User Reviews – Namibia
Email Fabrizio Fenoglio | 35-50 years of age
Namibia: self drive tour
Visiting Namibia was a dream for me and my family for a lot of years and when last summer we decided to spend our holiday there we were all excited. I personally take care to plan our tour: my budget and my job allow me to stay unfortunately only for 17 days including transfer from Italy on the second half of August. I decided anyway to have a clockwise round of Namibia and I really recommend travelers to take the tour in this order because landscapes and wildlife became day after day more interesting.
Our was a self-driving tour: I booked on-line flights and we asked a local tour operator to rent a 4x4 pick-up and to book all lodges. We had no guide with us. Strong car is recommended because during our 7000km about 5000km were on unmade roads and there is always the risk to have a puncture on the way.
All lodges are very similar to each other in the services provided: breakfast, dinner and some excursions. The people of the lodge are usually very kind and are pleased to help you: one day we had a serious problem with our car that had an hole in the secondary fuel tank. We asked the car rental company to change the car and the lodge staff took care of everything!
Normally in the lodge the food is mainly based on meat of Oryx or Springbok and we really appreciate it.
In august the weather seems to be quite nice but with no clouds on the sky (a pity from the photography point of view): the temperature are affordable everywhere (the max temperature of 31° C was of course in Soussvlei/Deadvlei).
The east side of Nambia, from Windhoek to Fishriver, is not very interesting (with the exception of the Kokerboom forest and the Giant Playgrond): no animal or great landscape are facing you.
The thing will change in the south and west part of Namibia, where scenery and landscapes are the main subject (you can spot some wild horses, oryxes or springboks anyway): the Fishriver Canyon and the ghost town of Kolmanskop really require a visit.
After leaving Aus take the scenery route D707 instead of the main national road: you will face many great landscapes that are very different one to each other for colors and wildlife. Really recommended.
Then there are the awesome red dunes of Soussvlei and the Deadvlei: you have to be there early in the morning in order to enter when the gates open to see the dunes when the sun rise up providing an amazing orange color.
From Soussvlei to Swakopmund I really suggest to drive through the Moon Landscape, hopefully during the sunset: I never saw an incredible place like this one. The name is self explanatory. If you go there take some time to see the old plant Welwitschia Mirabilis.
In Swakopmund or in Walvis Bay there are a lot of activity to do: from boat trip to see seals or sea birds, runs with buggy on the dunes or flight trips (really recommended: Namibia from the above is dramatically different and amazing).
If you rest in the Twyfelfontein Lodge, take the chance to see the Himba village that is far one hour from the lodge (you cannot go by yourself, but you have to book the excursion at the lodge): here the Himba people are still living in the original way.
I had no time to visit the north part of Namibia, so I cannot provide any indication.
On the last days of our tour it was planned to visit the gorgeous Etosha National Park to see finally all the animals altogether in one place. It is possible to stay seat on a chair near the water pools waiting the animal or to have some self or guided safaris (you have to do it if you want to spot some lions). I suggest to have both and in particular to spent more time on the Okaukejo pool. Here it is possible to see: elephants, zebras, giraffes, rhinos, onyxes, springboks, etc.
As final suggestion I highly suggest the visit to the Cheetah Conservation Fund located 44km east from Otjiwarongo.
As a conclusion I can say that for Italian people this is an expensive tour but it really worth it: it is very difficult to see such gorgeous and awesome landscapes plenty of animals like in Namibia.
The landscape is spectacular!
This is the only place on earth where I had chills in front of the stunning landscape.
Email Betty v.Hoenning | 50-65 years of age
A Diamond Of Beauty and Culture - Land of The Cheetah.This is Namibia!
I went to Namibia after having dreamt about it for years...And I organized my journey by myself, choosing among so many offers...! I decided to split my holiday in two, and I took a month leave from my job. Going to Namibia means trying to dive into the culture and landscape for a while, trying to catch more than a short glimpse into this beautiful land....
That's what I did. I then chose my destination to do something valuable: care for the Cheetah, the most fragile and amazing predator, which is bound to extinction.
I was guided by a Namibian guide for 9 days, crossed rivers, mountains, arrived to Sossusvlei early in the mornig to see a balloon up above the desert...the colours of the Desert left a memory in my heart which I tried to fix on my camera, but you have to see it, to feel it to understand the beauty and measure the greatness of this country. Words cannot described it. After the Rainy Season, Nature is flourishing everywhere, with grass, flowers, colours and animals everywhere.
My experience was completed by a long stay as a volunteer at the Cheetah Conservation Fund. I then discovered how much you can do for the cheetahs to try to stop the extinction of this beautiful animal.
Since then, I work for CCF from Italy, to give my contribution to this Foundation...I try to go to Namibia every year since then. One day, I will perhaps stay in Namibia for a whole six months a year...to know the country better, its people, its problems...This is Namibia!
Betty von Hoenning, Milan, Italy
CCF Ambassador for Italy
Namibias nature is beautiful, versalite, unspoiled & original
The wilflife and sceneries in Namibia are simply stunning. We rented a 4x4 vehicle with roof tops and travelled from campsite to campsite which were mostly near the national parks. Another option to book lodges there. Our small camp/lodge resorts were very charming and comfortable and could all be booked in advance online.
There is a supermarket offering all main European consumers goods in each village.
Visiting the etosha national park in the dry period makes sense, as there are only a couple of waterholes left and the animals are more concentrated.
