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Namibian Travelogue - Image heavy!

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Zeus1, Oct 2, 2016.

  1. I promised to make a small resume and post some pics of our trip to Namibia...here we go!

    My twin daughters finished their high school years with impressive grades and are entering university (medicine and mathematics respectively). They are leaving home to live in Antwerp in cycling distance of the uni. This will result in important changes in our family structure and daily life :-(

    As a “last farewell” and as a present for their good results, we undertook a 17-day trip in Namibia.

    Our flight should have been from Frankfurt to Windhoek on Air Namibia but was changed on the airport of Brussels to Munich to Windhoek on Condor Airways (due to some security incident in Frankfurt, resulting in complete evacuation of the Frankfurt terminal). Condor can be described as “Spartan”.

    Arriving in Windhoek, we were met by a representative from a local travel agent and were given our rental vehicle (a VW Amarok pick-up). Immediately afterwards, our Namibian road-trip started.

    First we drove to the Erindi Private Game Reserve, the largest private gamepark in the country. We were booked for 2 daily game drives, where we were introduced for the first time to African wildlife. And did we encounter beasties!! Erindo boasts the highest density of mammal wildlife in Namibia. Each game drive led to encounters with elephants, white rhino, lions sleeping, lions walking about, lions mating, countless giraffe and antilopes galore. The only “big” mammal we never saw (during our complete road-trip) were cheetahs.

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    Ground squirrel on the look-out.

    P9016654. Warthogs and elephant at a waterhole.

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    Sundown on the African plain.

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    Aardvark on the run.

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    Genet cat.
     
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  2. We stayed 2 1/2 days in Erindi. The we drove to Etosha, first staying in the eastern part in the Onguma Bush Camp, then in the middle part in the Etosha Safari Camp.

    We saw the most animals in the eastern part (between Namutoni and Halali); we even saw 2 leopards! The region between Halali and Okaukuejo was remarkably “empty”; while the region west of Okaukuejo showed high amounts of animals at the water holes but in between only a scattering of animals. In any case, Etosha was splendid with impressive mammal and bird encounters.

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  3. Leaving Etosha, our next stop was Palmwag (more precisely the Desert Rhino Camp) in the Kaokoveld region. You can guess what we did in this location: tracking black rhino in a jeep and also on foot. One of the highpoints of this location was assisting a scientist in darting/sedating two female lions, measuring them and mounting a tracking collar.

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    Black Rhinos (mother and calf). In Palmwag rhinos are de-horned in order to prevent them being slaughtered for their horns.
     
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  4. Leaving Palmwag, we drove over the coastal road to Swakopmund, a road devoid of interesting sites and animals. The only remarkable were two shipwreck sites and the Cape Cross sea lion colony: thousands upon thousands of sea lions with a stink that remained in our cloths for 48 hours.

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    Cows freely roaming on the roads.

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    Cape Cross seal colony.

    More to come...
     
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  5. Swakopmund town and the adjacent Walvisbaai are rather modern coastal resorts, which we had to visit in order to travel to the Namib desert. In Walvisbaai we did the customary harbour tour, during which we saw Benguela dolphins, pelicans and sea lions. In the afternoon we went with a guide to the sand dunes south of Walvisbaai for some 4x4 driving over the dunes and observing the flamingoes.

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  6. Next we drove to the Namib desert. Our first camp was Kulala Desert Camp for 48 hours, in the Namib desert itself, followed by Wolwedans in what is called the Namibrand region. From Kulala we visited Sossusvlei, Death Vlei, and the Sesriem Canyon (a small canyon with some baboons but nothing interesting to see).

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    Spotted Owl.

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    The sand dunes of the Namib Desert.

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    Climbing Dune 45. More than 100 meters altitude. Two steps forward and one step sliding back in the soft sand.

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    Circles everywhere in the desert. Inside the circles nothing can grow. Reason = unknown, perhaps gasses emitted by termites?

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    Fossilized trees in Death Vlei.

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  7. Wolwedans is situated in yet another environment: orange sand with small grey to green bushes. Everywhere there are oryx roaming about, some zebras and ostriches. At Wolwedans we struck lucky: we were upgraded (never figured out why) to what is called the “private camp”: 2 large sleeping tents with en-suite bathrooms, a large dining area cum kitchen, a lounging area, gazebo, small swimming pool, a private butler, private cook and our own driver. Now that’s living! We stayed 48 hours in this paradise, observing the wildlife from our seat in the lounge area, and driving around in the countryside.

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    The Private Camp. From left to right: freestanding gazebo, sleeping tent, lounge-dining area-kitchen, another sleeping tent, at right the "honeymoon suite".

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    Mongoose.

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    Baby oryx with adults.

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    Male ostrich (black) with harem.

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    Oryx, twin daughters with our cook and butler. One happy family.
     
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  9. Well, it's time to end this travelogue. Leaving Wolwedans (which we regretted!) we drove towards Windhoek. We stayed another night at the Gotcheganas camp before flying home.

    We can only thank all the people we encountered in Namibia: friendly, warm, welcoming, interested in all things European, never a cross word. For a first visit to Africa this roundtrip was a complete success.
     
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  10. Harvey Melvin Richards

    Harvey Melvin Richards Photo Posting Junkie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Southwest Utah
    Nice write up, and fabulous images.
     
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  11. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Mar 18, 2015
    Great images. I appreciate the detailed writeup. Can you elaborate on which lenses you used most?
     
  12. We carried 2 bodies: an Oly EM5 and a Pany GM5 (mostly used by one of my daughters and wife). About 4500 pics were taken with the EM5 and about 2000 with the GM5.
    On the Oly EM5, I used a Pany 7-15 wide angle lens (about 150 pics), a Pany 12-35 f/2.8 (about 1400 pics), a Pany 35-100 f/2.8 (about 800 pics) and the new Pany 100-400 for about 2000 pics. For 3000 pics ISO was 200, ISO >800 was used for 300 pics. Only a handful of pics was taken wth an Oly 17 mm at ISOs >6400.
    Data for the GM5 are sparse: using Media Pro to cull the EXIF data was only possible for lens used and aperture, while the info for the ISO remained unavailable. On the GM5 we used a Pany 12-35 f/4.0 for about 880 pics and a Pany 35-100 f/4.0 for 1200 pics.
     
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  13. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    292
    Mar 18, 2015
    Thank you for the detailed lineup. Interesting that you have so many shots with the standard zoom compared to the short tele, although expectedly a huge part is shot with the long tele.
     
  14. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    You apparently did the sensible thing: investing in a set of top lenses, unlike a 'better' camera.
     
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  15. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    Great set, thanks for sharing
     
  16. alex g

    alex g Mu-43 Top Veteran

    551
    Mar 30, 2016
    New York / Bath
    Lovely set of images. I particularly like the shot of the oryx being stalked by the elephant. :)
     
  17. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    fantastic! wish I could do some similar trip
     
  18. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    Wonderful Travel Report with terrific photos. Thank you.
     
  19. Schwingi

    Schwingi Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Aug 23, 2016
    Austria
    Nice, thanks for sharing!
     
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