My trip to Namibia

Who I am
Lluis Enric Mayans

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My trip to Namibia? started on 2019 August and? lasted until 13,00th August 20,00. Departure from Naples-Capodichino for Frankfurt at (Lufthansa flight), connection to Windhoek at (Air Namibia flight). In Frankfurt, the flight to Windhoek is delayed for one hour for no reason. We embark and immediately notice that there is not? possibility? to use the monitors to watch a movie (the journey is long). The only way ? connect with wi-fi and watch the movie on your mobile. I connect but the choice of films? absolutely ridiculous (obviously not in Italian).

1 day

We arrive in Windhoek at 7,30 on 9 August. At the airport we find our driver and guide assigned to us by the tour operator Ti.Es.Bi of Milan, which operates in Namibia with the Namibia Travel Connection. In Windhoek we stay at the Avani hotel, located on Independence Avenue, the main street of the capital. The hotel? great, Windhoek doesn't offer much: did we walk up? already? for Independence Avenue, visiting the Evangelical Lutheran Church at the top of Fidel Castro Street. We deviate to Post Street Mall (a side street of Independence Avenue) and we find in the center of the square the Gibeon meteorites, which fell in the southern part of the country in 1838.
We have dinner in the hotel (restaurant, however, excellent) and the next day (10 August) we are ready to leave with a minibus, together with the other travel companions (in all we are eight including the driver-guide). The minibus, at the end of the journey, will reveal itself? inadequate to the state of the Namibian dirt roads, so much so that it broke down as we headed towards the Twyfelfontein Lodge (a wheel came out of the axis and we were forced to travel all seated to the left of the vehicle so as not to load the right side where tire coming out of the axle). IS? true, as the Ti.Es.Bi employee replied, that we had paid to have a minibus and not an off-road vehicle, but a serious tour operator would have had the duty to warn customers of the state of the roads (mostly unpaved and full of gradients) to enable the traveler to be able to choose a more? comfortable and less risky (paying even more?).

2 day

The first step ? to the south, the Kalahari desert with the Intu Africa Kalahari Game Reserve (250 km), a nature reserve, in which we participate in a nature safari on jeeps discovered in the desert area of ​​the Kalahari. We spot oryx, springbok, giraffes and zebras. Very pleasant? a stop on top of a dune for an aperitif with a view of the splendid red dunes. Very good and kind local guide, a local boy. We stay at the Suricate Lodge consisting of tented bungalows, spartan, but still quite comfortable (there is also a swimming pool). Lunch and dinner are average.

3 day

On Sunday 11th August from the Kalahari desert we move west towards the Namib desert for a total of 350 km. We stay in a splendid lodge (which I absolutely recommend): the Sossusvlei Lodge. Excellent cuisine, hospitality and location. The only note is that if you want a hairdryer, you have to ask for it at the reception, paying a deposit.

4 day

Monday? 12 we are ready to visit the Deadvlei and the sand dunes. The Deadvlei? a sort of white clay basin located inside the Namib-Naukluft Park in Namibia. Its name means "dead swamp". We continue the visit to the sand dunes, including the famous dune 45 which is not? the dune pi? high (what? the big daddy), but what? equally beautiful and evocative.

5 day

Tuesday? 13 we leave for Swakopmund, for a total of 390 km, but first we make a detour to go and see Welwitschia Mirabilis, a unique plant of the Namib: one of the specimens is even 1500 years old.
Once in Swakopmund we stay overnight at the Hansa Hotel what? the pi? refined and old hotel from all over Namibia. The building ? 1905. You can breathe an atmosphere of other times. The restaurant ? quite good.