Email Jofie Lamprecht | 20-35 years of age
Namibia has a diversity making it unique in Africa and indeed the World. From the World's oldest desert to sub-tropical climates in the Zambezi Region - all brimming with diverse wildlife.
It is an amazing place, so varied in it's landscape.
Email AlmostPerfect | 35-50 years of age
Diverse, absolutely incredible, and a very differnet safari destination
Having already enjoyed safaris in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Africa, we were looking forward to a different experience in Namibia, and we certainly weren’t disappointed.
Just like South Africa, it’s easy to do a self-drive trip in Namibia. The roads are good, there isn’t a lot of traffic, and the parks are relatively quiet in comparison to some of the other countries we had visited. We travelled in January, the ‘rainy season’, which meant even fewer visitors, quiet campsites, and some fantastic experiences. In hindsight, perhaps a bushcamper would have provided a little more comfort during some of the storms, rather than our Toyota Hi-Lux with rooftop tent, but did we regret it ? Not one bit !
We had some incredible experiences in Etosha National Park, coming close to cheetah, lion, and the most spectacular sight, a Leopard stalking a Kudu within a few feet of us. It was just us, there was no one else around, and there she was right at the side of the road, we sat with her for over half an hour, but in the end, she knew that the terrain wasn’t right and walked right past us.
But it wasn’t just big game, out on the Skeleton Coast at Cape Cross we saw thousands upon thousands of eared seals, some just born, huddled at the waters edge, and basking in the sunshine. The smell was overpowering, but after a while, we didn’t seem to notice. We left the seals and drove along the coast passing shipwrecks along the way to the famous dunes of Swakopmund.
From here it was another journey further south to the even bigger dunes of Sosssusvlei. Our trusty 4x4 was a significant advantage here, there was no need to take a shuttle to the furthest dunes, we could drive ourselves and enjoy a picnic under the ancient trees.
Namibia is a diverse and beautiful country, the oldest sand dunes in the world, the Atlantic Ocean, national parks, and the Big 5 game, all combine to make this a great place to do a self-drive safari.
20-35 years of age
German beer, sandy scenes, blue skies
Our first night in Namibia was spent in the coolest campsite in Ngepi. OK, it had a swimming cage, so you didn’t get eaten by Hippos or crocs but the bathrooms were something else. All individually designed and to a theme – such as a throne that overlooks the river – very bizarre. From there,we headed straight to Etosha National Park. We spent three nights here in a couple of different (very comfortable) campsites – actually they were really resorts with campsites tagged onto them. Etosha is a lovely place, with loads of different wildlife. We were there though just after some heavy rain so the animals didn’t need to venture to the waterholes as they could get water elsewhere – The National Park had made a number of waterholes, with each resort having its own next to a viewing platform. On the last day in the park we decided to get up early and sit at the waterhole for a couple of hours. There wasn’t loads of activity compared to what we had been used to but it was really interesting to spend a decent amount of time watching the animals interacting – their social characteristics etc. I also managed to get a really good photo of a pair of young kudu interlocking horns, but unfortunately we have since lost the camera and Gem had gone back to bed so cannot verify that!!
The next morning we got up early (again) to make our way to Swakopmund, stopping off at cape cross to see a seal colony – thousands upon thousands of very smelly seals on a rock. Increasingly the terrain looked more desert-like as we approached Swakopmund. Now this town is very odd. It is a kind of german-themed seaside resort, at the end of the desert. Namibia is a former German colony (or at least West Africa was) so it is still populated by German holiday makers, german speaking black-africans, beer-halls and bakeries.
We left Swokopmund (reluctantly got on the truck as it was nice to have a few days ‘off’) early and had a long days driving through the Namib desert – we stopped for lunch at a funny little place called Solitaire. It was in the middle of absolutely nowhere and it looked like a town from the wild west – we had lovely apple pie there though!
Later in the afternoon we met a guide who took us (in the back of the smallest pick up in the world) to the dunes. We walked to Deadvlei which was the ‘dead’ part of the dunes that the river no longer flowed to. It was amazing and quite eerie (especially with the rain coming in). The guide was hilarious and kept on giving us lectures on how to be good wives! He was a good dancer though!
Email bianca | 35-50 years of age
Ancient Deserts and Burning Mountains
I've heard it told that in Namibia, the skeleton of the Earth has been laid bare. And certainly I've never been anywhere the underlying geology is so vividly displayed as here. From the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei, to the great white salt pan of Etosha, and from the desolate, windswept diamond fields of Tsau //Khaeb, to the granite outcrop of the Spitzkoppe, this is truly a land of striking contrasts!
The wildlife is fascinating too. Beetles that do a headstand to catch droplets of water condensing on their backs, snakes that dance across the sand dunes, mysterious elephants that wander through the desert, stately giraffes doing yoga in order to get a drink of water and elegant oryx, marching across the plains are just some of the animals that Namibia has to offer. The birdlife, particularly in the north, is gorgeous too.
Long dusty roads and a blazing sun burning out of the clearest blue sky imaginable give your soul space to roam. And it's all kept together by the smiling faces of friendly Namibians.
Namibia is a unique destination that has so much to offer!
Namibia is one of my all time favorite countries. The wildlife is spectacular, and the views and nature are simply breathtaking. During December it´s dry and hot, but you´ll feel alone as the tourists are a lot fewer than during the months of May to August. Food wise we loved it as we travelled with a guide and he cooked really good food. We travelled in a small group of five in a huge truck with the South-African company Drifters. Highlights were the desert, Swakopmund, Caprivi and Etosha National Park.