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- Added Tuesday, 10 May 2011 09:16
- by Super User
I am not usually a wild animal person particularly, but I couldn’t believe how exciting I found it seeing animals I only know from places like safari parks and wildlife programmes in their proper habitat. Big animals, little animals, fierce and timid ones – they are all unbelievable.
And the landscape – I had never been to Africa before – the sheer enormity of it is breathtaking. Vast spaces, in places you drive for an hour or more without seeing another vehicle or human … but there is a whole host of creatures out there getting on with their lives.
The major highlights for me were the animals in Etosha, the sand dunes at Sossusvlei, and the Dolphin cruise in Walvis Bay. I learnt – eventually – that there is no point trying to get the perfect leaping dolphin photo, certainly not with a digital camera with a one second delay. Just sit back and watch - not through a camera lens!
Aside from the highlights there were a few pleasant surprises:
1. They drive on the left in Namibia!
2. How clean and tidy the towns were, compared to such other Third World countries as I have visited.
3. The food. The picnic lunches made by the tour leader were amazing. Plentiful, lots of choice, and different every day, including 3 hot lunches. The 4 veggies in the group could not believe how well he catered for them
4. The tour staff. Not really a surprise but still worth mentioning - our Tour Leader Malven was absolutely excellent. Very efficient organiser, full of information and advice, vastly knowledgeable about Namibia, its people, landscapes, animals, birds, insects and plants. Prepared great food every day for lunch, as mentioned above the veggies were hugely impressed with what he provided for them. He was endlessly enthusiastic, even more excited than us when we saw a leopard on the last day as we left Etosha!
What I really liked about the tour is the fact that this is not just a safari; the scenery is amazing, and can change completely when you go round a corner.
The variety: from 46° in the desert to a chilly stroll by the sea; you can do a dolphin cruise in the morning and a desert tour in the same afternoon
The drives may be long, but there are so many things to see along the way, and short stops to see amazing trees/birds/insects/plants/views etc
Ok, this is Africa, and not everything is going to be perfect but, as our tour leader said: If things run to time and don’t go wrong, you are not getting the true Africa experience! Myself and the group I travelled with all really enjoyed the tour, so much so that one group member was in tears at the end because he said it was the best holiday he had ever had and he couldn’t imagine ever having such a good one again. Nobody else actually cried, but most were totally ecstatic over all they had seen and done, me included!