fine. Upon arrival in Johannesburg we checked where our luggage was because in Amsterdam it already got the label to Windhoek. The lady we asked this told us that we could pick up our suitcases in Windhoek. So we went directly to the hotel (City Lodge) which was fine, and here we had a good sleep for a few hours. At 4:15 the alarm went off already and at 6.00 we were in a cute small aircraft (50 passengers) of SA Express. Croissant and coffee on board is all a person needs. And off course it is nice if your suitcases are on the same plane. On arrival in Windhoek our suitcases did not arrive at the luggage belt. After a lap at the airport we were able to draw up a report and now we hope that the suitcases are quickly found and delivered. At this moment we have not heard anything and it looks as though tomorrow we walk around in the same clothes for the 3rd day in a row. It's now 30 degrees in the afternoon and then a swimsuit is nicer than long trousers. Anyway, we did not let our first day in beautiful Namibia spoil with this hassle. At Europcar we collected our 4WD which will be our car for the next 2 weeks. A very clean white Toyota Hilux Double cab which now is no longer white but a kind of dull gray. Then on the road. First to Windhoek. Some shopping at the Spar. Water, soft drinks and sandwiches for the road. The first part of the route was one of the few paved roads in the country. There was also a fair amount of traffic. Then we went over on gravel and that will remain the next days. Gravel in several variations. Pretty smooth gravel, soft gravel in heaps and gravel with boulders. The first animals we've seen were monkeys. Lots of monkeys. Not wild were the cows, goats, a dog, horses and donkeys. Fortunately, we also saw a kudu, oryx and a few springbok. After a beautiful drive we now sit on the terrace with a drink at our lodge. Tonight we go to bed early and tomorrow morning at sunrise to the red dunes of the Sossusvlei. Tuesday 2 September 2014 What a joy How happy can you be with 2 suitcases? Very happy! This morning, the bags arrived and we could finally change clothes. Our plan today to get out of bed early and visit the red dunes (Sossusvlei) was killed this morning at 5:00. It was pretty cold last night (extra blanket was really needed) and it was nice and warm in bed. So instead of 5.00 am it was 8:00 and we went for breakfast in the Sossusvlei Lodge. Here we had a delicious dinner last night. Kudu, impala, hartebeest and wildebeest from the bbq after starters from an extensive hot and cold buffet. Dessert was also a sumptuous buffet of different types of cake, pudding and pie. The breakfast was quite extensive and the freshly made omelet was more than enough. After breakfast back to the Desert Camp where we were staying and it turned out that our bags were there. Changing into charming safari / hiking clothes and off we went to the Sesriem Canyon. Meanwhile, the temperature had risen to 30 C, but that did not spoil the fun. At the entrance of the National Park we bought a permit for two days so that tomorrow we can directly drive to the Sossusvlei. On to the Canyon and looking for the entrance, which we could not find. After having seen quite a lot from the top we have to be like klimbokkies and climbed down. In the Canyon it was also very hot but also very nice. We had to walk back the part which we had done at the top of the Canyon. And hope that we could get up again somewhere. Tim has seen a snake and there were also some large spiders around so I was really enjoying myself. After some time we suddenly had some oncoming traffic and yes there appeared a kind of staircase just across the parking lot. Which was hard to see from above if you did not know it was there. Now we were in the smallest and perhaps most beautiful part of the canyon. But also the busiest part. After the canyon we eventually did drive towards the red dunes. What an incredibly beautiful landscape. I cannot describe how beautiful. After a brief stop at Dune 45 where arrived in the middle of a sandstorm. We continued the road to the Sossusvlei so that tomorrow we know where to go. On the way back we came in the same sandstorm and in the center of the storm we could not see a hand before our eyes. Luckily our car was faster than the storm, and did we have good visibility again on the last part of the road. For the first time we filled up our car with diesel. Bought some sandwiches for breakfast and back to the Desert Camp. At the bar I started this travel report, but we were approached by a Dutch man who lives in South Africa since the fifties. Though this was not to hear, he still spoke Dutch without an accent. We had a nice conversation with him, his girlfriend was also born Dutch but at the age of two already moved to South Africa and they did not speak Dutch but African. Nice to hear but sometimes difficult to understand. They sought (Desert Camp was fully booked) a place to sleep and we had reservations for a Sundowner Nature drive so after half an hour we had to get back on the road. The Sundowner tour was great fun. Together with two elderly German women we went with our guide Gabriel to see some animals, plants and watch the sunset. And enjoying a drink and some snacks. The ride was around the premises of the lodge and we can add some animals to our list. Ground squirrels, p, an ostrich and a bunch Namibian mice. We were also told a few things about different trees and rock formations. The ride was fun and the food and drinks made it complete. Little mouse waiting for some leftover food during the Sundowner Weavers nest Upon returning we could immediately sit down for dinner and this time it was again delicious. One last drink at the bar and then straight to bed. Tomorrow the alarm goes off really early and after our visit to the Sossusvlei we move on to our next stop, Swakopmund, on the coast. Unfortunately a bit colder as we just saw on the news, only 18 C.
