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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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Adventure in the Kalahari Desert

Adventure in the Kalahari Desert

UNEXPECTED „SHOWER – VISITORS“

During one of my previous tours with regular visitors we spent two overnight stay at the Mabuasehube Game Reserve in Botswana. The campsite is well know as a place where Lions can be observed very often and very close. Because all camps in Botswana has is no fence around the camp, and therefore we must expect wildlife visitors anytime.

I therefore start preparing our diner hourly after we finished set up our camp. We  enjoyed our diner during daylight. After our meal we went on an evening Safari drive. When we came back into our camp just before sunset, we realized that our camp was occupied by 3 male Lion’s. They are joining us for a while before they left our campsite and walked down to the nearby salt pan. This gives us the change to relax and enjoy a glass of red wine before we get tired and we decide to go into our tent’s to having a restful night.

As we walk to our tents I realised that somebody were visiting us. I switched on my torch and yes - there was a Leopard drinking water from the drain hole by our Shower facility. Wow - what an exceptional beautiful cat! We could watch them for about 5 minutes before it was satisfied and moved back into the darkness. We were very impressed by this majestic beauty.

 

Kalahari Desert Adventure

We than went to our tents, but just 10 minutes after we went to bed, Lion’s returned into our camp for drinking water from the same sources as the Leopard just before. Therefore this little water hole was empty now and the Lion’s starts completely frustrated roaring so close by our tents, that we felt vibrations on our tents. We must “enjoy” this nightly concert every 15 minutes when they starts roaring again until late night. Next morning, we're a bit tired, just to find the Lion’s not even 100 meters far away under some bushes sleeping, when we left our tents.

They were to lazy (no wonder after all the activity during the night) and so we prepared our breakfast and enjoyed it. We left the camp for a longer Safari drive in this area, and when we came back to our camp for lunch, we recognised that Lions left the place as well and walked somewhere in the bush.

This gives us the possibility to do our daily routine in our camp and we got a shower. But I know, that this peace and tranquillity can change anytime, I prepared diner again hourly to be finished if the Lions returns. And we decided not to undertake an evening drive, because we hoped to observe the beautiful Leopard again, should he return for drinking water on this evening too. We therefore placed our chairs just in front of our vehicle and watched very carefully up to the shower facility. And just after dark, we realised some moving by the shower. We switched on our torches and we saw not a Leopard drinking water, today it was a Brown Hyena. We were very impressed once again, because this creature is nocturnal and can't be observed very easy.

 

Wildlife in the Kalahari Desert

On the next morning we bracket down our camp immediately after breakfast, as long the Lion’s were still patrolling the territory. And after we finished the work, I recommend my guest to enjoy a last shower, because on our next destination on this tour was no water available. OK that’s a good idea my guest said, and walked up to the shower. Hans enjoyed a shower first, and when he returns Anita walked up to the shower facilities as well. In the mean time we packed our equipment into our vehicle, and when I watched up I saw the two male Lion's walking on the road, directly to the shower to drink water.

The first one just past the shower without realized that somebody was in there, the second one just past Anita maybe 5 meter away from her. He stopped for a second and watched her. Luckily Anita where nearly paralysed and motionless, therefore the second Lion was not interested and walked around the shower to get some water as well. At the mean time, I said to Hans come on get into the vehicle, we must drive up to the shower immediately to rescue your love one!

I drove up just one meter far away from the shower, and we open the backseat door, and I give Anita the order, jump into the car quickly. Wow what a jump! When everybody were save, we drove around the shower facilities and we made some pictures.

 

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After that Adrenalin rush we made some jokes. I said to her that I’m very proud about here jump into the vehicle, she could participate on the next Athletic world championships and I’m sure she would be winning the Gold medal. Yes, she said, I’m very proud by myself because I didn’t know that I’m still so movable and quick with my 60 years of age.      

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Favourite dishes on Safari

Favourite dishes on Safari

Wonderful News!

