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Help with Itinerary-July 2013

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Los Angeles...
posts: 105
reviews: 4
Help with Itinerary-July 2013

We are just starting to plan for July and would love some suggestions of do not miss places or lodges for a 14 day trip in country. We love to hike and want to see Etosha. We are open to self-drive but do not want to spend the whole trip driving and enjoy multiple nights in each place. We have contacting Discover Namibia and hopefully will be able to work with them. We really want remote quiet intimate camps if possible. Any help, greatly appreciated.

Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 2,187
reviews: 150
1. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

You have made a great first step by contacting Discover Namibia. We used them in March and will be using them again This coming June/July. Gemma is fabulous.

We did a 14 day trip and it is a good start to seing the main core of Namibia, but believe it or not, is not enough time to see the whole country without break neck speed racing across the country side. not what you want to do. The distances are vast and I agree with you, spend a few nights at each place so you can actually enjoy it. Do you mean 14 days including international travel? Or 14 days in country?

You will fly in to Windhoek and start your trip there. If you truly have 14 days, then a typical (and very nice trip) might look something like this:

Day 1: overnight in Windhoek

Day 2-3: Drive down to Sossusvlei and overnight

Day 4-5: 2 nights in Swakopmund. Outdoor adventures there (seal kayaking, desert tour, quad bikes)

Day 6-7 Damarland area- Desert elephant tracking, rhino tracking, burnt mountain, twyfelfontein. Somewhere like Camp Kipwe, Mowani Mountain camp, Grootberg lodge.

Day 8-9 Dolomite camp in Western Etosha

Day 10-11 Okaukeujo or Halali in Central/eastern Etosha

Day 12-13 Waterburg area or stopover on the way back to Windhoek. Frans Indongo in nice. Others are nice as well. Make a stop to Cheetah Conservation fund.

If you only have 14 days including intl flights, then a little tougher because you will leave US and arrive in Johannesburg the next evening, then have to overnight in Johannesburg and leave for windhoek early the next morning. Also, overnight back home at the end of the trip. It shortens your in country time to about 11 days. May need to cut out the first night in Windhoek and make some progress towards somewhere. Also, might take one night out in Soussesvlei. Once you've seen the big sand dunes, how many times you need to see it? Also, you can spend lots of time in Swakopmund on the dunes to make up for it. Others love Soussesvlei and will tell you to spend 2 days there.

I don't think it is feasible to include the caprivi strip in your short time unless you cut out anything to the south and shorten your stay in each place outside of Etosha to one night.

Maybe we will cross paths in July. Hoep you enjoy your planning and don't worry about the self-drive. Easier to get around Namibia than los angeles...

Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 2,187
reviews: 150
2. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

Also, your budget may determine some of your lodge choices. We loved Mowani Mountain camp, but it is a little more expensive. We liked the fact that it was a smaller camp, had fabulous service and amazing sunset views. We did the desert elephant tracking from there and twyfelfontein and burnt mountain as well. Loved it.

Dolomite is a great choice for Western etosha (maybe the only?) and may fill up quickly, so I would get on the reservation fairly quickly for that time of year. Try to nail them down before the end of this year would be my guess.

We liked the Delta flight non-stop from Atlanta to Johanessburg, but you may have other options from the west coast. From there, you can do Namibia air or South african air up to Windhoek. About 6 flight choices a day.

Los Angeles...
posts: 105
reviews: 4
3. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

Thanks Stephen- we would at least 14 days in country, maybe 15 is possible. As we are from California I am not sure if Swakopmund interests us as we have lots of seals and dolphins where we live. I also read about a two trip where we can hike which seems that was really special. We probably have an mid-to-upper end for the accomodations. Not ultra luxury but it is more important about the setting and the staff. When are going in July? Did you self-drive as well?

Nashville, Tennessee
posts: 2,187
reviews: 150
4. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

In that case, I would take a day out of Swakopmund and make that just a stop over on the way north.