  12. I am traveling with a group of 4 to Namibia in Oct. 2016. We are all photographers with significant past experience in Botswana and South Africa. The initial plan was to use two 4-door Hilux vehicles (person front seat, person back), have 1 arrival night in Windhoek, then 2 nights in Erindi and then 6 nights in Etosha. In discussions with my fellow travelers, several would like to add days/nights and photograph indigenous people. Probably just the Himba, but possibly also the Bushmen. As I noted, the group is photographers, so focus is on candid portraits and 'sense of place' shots of villages and daily life activity. The group is not particularly interested in tours. The goal is quality photos to show the pride and dignity of villagers, etc. As it's mid-August, we need to book the extra nights as soon as possible. First plans were to add time driving from Etosha west entrance over to Grootberg/Palmwag and visit the Himba there. We recently learned that the Himba village that Grootberg Lodge once organized trips to is being evicted and those tours have ceased. We need suggestions on alternate Himba villages that will allow a small group to visit and photograph. We would also like ideas on what gifts would be appropriate for the village to show gratitude for the visit. As an alternate or addition, there is interest in traveling further east and visiting a bushman village. In visiting website that discuss the 'Living Museum' concept (for example Ju/'Hoansi-San Living Museum), these trips seem extremely structured. As I noted, our focus is respectful portraits and shots of everyday life, dwellings, etc. Can anyone suggest options to allow this activity. Thanks in advance for the advice.
  13. 1) Name of property and country: Grootberg Lodge, Namibia 2) Website address if known: http://www2.grootberg.com 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). Green season, February, 2015 4) Length of stay: 2 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I read fantastic reports on TA about this property, their amazing view and their Himba tour. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? I did the initial research an then contacted Discover Namibia. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 4 times 8) To which countries? South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia. 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? None 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No, we were warned to be careful 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 16 cabins 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? We had a triple room with a breathtaking view over the valley. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The rooms were comfortable and simply furnished. We enjoyed our time mainly at the communal area enjoying the views, drinks and snacks. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. The food was fantastic and we left we recipes. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Yes there were different things on offer. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Single tables, no hosting. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Very good and sufficient. 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Open 4WD. 19) How many guests per row? Up to 3 in each row. 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Game drives were varied and depended on where we wanted to visit. We only went on a Himba tour which was approximately 5/6 hours. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Drives were concentrated mainly in the early mornings but they could be all day affairs if trekking rhino or elephants. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Very little activity in the area 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? 24) Are you able to off-road? yes 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. N/A 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings. Excellent desert adapted elephants and rhino. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Excellent 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: Friendly, helpful, informative. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? The staff were extremely helpful and happy during our stay. They genuinely seemed happy to assist, were proactive in their duties and enjoyed the guests company. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes, it is run by the conservancy and all money raised goes back to the people. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: Grootberg Lodge offers by far the best and most professional service of any of the lodges that I visited in Namibia (and I visited 15!). This is evident as soon as you enter the property. The view is to die for and makes you easily forget the "interesting" drive up to the camp. The food/service/staff/rooms are fantastic. We loved our tour to the Himba Village and would thoroughly recommend this, our guides were brilliant too! The views from the communal area were the highlight of our stay and just sitting down with a sundowner makes you question why Namibia is not busier with so many brilliant places/experiences/animals. Thank you to all the staff who assisted us during our stay. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. https://vimeo.com/144664241
  14. The title of this thread was the title of a posting I read on Facebook from a group called Informante, which seems to be a Namibian newspaper. Apparently, a group of men opened fire indiscriminately on a herd of elephants peacefully grazing on the Angolan side of the banks of the Okavango River that divides Angola from Namibia. A posting on Facebook by Informante, which was re-posted by Wildlife At Risk ("WAR") described a horrific scene which was witnessed by guests staying at a tourist lodge on the Namibian side of the river. According to this posting on Facebook from 11 hours ago: https://www.facebook.com/informantenam/photos/a.277814335618867.64085.183476948385940/1086967078036918/?type=3&theater Informante posted an update about 3 hours ago. According to a witness It sounds like in addition to the three killed, a number of other elephants may have been wounded: This is the update from which the latter quotes came: https://www.facebook.com/informantenam/posts/1087174298016196 These attacks took place in what is supposed to be a protected area in Angola, Luiana National Park. The second post indicates Namibian police are crossing the river to help Angolan authorities investigate, but this is just horrific to read about. I wonder what will become of the poor wounded elephants.
