SLOW SAFARI: NAMIBIA WILD & LAND, 1-20 JULY, 2022

SLOW SAFARI: NAMIBIA WILD & LAND
1-20 JULY, 2022

with Jeremy Woodhouse

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Dry Camelthorn Trees at Dead Vlei, Namibia

Trip Summary

This is a very different trip from what ANYONE is currently offering. We will enjoy six days of landscape photography in two very desirable locations, followed by eleven days of wildlife photography in one of my favorite places in the world, Etosha National Park—almost like having two trips in one—and with travel times in between destinations, the total, FULLY INCLUSIVE tour, will last 19 days.

We will be in the desert during the stage of the new moon so will have very dark skies for you to enjoy night time photography, both at the Quiver Tree Forest and at the dunes of Sossusvlei.

What is a Slow Safari?
Gone is the hectic wildlife photography safari where you are constantly moving from camp to camp every 2-3 days. Gone is the constant repacking, driving, flying to get to the next destination, only to have to move again to make way for the next group of travellers.

Our "Slow Safaris", to hand-picked destinations in Africa, will allow you to stay in one camp for anywhere up to 10 nights (or more), allowing you to immerse yourself in one place — to get to know the movement of the animals and the rhythm of the bush — to have the luxury of, let's say, being able to follow the progress of a young lion cub as it gets to know ITS environment.

The "Slow Safari" is comfortable — you will have your own space where you can unpack and spread out. You can afford to take the day off…if you want to. Our vehicles are spacious with plenty of room for cameras. The use of time is ours to plan the way WE want it.

History of Namibia
The history of this land can be found carved into rock paintings found to the south and in Twyfelfontein, some dating back to 26,000 B.C. A long lineage of various groups including San Bushmen, Bantu herdsmen and finally the Himba, Herero and Nama tribes among others have been making this rugged land home for thousands of years.

But, as Namibia has one of the world's most barren and inhospitable coastlines, it wasnt until the middle of the nineteenth century that explorers, ivory hunters, prospectors and missionaries began to journey into its interior. Beyond these visitors, Namibia was largely spared the attentions of European powers until the end of the 19th century when it was colonized by Germany.

The colonization period was marred by many conflicts and rebellions by the pre-colonial Namibia population until WWI when it abruptly ended upon Germany's surrender to the South African expeditionary army. In effect, this transition only traded one colonial experience for another.

In 1966 the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) launched the war for liberation for the area soon-named Namibia. The struggle for independence intensified and continued until South Africa agreed in 1988 to end its Apartheid administration. After democratic elections were held in 1989, Namibia became an independent state on March 21, 1990.

To date, Namibia boasts a proud record of uninterrupted peace and stability for all to enjoy.

Conservation
Conservation is a cornerstone of the Namibian experience. Namibia was the first African country to incorporate protection of the environment into its constitution, and the government has reinforced this by giving its communities the opportunity and rights to manage their wildlife through communal conservancies.

Today, over 43% of Namibia's surface area is under conservation management. This includes national parks and reserves, communal and commercial conservancies, community forests, and private nature reserves.

After Independence in 1990, visionary conservationists in the field and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism enacted policy changes that allowed rural communities to benefit from wildlife by forming conservancies. In 1998, the first four conservancies were registered.

Today, more than 70 registered conservancies embrace one in four rural Namibians. A sense of ownership over wildlife and other resources is encouraging people to use their resources sustainably. Wildlife is now embraced as a complimentary land use method to agriculture and livestock herding.

People are living with wildlife, including predators and large mammals, and are managing their natural resources wisely. They are also reaping the benefits. In 2009, community-based natural resource management generated over N$ 42 million in income to rural Namibians. All the while, the program is facilitating a remarkable recovery of wildlife.

​Namibia now boasts the largest free-roaming population of black rhinos and cheetahs in the world and is the only country with an expanding population of free-roaming lions. Namibia's elephant population more than doubled between 1995 and 2008 from 7,500 to over 16,000 individuals. This remarkable turnaround has led some to call Namibia's conservation efforts the greatest African wildlife recovery story over told.

