Jim Dube – Luxury Fly in Namiba Safari
This Namibia trip was designed to incorporate some of the best there is to experience in Namibia – this land on contrasts.
Luxury all the way – with all flights included. A superb way to enjoy Namibia
- 2 Night’s accommodation in Sossusvlei at Little Kulala
- 2 Night’s accommodation in Damaraland at Desert Rhino
- 2 Night’s accommodation in Etosha National Park at Ongava Lodge
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What did Jim Dube have to say about his trip to Namibia ?
As promised I am setting out my commentary on this wonderful vacation, with a copy to Wanda in case she wishes to add/modify anything.
First things first: THANK YOU SO MUCH. The arrangements you made for us through Wilderness Travel provided us with an unforgettable adventure holiday in Namibia. Your advice with respect to the V+A Hotel in Cape Town was “spot on”. Everything went like clockwork. And I really appreciated your tracking down my lost sunglasses and securing their very speedy retrieval to our hotel.
Cape Town proper – Cape Town is so remarkable that it ranks up there with the great cities of the world. We found walking along Loop/Long/Church streets and then back to Cape Grace a lot of fun. It’s a very easy city for touring. The Hop on/Hop off bus is a wonderful way to see a great deal in a short period of time. We thought it was great to be able to get around on our own so easily without having to contend with travelling in a group.
Wilderness Air – The private flight arrangements were terrific. Hans was our pilot from Windhoek to Little Kulala (Geluk) and also from Geluk to Swakopmund. He really made the start of the trip for me (I used to fly, years ago and Hans made sure I had the seat up front). The scenic flight from Geluk to Swakopmund was incredible – sweeping down from the dunes over the Atlantic and then back toward a shipwreck marooned in the desert – unforgettable. The aircraft were ontime/everytime. Gee, I wish I could say that about Air Canada!
Little Kulala – This place is right out of Architectual Digest, or Conde Nast. When the couple with whom we were to set out for the trip to the Dunes were “missing in action” (i.e. failed to show up 25 minutes after expected departure time), the guide, Willie, took the initative and got us into a vehicle with 2 German couples for a very enjoyable outing. I think one of Wanda’s highlights was climbing the “Big Daddy” sand dune and then descending into the Dead Valley – a very surreal place. The accommodation was absolutely deluxe. This is not a place for great game viewing; it is a place to see scenery unlike any I have seen on the planet!
Desert Rhino Camp – This was our tented camp experience – in the style of Streep/Redford from “Out of Africa”. The scenery here is so vast. We were fortunate to find black rhinos on both rhino tracking trips. But I make this observation: at Desert Rhino, the guides are VERY sensitive to the impact of tourism on the rhino – so much so that we were asked to dress in greens/browns to maintain low profile. We were not able to get any closer than 120 meters – indeed it seemed a little farther than that. Good that we had binoculars. I mention this in contrast to Ongava rhino experience – see below. The staff at Desert Rhino were wonderful. We were serenaded at dinner by the entire staff to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Agnes, the Rhino Camp manager is a tremendous resource person…very outgoing/very interested in ensuring that we had the time of our lives.
Ongava Lodge – the Ongava Lodge of the Guides, namely Willem – the best guide of the whole vacation.
Now to Willem: No shortcomings or critiques of Ongava Lodge can outweigh the true adventure which Willem provided on the game drives. On first evening sundowner, we had been searching for rhino with no success and were making our way back to Lodge when Willem spotted 4 rhinos at waterhole near Ongava Reserve’s
director’s home. Willem advised we should wait for them to move. And move they did. We tracked them with red searchlight, getting very close – much much closer than Desert Rhino. Tghe next day, Wanda and I were with Willem when a black rhino crossed our vehicle’s path, stopped and thus began a 15 minute stare-down that I’ll never forget. Then of course he was able to navigate us to park in the middle of a pride of lion. I hope Ongava Lodge appreciates the value of having someone like Willem on staff.
Namibia Conclusion: Namibia is expensive, no doubt about it. But I always look at “value for money” — and Namibia provides value for money and then some. You set up a tour that allowed us to see 3 Namibia’s: the Sossusvlei/dunes; then the vast savannah at Desert Rhino and finally the opportunity to see wildlife upclose at Ongava Reserve. (I checked out a leading US travel company’s Namibia tour – by my calculation what we received from African Welcome Safaris was nearly $10,000 less than what this US company charges – and we got Little Kulala too!
So now we have memories of a trip of a lifetime. Thanks so much, Kathi