  15. Travel from Windhoek to visit two of the world’s natural wonders, the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the mighty Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This trip stands alone, but it is also designed to be completed in combination with most of our other scheduled itineraries. You will spend one night with the San Bushmen and then on for two nights beside a pristine lagoon in the Delta and then travel back into Namibia to traverse, over two nights the little visited Caprivi Region. Back into Botswana to Kasane for a boat cruise into the Chobe National Park and then on to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and “The Smoke That Thunders”, the awesome Victoria Falls. Day 1 Windhoek – Ghanzi, Kalahari, Botswana (500 km) (LD) (camping) You will be collected between 07:30 & 08:00. We drive to our wilderness bush camp, which is based on a local farm in the Kalahari, near Buitepos Border, via the eastern village of Witvlei. On arrival we set up camp, enjoy a relaxing afternoon, wait for the sun to set and enjoy a fire cooked dinner and the tranquility of an evening in a remote wilderness environment. Included activity: Bushman dancing. Dqae Qare Swimming Pool Bushmen Dancing Travel from Windhoek to visit two of the world’s natural wonders, the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the mighty Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. This trip stands alone, but it is also designed to be completed in combination with most of our other scheduled itineraries. You will spend one night with the San Bushmen and then on for two nights beside a pristine lagoon in the Delta and then travel back into Namibia to traverse, over two nights the little visited Caprivi Region. Back into Botswana to Kasane for a boat cruise into the Chobe National Park and then on to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and “The Smoke That Thunders”, the awesome Victoria Falls. Day 1 Windhoek – Ghanzi, Kalahari, Botswana (500 km) (LD) (camping) You will be collected between 07:30 & 08:00. We drive to our wilderness bush camp, which is based on a local farm in the Kalahari, near Buitepos Border, via the eastern village of Witvlei. On arrival we set up camp, enjoy a relaxing afternoon, wait for the sun to set and enjoy a fire cooked dinner and the tranquility of an evening in a remote wilderness environment. Included activity: Bushman dancing. Dqae Qare Swimming Pool Bushmen Dancing Day 2 Ghanzi – Guma/Okavango Delta (450 km) (BLD) (camping) An early start and a quick stop in Ghanzi to collect any last minute supplies before continuing east and north, traversing the linear dunes of the Kalahari and passing through small towns along the way. A change in vegetation heralds our arrival on the very western edge of one of the natural wonders of the world, the Okavango Delta. Here we turn north for some way before again pointing our wheels west as we enter the Delta proper. We see our first glimpse of the crystal waters through the lush vegetation and we make our camp on the banks of a pristine African lagoon. Elephant Guma Lagoon Guma Lagoon Main Building Day 3 Okavango Delta (BLD) (camping) Included activity: : We are in the territory of the River People, so this morning we leave our vehicle behind and travel in a more appropriate fashion, first by motor-boat and then by traditional Mokoro (dugout canoe), deep into the Delta. Mokoro’s will be our main form of transport. These amazing traditional craft are perfectly designed for the narrow waterways of the Okavango and allow us to travel further into the Delta than if we were using more modern forms of transport. Mokoro’s carry three people, two seated passengers and one driver. The driver stands in the rear of the canoe, (a real feat of balance), and uses a long wooden pole to propel and steer the Mokoro through the twisting channels. It really is the only way to travel in this area. Back to camp in the late afternoon for another night by the Okavango waters. Mokoro on Okavango Mokoro Excursion Day 4 Okavango Delta – Caprivi, Namibia (345 km) Back on the road today, destination Namibia. Passport formalities completed you go directly into the Mahango Game Reserve, a small but excellent park right on the edge of the Okavango River. Game drive your way through Mahango and have the chance to spot rarely seen Namibian species such as roan antelope the majestic sable antelope. Continue your drive along the Caprivi Strip, Namibia. This strip of land is a long narrow stretch of territory running along Botswana’s northern border. It is a landscape of broadleaf forest with many small communities dotted along our route. Overnight along the banks of the Kwando River. Bee-eater Okavango Day 5 Kwando – Chobe National Park, Kasane, Botswana (230 km) (420 km) (BLD) (camping) Lizauli Traditional Village is a community tourism product that gives visitors a glimpse of life in a traditional village. Amongst the things they show visitors are how to stamp a millet, how grain used to be stored, the chicken house (stantwe), and transportation that were used. You can also see how blacksmiths forge metal tools and knives while an assistant operates the hand-made bellows. Visitors also have the opportunity to interact with a traditional healer. We transit to Namibia’s easternmost town, Katima Mulilo. A short break here before crossing back across the border into Botswana. The road takes you directly into the world famous Chobe National Park. Chobe has the world’s largest population of African Elephants and the chances of seeing some big game are very good as you transit through the park to the small town of Kasane for overnight on the banks for the Chobe River. Chobe Safari Lodge Day 6 Chobe National Park, Kasane, Botswana (BLD) (camping) An early hot drink before we head off on a leisurely game drive , exploring the wonders of the Chobe National Park by road. Game drives within the park offer the opportunity to view abundant elephant and other big game species up close, and there is also the possibility of an encounter with one of the large predators. Time to relax over lunch at our camp before joining a river boat cruise , back into the park. From the boat we will have the chance to see a huge amount of wild game, both on the river banks and in the waters swirling around us. Crocodiles and hippos abound in the forbidding Chobe River and on the land side there is often a kaleidoscope of different antelope and species such as elephant, buffalo and even the Big Cats come to the river banks for their sundowner drink. The ChobeRiver provides a very broad habitat for bird life and it is possible to see many beautiful species of our feathered friends. Chobe Gamedrive Chobe Elephants Day 7 Kasane – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (80 km) (BL) (camping) Our journey today takes us to the Kazangula border, this is the near meeting point of four countries (Namibia, Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe). Upon completion of border formalities we make the short drive to the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. Our campsite is situated right in the middle of Victoria Falls town making it a perfect place to be based with all amenities within walking distance. The Rest Camp is only 2km’s from the falls making it the closest campsite to the Victoria Falls. This afternoon your guide will help you organise the many optional activities available in Victoria Falls. These include white water rafting, bungi jumping, other excursions on the river and scenic flights to mention but a few. Dinner will be in a local restaurant at your own expense. NB: All extra activities are subject to availability and are done at the clients own risk and expense. Chobe Elephant Victoria Falls Day 2 Ghanzi – Guma/Okavango Delta (450 km) (BLD) (camping) An early start and a quick stop in Ghanzi to collect any last minute supplies before continuing east and north, traversing the linear dunes of the Kalahari and passing through small towns along the way. A change in vegetation heralds our arrival on the very western edge of one of the natural wonders of the world, the Okavango Delta. Here we turn north for some way before again pointing our wheels west as we enter the Delta proper. We see our first glimpse of the crystal waters through the lush vegetation and we make our camp on the banks of a pristine African lagoon. Elephant Guma Lagoon Guma Lagoon Main Building Day 3 Okavango Delta (BLD) (camping) Included activity: : We are in the territory of the River People, so this morning we leave our vehicle behind and travel in a more appropriate fashion, first by motor-boat and then by traditional