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Pre-trip "trip report"

Nashville, Tennessee
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Pre-trip "trip report"

I can't wait to get back to Namibia. Going back in 11 days! This trip is special for a few reasons:

First, I love Namibia. One of my favorite places on Earth. I think Dolomite in Western Etosha is truly special. Second, I am taking my 3 older brothers with me (all over age 42). I invited them last year and was able to convince them to go. One of them had never been out of the country. Another only to Central America. The last has been to Europe once. This will be a true treat. They are all people that love nature, animals, new experiences and adventure.

We will be doing a "shortened" trip from what I would like to do. But, everyone's different work schedule dictated it.

We are self-driving. Toyota Hilux 4 door with cab on back.

We fly from Nashville to Atlanta and then Atlanta to Johannesburg. The second flight is an overnight flight of about 15 hours.

We overnight in Johannesburg due to flight times.

We fly in early morning on Air Namibia to WIndhoek (8am) and hit the road.

One night up towards Kamajab as a break headed north.

Two nights Dolomite

2 nights Halali

One night Okaukuejo

One night Frans Indongo

Back to Windhoek

I know it is short, but my brothers have never been gone for more than 6 or 7 days from their homes and families. This is really a stretch, but I think we will have a blast. 8 days in Namibia, 11 days total travel time.

We are doing a couple of night drives with the NWR camps. Hiking some around Frans Indongo. We have some very nice binoculars and cameras. We love wildlife.

We used an in-country outfitter (again) because of the logistics in Namibia. I just heard that a bunch of reservations were lost a couple of weeks ago from NWR. My TO tracked ours down and re-confirmed. I strongly suggest to anyone going to Namibia to use an in-country TO for this and many other reasons. I saved money compared to what I could book on my own. Even those that use cardboard box are probably paying more than I am, and I have a TO to contact and arrange everything.

It is far too quick for my liking, but I have always said, a short trip is better than staying home. I would rather be a little rushed than be at work....

Thanks to everyone that has given advice and help. Even after going, it is good to get other's views and help. I think I am more excited this time than the very first time I ever went.

Thanks again everyone!

Mentioned in this post
Namibia
Namibia
Africa
Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park
Oshikoto Region, Namibia
Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Greater Johannesburg, South Africa
Windhoek
Windhoek
Khomas Region, Namibia
Frans Indongo Lodge
Frans Indongo Lodge
351 Reviews
Otjiwarongo, Namibia
Leicester, United...
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1. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

Hi Stephen,

This is something unique. Pre trip "Trip Report" !!!

Haven't come across this before but eagerly waiting for your TR. You are clearly the most travelled member of your family.

Perhaps throw couple of questions to get you into the travelling mode.

Where are you planning to stay in Jo'Burg ? One of the airport hotels or a bit further ?

I don't think you are a vegetarian but would you be kind enough to have a look at the vegetarian options in the menus of the NWR lodges ?

I read it was not that great in Dolomite with mostly salads repeated daily.

Enjoy .

Nashville, Tennessee
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2. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

Staying at the Hotel attached to the airport. A bit more expensive but very easy. Have stayed there before but also stayed a but away last trip.

I will gladly report back on vegetarian options. I can imagine that dolomite may be slim due to its small size, but will ask. Breakfast will be easy everywhere. The larger camps should be fine. At halali toucan kind of have a buffet style and will have many vegetarian options. Halali and okaukuejo are quite large with a couple hundred people there. Quite a variety.

This type of post just builds the excitement for me and reminds me to post a real trip report when I come back.

Leicester, United...
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3. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

Thanks very much for your prompt reply. Greatly appreciated.

I also thought about staying at the airport hotel but those are expensive, especially when I have to book 2 rooms. Came across a nice place at Kempton called Sunrock Guesthouse. May stay there.

Have a great time.

Isle of Man, United...
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4. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

8 Days in Namibia beats not going at all in my book. The flights would pall a bit but if offered I would make up the fifth man any day.

Go for it and have the blast you have looked forward to.

Supratik. Whilst Namibia is a Carnivore heaven I am sure you will have no problems especially where meals are buffet style. Lots of Rice and Veggies are always on hand.

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Namibia
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Stanley, Falkland...
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5. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

Enjoy your trip Stephen.

Supratik - no-one goes to to Namibia for the food. It is an incidental.

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Nashville, Tennessee
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6. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

Agree with Peter. The food in Namibia is a step down from most vacation destinations. Not bad, but it is just incidental.

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Namibia
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Leicester, United...
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7. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

Thanks guys for the reassurance about vegetarian food. I fully understand it's not going to be a culinary expedition and would be happy to munch on veggies and rice. Survived 2 weeks in American mid-West last year on Taco salad bowls,veg pizza, fries and some round object served as vegetable burger, tasting more like processed car tyre.

Perhaps time to introduce Indian Curry to Namibian palate. Nowadays we do get a large variety of quite tasty ready made meals including Indian/Oriental options in UK and we always carry some with us to break the monotony . Only problem is I'm not sure whether those would last in Namibian heat getting baked in the back of the car.

The problem of sliding down the food chain !!

california
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8. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

Sounds like a special trip, bonding with your brothers. I hope my 4 sons do that one day.

I too am planning my return trip to Namibia. We went in Oct 2012 and am now starting the planning process for Oct 2014. It seems early but in planning trips to both Zimbabwe and Uganda this past year, I've had to rearrange dates and lodging due to full bookings. And that was booking 10 to 12 months in advance!

So where are you staying near Kamajab?

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Namibia
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Nashville, Tennessee
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2,276 posts
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9. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

@supratik- Indian cuisine is definitely becoming more popular (and for good reason). If you can survive on midwestern "vegetarian food" you can survive anywhere. The Intercontinental at the airport in JNB is quite expensive, and we are getting 2 rooms, but the timing is such that we needed easy and close. Last trip stayed off campus and enjoyed the room, but was a little hectic getting back for the 6:30 am flight.

@wildlifepainter- I hear you about availability. I have started planning my biggest trips a year or more in advance when possible. I think it is never too early to start planning. It helps build the anticipation as well. I was planning a Uganda trip, but my daughters were too young to do the Gorilla or Chimp tracking, so we will wait another couple of years. Looked at Zimbabwe but will wait until 2015 or 2016. Zambia, Northern Tz and then Southern TZ over the next 2 years. Then Mana pools for 2016, probably.

We will be staying at Oase Garni Guesthouse near Kamanjab. Haven't stayed there before, but it is just a quick overnight stop and refueling, stocking stop before entering the Western gate. Recommended by our TO.

10 days left!

california
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10. Re: Pre-trip "trip report"

Thanks for the info. Have a great trip and I won't even mention how anxious I will be for your trip report.