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Exceptional Namibia - Khaudum National Park and much more

Exceptional Namibia - Khaudum National Park and much more

One of our last tours leads us into the north of Namibia but far away from the usual and boring tread-out footpaths, giving us the opportunity to unwind and become one with nature. The tour started and ended in Windhoek, Namibia's capital.
The first night we spend at the beautiful Ondekaremba Guest Farm giving the change for the clients to rest from their long journey to Namibia. On our way up north, we overnight at Waterberg National Park and Dornhügel Guest Farm.

Traveling the Khaudum National Park

This were the "End of Civilization", because the day after we drive via Tsumke up to the Khaudum National Park where we set up our tents for the following two days at Sikaretti Camp. Khaudom is one of the last remaining wild parks Namibia's. Visiting this remote area is a challenge, because there are no facilities, like shops or petrol station close by. Everything must be carried by visitors, like enough food, drinks water and petrol. Especially enough petrol are the most important, because the heavy sandy tracks in this area means that the consumption of petrol are much higher than normal. Navigation inside the park can be very tricky as well; therefore you need a very experienced guide to NOT come into trouble, as help in the Khaudum is far away!
Here in the southern part around Sikaretti Camp are a few beautiful waterholes with hides on a tree like the close by Sangona waterhole, where we observed plenty of Elephants, Giraffes, Kudus and luckily as well some of the rare Roan Antelopes. The birds around Sangona were fantastic as well, like the beautiful collared.

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Lilac breasted Rollers, or the magnificent Swallow tailed Bee-Eaters and many more. After this first two days in the southern part, we crossed one heavy 4x4 tracks the whole Khaudum park via the waterholes Sncana, Dussi, Tsau, Leeupan and Doringstraat up to the northern part to Khaudum Camp were we spend another two nights. But because that part of Khaudum where quit dry we could not observe much game in that part there. However we enjoy it very much, having the privilege to be ones with nature.

After these two peaceful days at Khaudum we drove further north direction to Katere, where we reach the beautiful tarred main road. But this 55km - until the main road - is the poorest part of the pad, because the track are very deep sandy and needs at least 3 hour driving. Thereafter we travelled in a few days via Rundu, Grootfontein, Tsumeb and Otjio as fast as possible to Opuwo to get back into the wilderness of the Kaokaveld.

We didn't want to visit the world famous Etosha National Park to avoid all those overcrowded campsites there.

At Opuwo we had our last change for shopping and buy enough fuel, because we didn't have any more possibilities to do so the following 10 days in the Kaokaveld. Trough magnificent landscape of the Kaokaveld we drove via Orupembe to Marble Campsite where we stayed overnight. The day after we continuing drive to red drum and then further down the Marienflusstal to the Kunene River at the border to Angola. Here we set up our camp at "Camp Synchro" on the banks of the Kunene River, with a beautiful view. But be aware as the Kunene River is NOT a place to enjoy a refreshing swim, because crocodiles are not only hugh, they are very aggressive as well.

Ryan and Sarah the owner of Camp Synchro have not only rebuild the camp after a fire destroyed the camp a few years ago, they have as well build a small Pizza oven and we ordered a pizza evening in advance, and Sarah then prepared the Pizza dough and all necessary ingredients, so that everybody could prepare his favorite pizza before Ryan baked them in his oven. After this beautiful two days at Camp Synchro we drive back to Red Drum but from there we tuck another route to Blue Drum on the way we were so lucky to observing some Hartmann's Zebras.

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From Blue Drum we continuing driving back to Orupembe but here we left the main gravel road down to Purros and we drove 4x4 trough the Khumib River bed for about 40km. On the way we could observe many Giraffes and different antelopes. After 40 km we left the River bed and we drove through a fantastic landscape over a plateau down to the Hoarusib River bed to observe the legendary Desert Elephants.
The track leads us then down the River until Purros camp where we overnight another two nights. From Purros we drove further down the Hoarusib River and over Ganias plain down to Hoanib River another very good area to come close to the Desert Elephants. Overnight stays at one of the campsite of the Palmwag concession area down to Palmwag Lodge were we are back in the "civilisation". Here we had the possibility to feel up fuel. This concession area is one of the largest private concessions worldwide and absolute beautiful.
From here we drive further trough Damaraland and on the way we visit the Petrified Forest etc. But then we came to an end of this magnificent tour, and we drive back to Windhoek were the tour ends.