Mokoro (dugout canoe), deep into the Delta. Mokoro’s will be our main form of transport. These amazing traditional craft are perfectly designed for the narrow waterways of the Okavango and allow us to travel further into the Delta than if we were using more modern forms of transport. Mokoro’s carry three people, two seated passengers and one driver. The driver stands in the rear of the canoe, (a real feat of balance), and uses a long wooden pole to propel and steer the Mokoro through the twisting channels. It really is the only way to travel in this area. Back to camp in the late afternoon for another night by the Okavango waters. Mokoro on Okavango Mokoro Excursion Day 4 Okavango Delta – Caprivi, Namibia (345 km) Back on the road today, destination Namibia. Passport formalities completed you go directly into the Mahango Game Reserve, a small but excellent park right on the edge of the Okavango River. Game drive your way through Mahango and have the chance to spot rarely seen Namibian species such as roan antelope the majestic sable antelope. Continue your drive along the Caprivi Strip, Namibia. This strip of land is a long narrow stretch of territory running along Botswana’s northern border. It is a landscape of broadleaf forest with many small communities dotted along our route. Overnight along the banks of the Kwando River. Bee-eater Okavango Day 5 Kwando – Chobe National Park, Kasane, Botswana (230 km) (420 km) (BLD) (camping) Lizauli Traditional Village is a community tourism product that gives visitors a glimpse of life in a traditional village. Amongst the things they show visitors are how to stamp a millet, how grain used to be stored, the chicken house (stantwe), and transportation that were used. You can also see how blacksmiths forge metal tools and knives while an assistant operates the hand-made bellows. Visitors also have the opportunity to interact with a traditional healer. We transit to Namibia’s easternmost town, Katima Mulilo. A short break here before crossing back across the border into Botswana. The road takes you directly into the world famous Chobe National Park. Chobe has the world’s largest population of African Elephants and the chances of seeing some big game are very good as you transit through the park to the small town of Kasane for overnight on the banks for the Chobe River. Chobe Safari Lodge Day 6 Chobe National Park, Kasane, Botswana (BLD) (camping) An early hot drink before we head off on a leisurely game drive , exploring the wonders of the Chobe National Park by road. Game drives within the park offer the opportunity to view abundant elephant and other big game species up close, and there is also the possibility of an encounter with one of the large predators. Time to relax over lunch at our camp before joining a river boat cruise , back into the park. From the boat we will have the chance to see a huge amount of wild game, both on the river banks and in the waters swirling around us. Crocodiles and hippos abound in the forbidding Chobe River and on the land side there is often a kaleidoscope of different antelope and species such as elephant, buffalo and even the Big Cats come to the river banks for their sundowner drink. The ChobeRiver provides a very broad habitat for bird life and it is possible to see many beautiful species of our feathered friends. Chobe Gamedrive Chobe Elephants Day 7 Kasane – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe (80 km) (BL) (camping) Our journey today takes us to the Kazangula border, this is the near meeting point of four countries (Namibia, Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe). Upon completion of border formalities we make the short drive to the town of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800’s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. Our campsite is situated right in the middle of Victoria Falls town making it a perfect place to be based with all amenities within walking distance. The Rest Camp is only 2km’s from the falls making it the closest campsite to the Victoria Falls. This afternoon your guide will help you organise the many optional activities available in Victoria Falls. These include white water rafting, bungi jumping, other excursions on the river and scenic flights to mention but a few. Dinner will be in a local restaurant at your own expense. NB: All extra activities are subject to availability and are done at the clients own risk and expense. Chobe Elephant Victoria Falls Day 8 Victoria Falls ( This is a free day for you to explore the area or to take part in optional activities. It’s a wonderful opportunity to relax a bit after your trip. For some of you, this will be your final night and what a fantastic place to enjoy your last evening with your group. Lunch and dinner today, are not included in the price of the trip. Victoria Falls Bridge Day 9 Victoria Falls – Rundu, Namibia (700 km) (BLD) (camping) We say farewell to all the travelers flying out today. For those people returning to Windhoek, Namibia it is an early start and a long drive. We are in transit only and will not be stopping to take in the sights along the way. We will traverse the Caprivi Strip and will spend the night near the small town of Rundu in northern Namibia. We camp in the grounds of a lodge on the banks for the Okavango River, looking into Angola on the far river bank. Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the lodge and is included in the price of your transfer. Okavango River Day 10 Rundu – Windhoek (800 km) (BL) Another early start and another long drive. We head south through KavangoProvince, down through the towns of Grootfontein, Otjiwarongo and Okahandja before reaching our final destination, Windhoek. There will be stops at some of the local woodcarving stalls as well as the market at Okahandja before arriving in the city. You will be dropped off at your accommodation. Additional Information It is strongly recommended that you purchase comprehensive personal travel insurance before you embark on your safari. Travel insurance is for your own protection and we consider it to be an essential part of modern international travel. There are a few nationalities that will require to pre-arrange their entry visa to Namibia and Botswana. Please note that if this visa is required, it will need to be a multiple entry visa and not a single entry visa. Please check on booking this safari if you need a pre-arranged visa. The KAZA UNIVISA is a common tourist visa for the SADC region which shall be piloted by Zambia and Zimbabwe for six (6) months. The UNIVISA will be issued at a standard fee of US Dollar 50, cash will be required. Validity – the KAZA UNIVISA will be valid for 30 days as long as you remain in Zimbabwe and Zambia and clients can cross into Zimbabwe/Zambia as frequently as they like within the 30 day period. It also covers those who visit Botswana for day trips through the Kazangula Borders – it will not be valid if staying in Botswana overnight, in this case you would need to purchase a new Visa. The UNIVISA cannot be extended however you can buy a new UNIVISA (up to 3 per year). Citizens from the countries listed below shall be eligible for the KAZA UNIVISA obtainable at the eight ports of entry as stated. Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Britain (UK), Brunei, Burundi, Canada, Cook Islands, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Italy. Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, Rwanda, Slovakia Republic, Slovenia Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, Uruguay, USA. Price: ZAR 17, 880.00/ US$ 1,170.00/EU 1,038.00 includes return transfer to Windhoek.
