For our latest trip to Africa, we wanted to focus not only on animals but also on plants. While searching for a safari tour that would accommodate our wishes, we found this family-owned company. We made arrangements with Berenike (she was always super kind, prompt in answering, and extremely efficient!), who helped to organize our two-week tour in September, guided by Steve Braine. We started in Windhoek and first headed south to Aus and Luderitz – desert flowering was downright spectacular, and Steve was awesome, finding and identifying various species of plants. Also, the Luderitz peninsula was incredible (albeit a bit windy 😊), and the boat tour was a nice opportunity to observe penguins and sea lions. Following the incredible south, we slowly made our way north, visited Sossusvlei, passing some incredible sights (in addition to Deadvlei) along the way. We spent a couple of days in Swakopmund, where we joined their Living Desert Tour (Arnold was amazing, finding us a couple of sidewinders, a chameleon, and several other lizards). Then, we went along the Skeleton Coast (made an obligatory stop to see welwitschias) and into Damaraland – in addition to a new set of incredible plants (especially pachypodium in flower), we enjoyed the company of elephants, giraffes, a myriad of birds, and smaller mammals. Toward the end of the journey, we visited Etosha, with its incredible wildlife (big and small) – we were especially thrilled to see honey badgers! Before the end, we also spent a night at Waterberg Plateau, where we focused on birds and butterflies.
This brief account merely scratches the surface of the flora and fauna we encountered, an experience made possible by Steve's unparalleled expertise. He is enthusiastic about the whole ecology of Namibia, such as (but not limited to) plants, butterflies, bugs, scorpions, birds, and mammals. Not to mention that he has the eyes of an eagle. You can probably find other good tour guides, but we are convinced that no one can match his spectrum of knowledge. In addition, he was a perfect companion, very thoughtful on our specific needs and requests. Our discussions with him were truly memorable, and we find ourselves missing those conversations
We wholeheartedly endorse The Naturalist Collection team and Steve for their exceptional attention to detail, impeccable logistical planning, and unwavering friendliness. Their efforts transformed our journey into a captivating odyssey, crafting memories that will undoubtedly last a lifetime. Our trip was nothing short of extraordinary, thanks to their expertise, and we cannot recommend them highly enough!
Jernej and Maja