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Botswana Beauty

Botswana Beauty
No question’s, Botswana is one of Africa’s TOP destination for adventures Safari lovers, looking for something exceptional. We where privileged to spend two weeks in Botswana during of our last tours with clients. The tour started here in Upington and we firstly drive up to “Rooiputs” an unfenced campsite on the Botswana side of the “Kgalagadi Transfrontier Nationalpark” where we spend our first 3 days.

Botswana Safari

We were so fortunate that we could observe NOT ONLY the magnificent Kalahari Lions very close, we were also lucky to come close to 4 Cheetahs on their natural habitat. And we were very happy to see one of our favourite’s animals the “Meer cats”!

After this tree successfully days at the “Kgalagadi Park” we drove along the “Molopo River” one of the Botswana’s most scenic roads to the small town “Tsabong” where we overnight at “Berry bush camp”. We then left “Tsabong” and we drive on heavy 4x4 tracks to one of my “secret places” outside National parks in the absolute Wilderness of the Kalahari. We set up our tents on the edge of a large salt pan, with a magnificent view for the following two days. During our stay, we could observe plenty of antelopes like Oryx, Red Hartebeests, Springboks, Kudus and Eland coming into the pan for leaking salt and minerals.

Every evening there where a “brown hyena” visits our camp. And on one of our night safari drive with spotlight we were so fortunate to see a family of “Bad eared foxes” and a “Porcupine” on the track. And as we returned on one of the evening back into our camp 3 Lions where around to find out who is visiting there territory. We therefore decided to NOT making a fire and enjoy another glass of wine; we immediately went into our tents.

b2ap3_thumbnail_gep.jpg One the following morning we saw plenty of Lion’s track’s all over around our camp, but they were gone. Our tour continuing and we drive up to “Ghanzi” to the “Trail Blazer camp” where we overnight in traditional “Bushmen grass huts”. From Ghanzi we drive further up to “Maun” where we spend 2 nights, as our clients enjoyed a whole day “Mokoro” trip into the world know “Okavango Delta”. Our last 3 days then we spend on the banks of the “Kwai-River” with a magnificent view on the river. This where definitively the “Jerry on the top” of this tour!

On our first evening safari drive we were so fortunate to observing a Leopard just about 200 Metres far away from our camp. It was very hard to discover this beautiful animal, because he was lying in the grass, and he is perfectly camouflaged. And on the same evening we could see another two Lions. What an evening Wow!

On the following day, it was not even necessary to drive around, as we had “cinema” during the whole day on the bank of the Kwai River. It was a coming and going of plenty of Elephants, Hippos, and a large variety of different antelopes. And all the beautiful bird life along and inside the river were absolutely splendid!

b2ap3_thumbnail_cat.jpg The “Icing on the cake” were on our last day, as we could observing 7 Lions (3male and 4 females) chase 3 spotted hyenas seriously to kill them. But luckily for the hyenas they could escape before Lion’s catching them. And on our last evening safari drive we stopped near one of the “Hippo pools” to enjoy our “Gin and tonic” for “sundown, we could observe just opposite the river a really large herd of Buffalos traversing the area. I’m sure they were at least 1 000 Buffalos or more, passing us just a few hundred metres far away in a kilometre long queue. That was really a spectacular moment, and the end of this magnificent tour, as on the following day we drive back to Maun, from where clients where flying back home.

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Video: Animals in the Kalahari desert

Watch out some of the most beautiful animals in the Kalahari desert. This video has been captured in March 2015 in the Nossob Valley.

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Visa requirements for children travelling to SA

New SA immigration requirement states that minors should travel with an unabridged birth certificate, which names the child’s mother and father – or the equivalent thereof - from their country of origin. The new regulation due in June 2015 is to be put in place as a means to curb child trafficking across SA's borders.

Read the Leaflet of Department of Home Affairs (DHA) here.

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Touched by Leopard

Touched by Leopard

During my last tour with two clients from the Netherlands we spent 3 nights at the “Mabuasehube Game Reserve” in Botswana.
 
On the first day on our morning Safari Drive we were so fortunate to discover a Lion couples on their “Honeymoon” at one of the neighbouring saltpan. We were very impressed, because we could observe this two imposing cats very close by.
 
