It was a soul “finding” experience and I have kept some very special memories from the trip. We began our journey in Vic Falls -Zimbabwe, and slowly made our way to Windhoek, Namibia over the duration of 11 days with many stops that involved heart-warming cultural experiences.
The open wildlife was amazing and we managed to see the BIG 5! …even being as lucky as to have seen a Black Rhino! This accommodated tour was pure luxury- African style and truly an experience of a lifetime!
Day 1: Vic Falls – Meeting the clients
Clients were accommodated at the beautiful Ilala Lodge in the heart of Vic Falls. Our Guide of the year , Chantel Van Der Linde, met with the group for the tour debriefing and got everyone excited for the adventure that was soon to begin! Myself and a group of guests went on an open-bar sunset cruise on the Zambezi river where we saw plenty birds, hippo and the first of many magnificent African sunsets.
A great way to start our trip!
Day 2: Vic Falls to Camp Kwando Namibia, 399km
We had an early morning start at 7am, made our way to our clients and Chantel took control of packing ADANA ( the name of the land cruiser used for this tour). Our group quickly molded into a family type pack and we began our journey! We made our way to Camp Kwando after crossing the Zambezi River and entered Namibia. After checking into our lodge, we departed at 4h30pm for our evening Game Drive in the Mudumo National Park. Driving through the park, we had great up-close sightings of monkeys, zebra, elephants, an African Python & Lion tracks… We headed back at 7pm and had a top class dinner at the Camp Kwando Lodge
Day 3: Rundu – Nkwazi Lodge , 432kms
8am breakfast , departed at 9am to Rundu 432 kms. We drove West along the Caprivi Strip to the Town on Rundu and arrived at N’Kwazi Lodge at 3h30pm. The Lodge was still emerged in water from the floods so we parked the vehicle and took a ferrie to the lodge- which looked like a moving dinner table setting! (10 chairs on a canoe). At 6pm we participated in the optional activity which was watching the local traditional dancers& singers- the energy from this group was truly heart felt & was it was a moving performance. 7pm we headed back to the main area and enjoyed a full buffet of an assortment of meats, vegetables , salads and desserts!
Day 4 : Cultural Experience in Rundu- 5kms
We departed the lodge in a ferrie and then drove to the local refugee camp accompanied by a local guide. We were able to visit the flood victims and we got to see their living conditions and daily routines. It was touching to see and feel what happy people they are, whilst having close to nothing and only basics needed to survive. That afternoon we also went on an optional activity which was a sunset cruise on the Kavango Rover, overlooking Angola- the sunset was magnificent!
Day 5: ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK 420km
We took a scenic drive to Etosha , having the chance to stop at banks and shops along the way to stock up for the days ahead. On arrival, we checked into Namutoni Lodge, and went on an afternoon Game drive in the famous and well known Etosha National Park. We saw plenty game including Giraffe, Zebra and even a Black Rhino!
Day 6:OKAKUEJO IN ETOSHA – 180 km
We had an early departure at 6am, and made our way to Okakuejo Lodge. After checking into our lodge, we went on another exciting Game Drive! We saw Lion, Leopard, Vultures, Giraffe, Zebra & Ground Squirrels! (who are very popular in these parts due to their special hiding place for their nuts…)
Day 7:ETOSHA to KAMANJAB& KHORIXAS, NAMIBIA -380km
We left Etosha National Park, through the Main Gate and drove to Kamanjab ( which is the gateway to Damaraland. We visited the Himba Village and were given a guided tour by one of the local guides. We were able to speak with the Himba’s and learnt a lot about their special culture. This was yet another heartwarming and special experience that will not be forgotten. We then headed to Khorixas Lodge where we were able to relax in the dining area and share some red wine, stories and laughs!
Day 8: SWAKOPMUND 300km
We left Khorixas early, and went to see the petrified Forrest, organ pipes and burnt mountain. We then headed South West out of the dry interior of Namibia and made our way to Swakopmund on the Atlantic Coast. The salt roads were washed away and the Atlantic Ocean was a dark brown colour from the river s running into it. They haven’t had rains like that for about 10 years! When arriving in Swakop, Chantel took us to the Extreme Sports Offices where we were greeted by an energetic crowd and they showed us a dvd on the optional activities for the following day. This included sand boarding , a boat trip with the dolphins, quadbiking , a township tour or even a hot air balloon ride!
Day 9: SWAKOP- DAY OF LEISURE
Clients opted for the extreme sport of sand boarding! We managed to get a great workout at the same time walking the dunes!
Day 10: NAUKLUFT NATIONAL PARK & KUISEB CANYON to SOSSUSVLEI 390km
We departed Swakop and made our way to Hammerstein Lodge. We drove through the rocky , beautiful landscape of Naukluft National Park
Day 11: SOSSUSVLEI and WINDHOEK, NAMIBIA 350km
We left early before sunrise and travelled to the highest dunes in the world in Sossusvlei, reaching 300m! They were absolutely spectacular and made a fantastic photo opportunity!
*I would like to say a big thank you to Garth and Jenman Safaris for giving me this opportunity to experience our country in such a special way!*
– Olivia (Admin and Operations Assistant)