TRAVELER’S CORNER – Veteran Travel Specialist Discovers Safari Firsts in Namibia

December 12, 2016  By: Gretchen

Veteran Travel Specialist Discovers Safari Firsts In Namibia

Anisha’s Namibian adventure included visits to:

  • Etosha National Park
  • Seeing the ancient rock art at Twyfelfontein
  • An overnight at a village homestead
  • The amazing dunes at Sossusvlei
  • The charming seaside town of Swakopmund
  • …and more!

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New Discoveries in Namibia…

This November, I had the opportunity to spend two incredible weeks in one of the most unique destinations in Africa – Namibia. The first week of our safari was on the northern circuit, essentially going in a full circle around Etosha National Park. Highlights included seeing the Etosha Pans, visiting a Himba Village, going on a night game drive in one of the private reserves in the region and spending the night at an Owambo Village Homestead!

The second week of our safari was dramatically different. We left the wilds of Etosha to explore the deserts and dunes of the south starting off with Sossusvlei, home to some of the highest sand dunes on earth! After spending 2 nights exploring beautiful Sossusvlei, we took a scenic flight over the dunes to the coastal town of Swakopmund where we spent an afternoon walking around the quirky town picking up souvenirs from the little shops – such fun! I especially loved that all the Christmas stuff was out, I picked up a little elephant ornament with feathered wings, only in Africa… Our last stop was Damaraland, where we spent 2 nights. Damaraland is breathtakingly beautiful, and seeing desert-adapted elephants was just magic!

Learn More About Namibia

Namibia is one of those places that you have to see to believe – it exceeded all my expectations and surprised me at every turn! Despite having been on many safaris in various other African countries, Namibia was full of first time experiences for me…

My Safari Firsts in Namibia:

  • Seeing the supermoon in one of best places in Africa to experience the night sky (Sossusvlei)
  • Quad biking in the dunes of Swakopmund
  • Spotting the elusive aardvark on a night game drive for the first time ever!
  • Seeing an aardwolf in Etosha National Park
  • Learning about the culture and traditions of the Himba and Damara people
  • Seeing the ancient rock engravings at Twyfelfontein
  • Climbing the dunes of Sossusvlei
  • Spending a night at a village homestead (Ongula) for one of the most immersive cultural experiences
  • Having a picnic lunch while watching a family of desert-adapted elephants rest under the shade of a tree just a few feet away
  • Being serenaded by our incredible guide, Francois, while enjoying sundowners around a bonfire

Namibia has it all – diverse wildlife experiences, unbelievable landscapes (I often felt like I was on a different planet) and some of the warmest, kindest people you’ll ever meet. Namibia is perfect for a repeat visitor to Africa who is looking for something totally new and different, or even for the first-time traveler with an adventurous spirit.

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“The wildlife and natural beauty of this country will take your breath away!”

Here are some of my recommendations for anyone thinking of visiting this amazing country:

    • Wake up early and watch the sunrise while enjoying a hot cup of coffee on your deck, dusk in places like Damaraland and Sossusvlei is one of the most beautiful times of day.
    • Take in the culture! Namibia is one of the most diverse and culturally rich countries in Africa and what I loved about it is how authentic and accessible the cultural experiences are. A visit to a Himba Village, spending a night at a village homestead to discover Owambo culture and a visit to the Living Museum in Damaraland to learn about the Damara people’s way of life are just a few of the experiences on offer!
    • Book a private guide, even if it’s just for part of the trip. What I loved about Namibia is that you have a lot of options, you could do the whole trip as fly-in, or you could also drive the whole country, or do a combination! I did a combination of flying & driving and one of the highlights for me was having a private guide for some portions of my trip, it allowed us more flexibility, like being able to spend as much time as we wanted at sightings.
    • Be adventurous! Enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the Sossusvlei dunes or go quad-biking in the dunes…you won’t regret it!
    • Don’t forget about the people. The wildlife and natural beauty of this country will take your breath away, but it’s the people of Namibia that you’ll come back having fallen in love with. Some of my fondest memories are of the people I met in Namibia, our incredible guides, the camp staff at Damaraland Camp and Kulala Desert Lodge, Lydia- a sweet lady we randomly met at a gas station who was making Christmas ornaments out of recycled Deodorant sticks, Jugumba- an adorable little boy I met at the Himba Village, I could go on and on!

Call me! Because the next best thing to being there is talking about it!

“I am absolutely in love with Namibia and can’t wait to visit again!”

Call Anisha to craft your own customized safari to Namibia or our other African destinations!