we caught up with angie after her trip to namibia
What made you choose Namibia?
I started planning about a year in advance for an epic birthday trip. I brainstormed some ideas: I knew I wanted to go somewhere amazing that had a lot of wildlife, and somewhere exotic where none of my friends had been. I am a veterinary nurse and my boyfriend a veterinarian, so we really love animals. Originally I settled on Madagascar, and contacted Will who planned out an idyllic two-week itinerary for my Super Awesome 30th Birthday Adventure. However, as we were finalising the details, some civil unrest developed in Antananarivo and Will advised that it would be best to choose an alternate destination. Namibia was our second choice; my boyfriend is an avid sand collector and photographer, and we both knew we would love an African wildlife safari. Namibia had the perfect combination of scenery, animals, and birds – and was off the beaten path enough to make it a unique destination, but with just the right amount of tourist infrastructure to keep us comfortable and maximize our experience.
What was the best natural world experience of your trip?
There were so many individual moments that stick out in my mind, of an overall incredible trip. Giraffes everywhere – they were like squirrels over there, so plentiful! Being awakened on my birthday by lions growling at each other outside our chalet. The startling flash of brilliant blue when a Lilac-breasted Roller flew past our car. I fell in love with them all, every animal and bird that we saw.
There were two encounters that turned into the kind of stories that I always tell over and over again. The first was when we were driving through Damaraland on our way to our lodging at Doro Nawas. Just a few kilometers out from the lodge we saw a small group of desert-adapted elephants grazing in the distance. We got out of our car (something we later learned was rather dangerous!) and started taking photographs. After a minute we noticed more elephants across the field behind us – they were much closer than the first group and had obviously noticed us. We retreated back into our car as the elephants started making their way towards us. Two other cars had stopped and the bull elephant seemed to be annoyed by our presence. He (I think it was a male) walked right up to our car and trumpeted! We sat inside our vehicle in awe, amazed by these massive wild creatures so close. As the bull stood in front of our car, the rest of the herd walked behind our vehicle to join the other half of their group which we’d first spotted across the plain. Once all his charges were safely past us, he seemed to be placated and followed his family, leaving us stunned with delight and, to be honest, shaken nerves.