  16. Hello, We are two mammal-watchers and birders trying to book accommodations for a trip to Namibia this August. In Etosha, we wanted to spend two nights at each of Okaukuejo, Halali, and Namutoni camps. We were pleasantly surprised that our booking agent was able to book three nights at Okaukuejo. However, he said that both Halali and Namutoni were full. A few questions: 1. I've read that a large percentage of the campsites and chalets at Halali are booked in advance by tour operators, and that many of them become available later. What is the probability that we'd be able to wait and get reservations at Halali later? By booking the rest of our itinerary now, we wouldn't have any flexibility in the dates for this. We are fine camping. For example, this company shows availability for much of August: https://www.expertafrica.com/namibia/etosha-national-park/halali-camp/availability 2. How important is it to stay inside the park at Namutoni? It appears that most of the wildlife viewing is not at the camp itself, but nearby. What are the hours of the gates at the campsite, and at the park entrance? 3. I haven't seen many reports from the newly opened Dolomite Camp. How do the wildlife watching opportunities there compare with the other three campsites? If we can't get a satisfactory itinerary, we'll wait to go another year. Thanks, Ben www.tremarctos.com
  17. I am planning a mid-October trip to northern Namibia driving a double cab 4wd Hilux. On my way to Etosha, I plan to stay 2 nights at Erindi's Old Trader Lodge. I note that Erindi has 3 self drive trails: Eland, Zebra and Canyon drives. The two of us are avid photographers. I'd like advice on whether self drive is advised for seeing good game viewing or whether the lodge's guided game drives are significantly superior. Also, on the self drive routes, which of these self-drive routes most typically yield the best sightings?
  18. I am in Johannesburg in October and am considering a short, self drive trip to northern Namibia staying at lodges. The purpose is to shoot some photos, but also to scout and learn the area a bit for 2017. In 2017, I have a group of 6 photographers that is interested in Etosha, maybe seeing Bushmen or Himba. The 2017 trip will be much more extensive and all of those travelers are serious photographers with a focus on wildlife more than landscapes even though I understand Namibia is landscape heaven. I have extensive Botswana and South Africa experience with self-driving, but Namibia is new for me. For my 2016 Scouting trip, I was thinking of an aggressive schedule of: Day 1 - arrive Windhoek overnight Day 2 - Okonjima - AfriCats Reserve in the afternoon Day 3 - Okonjima morning then drive to Andersson's Camp at Etosha Day 4 - Etosha, staying at Halali Day 5 - Etosha, staying at Halali Day 6 - Etosha, staying at Dolomite Day 7 - Opuwo, Hiimba Tribe and that area overnight Day 8 - return to Windhoek and overnight there Day 9 - depart Questions: October - am I nuts? How hot/cold in northern Namibia? For this schedule, do I need a 4x4 like a HiLux or will any rental vehicle work? From a photo stop standpoint, is Okonjima worth the stop? How much time should I plan? I'm thinking an afternoon and following morning Andersson's is outside of Etosha. Do I lose much time going in/out of Etosha vs staying at lodges within Etosha? Opuwo destination is to get a feel for how 'touristy' a visit to Himba are. In 2017, I don't want to take folks to a 'people zoo', so I see if this can be a cultural experience. I would secure a guide for any Himba visit I planned. What am I missing? I'm open to suggestions.
  19. After getting a great price on direct flights to Windhoek I booked 3.5 weeks in Namibia this June and am currently planning the itinerary. The trip is focused on wildlife and scenery including photography. Some accommodation is already booked (Kgalagadi, Etosha, Sossus Dune Lodge, Etendeka Mountain Lodge), but I'd love your input on my upcoming adventure and the specific questions below: Sat 11 June (day 1): arrive in Windhoek at 5:30 am, pick up rental car, grocery shopping, drive as far as we feel comfortable towards Mata Mata day 2: Kgalagadi NP. overnight at Twee Rivieren Rest Camp (Mata Mata Rest Camp also booked) day 3: Kgalagadi NP: overnight at Bitterpan Wilderness Camp (Kalahari Tented Camp also booked) day 4: Kgalagadi NP. overnight at Twee Rivieren Rest Camp day 5: Kgaladadi NP, drive to Keetmanshoop or similar for overnight day 6: quick visit to Fish River Canyon, drive through Ai-Ais Transfrontier Park to Aus (overnight in Aus) day 7: drive to Garub for the wild horses in the morning, then on to Sossus Dune Lodge and afternoon in the dunes, overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge day 8: early morning drive for sunrise to Soussusvlei / Dead Vlei / Dune 45,... I'd like to stay another night at Sossus Dune Lodge but it is fully booked - any suggestions for an alternative? day 9: early morning drive for sunrise to the dunes, then drive via Solitaire and Walvis Bay (go to Pelican Point) with evening arrival in Swakopmund day 10: morning Living Desert Tour, then drive towards Khorixas, maybe do Cape Cross / Ameib / Brandberg on the way day 11: drive to Twyvelfontein, then on to Palmwag, 3:30pm pick-up for drive to Etendeka Mountain Lodge (overnight there) day 12: Etendeka Mountain Lodge, game drives day 13: morning game drive, transfer from Etendeka Mountain Lodge back to Palmwag, drive towards Etosha NP. Would have liked to stay at Dolomite camp that day, but unfortunately it is fully booked. day 14+15: Etosha game drive, overnight at Okaukuejo day 16: Etosha game drive, overnight at Halali day 17: Etosha game