Namibian Safari Tours
Let me tell you why Namibian safari tours are in a class of their own. Some do’s and donts and maybe a few tips. Firstly, who to choose, and should you go on a Sossusvlei safari or do a 4×4 truck rental and do it yourself? Nowadays everyone here either has a tour operator doing Namibia safari packages or 4×4 truck rental or even shuttle bus transport. 10 years ago, there was a handful of operators doing let’s say a Sossusvlei Tour. Now there seems like dozens at least. It’s a vast desert out there and when something goes wrong you want the best possible backup you can get. So, when the taxi driver at the airport in his beat-up old Toyota says he will take you on a Sossusvlei safari, remember he has no back up and probably no insurance. You may save yourself a few N$ but in the end it may cost you more.
Its easy enough to find a reputable company that includes all the insurance, backup, trained guides and they will make your Namibian safari tours a memorable one. 4×4 truck rental is very popular here. Imagine a local operator securing all your bookings of your Namibian safari package, arranging your 4 x 4 truck rentals and meeting you at the airport with a smile. However, most folks want all the problems of logistics to be handled for them. That’s where operators like us come in. Namibian safari packages fall into two groups. Camping and accommodated. Camping in Namibia is probably some of the best in the world. The sites are spacious, the weather is normally warm to hot, as we are number 2 on the list of having the most sunlight hours in a day. There are no clouds, so the night sky is something to behold. Time your holiday with a full moon and be amazed.
You can see the “southern cross for the first time” or watch the 6 minute, 22 second flight of the International Space Station going by. The planetary highway and milky way are bright in the night sky. There are lots of accommodation and various standards. However, the premier attractions are run by NWR so whether going to the fish river canyon, Sossusvlei or Etosha you would have to find your own bookings for those. If you took a Namibia safari tour and stay inside the park, there would be certain benefits. For example, staying in the Namib-Naukluft National Park at Sesriem you can go into the park 1 hour before sunrise. This helps as you will be able to watch the sunrise from the top of dune 45 instead of being at the main gate for sunrise if you were staying outside the park.
If you stayed at the Okaukuejo camp inside Etosha you have the added value of having 24-hour access to their world-famous watering hole. Staying outside the park is purely accommodation. Sossusvlei tours are one of our specialties, and we stay inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park at the Sesriem campsite. Our camps are well managed with spacious 2.1×2.1 m tent, mattresses, sleeping bags and great food. We leave every Friday, but if you are a group of friends or family are wanting to do a fun Sossusvlei safari, we can depart on any day that suits you. Remember the dunes at Sossusvlei & Deadvlei are one of the things that make us unique here in southern Africa.
Namibia safari packages should not miss the Etosha National Park. The great thing about southern Africa is all the game reserves are different. The Kruger National Park, Okavango delta, Etosha National Park and the Chobe National Park are all very different. Our highlight is of course Etosha, 25% of it is the pan that has no water in it in the dry season and very salty undrinkable water in the rainy season. The terrain is also very dry so most of your game drives are traversing between the water holes. There are 3 camps, the Namatoni, Halali and Okaukuejo camps. We run a shuttle between Windhoek at Okaukuejo daily where we have a tented camp and include meals and game drives.
All Namibian Safari tours will make a stop for a night or two at Swakopmund. There are very few Sossusvlei safaris that depart from Swakopmund. Most will depart from Windhoek. However, Swakopmund is a great place to get some respite from the hot desert, it is on the Skeleton Coast and the cold Benguela current travels from Antarctica up and past the coastline of Namibia. This causes cool weather and mist most mornings and evenings. It is also a great place to divide your Namibia safari package in two (North and South) and stay in some accommodation if on a camping Namibia safari tour. There is a wide variety of Namibia safari packages all slightly different. So, choose yours as to what you want to see. There are many things to do in Swakopmund on an off day like, dune quad biking, sand boarding, dolphin and seal cruise in Walvis Bay. There are some great seafood restaurants and a perfect time to get laundry done, download your pics or simply go for a stroll along the beach.
Wild Cherry Adventures do both your accommodated and camping Namibia tours. Our Namibia highlights tour includes the usual fish river canyon, Sossusvlei and Etosha visits. However, what makes us different is we concentrate on the Skeleton Coast National Park on our way up to Etosha. Visit some wrecks, the Cape Cross seal colony and travel up to the Skeleton Coast National Park.
When doing a Namibia safari package remember it can be very hot or cold. So, if traveling in winter wear layers. You want to be warm in the early morning but as you start to climb the Sossusvlei dunes, for example, it will start to get warmer and you don’t want one heavy jacket to carry. In summer take at least 2l of water with you if you are away from the vehicle for more than an hour. Don’t forget your sunblock and wear closed shoes as the sand gets very hot.
There are bathroom facilities at all our camps and bring an adapter to charge your devices as they all have electricity. The camps at most NWR properties have a voucher system to by data. The cell phone signal is weak to nonexistent in most remote places.
To limit damage to your baggage I would carry a soft bag or backpack. The roads here are bad and traveling takes a long time. On that note, no Namibian safari package should be rushed so have patience and roll with the punches. Flat tires and corrugated roads are the norm. Of all of Namibia’s roads only 6% is tar! Have no fear though as the scenery is spectacular and you should just kick back and let your soul breathe. Some companies like Wild Cherry Adventures have a special insurance package where we have an emergency evacuation policy. This does not mean you don’t need your own travel insurance but in case of an emergency, we can get you to a hospital by helicopter if it is life-threatening.
The people here are very friendly and crime is uncommon however don’t leave your laptop on your seat while going somewhere as it may not be there when you get back. Just use common sense and you will be safe.