The Real Namibia 2019
The Real Namibia
An unspoilt land of timeless beauty which is teeming with game and bird-life.
Before the white man set foot on Africa, before cities and factories claimed their share of the land, long before animals had to learn to live behind fences, was the Namib Desert. Vast, remote and unconquerable, its harsh landscape could be survived by only the strongest and hardiest. Including the Khoikhoi – the proud nation who called this desert home. Since then, progress has changed much of Africa. But not the Namib. Today, surrounded by vast dunes and endless desert wilderness, the only plants and animals you will see are those who have ingeniously adapted over the centuries to this harsh landscape. For this beautiful simplicity is how life is meant to be lived. This is the land that time forgot.
DAY 1, 17 October 2019: Arrive in Walvis Bay
Walvis Bay is on the Atlantic Coast of Namibia, surrounded by the Namib Desert. Many scientists regard the Namib Desert as the oldest desert in the world. About 200 km wide and 2 000 km long, its climate is determined by the cold Benguela current that runs along the Atlantic West Coast of Southern Africa: the hot, tropical sun above the cold sea prevents airborne moisture from falling as rain. The average rainfall in the central Namib is less than 15 mm a year – and during some years, non-existent. This is a harsh land.
Today you will be met at the airport by Heidi, the guide who will be with you throughout your stay, teaching you how to see beyond the obvious to the extraordinary, how to identify and appreciate the subtle beauty of all you are about to experience. Welcome to Africa!
Opportunities for photographing flamingos and/or dunes should present itself late afternoon.
(Accommodation: The Rez, B&B - lunch, dinner, drinks extra)
DAY 2 – 3, 18 - 19 October 2019: Ozondjou
After breakfast we head north to Damaraland. The fauna and flora of Damaraland is typical of the pro-Namib region and plant species include the Moringa and a variety of the Commiphora species. The desert adapted elephant, rhinoceros, giraffe, springbok, endemic Herero chat and ostrich are some of the wildlife which can be found living in total harmony with the community and the communal farming activities of the surrounding areas. Our drive today takes us into some of the last remaining true wilderness areas in Namibia.
We embark on a 3/4 day elephant drive in the Ugab River and surrounding area. Here we join the EHRA team in their day to day patrol work searching for desert elephants and studying their behaviour. The drive is offered in either a closed or open game drive 4 x 4 vehicle (weather-dependant) and follows the tracks of the elephants usually in the dry river bed. A tasteful cold picnic lunch will be served on this excursion.
Return to camp in the late afternoon for dinner and overnight.
(Accommodation: Ozondjou Tented Camp, full board - drinks extra)
DAY 4, 20 October 2019: Etosha Ongava
We make our way towards one of Namibia's most important private game reserves, along the southern boundary of Etosha National Park. Placed as it is close to the top of a hill in the foothills of the Ondundozonanandana range, the vantage point is beautiful and overlooks a well-frequented waterhole and the plains beyond.
There are impressive views over the camp’s waterhole from the main lounge and dining areas and there is also an inviting pool to cool off in the heat of the day.
There are often good photographic opportunities from the camp hide.
(Accommodation: Ongava Lodge, full board - drinks extra)
DAYS 5 - 9, 21 - 25 October 2019: Etosha
Breakfast is early this morning: there’s a lot to see and do in the Etosha National Park. World-famous for its remarkable wildlife, the park centres on the Etosha Pan – a vast saline pan stretching 120 km from east to west, and 55 km wide. If the land has been lucky, the pan will be filled with water from the rainfall in the catchment areas of the Ekuma and Oshigambo rivers. Large numbers of zebra, wildebeest, elephant, giraffe and an assortment of other antelope can be seen on the open saltpans, while lion, cheetah, hyena and jackal are the most commonly seen predators. There’s no time to miss your daily soap opera: the dramas unfolding daily around the waterholes will have you mesmerised for hours.