Our Vehicles

  • 2 x 7 seater Safari Cruiser Explorers
  • Gas Lift Pop-Up Roof
  • Super Delux Reclining Seats
  • Guaranteed Window Seat
  • Aircon
  • Fridge
  • Electrical Charging points
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Daily Itinerary

Day 1, July 1 – ​Arrive Windhoek. O/N Windhoek
Day 2, July 2 – ​Drive to Keetmanshoop O/N Quiver Tree Forest Rest Camp (498km)
Day 3, July 3 – ​Keetmanshoop O/N
Day 4, July 4 – ​Drive to Sesriem O/N Sossus Dune Lodge (462km)
Day 5, July 5 – ​Sossusvlei O/N Sossus Dune Lodge
Day 6, July 6 – ​Sossusvlei O/N Sossus Dune Lodge
Day 7, July 7 – ​Drive to Erindi O/N Erindi (408km)
Day 8, July 8 – ​Drive to Okakuejo O/N Okakuejo Resort (389km)
Day 9, July 9 – ​Okakuejo O/N
Day 10, July 10 – ​Okakuejo O/N
Day 11, July 11 – ​Okakuejo O/N
Day 12, July 12 – ​Drive to Halali O/N Halali Resort (70km)
Day 13, July 13 – ​Halali O/N
Day 14, July 14 – ​Halali O/N
Day 15, July 15 – ​Halali O/N
Day 16, July 16 – ​Drive to Namutoni O/N Namutoni Resort (70km)
Day 17, July 17 – ​Namutoni O/N
Day 18, July 18 – Namutoni O/N
Day 19, July 19 – Drive to Windhoek (583km)
Day 20, July 20 – Transfer to the airport


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Camelthorn Tree against Namibia Dune

Itinerary 


Pre-tour: Thu, 30 June, 2022 – Arrival in Africa
This tour starts and ends in Windhoek, Namibia. The best way to reach Windhoek is to book your flight to Africa through Johannesburg. We will meet at OR Tambo Intl Airport on the morning of 17 June where we will take the following flight to Windhoek:
BA6275 operated by Comair — JNB 12:00PM - WDH 13:00PM

​If you need help with your flights, please feel free to contact Nimisha Desai

Obviously, if you are going to spend extra time in Namibia before or after the trip, this will not be relevant. Please let us know as soon as you have flight info so that we can arrange the necessary transfers to our guest house in Windhoek

You may instead choose to fly via Germany direct to Windhoek. There is a direct flight from Frankfurt to Windhoek on Air Namibia which leaves Frankfurt on 16 June at 8:10PM and arrives Windhoek at 06:30AM 17 June.

Early Arrival Hotel
A good option for a hotel if you arriving early is the Protea Hotel by Marriott Transit O.R. Tambo Airport
Steps away from bars, restaurants and duty-free shops, Protea Hotel by Marriott O R Tambo Airport Transit is a transit hotel located inside OR Tambo Airport international transfers area. Guests proceeding to immigration and baggage clearance will not be permitted entry back into the transit area and check-in at the hotel.​

Day 1: Fri, 1 July, 2022 – Arrival Windhoek
Upon arrival at Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek and after clearing customs and immigration, you will be met by your guide who will transfer you to your hotel where you will stay overnight

Windhoek
Windhoek, Namibia's capital city, is nestled amongst rolling hills, bounded by the Eros Mountains in the east, the Auas Mountains to the south and the Khomas Hochland in the west. It is a meeting place between Africa and Europe, the modern and the old. In the capital's main street, well-preserved German colonial buildings are in sharp contrast with modern architectural styles, while Herero women in their traditional Victorian dresses mingle with executives dressed in the latest fashions. Centrally located within Namibia, Windhoek is an excellent starting point for an adventurous holiday for many visitors to the country and an ideal base from where to explore the rest of the country.

O/N Avani Hotel Windhoek B/D
Stay in the heart of Namibia’s capital city with access to all the action, culture and wildlife; perfect for business or pleasure.

Day 2 & 3: Sat, 2 July - Sun, 3 July, 2022 – Windhoek - Keetmanshoop
Today we drive south to Keetmanshoop where we will spend the next 2 nights at the Quiver Tree Forest Rest Camp.