drive, overnight at Namutoni day 18: morning game drive, then drive to somewhere around Popa Falls day 19: drive along the Caprivi Strip, afternoon boat cruise e.g. at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge day 20: game drives at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge (or similar) day 21: morning game drive / boat cruise at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge (or similar), then drive towards Windhoek, overnight somewhere on the way (maybe stay one more night around Popa Falls?) day 22: drive towards Windhoek, overnight somewhere close to Windhoek day 23: sightseeing in Windhoek, drive to airport in the afternoon, flight home at 8:30pm Here are my questions: Kgalagadi NP: I checked the SANParks website daily for the last couple of days and reserved the camps that I could in order to get the best itinerary. Do you think the driving distances between the camps are feasible for us (two drivers, but no experience in driving a 4x4)? How is the 4x4 road to Bitterpan? Would you delete the trip to Fish River Canyon in order to allow another night at Kgalagadi NP? Are the driving distances feasible as planned (we don't mind long drives, have done 800km in one day in South Africa last year)? Caprivi strip: I think I would like to stay in the areas both around Popa Falls / Bwabwata NP and Mamili NP / Mudumu NP. Is the scenery and wildlife different in both areas? Any "must do" activities? Do you have recommendations on accommodation? In the Mamili / Mudumu area, I am currently looking at Nkasa Lupala Tented Lodge, Lianshulu, Jackalberry Tented Camp or maybe Mazambala. In the Popa Falls area, I am looking at Nunda River Lodge, River Dance Lodge, Ndhovu Safari Lodge and Ngepi Camp. How long are the drives from Namutoni to the Popa Falls region and the drive from Mata Mata to Aus via Fish River Canyon and Ai-Ais Transfrontier Park? We'll need a 4x4 if we're staying at Bitterpan. If we do not stay there, is a 4x4 still necessary or preferred from your point of view? Is it easy to find accommodation (e.g. B& everywhere or do I need to book everything in advance? Especially for the long driving days I don't know yet where we want to break up the drive. In South Africa we found it very easy to find somewhere to stay the night spontaneously and I quite liked that. Thank you very much for your help!
  20. I am wondering if anyone knows if there is a company that would provide a charter flight from a Botswana safari camp directly to a Namibia safari camp? There will be 4 persons traveling from the Okavango Delta to Etosha or Damaraland. We are familiar with Mack Air and Moremi Air from our last safari. It seems like it would be a great option to be able to travel directly from camp to camp rather than a charter flight to Maun then a commercial flight to Windhoek to overnight in order to make a charter flight to our Namibia camp. Given the 4 persons traveling it would seem that it might be able to come out cost neutral with an increase in safari time. Thanks for any input that can be provided.
  21. Okay its time for another Namibia trip report. There have been a few on here lately so...... lets have another one.So for some background this was our fourth trip to Africa but first in 4 years. In 2005-06 we went to Africa for 3 months and we're supposed to get married in South Africa and spend some time in Namibia based on the advice of a Kenyan guide who called it is his favourite country. We had some unexpected expenses though and had to cut the Southern Africa portion of the trip and we were forced to get married in the Masai Mara(poor us!). 2015 has arrived and its finally time to go. I'm hedgeing my bets a bit though in case i don't love Namibia and we are going to South Luangwa where i have been desperate to go to for years thanks to some of the people on this forum. The what could go wrong part springs from previous trips and even though i don't usually suffer from bad luck in Africa something always goes wrong usually to my wife's delight. From chivalry gone wrong in Botswana to a pipe in the head in Namanga to my wedding story in the getting married in Africa thread i could have an entire thread dedicated to mishaps.And yes this trip would have a few more! Itinerary May 14 Winnipeg to Toronto to Amsterdam May 15 Amsterdam to Johannesburg with O/N at City Lodge Hotel May 16 Johannesburg to Windhoek. Drive to Swakopmund May 16-18 Swakopmund Cornerstone Guesthouse May 19 Twyfelfontein Lodge May 20-21 Grootberg Lodge May 22-23 Okaukuejo Camp May 24 Halali Camp May 25-26 Onguma Camp May 27 Kaisosi River Lodge May 28 Ndhovu Camp May 29 Camp Kwando May 30 Jun 1 Zambezi Sun Jun 2-5 Flatdogs Camp Jun 6 Lusaka Taj Pomodzi Jun 7 Lusaka to Nairobi to Amsterdam Jun 8 Amsterdam to Toronto to Winnipeg Jun 9 its over The trip was organized by Expert Africa and was well done. It was the first time i did not use a local provider though but i do prefer the local route. The trip was a self dive from Windhoek to Katima Mulilo from where we got a transfer to Victoria Falls. Our rental car was a wait for it................Volkswagon Polo Yes i know that you all think I'm crazy now but hey i made it but there were some issues that i will get to at the relevant points. I had several firsts that i wanted to achieve on this trip and i am so happy to say we got them. I lost count at 20 Rhinos in Etosha, so many Leopards in Luangwa, my first Wild Dogs as well (soooooooo exciting) Our first walking safari and so much fun in Swakopmund and Vic Falls. From this point i'll let our pictures do more of the talking but we do not have a giant lens and are still learning photography so please don't be to hard on me.
