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Found 7 results

  1. Hello friends, After spending nearly fifty years of her life in sinful existence, my wife decided to go on a pilgrimage to wash away her sins. The intended place was Palitana hills in Gujarat, India, which is the holiest of the holies for the Jains. I'm not a Jain, not really a very religious Hindu either. I have eaten many creatures in my life and not too worried about my sins. But when I was planning the trip for her I realised there were plenty of attractions nearby which could keep me busy for a week. And when my wife promised to sponsor the trip, I decided to somehow cope with the repentance for couple of days followed by continuation of my hedonistic life style. The girls also wanted to tag along to see where their ancestors hailed from. So Gujarat : here we come. For people who are not familiar with Gujarat, it is the Westernmost state of India bordering Pakistan, famous for being the birthplace of father of the Nation, Gandhi-ji, the last few Asiatic lions of Gir forest and having the huge salt pan of Rann of Kutch. Currently the Gujaratis are more proud of the fact that the all-conquering Prime Minister of India, Mr Narendra Modi is a son of Gujarat. Most of Gujarat is not really popular with the average western tourist, who do not venture beyond the Golden Traingle. The more I did my research the more impressed I was with the hidden gems of Gujarat. I am planning to go and see the Altiplano salt desert of Bolivia, but the Great Rann of Kutch was no less impressive. The Little Rann of Kutch was a heaven for bird watching, with the last few remaining wild asses. The seven thousand year old neglected ruins of Indus valley civilisation at Dholavira would have been a star attraction in any other country. Throw in some amazing handicrafts, unique geological formations, mouth-watering vegetarian food, pronking Blackbucks, Ayurvedic Spa for the ladies, drinking camel milk straight from the udder and a great beach to relax : our itinerary looked great. Communication won't be a problem as Gujarati is my wife's mother tongue and I have also managed to learn a bit to make sure I understand what my in-laws are talking about me. I usually try to avoid the popular places wherever I travel. Checked Tripadvisor for popularity and Gir forest, Somnath and Dwarka temples were out. I do not see too many reports on Gujarat here. I know some of the regular contributors are planning a trip to Gujarat soon and there is one member from Gujarat who was very helpful to me. I feel it is my duty to raise the profile of this amazing place and show you the India beyond the Golden Triangle, Kerala and the nature reserves. A few years back Mr Modi cunningly employed the services of the biggest celebrity in India, Mr Amitabh Bachhan to promote tourism in Gujarat. Mr Bacchan's brilliant tagline was : " Kutch nehi dekha ? To kuch nehi dekha. " meaning " Haven't seen Kutch ? Then you haven't seen anything. " I entirely agree with that tagline and appoint myself as the worthy successor of Mr Big B. It is not really a wildlife trip but more of an immersion in the rich cultural heritage of India but as we did see quite a bit of wildlife, so I guess the moderators will forgive my digression. I knew February was not the best time to see the migratory birds, as they would have started their journey back to Europe again, but because of kids' school time we could not go earlier. The temperature was just right. Pretty cold in the desert in the morning needing a thick fleece at least and boiling hot by noon. Outside desert it was OK if we could avoid direct exposure to midday sun. The itinerary : 4th February : Birmingham-Dubai- Ahmadabad with Emirates. 5th: Reaching Ahmadabad at 8 am, lunch with friends and then 4 hours drive to Bhavnagar,: Lord's Resort Bhavnagar for 2 nights. Nice hotel, superb food. 6th : Whole day trip to Shatrunjay hills Palitana for pilgrimage, an hour's drive. 7th: One hour drive to Blackbuck Lodge, Velavadar, Blackbuck NP for one night. Treated like royalty, eye wateringly expensive. 8th : Five hours drive to the tiny village of Jogad at Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) to stay at Eco camp with Mr Devjibhai Dhamacha, for two nights. In touch with real India staying in Mud Huts. 9th : Day trips to the interior of LRK to the Wild Ass sanctuary. 