Quiver Tree Forest
A popular subject for photographers, the Quiver Tree Forest harbours around 300 Quiver Trees (Aloe dichotoma), also referred to by its Afrikaans name Kokerboom. Actually an aloe plant rather than a tree, these attractive succulents reach skywards with graphically forked branches, splitting into pairs, hence the name ‘dichotoma’. The Quiver Tree is one of the most interesting and characteristic plants of Namibia’s very hot and dry southern regions. The name Quiver Tree refers to the traditional use of the branches by Bushmen and Hottentot tribes to make quivers for their arrows. On average the trees are about 3 m to 5 m tall (reaching up to 9 m in height) and can be up to one meter in diameter at ground level. The larger trees in the forest are around 200 to 300 years old. They produce bright yellow flowers during the winter months (June and July) and their trunks are smooth and shiny with light creamy to silvery-grey bark which peels and forms intricate rectangular and diamond-shaped patterns as the tree matures. The Quiver Tree mostly occurs in black rock formations (dolerite), needed to anchor the plants which have a shallow spread root system.

O/N Quiver Tree Forest Rest Camp (B,L,D)
Visit the wonder of nature and relax at the close-by rest camp. Attend the cheetah feeding in the afternoon. The camp consists of eight rooms with private shower, toilets and air-conditioning and seven fully equipped self-catering bungalows.

Day 4, 5, 6: Mon, 4 July - Wed, 6 July, 2022 – Keetmanshoop | Sesriem
We have three sunrises and three sunsets and all the time in between to explore the magic of the dunes around Sesriem. Staying within the park boundaries gives us the opportunity to access the famed Deadvlei before sunrise (It is a 70km drive followed by a 30 min walk). If you have the energy, you may want to attempt climbing "Big Daddy", a giant dune alongside Dead Vlei, from which you will have expansive views of the dunescape in all directions.

Sossus Dune Lodge
Built in an environmentally sensitive manner, primarily from wood, canvas and thatch, in an attractive 'afro-village style, Sossus Dune Lodge offers guests an evocative and life changing experience. Situated within the park, guests benefit from being able to reach Sossusvlei before sunrise, and stay until after sunset, and on their return after an exhilarating day, relax in the tranquility and splendor of the Namib Desert, under the spectacular African sky.

O/N Sossus Dune Lodge (B,L,D)
Sossus Dune Lodge offers the best beds in the desert.

Day 7: Thu, 7 July, 2022 – Sesriem | Erindi
After a sunrise shoot and breakfast we will begin the journey to Namibia's prime wildlife destination, Etosha National Park. To break up the journey, we will stay at Erindi Private Game Reserve.

O/N Erindi Private Game Reserve (B,L,D)
Erindi Private Game Reserve is a protected reserve in central Namibia. Erindi, meaning “place of water”, is a sustainable natural wonderland. We are custodians to the most prolific amount of endemic species and multiple conservation projects. With 70,719 hectares of pristine wilderness under our care, we have undertaken an immense task to pursue conservation initiatives in the name of eco-friendly tourism, whilst empowering our local communities. Today, Erindi is an idyllic retreat boasting two camps, a rich cultural heritage, knowledgeable guides and unmatched hospitality – ensuring visitors have the kind of safari that lives in memory for a lifetime.

Day 8 - 11: Fri, 8 July - Mon, 11 July, 2022 – Erindi | Okaukuejo Rest Camp
Famous for its night time floodlit waterhole Okaukuejo Rest Camp is also the administrative centre of Etosha. The rest camp was formerly a military outpost founded in 1901 and its characteristic stone tower was added in 1963. Located in the south of Etosha National Park, Okaukuejo is only 17 km from Anderson Gate. Okaukuejo offers a wide range of accommodation as well as all the necessities such as a petrol station and a shop. The restaurant and bar offer refreshments and delicious meals, while the swimming pool offers relief on hot days. The waterhole is a hub of animal activity starting in the early hours of the morning, especially during winter when a wide diversity of game congregate in close proximity to the camp to quench their thirst.

After sunset floodlights illuminate the waterhole. This is the best time and place to see the endangered black rhino which can often be seen drinking alongside lion and elephant. The number and interaction of the animals is one of the major drawcard of Okaukuejo Rest Camp in Namibia.