Add the day to Damarland or Grootberg lodge and do an Elephant tracking in Mowani Mountain camp and also do a Rhino tracking at Grooberg lodge. You would still have time for Twyfelfontein visit (world Heritage site) and there is some hiking there. There will be some hiking with the rhino tracking as well. There may be some dedicated hiking areas, but I am not familiar with them. Others will be able to help you there.

You will not be able to do ANY hiking in Etosha. It is not allowed. You cannot get out of the car other than designated areas.

Another option would be to drop Soussesvlei and Swakopmund completely and Start in Damarland and then add Caprivi strip to the trip. It would be more driving, but possible. You could consider a one way rental and make it all the way to Victoria falls, but that is a lot of traveling for 15 days, but doable.

If dropping Swak one night, then you could also add it to another day in Etosha. If you are able to do 15 days, then you could do 3 nights at 2 camps of 2 nights at 3 camps. Might consider a camp outside the park (but close to a gate) for a different feel as well. We liked Mushara Bush camp, but don't think that is the highest yield area for dry season.

Yes, we did a self drive (me, wife and 2 young daughters). I was a little worried at first, but it was very easy once we got there. I was never worried about being lost or in danger. Never felt unsafe. I am doing it again in June/july. We will be there the last couple days of june and first week of July. Quick trip this time.

Stanley, Falkland...
posts: 29,068
reviews: 57
5. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

http://www.turnstone-tours.com/

Have a look at these guys. High quality.

I've tried their memorable trip to Sandwich Harbour, and I've heard nothing but compliments about the Mundulea Nature Reserve experience.

Windhoek, Namibia
posts: 260
reviews: 4
6. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

Turnstone are indeed fantastic, and Mundulea is a wonderful experience. They are part of the black rhino custodianship programme and their rhinos are thriving. They also host the pangolin project, people know hardly anything about these very rare animals, so it's vital work. The owner, Bruno Nebe, tries to lead all of the Mundulea hiking trails himself and this won't be a problem as long as you enquire far enough in advance. He is fascinating and a real fountain of knowledge about Namibia.

Alternatively there is the Tok-Tokkie hiking trail in the Namib Desert, this is 2 nights whereas Mundulea is 3. This is a really lovely experience, although can get a little too cold in June/ July as you sleep under the stars (with big thick blankets)!

Charlotte ATI Holidays

Los Angeles...
posts: 105
reviews: 4
7. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

We are really interested in the Tok-Tokkie hiking trail and are hoping to include it in our itinerary as hiking is something that we really enjoy.

Stanley, Falkland...
posts: 29,068
reviews: 57
8. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

Tok-Tokkie is brilliant. To fall asleep watching shooting stars is an unrepeatable experience..

Isle of Man, United...
posts: 32,897
reviews: 222
9. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

Good to see old friends still getting about the world.

Another vote for the worthy Gemma and Grootberg too.

Los Angeles...
posts: 105
reviews: 4
10. Re: Help with Itinerary-July 2013

Mfuwe-I was hoping you would respond. I saw your name on this forum and was so excited. We have been traveling alot. After Uganda we have been to Tanzania, Madagascar and we just got back from Zimbabwe. We are looking forward to Namibia as it really sounds very different than anything that we have done. We are looking forward to working with Discover Namibia and coming up with the right itinerary. I would love any feedback that you might have.

I was thinking that maybe we could fly down to Soussuslei and then go to Tok Tokkie and do the two night trip and then fly back to Windhoek and get the car and head for Damaraland and head on to Etosha and end at the Waterburg Plateau. After Zimbabwe we have been very spoiled with walking and I know that we cannot in Etosha but we really would like opportunities to walk on this trip, even if we do not see a lot of animals. I know a lot of people really like Grootberg but if we do not want to go rhino tracking would you still recommend staying there or could we just stay in one lodge for three nights perhaps in the Damaraland. We were so fortunate in Zimbabwe to see track rhinos and saw them very close up. Also we are going to India in February and will be seeing Rhinos as well so I am thinking that maybe the cost of the rhino tracking in Grootberg could be better spent somewhere else on the trip. Would love suggestions on lodges in Etosha. I have read about the lodges inside the park but I am not sure if we would prefer a quieter experience.