Safari in Africa
This was an amazing trip, and the first of our 2016 bucket list. How could it be other way? It was full of adrenaline, adventure but at the same time stress free and relaxing. It was a life experience that we will never forget and will cherish forever. We recommend everyone wondering to do a safari and to expats living in Africa it’s almost mandatory.
So, what exactly happened in this trip for it to be so exceptional? We visited amazing 4 countries: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia (kind of); met people from all over the world, USA, South Africa, UK, Switzerland, Netherlands; traveled by car, truck, speed boat, helicopter, airplane, 4×4; Did rafting in the Zambezi, flew in a helicopter in Vic falls, drove sand dunes, quad-biking and sand boarding; went on a bush walk with the San Bushman; saw Leopards, wild dogs, elephants, eagles, Hippos, buffaloes, crocodiles.
The trip started with a 8 day overland Safari from Windhoek (Namibia) to Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe). Then we stayed in Vic falls 3 days, returned to Windhoek and finally visited Swakopmund and Walvis Bay, before returning to Luanda.
Our overland Safari was organized by Nomad Africa Adventure tours and we moved in an adventure truck. Accommodated in tents, huts and sometimes hotels. It was the first time we did an overland organized tour, usually we prefer a self drive tour while we do our own itinerary. But it was a good decision, the roads in Africa sometimes aren’t in good shape, and if you have car trouble in the middle of nowhere it can be a problem, besides crossing borders and overall safety could be tricky. Also, as we found out, it was a good way to meet people and have a stress free voyage, without worries. Why did we choose to travel in Nomad Africa Tours?… Basically their itinerary covered all the places we wanted to go, and the dates of the tour matched with our holidays; it was a good value for money.
We didn’t regret going on the tented version of the safari. Camping was an awesome experience, although our tent didn’t have the right pole sizes, and when it rained we were always wandering if it was going to rain in the tent. Well, it did rain considerably twice and the tents resisted. The truck was cool, spacious, although the seats were a bit uncomfortable seeing we had to spend many hours sitting. Besides these small things we very were pleased with Nomad.
We started our voyage in Windhoek, super calm city with a good vibe. Windhoek is a very clean city there aren’t many tall buildings, you see few cars and few people on the roads. You can feel safe and stress free. We visited the Christ Church and National Museum of Namibia that is free. Did some shopping (Angolan style). we ate in a very touristy restaurant, but after all we are tourists, Joe’s Beerhouse. Has a fantastic decoration and tasty food, mixture of African and German Cuisine, just like the rest of the country you can find a fusion of two so remote countries in different continents that sometimes it is weird.
The next 8 DAYS were spent in the adventure truck 🙂 The tour started in Windhoek, from there we traveled to Botswana. A 530 km (329 mile) drive trough the Kalahari Desert, land of the Bushmen. The scenery is dry, sandy and full of small bushes, acacias and donkeys (yes donkeys!) on the road sides. We overnight in Ghanzi trail Blazers, sleep in a San Bushman hut ( that was so cool), and had an opportunity to do a bush walk and at night see a San Bushmen tribal dance.
Next destination was the Okavango Delta and we stayed there for 3 days. We spend the night camping in Sepupa in Swamp stop by the river. And the next day cough a speed boat and went to explore the Okavango. The Okavango was exceptional, it was dry season so less water, giving us the opportunity to do trails that in wet season it would be covered with water. Explored the delta in a Mokoro (small canoe) watching the hippos and crocodile. Fantastic 3 days in the oasis in the middle of the desert with plenty wildlife. It made us appreciate how incredible nature is and will make you want to watch all the discovery programs about the region.
After the Delta we headed to Caprivi Region (back in Namibia) and then Chobe National Park (back in Botswana). In the Chobe National Park we spent an afternoon doing a boat cruise in the Chobe River, where in the middle of it started raining cats and dogs so we saw wet animals, and enjoyed the rainy view:)
Next morning was stunning, we visited the Chobe National Park, we were always thinking, that we didn’t what it to end. We were able to see a rare black sable (that made our day, it’s the Angolan symbol), also leopard just siting by the side of the 4×4 of the safari, saw wild dogs playing in a mud lagoon, vultures eating a dead elephant (this wasn’t so nice), Baboons eating fruit on top of a tree. We would have liked spending more time in the park, we just spend a morning there. Weirdly, we barely saw elephants in Chobe…
In the afternoon crossed the border to Zimbabwe and went to Vic Falls National park. The Vic Falls are massive, simply breathtaking, with a height of 108 mt and 1,708 mt wide. We stayed in the city 3 days, so we could enjoy all the adrenaline the city has to offer. Unfortunately the activities are so expensive that we could only chose two, but these were totally worth it. We spent half a day rafting in the Zambezi river and saw the view of the Vic Falls by helicopter.
From Vic Falls in Zimbabwe we returned to Namibia to visit Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. We rented a car in Windhoek and went from Windhoek to Swakopmund (352 km), it took 4+ hours driving, 2 of them in savage rain. Well, that was unexpected… We stayed in Swakopmund 3 nights, 2 full days, had marvelous time. Did sandbording, quad bike, desert exploring, seeing the little 5 and meting fantastic people:) (full post on Swakopmund here)
Unfortunately on Saturday back to reality, Luanda, start working…
Economics of an overland Safari
How much does a Safari Cost? Africa isn’t cheap and we didn’t restraint ourselves much in this trip… so this was probably the most expensive holidays we ever did and a really bad example of budget holidays 🙂 Check our expenses during these two weeks in detail:
Total cost per person: 2726.69 USD in line with the 2750 USD initially budgeted.
Cost per person per day (all in): 181.78 USD
Overall trip value for money: 4 + out of 5, high value but quite expensive.
Books of the Safari Trip
Long travels and books go together like peanut butter and jelly :). There were long hours of driving during this voyage, so we had many opportunities to read. We enjoyed the view of the desert, but after an hour it can become a bit monotonous:
We are both big fans of Forsyth and his stories about international espionage. The Afghan is about Islāmic extremism/terrorism and Al Qaeda’s plan to surpass 9/11. It was a nice read, but it’s not Forsyth’s best book.
Goodreads rating: 3.61/5 / Couplertw rating: 3.5/5
Gabriel Garcia Márquez has a wonderful way of writing, so beautiful and realistic, makes you feel that you are “reading art”. Sometimes i got really frustrated with the characters, just wish to slap them in the face and say: “for god sake!”. I recommend it, not an easy read but worth it.
Goodreads rating: 3.8/5 / Couplertw rating: 4/5
A good thriller book that will keep you griped to the end. One of those books that you just can stop reading until you discover the mystery of the story. We liked it and will read the rest of Millennium saga.
Goodreads rating: 4.08/5 / Couplertw rating: 3.5/5
Were we able to inspire you to do a Safari in Southern Africa? We are already planning one in East Africa! Pin Later