Africa Safari -- Namibia 2023

This will be our 13th Namibian safari.

Our Safari truck rental in 2022 was fabulous, only 1500km when our rental started. Obviously we will be a repeat with Safari Car Rental, which is a short distance from the airport on the B6, before 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 a 90 minutes layover before catching 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 by the following day by day itinerary. One BIG exception is "H" 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 "H". The straight vertical line on the map is the Namibian border which then goes west 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 and a little shopping we will be heading north on the B1 for our first lodge Immanuel Wilderness Lodge, point "A" on map(above). We are returning to Immanuel Wilderness Lodge for first time since 2014. We enjoyed our stay in 2014 but it was never convenient to repeat until this trip.

Erongo Lodge Erongo Scenary Day #4 and #5=>Our next lodge in the Erongo Mountains is a repeat from our 2020 trip Ai Aiba - The Rock Painting Lodge, point "B" on our route map. This lodge is set afoot massive granite rock boulders, overlooking the magically beautiful Erongo mountain range. The panoramic view from the restaurant and bar is amazing. The crystal clear pool invites you to refresh and relax. Here you can enjoy the tranquility and purity of Africa. Which definately qualifies for an R&R lodge.

Desert Breeze Lodge Desert Breeze Room Day #6 and #7=>After leaving the Erongo region we head west to the seaside city of Swakopmund where we are staying in a favorite lodge the Desert Breeze Lodge; point "C" on our route map. This lodge is a very short drive from city center and seaside dinning. The Desert Breeze bungalows overlook the oldest desert in the world. It is surrounded by colourful and very unique architecture contrasting but yet fitting in with the desert landscape.

Agama Roof Bed Agama Pool Day #8 and #9=>After Swakopmund we head east away from the cold Atlantic air to a new lodge for us the Agama Lodge; point "D" on our route map. Agama chalets are air-conditioned and each has a deck with chairs for viewing the Namib Naukluft Mountains. Each unit also has a sky bed located on the roof. The sky bed provides guests with an opportunity to sleep under the Namib Desert night sky with spectacular views of the milky way galaxy as you doze off and enjoy a pleasant night's rest.

We Kebi Safari Lodge We Kebi Safari Lodge Day #10 and #11=>Our next lodge is a repeat from our 2022 trip the We Kebi Safari Lodge, point "E" on route map(DBB). 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.

Quiver Inn Quiver Inn Room Day #12=>After leaving the mountainous We-Kebi area we head to Mariental to pickup our meat for our self-cartering days. Then head south on the B1 to Keetmanshoop and a new lodge for us the Quiver Inn; point "F" on our route map. This is only a one night stop as we are on our way to Upington, SA to get the rest of our supplies for our park days.

River Manor Lodge River Manor Deck Day #13, #14 and #15=>Our next lodge is a favorite we have used on many trips the, River Manor Lodge; point "G" on our route map. This lodge is in the Orange River area home to Orange River Winery (renamed the Hedgehog Winery). For dinner at this lodge 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 the lawn just outside our room. Another option is to drive the short distance to the Kalahari Mall and get take-out. We plan to spend a couple extra days at this lodge to have time to get all the supplies we will need for our 24 days in the Kalahari where we have to prepare our own meals.

Day #16 thru #39=>The next 24 days will be in the Kalahari referenced as point "H" 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 our 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.

Kieliekrankie Deck Kieliekrankie Room Day #16, #17, #18 and #19=>Our first Kalahari 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 #20 and #21=>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 will change this trip. But it really does not matter as the River Chalets are so nice just by themselves.

Kieliekrankie Deck Kieliekrankie Room Day #22, #23, #24 and #25=>Then back for another 4 nights stay at our favorite Kalahari lodge the Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp(self-carter).

Twee Rivieren Grounds Twee Rivieren Rooms Day #26, #27 and #28=>Our next Kalahari lodge is the largest Kalahari camp located at the southern gate the 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. From Twee Rivieren camp you have a choice of doing a safari drive up the Nossob river bed or the Auob river bed.

Kieliekrankie Deck Kieliekrankie Room Day #29 and #30=>Then another 2 night visit back at Kieliekrankie Wilderness Camp.

Urikaruus Honeymoon Urikaruus Room Day #31 thru #39=>Our final Kalahari lodge is another one of our favorites Urikaruus Wilderness Camp. Not only is our 9 days special but it is also in the honeymoon chalet, making it even more special. 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.

Torgos Lodge Torgos Lobby Day #40 and #41=>After our Kalahari days are over we are hoping to exit the park through the Mata-Mata gate into Namibia. This border crossing has been closed for all of COVID and is still closed. We are hoping it opens before 2023 in which case we will try another new lodge for us Torgos Lodge; point "I" on our route map. As you can see from the route map this lodge is JUST outside the Kalahari and thus right on the Namibian border.

Dung Song Dung Song

Day #42 and #43=>Our next lodge is a new lodge for us the Dune Song Lodge; point "J" on our route map(self-carter). Neighbouring Botswana, in southeastern Namibia, the renowned Kalahari Desert spans over the spectacularly scenic landscape in the south which features small red-orange dunes, similar to those of the world-famous Sossusvlei. Beautiful self catering chalets in the Kalahari region, Namibia. This is a place to unwind, relax, breathe and be inspired by nature. There are three comfortably furnished and fully equipped chalets. Click HERE for a chalet night view.

Day #44 and #45=>Our next lodge is also a repeat from our 2020 trip the Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge, point "K" on map(above). In 2020 I did their 4-by-4 quad-bike ride on the red dunes, definately a do-over!!

River Crossing Dining River Crossing View Day #46=>Our last lodge is just outside Windhoek the River Crossing Lodge, point "L" on route map(DBB). This lodge is conveniently located on the east side of Windhoek on the B6, same as the airport.

Day #47=>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 Johannesburg, South Africa. In Johannesburg we will have a few hours to rest before our United red-eye to Newark Liberty International Airport.

Day #48=>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 what we hope is another GREAT Namibian safari.