Jo Beth & Mark do Namibia

Our recent trip to Namibia, thanks to your help, was absolutely delightful.  The country itself is a kaleidoscope of colors and never ending changing topographies. The itinerary you recommended, generally three nights in each lodge, gave us ample time to visit differing environments and we were constantly amazed at the variety. 

First stop, Omaanda with a gracious room and time to unwind from our flight. 

Our guide, Usko, from Ultimate Safaris met us there and he was perfection! Throughout our 2 1/2 weeks, he constantly amazed us with his knowledge, ability to find animals, wit, charm and never-ending attention to detail.  He made us feel special and took care to make sure we always felt safe, secure and happy.

Our two lodges near Etosha, Onguma and Ongava, both had great watering holes and we enjoyed watching the animals visiting the sites while we dined. Etosha, itself, was teeming with life and we had the thrilling opportunity of watching a cheetah feast on a springbok for over a half an hour. That was something we will remember for a lifetime.  I think my husband shot more photos that day than any time in his life! 

Onguma’s Onkolo hide offered us a new perspective of seeing animals close up and I think we never imagined we’d see so much in such a short amount of time.  Kirsten also booked us on The Dream Cruiser at Onguma. The Cruiser is a repurposed landcruiser with every amenity needed for the night. Dinner was delivered to us in a remote area by a waterhole in the middle of paradise, we were provided with a walkie talkie, and then left to enjoy dinner and  the wonders of the overhead stars in a canopied bed atop the cruiser.  

Ongava, tented camp offered us a different perspective again and we do love staying in a tented lodge. Their night drives, after dinner were unique. They offered us the opportunity of seeing both black and white rhinos.  And a pride of lions, at the golden hour, created some spectacular photos. Unbelievable!

Every stop on our trip offered equally memorable moments.  The golden glow on the granite boulders in Damaraland was spectacular, as was Onduli lodge nestled into the rocks with the ability to roll out our bed at night offering our first night time star gazing.  Never in my life did I think I would hear myself say, today I’m going rhino tracking, but I did and elephant tracking as well. We also enjoyed seeing the petroglyphs.  Namibia constantly amazed us.

Then, at your suggestion, we headed to Swakopmund, a cosmopolitan beach town, which we thought could easily have been found on any US coastline. The proximity to the coast gave us the opportunity of kayaking with an enormous herd of seals, both on land and in the water with their pups, thrill riding on the dunes at Sandwich Harbor and a champagne picnic with oysters on the beach by the Shawnee ship wreck, which only this concession was allowed to visit.  Sound good? Beyond good!

Last stop, the NamibRand Desert Reserve, with the tallest red, sand dunes in the world (Quartz that has been oxidized over the centuries causing it to turn red! I should have paid closer attention to my general science classes.) Big Daddy, the biggest dune of all was our challenge and although we only made it 1/2 way in the tortuous heat, we felt accomplished. The Deadvlei, a white pan, at the bottom is home to 900 to 1000 year old dead, gnarled, skeletal acacia trees and they are the perfect backdrop for our new refrigerator pictures. Kwessi Dunes, in the dark zone, our lodge for 4 nights at this location, provided us with an open-air bed room, to sleep under the stars. We went quad-biking and ballooning, and although there was not much wind, it was fun being suspended over the dunes as the sunrise provided sensational shadows and pictures beneath us. All in all it was a perfect ending for our trip. Thanks for the non-stop fun.  We’re exhausted and ready for a vacation.

Thank you Kirsten.  Another fabulous trip and of course, an Amazing Adventure.