Africa has its own rhythms: brunch is generally followed by a lazy afternoon as we wait for the worst of the heat to pass. Our days are scheduled around the best light for photography. And when afternoon becomes evening, we’re refreshed and ready for another game drive.
(Accommodation: Camping Namutoni, Full Board, drinks extra)
DAY 10, 26 October 2019: Back to Walvis Bay
We take to the road again: this time south through Otjiwarongo, to Omaruru – which means "bitter thick milk" in the Herero language, and refers to the milk produced by cows grazing on the bitterbush common to this area.
We drive through Karibib, famous for the its beautiful marble, historical buildings and the open cast mine established in 1989 in the wake of a nearby gold discovery in 1985.
A late afternoon arrival in Walvis Bay will probably only allow for a good dinner.
(Accommodation: The Rez, B&B - lunch, dinner, drinks extra)
DAY 11, 27 October 2019: Walvis Bay
Bird lovers grab your cameras and books! At the Walvis Bay lagoon during the Seal and Dolphin boat cruise you’re almost certain to see greater and lesser flamingos and a huge variety of waders. During your morning's boat ride on the lagoon, dolphins and seals often join you, these natural comedians giving you an impromptu water show. Laugh at their antics, feel the wind tangle your hair and blow roses into your cheeks – at times like this, you can’t imagine why anyone chooses to live in a city!
Weather depending, we photograph dunes and birds in the late afternoon.
(Accommodation: The Rez, B&B - lunch, dinner, drinks xtra)
DAY 12, 84 October 2019: Walvis Bay
We photograph along the edges of the Walvis Bay Lagoon today, all the way to Pelican Point (the far edge of the sandspit that forms the Lagoon). Walvis Bay, a Ramsar Site is not only home to tens of thousands of flamingoes at certain times of the year, but it is also a temporary stop-over for thousands of other important wetland species. The Walvis Bay Lagoon is considered of great importance both nationally and internationally and the Walvis Bay wetlands are judged by ornithologists to be the most important coastal wetland in southern Africa and one of three most important coastal wetlands in Africa.
(Accommodation: The Rez, B&B - lunch, dinner, drinks xtra)
Day 13, 29 October 2019: Depart
After breakfast Heidi drives you to the airport in time for your connecting flight home. This concludes your Namibia safari. We hope to leave you with Africa resonating in your soul – and a longing in your heart to return to its desolate beauty, its night skies, its rich sounds and scents.
SPECIFIC TOUR INFORMATION AND REQUIREMENTS FOR THE SAFARI
Date of safari: 17 October 2019 - 29 October 2019
Starting point: WALVIS BAY
End point: WALVIS BAY
For this safari we provide accommodations in a variety of different styles of camping, lodges and hotels. We try to make sure that your stay in the bush will be as comfortable as possible. Delicious meals and picnic lunches are provided throughout your safari. Meals are taken - weather permitting - under the stars.
The vehicle used is comfortable and spacious. We try to keep groups small, ensuring an intimate atmosphere. Our philosophy is to make the tour as educational and comfortable as possible, tailoring it to your specific needs and interests.
All participants are required to be reasonably fit and healthy.
We recommend that you bring soft bags for your luggage Bright colours and white are not suitable for safari, neither is camouflage wear. Khaki and related colours are fine. Please study the attached list of what to bring.
Most meals are included in the price of your safari, with the exception of the hotel and restaurants as indicated on the detailed itinerary. We pride ourselves on supplying you with a variety of delicious meals, and believe that an integral part of your safari is the opportunity to taste local cuisine. Some meals will be taken in local restaurants, while the staff accompanying you on safari will prepare others. At lodges, all meals are prepared by the lodge staff. The drinking water provided is completely safe to drink and bottled water is always readily available. Alcoholic beverages are for your own cost.
It is imperative that you travel with medical/accident insurance - ask your travel agent for details, alternatively your regular health insurance company may be able to supply you with a supplementary policy. Make sure that your medical insurance covers emergency repatriation as well.