10th,11th, 12th, 13th : Five hours of drive to the coastal town of Mandvi via a brief stop at Bhuj. Stay at Serena Beach Resort, Mandvi for four nights. Fantastic location, quite expensive for Indian standard but service needs improvemnt. Day trips to ruins of Lakhpat, rock formations of Nakhatrana and the raptor heaven of Banni grasslands. 14th : 2.5 hours drive to Dhordo via many stops to see the remarkable artisans of Gujarat, to check the last frontier post of India, Black Hills of Kutch overlooking the Rann, and overnight at Gateway to Rann resort, Dhordo to watch sunset over the white desert. Resort is a succesful community project mananged by local villagers. 15th : five hours drive circumnavigating the whole Rann to the little island in the middle of Kadir Bet, Dholavira to see the best preserved ruins of Indus Valley civilisation in India. Overnight at Dholviara Resort. Resort is an overstatement, practically in the middle of nowhere, but just what I always look for. 16th : Long seven hours drive back to Ahmedabad, but not before seeing the ancient handicraft of Patola Saree ( one single saree can cost up to five thousand pounds) and the majestic Sun temple of Modhera. Stay with friends. 17th February : spend time with friends at Ahmadabad, more shopping and start the return journey. The route map : Now time for some random pics from the proud ancient land of Garavi Gujarat. A resilient community and salute to the people of Kutch who had rebuilt their land after the devastating earthquake of 2001 killing thousands and thousands of people and flattening a whole city. Pronking Blackbuck Abandoned flamingo colony Wild asses of India Flamingos galore Swamphen
  2. Good Morning, fellow Safaritalkers. I hope you're all well. I'm working on building an itinerary for the ultimate Northern Kenya experience. This will be a long trip, led by myself, exploring far Northern Kenya's wildlife, scenery, cultures, history, and environmental issues. I'd like to gauge everyone's interest here in such a trip to find out if there's enough demand for it. Some basics about the trip: - Accommodation throughout the trip will be in dome tents, cottages/bandas, and occasionally out in the open. - Simple, but hearty, food will be provided by a chef accompanying the trip. - Transport will be in Land Cruisers with trailers for luggage and equipment The potential to have 1 or 2 specialized experts along on the trip also exists (potentially a L. Turkana hydrology expert and/or a paleontology expert from the National Museum) depending on traveler's budgets. This trip would focus on, but would not be limited to: - Lake Turkana - history and environmental factors - The Nilotes and the Cushites: Several lesser-known people groups continue to practice their traditional ways of life (much more so than the famous Maasai and Samburu) in Northern Kenya. The El Molo (the world's most 'endangered' people group), the Turkana, the Gabbra, the Rendille, the Borana, the Ilmusei, etc. - Geology and paleontology: Koobi Fora (Sibiloi National Park) and Loyiangalani are famous for their paleontological findings. The history of the findings is as interesting as the findings themselves. Kalacha and Loyiangalani are also home to some interesting millenia-old rock art which is not very well known to many people. The whole of Northern Kenya is also very volcanic, with craters and fissures dotting the landscape, there's much to be explored. We'll also spend time criss-crossing the Chalbi Desert, a fascinating place of stark, harsh beauty. - Wildlife: While the harsh, arid desert-scapes of the North aren't known for an abundance of wildlife, they nevertheless support a huge amount of biodiversity, from Top and Beisa Oryx to White Crowned Starlings and Masked Larks, from rare Euphorbias to undescribed insects and desert Cheetah. We'll most likely end the trip with a tad bit of luxury and relaxation at a lodge/camp in Samburu/Shaba/B.S. National Reserve. I'm very open to suggestions at this stage and will certainly tailor the trip specifically towards the individual interests/desires of anyone who signs up for it. I'm excited to run this trip - extreme Northern Kenya is an enchanting area. That part of the country is just so unique and captures the imagination so strongly.
