Bob and Jacqueline’s trip to Namibia was nothing short of extraordinary. Following previous trips to Tanzania and Madagascar, the bar was set extremely high, but both say that Namibia in particular, far exceeded all expectations. After speaking to the happy couple, sifting through their journal excerpts along with their incredible photos, here are some of their key highlights from their unforgettable safari.
After landing at Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport, a five-hour scenic route through the Khomas-Hochland highlands lay ahead. Jacqueline and Bob were greeted by a naturalist guide who commentated throughout their car ride and organised a picnic lunch pit-stop along the way.
After a long, yet beautiful drive to Sossusvlei, they arrived at Little Kulala Lodge, their home for the next three nights and four days. “The rooms were huge with floor to ceiling windows designed to spoil you with the incredible views that flooded in. They even made a bed on the rooftop for us to sleep under the stars. Little Kulala Lodge was truly our little oasis in the big desert”.
Sossusvlei is populated with some of the world’s highest sand dunes. You can spend days here exploring the desert either by foot or on a quad bike. “Somehow dead branches make for great scenery! There’s something eerie yet beautifully tranquil about being somewhere so quiet and still. Going up and down the dunes were a struggle, but the view from the top paved way for some of the most stunning landscapes”.
The next morning, Bob and Jacqueline set out bright and early in high spirits for wildlife sightings. So far, they had already come across an onyx, a White Lady spider, a baby jackal, and now, their first ostrich sighting! “Ostriches are quite difficult to photograph, especially when they are far away. Their heads are so small and apparently their brains are the size of a pea! Pretty miraculous that such a small brain can power such a big body”.
Their last night in Sossusvlei came to an end with Jacqueline and Bob lying underneath a night sky, blanketed with a million shining stars. “I thought Tanzania and Madagascar had amazing stars, but Namibia is really something else. I have never seen anything like it; it was magical and mesmerizing”.
After a series of short domestic flights, Bob and Jacqueline arrived to Hoanib Skeleton Coast Wilderness Camp. Placed in the broad valley of the Kaokoveld Desert, the camp offers an unforgettable getaway, filled with desert-adapted wildlife. They explored Hoanib Riverbed and sighted wildlife including elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes and hyenas. The picture of two elephants affectionately fondling on the left is one of Jacqueline’s favourite shots: “Being able to witness tender moments in the silent wild is truly special”.
Driving down Skeleton Coast, Bob and Jacqueline got caught up in a sandstorm, but managed to reach their destination and captured some dynamic photos of a seal colony. “The seal colony really stank. After Bob returned from taking a close-up picture, he smelled like a seal too”!
On their fourth day in Hoanib, Bob and Jacqueline couldn’t help but wonder if they were ever going to see any wildlife predators. As luck would have it, that same morning, they found a desert cheetah and her cub! Depicted in the photo on the left, this baby was throwing a tantrum, calling for his mother to follow him”.
After Hoanib, Bob and Jacqueline ventured to Desert Rhino Camp. They went rhino tracking with Save The Rhino Trust and sighted this beautiful girl named Tuta, frolicking in the grass during sunset hour. “They say it’s truly the last black rhino population, and SRT (Save The Rhino Trust) works hard to protect them. The viewing rules are strict. At a distance of 100 metres, we could spend 5 minutes observing the rhino, at 200 metres, we could spend 20 minutes and at 300 metres, we were allotted 30 minutes”.
For their last and final leg of the trip, Bob and Jacqueline headed to Etosha National Park. “The Park had wonderful terrain and scenery, but it was a lot less wild and consisted of mainly driving to waterholes to see different sorts of animals lurking and lingering in their own element. This is one of my favourite shots of a jackal. The way the light hits paired with its authenticity; it really was a ‘Kodak Moment’ for me.”
“Looking back, although each destination has a different impact on us and creates unique memories, I think we both can agree that Namibia will always hold a special place in our hearts. From the people, the wildlife, the service and the landscape, it was such a joy from start to finish”.
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