Etosha National Park
Etosha National Park, translated as the ‘Place of Mirages’, Land of Dry Water’ or the ‘Great White Place’, covers 22,270 km², of which over 5,000 km² is made up of saline depressions or ‘pans’. The largest of these pans, the Etosha Pan, can be classified as a saline desert in its own right. The Etosha Pan lies in the Owambo Basin, on the north-western edge of the Namibian Kalahari Desert. Until three million years ago it formed part of a huge, shallow lake that was reduced to a complex of salt pans when the major river that fed it, the Kunene, changed course and began to flow to the Atlantic instead. If the lake existed today, it would be the third largest in the world. Etosha Pan is the largest of the pans at 4,760 km² in extent. It is nowadays filled with water only when sufficient rain falls to the north in Angola, inducing floods to flow southward along the Cuvelai drainage system. The Park consists of grassland, woodland and savannah. Game-viewing centers around the numerous springs and waterholes where several different species can often be seen at one time. The Park boasts some 114 mammal and over 340 bird species. Wildlife that one might see includes elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, kudu, gemsbok (oryx), zebra, rhino, cheetah, leopard, hyena, honey badger and warthog, as well as the endemic black faced impala.

O/N Okaukuejo Rest Camp (B,L,D)
The Waterhole Chalets perfectly situated overlooking the popular waterhole allowing guests to view game from their patio or balcony. These units are en-suite and are available as double rooms or premier chalets with two bedrooms.

Day 12 - 15: Tues, 12 July - Fri, 15 July, 2022 – Okaukuejo Rest Camp | Halali Camp
In an otherwise flat area Halali Camp is perched between a few hills and koppies. Thicker vegetation makes this popular with leopard, rhino and elephant. Situated halfway between Namutoni and Okaukuejo the Halali Rest Camp centrally located in close proximity to some of the most popular waterholes of the Etosha National Park. A short walk will take you to the camp’s floodlit waterhole with excellent day and night game viewing.

O/N Halali Camp (B,L,D)
The Bush Chalets have two beds and include and outdoor barbecue area. All chalets have en-suite bathrooms

Day 16 - 18: Sat, 16 July - Mon, 18 July, 2022– Namutoni Rest Camp
Built into an old German Fort Namutoni Camp has a unique atmosphere. Within the fort you will find ample facilities and a variety of accommodation. From the walls of the fort you can enjoy an elevated view of the King Nehale Waterhole allowing for great game viewing without leaving the camp. The walls of the fort are also and excellent spot for sundowners. There is hardly a better way to end a day in the bush and Namibia than to marvel at the colours of the setting sun.

The Camp is situated in the eastern part of Etosha National Park and is accessible via the Von Lindequist Gate. Its close proximity to Fisher’s Pan makes Namutoni a hotspot for birders. Two restaurants, a craft shop, a pool and a viewing deck overlooking King Nehale Waterhole make the fort a great place to relax at lunchtime or after evening game drives. The African Fusion restaurant will introduce you to local flavours, while The Steakhouse offers popular western dishes. A superette, curio shop and petrol station allow you to stock up on everything that you need.

O/N Namutoni Rest Camp (B,L,D)
The chalets are spacious and comfortable with two beds and an en-suite bathroom. This option offers the most privacy and is equipped with a patio and an outdoor shower. Wooden walkways connect the chalets to the restaurant and bar area.

Day 19: Tue, 19 July – Namutoni Rest Camp | Windhoek
After our wildlife-filled adventure in Etosha National Park, the final day will be spent driving back to Windhoek in preparation for your return home.

O/N Avani Hotel Windhoek B/D
Stay in the heart of Namibia’s capital city with access to all the action, culture and wildlife; perfect for business or pleasure.

Day 20: Wed, 20 July, 2022 – Transfer to the Airport
You will be collected from the Guesthouse and transferred to the Hosea Kutako International Airport. ​​

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Quiver Trees at the Devil's Playground near Keetmanshoop


Arrival, Departure & Visa

​Arrival & Meeting Place 

​Departure 

Visa

Weather 

Namibia can be visited throughout the year. The climate is generally dry and pleasant. Namibia only receives a fraction of the rain experienced by countries further east. Between December and March, some days will be humid and rain may follow, often in localized, afternoon thunderstorms. Wildlife viewing in all parks, but especially in Etosha, is best in the dry season from June to October. In the Wet season, animals move away from the waterholes and scatter around the park.

Language

English is the official language, but Namibia's relatively small population is extraordinarily diverse in language and culture. More than 11 languages are indigenous to Namibia but with its cosmopolitan society, languages from around the world are spoken in Namibia. People commonly speak two or three languages and more than 49% of the population speaks Oshiwambo. Due to the country's colonial history Afrikaans, the language of the previous South African occupiers is still widely spoken and functions as the lingua franca in Namibia. Namibia has two small groups of nomadic groups; the Khoisan speaking people, known as the Bushmen or San and the Ovahimba people, figuratively known as the red people.