  3. 1) Name of property and country: Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch, 2) Website address if known: 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 saw it had a meerkat family (which was not the case). There are two pet meerkats that are the property of the owner. 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 cabin desert version of Eagle’s Nest with lovely views of the desert. 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? 14 rooms (chalets, dune cabins and garden rooms. 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? We had views over the desert, not as extensive as the desert view chalets. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The rooms were large, comfortable, well furnished and clean. Air con in the rooms made sleeping very comfortable. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. The food was ok. Hit and miss with the food. Dinners were excellent. 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? N/A for us 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. I saw open safari vehicles 19) How many guests per row? 2/3 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? We didn’t partake. 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 for us. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? Very little cars, 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. We saw plenty of antelope varieties. 27) How was the standard of guiding? N/A 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 service was terrible with no one really understanding what their role was, volunteer staff were more like regular guests. 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: We enjoyed two nights here and found the rooms/communal area to be very nice. The evening meal was excellent and the chefs need to be commended. The service by staff was a nightmare with everyone having no idea about what their role was, successfully fulfilling requests by guests and being proactive. There was also additional "volunteer" staff working at the property but using the facilities like a regular guest. Their presence was a little strange especially when they were seen using guest areas and taking over communal areas. There should be some kind of rules and they should have been given a uniform considering their standard of dress/behaviour. The mother of the manageress also needs to remember how to speak to her staff because it was inappropriate and disrespectful. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.
  4. I wanted to write about this property because Swakopmund and Walvis Bay offer excellent animal and nature experiences for the safari/animal/nature enthusiast. 1) Name of property and country: Sea Breeze Guesthouse, Swakopmund 2) Website address if known: https://www.airbnb.com.au/rooms/2448278 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: 4 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I was advised about this property from my travel agent and then read about this property on TA and saw it offered a self contained option which is what we wanted.. I thought it would be a good place to relax whilst we did some local activities. It also offered security parking. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? Discover Namibia who arranged everything. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 4 visits 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? This was a modern bed and breakfast property close to the beach. 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? Yes, excellent security 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 12 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? No views offered. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The room was a large, comfortable, well furnished, disability accessible and super clean. The room was self contained which was great and offered a separate bedroom, a very large kitchenette/lounge with two single beds. Breakfast was offered in the main communal area upstairs. 14) Did you like the food? We self catered. 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 on the menu for breakfast. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Not sure 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? N/A 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. N/A 19) How many guests per row? 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? N/A 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? N/A 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? N/A 24) Are you able to off-road? No 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. In the area we saw seals, jellyfish, snakes, chameleons, desert adapted flora and fauna. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Excellent with the tours/activities we booked. 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 not very happy and super 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: Sea Breeze is a lovely boutique guesthouse offering clean and well designed rooms in a safe and secure area. We stayed in a self contained apartment that was disable friendly and were extremely happy with everything. The staff and management were very helpful in assisting us with information about the area, keeping our room clean and washing our clothes so they were ready for the next part of our Namibian adventure. The location was close to supermarkets and the beach, it was also a quiet area which was helpful for a great sleep. I would have no hesitation in recommending Sea Breeze. 34) Activities we did in the area: Batis Birding Safari and Day Tours One of the highlights of our stay in Swakopmund. My parents and I absolutely loved our day spent in the desert and then down in the moon landscape. We learnt so much and really appreciated the time and effort taken to show us the beauty of the desert and surrounding areas. Walvis Bay - Pelican Point Kayaking My parents and I enjoyed the time we spent kayaking with the seals. It was an experience that cannot be repeated. It is important to wear a waterproof jacket just in case the jacket and/or pants they provide does not fit and take spare pants/shorts just in case you get wet. A waterproof camera i.e. GoPro is ideal for this activity Walvis Bay - Sandwich Harbour 4*4 My parents and I loved our tour to Sandwich Harbour. The lunch supplied was fantastic and it was lovely eating amongst the dunes out in nature. We never felt uncomfortable or unsafe during our drives and we learnt a lot from our guide about the desert environment and flora/fauna. I would definitely recommend. Walvis Bay – Kuseib Delta Adventures I took my 66 year old parents on this tour and they had a brilliant time. We all learnt so much about the desert, flora/fauna and history of the people who inhabited this area. The quad biking was so fun. My mum who started off apprehensively but was soon leading the pack and going up and down sand dunes without any fear. Would definitely recommend! Walvis Bay – Anchors @ The Jetty Fantastic food, price and location. Definitely worth visiting for their oysters which were amazing. We enjoyed a brilliant platter, oysters and drinks that offered a little bit of everything and certainly satisfied three adults. Service was great, drinks were cold, view was awesome.