  22. The second part of our trip took us to Etosha NP for seven nights. On our first visit in 2012 we only spent one day there and decided to really explore the park this trip. We started with Dolomite Camp on the western side. This camp was not even open in 2012 so we were keen to see how the wildlife had adapted to tourist vehicles. As we drove in there were beautiful flowering trees on the hill side with some giraffe among them. Stunning. Dolomite camp is set high up looking out over the plains. We requested and got number 13 and it really has the best view. When we checked in a small golf cart took us up the steep hill and onto our room and there was a rhino at the waterhole. What a start. We took cold cuts and salad with us we bought on the way and had pic nic plates etc from home so we could have dinner in the room so we didn't waste time in the restaurant. The following morning we took a packed breakfast and explored the waterholes on the west side of Etosha. Number 13 (on the left) on the drive out. Some waterholes had no animals and some had lots, no reason we could see as there were no predators around. We stopped at one to have our breakfast as there were a lot of animals there. Suddenly a beautiful healthy rhino approached sending the zebra off in a panic. It gave us a hard stare but decided we were Ok and had his early morning drink. We were enjoying watching him so closely with no other cars around when he suddenly ran off in a panic. A large elephant was approaching so we soon learned who was top dog in Etosha! The elephant proceeded to smear mud all over its face, kicking it up from the waterhole edges to get more. It must have been a good sun screen. Compared to the crowds we had experienced on our last visit to Etosha there was hardly anyone else around on the west side. Well worth a visit. There is a new campsite recently opened, Olifantsrus, which didn't look busy when we passed by. We slowly made our way back to the camp and had lunch, a dip in the plunge pool and spent the rest of the day watching the comings and goings at the waterhole which included a large herd of eland, such lovely animals.
  23. Prologue Our first trip to »black Africa, to Namibia in 2014, impressed us deeply, and as written in our previous TR (http://tinyurl.com/q9u7lrm ) we have made plans to return already while flying from Windhoek to Johannesburg, on our way back home. Making of the itinerary was easy enough; returning to Namibia, to see and experience/explore the other part of it, south. To add the wildlife component, Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park was also an obvious choice, specially after reading so many great TR here. There was some minor changes during the following months but final itinerary was very similar to our initial ideas. Here it is: Apr 17 flight MUC-JNB-WDH Apr 18 arrival WDH, transfer to Villa Violet, afternoon guided tour of Windhoek Apr 19 pick up the rental car, driving to Barchan Dune Retreat Apr 20 driving to Sossus Dune Lodge via Solitaire Apr 21 driving to Namtib Desert Lodge via D707 Apr 22 driving to Fish River Lodge Apr 23 driving to Mesosaurus Fossil Camp Apr 24 driving to Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Kalahari Tented Camp Apr 25 game drive Auob riverbed, Kalahari Tented Camp Apr 26 game drive Auob riverbed, driving to Nossob Camp Apr 27 driving to !Xaus Lodge Apr 28 driving to Twee Rivieren Camp Apr 29 game drive Nossob riverbed, Twee Rivieren Camp Apr 30 driving to Kalahari Farmstall May 1 driving to Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch May 2 driving to Windhoek, Villa Violet May 3 flight WDH-JNB-MUC All bookings were made by Discover Namibia, mrs.Gemma Dry again did her job perfectly. The rental car company and the car itself were the same as last year; a Toyota Hilux Double Cab with 2 spare tires and Engel fridge, from Advanced Car Hire. As we have had some unpleasant experiences flying last year with Qatar Airways, we have decided to use South African Airways for this trip. There were some more affordable options, both pricewise and logistically, yet none of those other airlines allowed us to book the complete trip, to Windhoek. With SAA this was possible. The »price« we paid for that was a 5-hour car drive from Ljubljana to Munich. That should be a pleasant drive through Austrian mountains ... if not for the heavy rain. The flight itself was OK, and on time. Our photo equipment was even larger then last trip; this is what we used: Nikon D610 & D7100 bodies, AF-S 20mm f/1.8 ultrawide lens, AF-S 16-85VR DX zoom, AF-S 70-200mm f/4 zoom and AF-S 300mm f/4D telephoto lens, with TC1.4 attached. Sony RX100II for my pleasure, interiors and videos. A tripod and a bean bag. With enough SD cards to last for 10.000+ RAW images (9100 was the end result, splitted D610 – 3300, D7100 – 4800, RX100 – 1000). During our 14 days/15 nights trip we have covered 3150 km, and consumed 270 l of diesel fuel. Majority on gravel roads, and we have absorbed also our first proper 4x4 sand trail drive, without problems. No tyre, windscreen, or other part of the vehicle was damaged during the making of this road trip.
  24. 1) Name of property and country: Canon Lodge, Fish River Canyon, Namibia 2) Website address if known: http://www2.fishriverlodge.com.na 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). Low/Green season, March, 2015 4) Length of stay: 2 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I read about this property on TA and we wanted to see the canyon. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? I did the initial research and then contacted Discover Namibia who arranged everything. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 4 times 8) To which countries? South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia. 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? A more modern version of Grootberg Lodge. 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No, but there wasn’t too much around to be worried about. 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 9 cabins 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? We had amazing views from each cabin. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The rooms were large, comfortable, well furnished and clean. Unfortunately the wind was incredibly and sleep depriving. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. The food was ok. Great food for all the meals 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Yes there were different things on offer. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Single tables, no hosting. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Very good, plenty of fresh food. 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Open air with a canvas roof. 19) How many guests per row? 2 guests 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Self guided walks, full day canyon drives and half day safari drives. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? N/A 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Very quiet and remote. 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? 24) Are you able to off-road? Yes 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. N/A 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings. Antelopes 27) How was the standard of guiding? Excellent guide 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? The staff were very happy and helpful. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Not sure. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: Just like everyone else we too were thankful we had a 4WD after completing the last 19km to the lodge but that pales in comparison when you walk through the doors and see the view. The staff, facilities and rooms are fantastic at Fish River. The only downside is the horrific and sleep depriving wind that we endured the first night. We took a day trip down to the canyon floor which was hard work but amazing and very scary during certain stages. I am yet to edit the film footage we took from our GoPros which I am sure still won't show how incredible some of the drive is. Our guide was unbelievable and a very safe driver. The food was delicious and it was so nice to see all the staff entertaining everyone with their amazing singing/dancing during our meal. This was well appreciated. 2 nights is fine for a stay but be prepared for the wind and use the ear plugs. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.
