When: September 30 – October, 20, 2018
Group Size: This Unique Trip Will be Limited to 8 travelers plus group lead (4 spaces remaining)
Cost of Trip: $8,600 per person based on double occupancy
Length of Trip: 21 Nights
Back in 2005, our good friend, Paul Salvado, told a rookie safari wanna be that two of the greatest wildlife destinations in Africa were the Chobe waterfront and Etosha National Park. This was on the night before I was to go to Chobe and that park truly proved to be everything Paul promised. Once home, I had to look on the map to find Etosha. I learned it was in Namibia and far, far away from any cities. I also knew nothing about Namibia and that I would need to learn a lot more about Africa before I traveled there.
Fast forward a dozen years and now, I can say I have a good understanding of Namibia’s potential. Yes, Namibia has amazing wildlife sightings and the potential for photography with stark, clean backgrounds, but Namibia is so much more! Namibia’s indigenous people (such as the San bushmen, Himba and Herero), astonishing wildlife and spectacular landscapes, make for a dream safari destination.”
Namibia is visually spectacular. It is a land of contrasts, extremes and superlatives. Wedged between the Kalahari Desert to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west, it gets less rain than any other country in sub-Saharan Africa. It has two spectacular deserts – the Namib and the Kalahari – each with distinctive wildlife and scenery. The Namib Desert is one of the world’s oldest with powerful offshore winds sculpting some of the world’s highest sand dunes.
Water – or the absence of it – defines life in Namibia for both man and wildlife. Where there is water, there is life. The interior is hot and arid while the coast is cool and moist, the product of the cold Atlantic colliding with Africa’s warm and dry southern tip. With approximately 2.5 million people, the country is sparsely populated and for much of our travels, one often feels that they have the country all to themselves.
- Etosha – As we noted at the start of this summary, Namibia’s Etosha National Park has some of the best game viewing on the planet. As also noted, water defines life in Namibia and the waterholes of Namibia teams with wildlife throughout the day as animals come to parch their thirst in this arid land. We will spend 8 days within the reserve staying in several lodges to observe different terrain and subsequent changes in wildlife mix. During this time, we will see many species. Among these will be black rhinoceros, zebra (both Hartmann mountain zebra and plains zebra species), springbok, wildebeest, oryx, jackals, lions, black-faced impala, springbok as well as the towering, dusty frames of its majestic elephants. Their skin, white from the salty dust of the pans, has earned them the affectionate name, the ‘white ghosts of Etosha’. Hopefully we will also see cheetah and leopard; however, these sightings are a bit rarer.
- Erindi – The ultimate bush luxury in an environment geared up for relaxed game viewing. Erindi comprises of 70,719 ha of pristine wilderness, and presents an amazing array of diverse landscapes – from golden savannah to dense bush with mountains, natural waterholes, grasslands and pans. While at Erindi, we will stay at the Old Traders Lodge. The Lodge is the perfect base for your forays into the exhilarating bush. You will be able to spot various game species while walking through the Camp, on the deck, or from your suite patio. In our scouting trip, while viewing from our suite patio, we were able to spot hyena, jackal, rhino, crocodile, elephant and giraffe. Though we have some exciting game drives planned, you literally do not need to leave your room to have spectacular wildlife sightings at Erindi. The spacious suites have all the charm, comfort and conveniences you’d expect of a top-flight resort.
- Hoanib Riverbed – A highlight of the trip will be the off road trek up the dry Hoanib River in search of desert elephants, giraffe, oryx, baboons and maybe even the rare and endangered desert lions of the region. During this drive the vistas of rugged mountains contrasted by expanses of sand will be eye candy you will want to photograph. This remote opportunity is something you will never forget.
Indigenous Cultures of Namibia’s People
There are few remaining “indigenous cultures” still living in some of the most isolated regions of the world. The members of these tribes, who have maintained traditions long left behind by the rest of the world, provide a wealth of information for anthropologists seeking to understand the way cultures have developed over the centuries. Namibia is home to two of those ancient groups. During this trip, we plan to visit the indigenous peoples found in Namibia:
- San Bushmen -Traditionally the San were nomadic, following food and water sources rather than farming or keeping livestock. The women gathered edible plants, while the men hunted. When it comes to survival, expert knowledge of their environment is critical and the San are experts in this bush desert. The elders are the libraries of the community, they hold the experience and knowledge which is passed down from one generation to the next. During our safari in Erindi Game Reserve, we will utilize our trackers on game drives will be San bushmen and we will use their special hunting skills to spot wildlife. We will also have the chance to visit their settlement and learn some of the ancient methods of these people.
- The Himba – Descendants of the ancient Herero people, the Himba are a celebrated indigenous people who cling to their traditions. The Himba women are beautiful and noted for their intricate hairstyles and traditional jewelry made from iron or shell. The tribe wear few clothes apart from a loin cloth or goat skinned mini-skirt. A characteristic feature of the Himba is the red complexion of their skin, obtained by applying ochre as a natural suntan lotion. Himba homesteads vary in style depending on local materials, but are often are cone-shaped structures made from palm leaves, mud and cattle dung. A semi-nomadic people, they are both proud and generous in offering visitors a glimpse into their traditional way of life. During our visit to the Himba, we will travel with a local anthropologist who has lived among these settlements for years. Through her, we will be given the opportunity to see and photograph everyday life among these people.
Think awe inspiring landscapes. Think remote indigenous tribes. Think wildlife. Namibia delivers on all fronts, big time! In October, 2016, we took a scouting trip to find the right contacts (in the industry, we refer to these folks as ‘fixers’) and quality intermediate stops to make the trip more enjoyable. We succeeded. Take advantage of our exploring by joining us on this unique trip.