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Advice for Short Trip with Pregnant Wife

Chicago, Illinois
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Advice for Short Trip with Pregnant Wife

My wife and I will be in Cape Town in early March and would love to get a quick taste of Namibia over 3 or 4 days, if feasible.

One major consideration is that she will be 5 months pregnant, so we need to avoid any malaria risk to the north and need to be mindful of not traveling on roads that are two bumpy and make sure that we stay at a proper lodge or hotel.

We're probably most interested in seeing the giant dunes and skeleton coast, since it is the most unique aspect of Nimibia. Seeing game would be a bonus, but we've also recently been on safari elsewhere so that is not a must have.

We really appreciate any advice you have. Thanks!

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Cape Town
Cape Town
Western Cape, South Africa
Lark Journeys
Multi-day Tours, Safaris, Nature & Wildlife Tours
Wild Wind Safaris
Nature & Wildlife Tours, Safaris
Chameleon Safaris Namibia - Day Tours
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Nashville, Tennessee
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1. Re: Advice for Short Trip with Pregnant Wife

If only 3 or 4 days total and coming from cape, you will probably have to fly. Others can correct me, but it will take a long 2 days drive (or more) up and then another 2 back. That just leaves less than one day around the dunes. You will not be able to see the dunes and Etosha in 3-4 days, just too much driving. Skeleton coast is quite a drive up from the big dunes (480km).

The drive from Cape town to Walvis bay is around 1650km and not all of it on good tarmac plus it includes a border crossing. Cape town to Sossusvlei is around 1550km plus a border crossing. Sossusvlei to Fish river is said to be 602km south, you can calculate from there.

Sossusvlei to Skeleton coast is around 480km with Walvis bay about 2/3 the way up distance wise. The first part of that drive is on rough roads I believe.

You could fly up to walvis bay and drive to dunes and fly back. That would be simple. Or fly to windhoek and drive up to etosha for 2 days and back.

As far as avoiding bumpy roads, you will have to avoid the dunes, I think. Anything off of the tarmac will be bumpy. You can drive all the way up to Etosha from WIndhoek on tarmac. That would be easy. In Etosha, it is gravel only.

There will be no big game in these areas, but some small game and other nice plants/birds and wonderful scenery.

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2. Re: Advice for Short Trip with Pregnant Wife

The best would be to fly up to Walvis Bay from Cape Town, there are daily flights with SAA and 3 times a week with Air Namibia.

I wouldn't recommend driving the road to Sossusvlei as it is quite bumpy and not recommend for a pregnant woman! The option you than have is to fly into Sesriem in light aircraft and spend 2 nights there. The road into Sossusvlei is tarred and the last few kilometres in the think sand is not too bumpy as the sand is soft. The fly in part is not cheap though, but I wouldn't recommend to drive with a woman who is 5 months pregnant.

Than you can fly back to Swakopund and enjoy the area up there. You could rent a vehicle and explore the area a bit there. Maybe drive up to Cape Cross Lodge for a night, this is the closest you will come to Skeleton Coast Park, but it's a great alternative. To really explore the Skeleton Coast you would have to fly in with Skeleton Coast Safaris, but this is extremely expensive!

if you don't have the budget for a fly in to Sossusvlei, you could also just come to Swakopmund and explore the area there. You could still drive up to Cape Cross Lodge and it wouldn't be a problem as it is a salt road and is quite smooth. Than you could do a sandwich harbour tour to the dunes there, a seal and dolphin cruise, Living Desert tour etc. There's alot to be seen in dune in Swakopmund only and if you want to you can also do a 1.5 hour flight to Sossusvlei and back up the coast. This is most probably one of the most scenic flights you can do.

Clive - Suricate Safaris

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Windhoek, Windhoek...
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3. Re: Advice for Short Trip with Pregnant Wife


The guys above are correct with your time frame you will have to fly to Windhoek or Walvis Bay from Cape Town.

Also the fly-in would also be easier for her, provided she doesn't suffer from air sickness. My husband and brother in law are pilots doing fly-in safaris and both me and my sister in law (who normally fly with all the time) was as sick as dogs when flying while being pregnant.

(Sorry guys but you wont know how bad you feel until you have made this experience yourself)

So to be safe I would say explore from Swakopmund and spend the days at leisure over there, and drive up to Skeleton Coast, you can even stay a day at Cape Cross Lodge or so.

Good luck,


African Profile Safaris

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4. Re: Advice for Short Trip with Pregnant Wife

I am going to be somewhat controversial here.I have never been pregnant so can't speak from experience but should a 5 month person be flying in light aircraft?

So if we consider that, and the natural advice not to drive on bumpy roads, dunes or skeleton coasts and to avoid malarial areas, such as Etosha, then this trip really has not got a lot going for it.

Given the time frame of 3- 4 days I would suggest you enjoy Capetown a bit longer and save the many and splendid wonders of Namibia for a proper trip later.

A quick taste leaves so much wanting. Why have just a glass when the whole bottle is on offer?

Edited: 25 January 2013, 15:46
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5. Re: Advice for Short Trip with Pregnant Wife

Mfuwe, one cant say it any better! :)

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6. Re: Advice for Short Trip with Pregnant Wife

Maybe just go to the orange river and hang out, it right on the border. Also fish river canyon is nice ( second only to the Grand Canyon)

7. Re: Advice for Short Trip with Pregnant Wife

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