African Safaris: The search for the Big Five (and why leopards don’t exist)

When I travelled to Africa last year the one thing I desperately wanted to see was the wildlife. So much so that the only real planning I did was to Google search ‘best places to see lions in southern Africa’. In my three months in and around South Africa I visited several national parks, including four incredible safari experiences.

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12 days, 5,453 km, 4 countries, 2 tents, and another VW: Part Two

To read the first part of our African road trip click here.

While we were in Maun we had some free time so decided to take advantage and plan our onward route. Louise had to be in Windhoek in a couple of days and was planning to take a bus from Maun, whereas myself and Céline were hoping to go to Kgalagadi National Park. Unfortunately that appeared impossible from the Botswana side without a 4×4. We’re gonna need some bigger tyres for the Polo!

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12 days, 5,453 km, 4 countries, 2 tents, and another VW: Part One

I’d been back in Windhoek barely an hour after my week exploring some of the highlights of Namibia when the next part of my Southern Africa trip began. I was chatting to the people in my dorm when I met Céline, a girl from Belgium who was travelling alone and happened to have a rental car. As we talked it appeared we had similar plans and she asked if I’d like to join her.

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Etosha National Park: Elephant Bullies and Noisy Rhinos

As part of my week-long tour around the best of Namibia I visited Etosha National Park. This was my first African safari experience and the clear highlight of the week. I had two nights there with Benjamin, my guide, arriving mid afternoon at Namutoni on the east side for our first camp.

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Namibia Part 2: R Kelly and a VW Viva

After eventually leaving Swarkopmund the guides I was supposed to meet in Usakos hadn’t arrived yet. Instead we met them further along towards Windhoek at a random gas station. I had already met one of them, Kefas, from a couple of tours in Windhoek and now I was introduced to Benjamin.

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Namibia Part 1: Germans, taxis and sand dunes

Namibia was my first real taste of Africa and somewhere I’d been wanting to go for a few years. I just wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do there. I’d read about Etosha National Park in the north, but other than that I had no idea what there was to see. In Windhoek I found a company that booked excursions and they organised a whole week of activities for me, including Etosha, together with accommodation, transport and some meals. The plan was altered on pretty much a daily basis after this. In fact, on the day I was supposed to leave the plan changed so I would be doing it the opposite way round. For a very German country, organisation is not a strong point.

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A guide to Windhoek

I spent more time in the Namibian capital than I’d have preferred or recommend but that at least allows me to give a decent guide to the place. I landed in Windhoek airport, which is a whole 45km from the actual city, pretty late so didn’t get first look around until the following day. At which point my first task was to find out what there was to do. (more…)

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Travelling Namibia: The Germany of Africa

Namibia had been on my travel list since I met a Belgian girl who’d lived there for 8 months and described it as “Africa for beginners”. With the other continents visited it was time to see some of Africa. Earlier in the year I’d spent a week in Morocco and then a few days in Cape Town. However, the first is more Arabic Africa whereas the other has a very European feel to it. I flew to Windhoek, the capital, and while it’s a big city it also immediately felt more African. And very German! (more…)

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