We suggest that you use malaria prophylaxis for the duration of your stay. Please take advice from your physician or local travel clinic. If you are on any medication, ensure you have enough for the duration of your safari as there is nowhere to stock up on any medicine or supplies in the desert. If you suffer from any medical condition, ensure you obtain a medical certificate from your doctor to confirm that you are fit for the safari. Please present this certificate to your guide at the start of the safari, and make sure he/she is aware of any medication that you take.
Drinking water and food supplied during the duration of your safari will be safe. It is important to drink a lot of water throughout the day, as dehydration is the cause of most medical conditions experienced in the desert. Two litres per day is the recommended minimum.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER CONDITIONS
Namibia has a dry climate typical of a semi-desert country. During the months of November to March, some rain might be expected in the northern regions, including the Kavango. Average rainfall figures vary to 350 mm in the central areas. In the far north-eastern regions it can be as much as 700 - 1000 mm. It is therefore difficult to estimate a true annual average for the whole of your journey. Days are mostly warm to very hot, while the nights are cool. Average summer day temperatures: 20-38 °C (68-93 °F). Average winter night temperatures: 0-10 °C (23-50 °F). Bring lightweight cotton shorts and shirts for days and warmer gear for the evenings. Be prepared for all conditions. Please see the attached list of what to bring on safari.
The tour fare is fully inclusive as detailed below. Personal expenditure, curios, tips to your guide and camp staff, all beverages, meals in restaurants in towns, certain activities, airport transfers and taxes, VISA fees are excluded. We suggest that you allow US$ 35 per day for incidentals. Major credit cards are accepted, VISA & MASTERCARD. The best way to obtain Pula and Namibian Dollar cash is to have a debit or credit card, with a pin number and to draw cash from an ATM while in Botswana and Namibia. Using an ATM card is by far the most convenient and fastest way to obtain cash.
Tipping is common practice in Southern Africa, but never compulsory. We suggest that if you are happy with the service you receive, that you tip as follows:
All restaurant staff: 10 % of the restaurant bill
Taxi drivers: 10 % of the fare
Your guides: US$ 100 - US$ 200 per person for the safari
Your camp staff US$ 50 – US$ 80 pp for the safari
If you have any problems or queries with this, please feel free to raise the matter with your guide.
All passport holders should verify with their travel agency or relevant consulate if any visa entry requirement exist for Namibia. All of these visas are usually obtainable at the port of entry. If you are travelling elsewhere in Africa, make sure you are aware of the visa requirements in all countries that you intend visiting.
Many of the animals and reptiles we will see are potentially dangerous. No fences exist around our campsites, so walking off on your own is never a good idea. Always check with your guide before venturing anywhere. Attacks by wild animals are rare, but we cannot guarantee that such incidents will not occur. Craig Jones Wildlife Photography can be held liable or responsible for any accidents or injuries caused by the behaviour of wild animals.
Most roads in Botswana and some in Namibia are gravel, making the journey often bumpy and rough. Craig Jones Wildlife Photography cannot be held liable or responsible for any injuries or damages that might occur due to rough road circumstances.
The above itinerary is intended as a guide only and the route we follow may vary. We do our very best to keep to the planned itinerary, but it may change subject to conditions beyond our control, such as the availability of accommodation, or the weather. The safari is planned to include as large a variety of different landscapes and animals, and it is our philosophy to make sure that you see as much as possible.
The price per person SHARING for 6 pax = at today's exchange rate £ 3,350.00
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAFARI COST
Activities as per the itinerary, most meals, except as specified at the end of each day's itinerary. Tea, coffee, bottled water and snacks while on safari. The use of vehicles, camp staff and guides, all park entry fees
EXCLUDED FROM YOUR SAFARI COST
Personal shopping. Drinks, except water. Meals as specified at the end of each day's itinerary in towns.
Personal and medical insurance