Africa Safari -- Namibia 2022

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This will be our 12th Namibian safari and our first return to Kalahari since COVID. What has changed?

We were very happy with our Safari truck rental in 2020 so plan to do the same. We will be picking up our Toyota truck at Safari Car Rental, which is a short distance from the airport, outside Windhoek.

Route of Safari

Day #1=>Depart SFO, on United Airways a 5 hour flight to the east coast. Arriving at Newark Liberty International Airport we have only 90 minutes to catch our red-eye flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

Day #2=>Arrive in Johannesburg in the late afternoon with a 12 hour lay-over. After clearing passport control we will catch a shuttle to a lodge near the airport for a quick dinner and rest. The first shuttle in the morning is 4:30am and we have to be on that shuttle to catch our next flight.

The locations of the lodges we will visit on this trip are shown on the map to the right. Each lodge is represented with a different letters and will be referred to by the following day by day itinerary. One BIG exception is "E" which is the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. The Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park is actually in South Africa and Botwanna, the black border line can be seen going around the "E". The straight vertical line on the map is the Namibian border which is not straight going to the Atlantic Ocean. All of our lodges inside the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park are in and operated by South Africa, thus we will technically only be in the west side of the Kgalagadi park.

Day #3=>Our 3rd and final flight is to Windoek, Namibia. Upon arrival in Windhoek we will be picked up by a representative of Safari Car Rental for the short drive to their location. After the rental check-out we have an appointment at Pathcare. We pre-arranged for COVID tests required to enter South Africa. After the COVID tests and a little shopping we will be heading south on the B1 for our first lodge "Teufelskrallen Tented Lodge", point "A" on map(above). This lodge has rooms located by the main lodge and 6 luxury tents on stilts offer a breathtaking view towards the impressive Kalahari scenery with its red dunes and camel thorn trees.

Day #4=>Our second day in Namibia is a travel day, farther south on the B1 to , Goibib Mountain Lodge, point "B" on our route map(DBB). A tranquil hideaway located in the heart of the Great Karas Mountains in Southern Namibia.

River Manor Lodge River Manor Deck Day #5, #6 and #7=>The 3rd day in Namibia we plan to cross the border into South Africa. There are only a small number of borders opened during COVID times. We plan to use the Nakop border crossing and continue straight into Upington and a favorite lodge of ours the, River Manor Lodge; point "C" on our route map(DBB). This lodge is in the Orange River area home to Orange River Winery. Their wine tasting location is within walking distance of our lodge but too hot, we will drive. For dinner we have the choice of going down to their restaurant or having them server dinner on our private deck. A third option is to prepare our own using their BBQ on our deck of on their floating barge. We plan to spend a couple extra days at this lodge to recover a bit more from jet-leg before heading into the Kalahari.

Kgalagadi Lodge Kgalagadi Room Day #8=>Before leaving Upington we will get supplies(groceries & beverages) for our Kalahari days. Then drive to within 5km of the park to the Kgalagadi Lodge; point "D" on our route map(self-cartering). The kitchen in these units looks like a great place to organize for the next 20 days in the park.

Day #9 thru #27=>The next 20 days will be in the Kalahari referenced as point "E" on our route map. The Kalahari is an exceptionally beautiful living desert, a large semi-arid sandy savannah. Accommodations in the Kalahari are mostly government run(South Africa National Parks) which typically means not fancy. But location is everything and thus these are some of the hardest reservations to get in or entire trip. The Kalahari is the best place in the world to see cheetah and leopard hunting and the big black main lions. Camps in the Kalahari are UNFENCED, thus accommodations are either raised or have some fencing around each unit. During our days in the Kalahari we will utilize a number of lodges which are detailed below.

Mata Mata Deck Mata Mata Livingroom Day #9 & #10=>Our first Kalahari lodge is just inside the Mata-Mata gate. But unfortunately this border crossing is still closed which is why we entered this year through Upington. The Mata-Mata river chalets are very nice(self-carter).

Twee Rivieren Grounds Twee Rivieren Rooms Day #11 & #12=>Our next Kalahari lodge is the largest Kalahari camp located at the southern gate Twee Rivieren Rest Camp(self-carter). Twee Rivieren camp possesses the character and stature of a desert camp to be remembered. This camp is the administrative headquarters of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park as a whole.

Kieliekrankie Deck Kieliekrankie Room Day #13=>The next lodge is our favorite the Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp(self-carter). Kieliekrankie is a self catering wilderness camp on top of red sand dunes, with endless views of the red Kalahari sands. The camp has 5 dune cabins. Each unit has 2 single beds, a bathroom, a kitchen equipped with gas fridge and freezer, solar power for lights, gas for hot water and bbq facilities on a deck.

Nossob Chalet Nossob Chalet Nossob Chalet Day #14 and #15=>Our next lodge is in the Nosob river bed, the Nossob Rest Camp(self-carter). We have never been very successful at animal viewing in the Nossob river basin but hoping our luck with change this trip. But it really does not matter as the River Chalets are so nice just by themselves.

Kieliekrankie Deck Kieliekrankie Room Day #16 and #17=>Then back to our favorite Kalahari lodge for 2 days, Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp(self-carter).

Urikaruus Camp Urikaruus Deck Day #18 and #19=>Our next lodge is another one of our favorites Urikaruus Wilderness Camp(self-carter). Just like Kieliekrankie it is located in the central Auob river basin area. Besides its location Urikaruus has one of the best water holes in the Kalahari which is exclusive only for Urikaruus guests and the camp is centrally located so very easy to locate animal activity.

Kieliekrankie Deck Kieliekrankie Room Day #20, #21 and #22=>Then back to our favorite again for another 3 days, Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp(self-carter).