​Currency

The Namibian Dollar is the official currency and is fixed to and equals the South African Rand. Both these currencies can be used freely in Namibia, but the Namibian Dollar is not legal tender in South Africa. Traveler's checks and credit cards are also accepted throughout the country, though obviously not in every case. It's best to travel with multiple payment options just in case.

Currency Exchange: Foreign currency can be exchanged during normal banking hours at any of the commercial banks, or at bureau de change offices. Credit/Debit Card: American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services, which may be available. 

Currency Restrictions: The import and export of local currency is limited to NAD 50,000. The import of foreign currency by visitors is unlimited, provided it is declared upon arrival. Export of foreign currency is unlimited up to the amount imported and declared as long as the departure is within 12 months. No limits exist for travel between Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland as these countries are members of the same common monetary area.

Banking Hours: Mon-Fri 09:00-15:30, Sat 09:00-11:00.

Tax and Customs: General Sales Tax (GST) in Namibia is 15% on goods and services. Bona fide tourists to Namibia are exempt from paying sales duty or excise duty on luxury items. Visitors may reclaim VAT at Hosea Kutako International Airport, Eros Airport and Walvis Bay Airport.

Fast Facts

Area: Namibia covers 824,292 sq km (318,259 sq mi)

Location: Situated on the southwestern coast of Africa, Namibia borders Angola and Zambia in the north, South Africa in the south and Botswana in the east.

Population: Slightly more than 2.3 million.

Capital City: Windhoek

Official name: Republic of Namibia

Date of Independence: 21 March 1990

System of Government: Multi-party Democracy

Head of State: President Dr Hage Geingob since 2015.

Prime Minister: Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila since 2015.

Language: English, German, Afrikaans, Oshiwambo, Rukwangari, Silozi, Otjiherero, Damara, Nama, Khisan and Setswana

Literacy: The current literacy rate in Namibia is about 83%, one of the highest in Africa.

Religion: Freedom of religion was adopted through Namibia's Bill of Fundamental Rights. About 90% of the population is Christian.

Currency: The Namibia Dollar (N$); the Namibia Dollar and South African Rand are the only legal tender in Namibia and can be used freely to purchase goods and services.

Time Zones: Summer time: GMT + 2 hours from the 1st Sunday in September to the 1st Sunday in April. Winter time: GMT + 1 hour from the 1st Sunday in April to the 1st Sunday in September.

Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50hz. Outlets are of the round three-pin type.

2 SPOTS OPEN

TOUR COST: $11,900
DEPOSIT: $2,000
Second Deposit: $2,000 (due by 19 Nov, 2021)


Total Balance due: $7,900 (by 1 APR, 2022)


Single Supplement: $1,200 

SINGLE: $650

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Tour Price Includes

  • Ground Transportation and unlimited game viewing with local guide for 19 days
  • All meals
  • Refreshments on vehicle, Local drinks at camps (house wine, Namibian beer, soft drinks, mineral water, juices, gin & tonic etc.)
  • Tour accommodation, as listed
  • National Parks entry fees

Tour Price Excludes

  • Arrival/departure flights
  • Optional scenic flights (balloon/helicopter/light aircraft)
  • Travel insurance
  • Premium Alcohol
  • Pre- and post-tour accommodation
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities
  • Laundry
  • Meals other than specified
  • Excursions other than specified
  • Flights to and from Namibia
  • Personal medical insurance

Paying by check

If you would like to pay your deposit and/or balance with a check, please make the check payable to: Pixelchrome, Inc and mail it to:

Nicole Woodhouse
Pixelchrome, Inc, 
605 Rouen Drive, 
McKinney TX 75072

Paying by Wire Transfer

If you would like to pay by Wire Transfer please contact nicole@pixelchrome.com for bank account details.


Equipment Checklist

  • Bring you own laptop computer and storage media
  • Camera bodie(s)
  • Lenses, 16-35mm, 24-70mm zoom and 70-200mm zoom or similar lenses are very good. A super telephoto zoom up to 400 or 600mm
  • Light bag for easy hiking with camera bodies and accessories
  • Cleaning kit for cameras and lenses
  • Rain/dust covers for cameras and lenses
  • Charger for batteries
  • Spare batteries
  • Spare Memory cards
  • Memory card reader
  • USB key to exchange images

Also good to have

  • Tripod
  • Lens extenders
  • Good quality polarizing filter