On the evening Safari Drive in another direction we came very close to another two large black manned Kalahari Lions.  
Back in our camp we enjoyed our diner under magnificent African Stars and we were very satisfied with what we saw today - and happy.

Kalahari Desert Safari - Mabuasehube Game Reserve

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We didn’t know what kind of surprising awaits us during the following two days at our camp. On day two we spotted some of the antelopes and very nice birds. And after diner we decided to go sleep early for tonight.

But on this second night at around 03:00 a.m. big noises waked me up. I watched trough the Mosquito net of the window of my tent. I saw two mating Leopards in the Moonlight only 20 meter away from my tent doing the "reproduction thing".
 
On the following morning as we stand up, we could see Leopard tracks all over our camp. My clients became very enthusiastic when I told them what’s happened last night.

But on our last evening and during the third night the ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE was awaiting us! We were sitting around the table after diner and suddenly my guest where asking me if there are also ant bears which could be seen in this area. Yes they are, but you want see them during daylight as this animal is nocturnal? Ok they said, but how is an ant bear looks like? Just a second, I will show you how they are looks like in my book “Southern African mammals”.
 
Therefore I walked to my nearby vehicle to pick up the book from inside the car.
But what’s that? When I arrived by my vehicle and opened the door, I could feel a SOFT TOUCH on my SHINBONE. Completely surprised I walked two steps back and watched to the floor to see what was touching me?

WOW! In the light of my headlight I saw a Leopard resting under my vehicle. It was the Leopard who gives me a soft slap (luckily without his claws) just to let me know:
Hey Man, I’m here, be carefully where to you trap!

I immediately realised that this was a still young female Leopard, who didn’t know how handling this situation. Luckily she was not aggressive but curios!
I made another few steps back and said to my clients:
There is a Leopard under our vehicle!
Yes, yes they said and laughed because they thought I would made another joke! No it’s not a joke, it's real! Watch under the vehicle. What should we do, they ask? Move slowly back and go into your tent, but don't run!

But what about me? I could not enter my vehicle, because of the Leopard under the car. I walked back a few steps to see what’s happen further. The Leopard moved out now her place under my vehicle onto the opposite site, which gives me the chance to climb into my save vehicle. The Leopard walked all around the camp, ones very close by my clients tent and further on under our table. As she where very curios and wants to know everything what’s going on here. All the time as she walked around I was speaking to this fantastic and beautiful creature something like “you are soooooo beautiful, absolutely gorgeous and fantastic”!
I was so fascinated of her beauty, majestic and powerful moving, that I even forgot to make a picture! Then suddenly the Leopard walked back to the table where the clients “beauty case” was on the floor. The Leopard sniffed on that beauty case, and she packed this good smelling thing and walked away back into the bush.

As the Leopard didn’t return into our camp, I decided after a while to go into my tent for sleeping as well. As allways I parked my vehicle only 1 meter away from my tent entrance and the vehicles key remains in the lock, e.g. in case of an emergency like Lions visiting the camp, I could get out of my tent and enter the vehicle immediately to chase away whatever it moves around our tents.

I slept and snored like “a little baby” dreaming of the Leopard. Until around 05:00 a.m. some raindrops waked me up. But luckily only a few drops and I didn’t have to stand up to close my tents windows. I tried to sleep another hour before it’s time to stand up at sunset! But firstly I feel that a must go for a “call of nature”. So I picked up my headlight and switched it on, and the first I saw where the Leopards head again under my vehicle, only two meter away!

I don’t know how long that Leopard was there again. Possibly she was attracted by my “snoring”! However my strong headlight irritated the Leopard and she decided to move back into the bush.

The following morning we found the “rest” of the clients beauty case in the bush nearby, and guests where asking me why that the Leopard where taking away the beauty case? I joked, and explained that it was a “Female” and she where looking into the Beauty case to find a lovely “perfume like Chanel No.5”... Just in case that the male Leopard returns as at the previous night, to be a “beautiful and nice smelling Lady”! Everybody were laughing after my jock and happy to survive this absolutely crazy night we had!  

This special experience was a great privilege which happens only ones in your lifetime! But maybe some of you dear readers, think that this is only a “fairy story” from my side. Please contact me anytime, I gladly provide you with the two guest contact details, so that you can ask personal about this story. Reality and genuine truth -  word by word!

 

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