Urikaruus Camp Urikaruus Deck Day #23 and #24=>Then back to Urikaruus Wilderness Camp again for another 2 night stay.

Gharagab Inside Unit Gharagab Room Day #25=>Our next lodge for one night is in Nossob river basin, Gharagab Wilderness Camp a favorite if you like to listen to lions roaring in the night. There are only 4 cabins and they are only accessible with a 4x4. The road to this camp is over red sand dune, lots of fun off-road driving, my favorite.

Nossob Chalet Nossob Chalet Nossob Chalet Day #26=>Our next lodge is back to the Nossob Rest Camp(self-carter). We were at this same camp on days 14 & 15.

Twee Rivieren Grounds Twee Rivieren Rooms Day #27=>Our final Kalahari lodge is back to the Twee Rivieren Rest Camp(self-carter). We were at this same camp on days 11 & 12.

River Manor Lodge River Manor Room Day #28, #29 and #30=>After our lengthy Kalahari days it is back to Upington and our favorite River Manor Lodge; point "C" on our route map(DBB). This three day visit is simple a rest before driving back into Namibia.

Savanna Lodge Savanna Room Day #31=>This is a driving day. West, back into Namibia with a one night stop at the Savanna Guest Farm; point "F" on our route map(self-cartering). Savanna Guest Farm is a 22,000 hectare working farm that provides a great stopover and provides a wonderful relaxing environment, surrounded by unspoiled nature.

Day #32, #33 and #34=>Our next lodge is a repeat for us the beautiful Fish River Lodge, point "G" on our route map(DBB). An inviting, sparkling blue pool which attracts the odd Oryx despite there being a waterhole in close proximity is the first sight to catch your eye as you enter the main area of the lodge. The lounge has comfortable leather seating and is next to the bar that leads to a boma area where large fires are lit and barbecues can be enjoyed at night. An upstairs restaurant overlooking the majestic sights serves an alternative area where sumptuous meals are served.

The Fish River Canyon dates back 300 million years. When the Fish River began to etch its way through hard quartzite forming a Canyon 90 kilometers long, 549 meters deep and 28 kilometers wide in some places, making it the world's second largest Canyon. The 45,000 hectare Canyon Nature Park is a natural sanctuary.

Eagles Nest Eagles Nest Day #35, #36 and #37=>Our next lodge is another repeat the Eagle's Nest Chalets, point "H" on route map(BB). This lodge is located just outside Aus in the rocky Aus Mountains. The arid surrounding landscape is known for its unique botanical diversity. Aus serves as an excellent base from which to explore the area and to view the main attraction: the feral horses of the Namib Desert, which run wild and free in the sparsely vegetated plains.

Namtib Desert Lodge Namtib Desert Lodge Day #38=>Our next lodge a new lodge for us is the Namtib Desert Lodge, point "I" on route map(DBB). The Namtib Desert Lodge is a genuine Namibian experience with typical Namibian farmstyle accomodations in the middle of the vast Namib desert. This small lodge has only five bungalows, one family room and two single rooms, and is the ideal place to stay for anybody seeking individuality. Situated in southwestern Namibia at the edge of the world-renowned Namib Desert, the Tiras Mountains provide the perfect backdrop for visitors who venture to this red granite wonderland and immerse themselves in the natural beauty of this region. Namibian landscapes are synonymous with tranquility, serenity and endless open spaces and the magnificent Tiras Mountains encapsulate this quiet charm. Nature lovers flock here for an off-the-beaten-track experience in one of Namibia's most beautiful areas. Visitors can enjoy thrilling 4X4 mountain and dune tours, nature walks, game and bird viewing as well as excursions through quiver tree forests and to ancient rock paintings on granite rocks.

We Kebi Safari Lodge We Kebi Safari Lodge Day #39 and #40=>Our next lodge a new lodge for us is the We Kebi Safari Lodge, point "J" on route map(DBB). We Kebi means invitation. To hold true to the tradition of the San people of the desert, who roamed the plains and mountains surrounding We Kebi for thousands of years. Come and experience the solitude, privacy and tranquility at We Kebi Safari Lodge.

Each of the free standing en-suite luxury chalets has its own pavilion and a 180 degree uninterrupted view of the surrounding landscape. Spanning an area of 172,200 hectares and encompassing four distinct ecosystems, the Namib Rand Reserve is among the largest privately owned game parks in Southern Africa. Founded to conserve the unique environment and wildlife species of the south-western Namib Desert, the park's mix of dunes, mountains, rocky outcrops, sandy flats and gravel plains provides habitats for a diversity of mammals - including hyenas, jackals, foxes, antelopes and various wild cats - as well as a plethora of bird species, reptiles, insects, frogs and flora. Visitors can discover the mysterious 'fairy circles', which dot the landscape and sip on sundowners while watching the sunset over this unspoiled ancient landscape. Having been named Africa's first International Dark Sky Reserve, it is one of the least light-polluted areas in the world.

Day #41=>Our next lodge, back on the B1, was also our first lodge the "Teufelskrallen Tented Lodge", point "A" on map(above). The tents are large and comfortable, tastefully furnished and possess their own bathrooms that can be reached via a wooden boardwalk.

River Crossing Dining River Crossing View Day #42 and #43=>Our last lodge is just outside Windhoek the River Crossing Lodge, point "K" on route map(DBB). The 2 days stay at this lodge will give us enough time to get our COVID tests required for our trip home.

Day #44=>After breakfast and checking out we have a short drive back to "Safari Car Rental" where they will shuttle us to the airport to catch our flight to Capetown, South Africa. In Capetown we will have a few hours to rest before our United red-eye to Newark Liberty International Airport.

Day #45=>We arrive in the early morning and have a few hours layover before boarding our last flight back to SFO. We arrive in SF later this day ending our longest safari ever. Stay tune....more to come!!!