A Namibian Adventure - Rebecca Thomas

Rebecca Thomas

09 Jan 2017

Our Namibian Adventure

3,000km, eight lodges, two people and the experience of a lifetime. Namibia is a land of wonders, with a new excitement seemingly around each bend in the road. The second least densely populated country in the world, we were advised by Arabella and the expert team at Natural World Safaris that a self-drive safari would be the best way to absorb as much of this huge country as we could in the two weeks we had. 

Picking up ‘Beast’, our Ford Ranger, we hit the road to begin our adventure. The driving itself was very straight-forward, with easy to navigate instructions provided. Our first stop was the ancient Namib Desert, home to the renowned sand dunes, oryx by the plenty and the welcoming Desert Homestead Lodge.
   
From our cosy bungalow we watched sunset over the desert, before setting off early for an incredible hot air balloon ride over Sossusvlei as the sun started to rise, turning the dunes a dusky orange.


An expedition to Deadvlei allowed us to capture that iconic shot of Namibia, before we drove up to the coastal town of Swakopmund. Swakopmund harks back to the days of German colonialism, with buildings appearing as if they have been lifted from Europe and dropped here. Our tour to Sandwich Harbour whisked us off the roads and onto the dramatic coast where the sand dunes meet the sea, where a little off-roading was due. 

After Swakopmund, it was time to head north to the dramatic scenery of Damaraland. Home to one of the world’s two populations of desert-adapted elephants, we were lucky enough to be able to track a herd during our stay at Mowani Mountain Camp, a truly unique lodge built into the rocks. Alongside our magical elephant encounter, we discovered the heritage of Namibia visiting the ancient Bushman rock engravings of Twyfelfontein. 

Discover Mowani Mountain Camp

Next stop was the incredible Etosha National Park for four days discovering the rich wildlife of this extensive reserve. We hopped from the west – staying at Dolomite Camp – to Ongava Private Game Reserve south of the park, through to Mushara Outpost which sits just outside the eastern edge of Etosha. During this time we had some memorable sightings both driving ourselves and on guided drives from the camps: black and white rhino, prides of lions, herds of elephants, cheetah, leopard, jackal, cape fox, oryx, kudu, black-faced impala and zebra aplenty. The warmth drove many species to the watering holes in the heat of the day, allowing for fantastic photos as they all took a drink together. 

To finish our trip, we next headed to Okonjima, home to the Africat Foundation. With its valuable work rehabilitating big cats and other animals, this is a sanctuary for wildlife and a must for any visit. Tracking cheetah on foot, watching them hunt and in turn be chased by a leopard is a huge adrenaline rush on which to finish our trip.

For safari lovers such as ourselves, Namibia was the perfect trip – a mix of adventure, wildlife and incredible landscapes, combined with the knowledge of an expert team who put together a seamless itinerary filled with new surprises and delights each day. 

Namibia: we will be back! 

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