6 day

The day after 14 August, the program includes a catamaran trip in Walvis Bay and a tour of Sandwich Harbor with 4X4 vehicles.
The weather ? inclement, we leave with an hour and a half late. The catamaran was not readily available due to a breakdown. The driver-guide, instead? get busy to speed up the times, think only of smiling slyly (according to him), without doing anything ?. Finally we manage to have the boat, but only thanks to the intervention of one of the members of the group. The sea journey takes place in thick fog. A seal gets on the catamaran which, used by tourists, is fed with fish.
We also receive the visit of the pelicans, while we arrive at a beach where there are many seals.
We return to Walvis Bay, waiting to get on the 4X4 to go to Sandwich Harbor to admire the famous dunes on the ocean. But instead? get on two cars (planned and paid), we were forced to cram into a single 4X4 (there are seven of us, including the driver and the so-called guide who sits on the central seat between me and my partner). During the journey we are tossed here and there, but, waiting for the size of the cd. guide, the journey does not? certainly pleasant, so much so that my companion rightly protests, albeit vehemently, for this unpleasant situation. The guide sits in front, giving way to another member of the group much more? thin. Finally we can get to the dunes and? an exceptional sight. With the 4x4 we launch from the dunes and go up quickly, traveling far and wide, and then stop for an aperitif. Are we back to Swakopmund too late to visit the city? also due to the delay in boarding the catamaran (in fact we did not see anything, and it is a shame because from the photos it looked very nice). The cd. driving, upon returning to the hotel, he bursts into a reprimand, threatening my partner to leave him on the street, if he had behaved again as when he protested for the non-use of the second off-road vehicle.

7 day

The next day, August 15, we leave for Damaraland, for a total of 350 km, where we stay at the Twyfelfontein Lodge, a very suggestive location among the red rocks of Damaraland, where we visit the rock paintings, a mountain range called the Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes, a geological formation.
In my opinion, the stop, albeit in a very nice lodge, was not worth it, since, except, perhaps, the rock carvings, the other two geological formations are not of great interest. Maybe why? the atmosphere yes? now deteriorated due to the discussion with the driver-guide, the journey continues in a climate of tension.

8 day

The next day, August 16, we leave for Etosha National park, covering 400 km. Before arriving at Etosha we stop at Omapaha Himba Village, where the Himba people live.
Here we are explained, by a local guide, the customs and history of this people that we immortalize in numerous photographs.
In the late afternoon we arrive at Etosha, where we stay at the Okaukuejo Resort.
The lodge? very basic, the food? poor, you also pay for the wi-fi.

9 day

The next day, August 17th, we visit Etosha, where we can see elephants, zebras, oryxes, giraffes and lions. Frankly, a tour from 8,30 in the morning until 17,00 with a stop for lunch in a place for? Tourists ", it seems excessive. L? Etosha, in my opinion, does not deserve all this time, 3-4 are enough hours.

10 day

On the last day, August 18th, we leave for Windhoek where we stay at the N / a? An Ku Se Lodge. It is the best lodge among all those visited during the trip. Super chic but absolutely natural furnishings, huge space, small terrace on which in the morning a little monkey peeped out with her baby. Here we take a jeep ride inside the nature reserve in which? located the lodge, and we meet the lion king, lionesses, cheetahs and leopards, as well as giraffes, oryxes and warthogs.

11 day

Unfortunately, they tell us that our Air Namibia flight on 19 August evening to Frankfurt? was moved for no reason to the next day at 8 am. On the 19th we were forced to go to the airport anyway to receive the voucher for the overnight stay in Windhoek from Air Namibia, due to the cancellation of the flight. At the counter, a very rude clerk replies to us to pass at 16,00 (we arrived at the airport at 11,30), while the cd. guide drops us at the airport, without helping us in any way. We then learn from other passengers who boarded our flight that their guide not only helped them by contacting Air Namibia directly, but accompanied them directly to the hotel identified by the airline.

Moral of the story: the guide sent by Ti.Es.Bi yes? revealed not only careless and listless in explanations, but also rude and arrogant, leaving us alone to solve the problem. The next day, we went to the airport at dawn, but when we arrived there we learn with dismay that the flight leaves at 9,30 instead of? at 8,00: even in this case Air Namibia does not provide explanations about the change of the departure time.
In a panic, we turned to our agency in Naples which, given the shift in flight time, sent us the boarding passes for the flight to Frankfurt-Naples. The short period of time between the two flights, due to the delay of Air Namibia, could have seriously compromised the possibility? to be able to board the flight to Naples, with the consequence of having to stay another night in Frankfurt.
Fortunately we did it, but with minimal margin, awaiting passport and security checks.

12 day

In conclusion: I strongly advise against Air Namibia, an unreliable company, and the tour operator Ti.Es Bi who sent us a guide who, more? that such, he was just a rude driver.
If you have the desire to organize, I would recommend planning everything by yourself, taking care to study the itineraries and stages well, to obtain a satellite and to inquire about the location of petrol stations on the territory.

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