  5. 1) Name of property and country: Klein Aus Vista 2) Website address if known: http://www.klein-aus-vista.com/accommodation/eagles-nest-chalets/ 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: 3 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I read about this property on TA and saw it offered a stay 3, pay for 2. I thought it would be a good place to relax whilst seeing Luderitz, Kolmanskop and Aus. 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 cabin desert version of Sossus Dune 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? 6 desert self contained cabins. 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? We had views from Eagle’s Nest cabin. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The rooms were large, comfortable, well furnished and clean. Unfortunately the rooms were extremely hot with the afternoon sun making it impossible to sit outside. The cabin was self contained which was great. Breakfast was offered in the main communal area which was a 15 minute drive near the entrance. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. The food was ok. We had breakfast included, which was more European continental buffet due to the busloads of German tourists that were staying in the Desert Lodge. We decided to eat mainly at the Aus Hotel which offered excellent meals and drinks. 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? N/A 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. N/A 19) How many guests per row? 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Self guided walks, bike riding and horse riding were offered which lasted between 1 – 5 hours or more. 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 little cars, 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? No 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. We saw wild horses, baboons, birds. 27) How was the standard of guiding? N/A 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 not 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: Beautiful self-contained remote chalets, on the edge of the desert with fantastic views. The main hotel offers a delivery service for bbq items and drinks so you can self cater without having to leave the chalets which are about 15 minutes from the main entrance/lodge. The property is very hot during the summer so be prepared during the warmer months. The breakfast offered by the lodge was nothing to rave about and was more suited to large tourist groups (buffet and not inviting) and no a la carte. We ended up visiting the local hotel/pub in Aus for our meals instead of eating at the Desert Horse Inn. The location was ideal for visiting Luderitz, Kolsmankop and the wild horses. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.
  6. 1) Name of property and country: Sossus Dune Lodge (NWR), Sossusvlei, Namibia 2) Website address if known: http://www.nwr.com.na/index.php/resorts/sossus-dune-lodge 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 reports on TA about this property allowing their guests to leave an hour earlier for the desert sunrise tour which was very important for me. The camp was also inside the national park which also offered other interesting opportunities for wildlife and spectacular views. 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 desert version of Mowani without the big boulders. 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? 25 desert chalets 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? We had views from both of the room’s balcony and the communal area had breathtaking views over the desert which were better because the area was more elevated. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The rooms were large, comfortable, well furnished and clean. Unfortunately the rooms were extremely hot with little help from the fans provided. The cold water in the showers was too hot to use until approximately 9pm at night. We enjoyed our time in the communal area where there was a pool that offered an opportunity to cool down a little. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. The food was ok. We had breakfast included, which we enjoyed. We decided to indulge in cheese, crackers and wine for both of the dinners. 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? The packed breakfast during our dune tour was very good. 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Open 4WD with enclosed tarp windows which helped keep the wind out during our drive to the dunes. 19) How many guests per row? Up to 3 in each row but normally 2. 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? Guided dune walks were offered which were 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? Guided nature drives and dune tours were between 3-6 hours depending on the activity, guided walks to Sesrium Canyon were also on offer. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? There were cars around but due to the low season/summer not as many as normal. 24) Are you able to off-road? No 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. We saw only jackal. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Our dune guide was very good. 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, happy and fun. 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? The staff were happy and helpful when requested but didn’t seem to be very proactive with their service. 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: Pleasantly surprised about this property considering we had low expectations. The rooms were great although a bit of a hike from the main communal area. The food was disappointing but we knew this and came prepared with our own snacks/drinks to enjoy on our front deck whilst watching the sunset and the amazing stars at night. The staff were not very present which didn't effect us in anyway because we were quite self sufficient. The access to the dunes for the sunrise tour was our main reason for staying here and was well worth the price. Nothing better than being the first people on the dunes and seeing the brilliant sunrise. Excellent photo opportunities. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings. Views over the dunes at sunrise. Guests at the lodge get here an hour before anyone else. Sossusvlei
  7. The original itinerary was: 23 - 25 NOV 15 Okaukuejo, Etosha 25 - 28 NOC 15 Desert Rhino Camp, Damaraland 28 NOV - 1 DEC 15 Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp 1 - 2 DEC 15 Okonjima Plains Camp (Africat Foundation) It was booked with African Travel Ressource. Unfortunately we received 14 days before we left the information, that the Desert Rhino Camp was booked for the first night although we had it confirmed by Wilderness Safaris. Instead we stayed the first night at Doro !Nawas, before flying to Desert Rhino Camp. We did not expect to see a lot of animals besides our stay at Etosha. It was more a trip mainly to see the beauty of the arid Northwestern part of Namibia. We flew business from Frankfurt to Windhoek with Air Namibia. The price was good and I was happy not to think about overweight hand luggage. In Windhoek a representative of Wilderness met us and gave us the necessary information before we picked up our car to head north to Okaukuejo Camp in Etosha. Having stayed there 3 times already we knew what to expect. I like the Etosha very much. It is easy game viewing on the waterholes with less traffic than in Kruger NP for example. We arrived in the afternoon and were to tired to go out on a drive and relaxed for the rest of the day. At night we went to the waterhole and saw 5 black rhinos. At the restcamps at Etosha nowadays you can´t do self catering anymore. There are no cooking facilities. You have to go to their restaurant, which offers buffet food for a reasonable price. Main downside is their breakfast times. It starts at 6, at the same time when the gates open, and ends at 9. For serious safari goers really strange. In the morning we just crabbed some cookies and bread, had a quick coffee and off we were for the rest of the morning. We just cruised from waterhole to waterhole and had some good sightings. Black backed Jackal and puppy At Nebrownii waterhole we saw our first lions lying there. Springbok and Oryx were watching the scene from a safe distance. Secretary bird Red Hartebeest We arrived at Aus waterhole, when a group of Kudu was walking in. Claudia said, let´s just wait here and have a coffee and our toasts. We busy watched the waterhole A few minutes later, she said: „Hey, Thomas, look there at the edge of the car park. Is that a leopard?“ And it was a young one. We were so busy watching the scenery on the waterhole 100 meters away, that we did not see that cat just 5 meters away. We never expected to see a Leopard. This was the first magic moment of our Namibia trip. We even had to show the cat to other cars arriving as they all just had their focus on the waterhole. On our way back to Okaukuejo we stopped again a t Nebrownii. What a scene! While the lions were gone, hundreds of Sprinbok arrived at the waterhole accompanied by Oryx, Zebra and Ostriches. A migration like scene! There are also Elephants and Giraffe This was a great drive in the morning. In the afternoon we decided to go to Aus again, but the leopard was gone and had left the place for a mating pair of lions. Etosha is a great place! The antelopes have left Nebrownii waterhole, the jackals took over. Before dinner at the waterhole a group of Giraffes have arrived. After dinner the rhinos are back again. We will do a short drive tomorrow morning before we proceed to the west for our desert adventure. Stay tuned!

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