  25. Now that we are well and truly into 2016 perhaps a few ideas of good deals and specials for this year is in order. Zimbabwe Travel with African Bush Camps before the end of June 2016 and this special: Validity: 1 April to 30 June 2016 Featured Camps: Any African Bush Camps Zimbabwe camp (but must include at least 3 nights at Kanga and/or Zambezi Life Styles) Minimum Nights: 6 Rates: Somalisa, Kanga and Zambezi Life Styles Standard Rates apply (not combinable with the long stay specials) and receive FREE Flights with Safari Logistics flights into and out of Mana Pools (all other flights are at standard rates) Conditions: Spend 6 nights at a combination of our Zimbabwe Camps (but must include a 3 night stay at either Zambezi Life Styles or Kanga) and get FREE return flights into and out of Mana Pools with Safari Logistics when booked as a package. This is not combinable with other camps in Mana Pools. Get in touch for you own quote before the camps are full. Click here to see an example itinerary at full rates on our website. There are more offers in Zimbabwe including a 35% discount on flight for Wilderness Camps, minimum 3 nights per camp. There are great new flight rates if you want to visit The Hide and Changa Safari Camp but only applicable to these two. There are several 4 for 3 rates at Camp Amalinda, Khulu and Khulu Ivory Lodge. Botswana Never a great destination for specials as i'm sure you all know. However our Mobile Safaris this year are all private trips for each group giving great access to the national park with an exclusive guide and vehicle at the relatively cheap rates of Mobile safaris. Great for those that don't need the luxury. from US$2,100.00 for 6 nights, US$2,700.00 for 9 nights and US$4,200.00 for 12 nights. Click here for our Mobile Safaris On the luxury side there isn't much again but Sanctuary Retreats have a good offer: BOTSWANA & ZAMBIA - STAY 6 NIGHTS, PAY FOR 4 Stay at any combination of the following camps in Botswana and or Zambia and your first and sixth night is free. - Sanctuary Baines' Camp - Okavango - Sanctuary Stanley's Camp - Okavango - Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero - Chobe National Park near Kasane - Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma - Livingstone, Zambia - Sanctuary Chichele Presidential Lodge - South Luangwa National Park - Sanctuary Puku Ridge Camp - South Luangwa National Park Get in touch for your own quote. Here is the small print t's & C's (This offer is strictly valid for new bookings only made before 14 June 2016, subject to availability, and may be withdrawn or changed at any time at the discretion of Sanctuary Retreats without prior notice, and cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer excludes Sanctuary Chief's Camp. Valid for stays from 6 January to 14 June 2016 inclusive. Standard payment terms and cancellation fees apply. Offer can be applied to stays in one camp/lodge, or any combination of overnights in the included camps and lodges during the offer period, which do not need to be booked consecutively but must belong to a single guest's itinerary, as long as the total booking reaches a minimum of 6 nights. The first and sixth nights are free of charge. Offer includes Chuma Houses at Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma as long as a minimum of 4 adult per house are booked.) Namibia This destination is great value right now due to the weakness of the South African Rand (1:1 with the Namibian Dollar). One of our favourite and most affordable trips to Africa is the following: Diverse Namibia Diverse Namibia is an active, exciting adventure, exploring the iconic areas of this vast country – its dunes, desert, plains and superb wildlife – enhanced by exclusive accommodation in private reserves and concessions. On this adventure you will take in the soaring red dunes of Sossusvlei, the life – filled blue Atlantic Ocean, the desert and denizens of Damaraland, and the dense plains game and predators of Etosha National Park. Throughout the Exploration are interspersed activities such as scenic walks and Visiting the spectacular ancient rock engravings at Twyfelfontein – altogether, a true Namibian adventure with a range of activities impossible to beat! This is a fantastic trip which is run by Wilderness Safaris and has set date departures all available to download on our website here. With a maximum of 7 people staying rustic but very comfortable accommodation this trip will not disappoint. starting at ZAR33,200.00. As the exchange rates are fluctuating the price has changed dramatically and is nearly £150.00 cheaper than three months ago. Kenya & Tanzania Two luxury itineraries are available in Kenya and Tanzania and are called Sky Safari Tanzania Sky Safari 1 x night Arusha Coffee Lodge 2 x nights Tarangire Treetops, Tarangire National Park 2 x nights The Manor, Ngorongoro Crater 2 x nights Serengeti Migration Camp, Serengeti National Park With regular departures every other day throughout the month this is a great trip. Prices start from US$6,450.00 per person Children under the age of 12 travel free, YES FREE. National Park fees will need to be paid however by all travelling and are not included in the above rate (US$395.00pp). Please there are certain dates that receive an extra 10% discount. Please get in touch for the specific dates Please click here to see this on our website Kenya Sky Safari 1 x night Hemingways Hotel, Nairobi 2 x nights Tortilis Camp, Amboseli National Park 2 x nights Elsa'a Kopje, Meru National Park 2 x nights Sand River, Masai Mara National Reserve With regular departure dates every other day throughout the year. Prives start from US$5,950.00 per person. Children under the age of 12 travel free, YES FREE. National Park fees will need to be paid however by all travelling and are not included in the above rate (US$570.00pp). Please click here to see this on our website Contact Martin: martin@kingfishersafaris.co.uk + 44 (0)1745 817400

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