It's hunting season, and we are happy to inform all our clients that we are again able to serve excellent meat from Oryx, Eland, and Springbok. Extraordinary freshly homemade “Blue Wildebeest sausage” and our very special Oryx-goulash!

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We therefore very proud to surprise our guests again with meals beyond there expectations, specially prepared after every eventful Safari! And for such excellent dishes, we recommend a good glass of our local wine from the “Orange wine cellar”, who where so successful on the last “International wine exhibition” in France! The “With Muscatel” for examples beats most of the other 230 producers from 24 countries. Most of South Africa’s visitor only knows that excellent wines are made in the Cape region, but just “insiders” know that the Northern Cape province have also good wine – makers, producing good wine from the grapes growing along the “Orange River”!  

Safari Africa

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Namaqua National Park: flowering time

Namaqua National Park: flowering time

Thanks hourly rain this year, the first flowers at Namaqua National Park and the surrounding areas can already be discovered. Also the town Springbok are already dottet with carpets of flowers.

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To prefent this world famous spectacle we hope that more rain will fall during the next few weeks, so that we and our guests can enjoy this natural wonder for as long as possible!

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Thieving Lions in the Kalahari desert

Thieving Lions in the Kalahari desert

Even after 17 years of experiences in the wilderness, Kalahari habitants can still surprise me! On one of my last tour through the Kalahari we settled our camp side on the edge of a large Kalahari saltpan on the Botswana side of the “Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park”. There are hundreds of different antelopes on the pan to leaking the essential salt and minerals. After a while I discovered 2 Lions on the opposite side of the saltpan with my binocular. We observed the scenery until it went to dark. We then enjoyed our diner around the fire, and went to bed after a beautiful day in the Kalahari desert.

Lions in the Kalahari desert

In the morning just after 5am I woke up and I realized that my wife Helen, who was driving the second 4x4 vehicle, where already up. I called “Hey Helen where are you?” I’m sitting behind the vehicle and look the spectacular sunrise, was the answer! OK it's time for me as well to stand up I decide! I opened my tent, and had a closer look as always to the left and then to the right. Wow, what’s that? A big Lion’s head is observing the scenery of our campsite just about 20 meters away. The `Majesty’ was lying behind a tree, not aggressively; he was just curious to see what’s going on in his territory. "Hey Helen my love, did you see our neighbor behind the tree there?" Helen's head turned around the vehicles corner. "Witch neighbor, and where?" "Just there by the tree." "What do you mean? Oh a Lion!"

"Yes indeed a Lion, so please go into the vehicle, but don’t run, go slowly."

Our Safari guests could hear our conversation, and where starting to move and open the tent to have a close look to our surprising visitor. That was too much. All the noise and activities have let the Lion decide to move away, before all this “Paparazzi” get out of the tents to make pictures. He stood up, and he moved slowly and proudly away. OK, I said to the guests. The Lion is moving away, you can safely leaving your tents to have a closer look. We then were privileged to observe the beautiful beast for about 10 minutes before he walked into the dens bush.

OK it’s time preparing breakfast. I walked to the table to head up water for tea or coffee. But what’s that. Now I realized that my gas cooker made by solid steel where not on the table anymore, where I left it in the evening. Only the gas bottle with the chewed gas pipe where lying on the ground. The cooker - what a miracle - isn’t here anymore. Where is this cooker going? Flying away? No, I saw tracks and raze in the sand. The Lions moved them up to the nearby sand dune.

I climbed into the 4x4 vehicle to drive up the dune to get my cooker back, but unfortunately the “Thief’s” moved them further into the thorny bushes, and it was to dangerous following the tracks further deep into the bush, because the Lions are still somewhere, even if we didn’t see them. Therefore I turned back into the camp to inform our guests that I could only offer a bottle of cold beer for breakfast.  Our guests where very amused and laughed loudly after that little adventure.

Since then I store my gas cooker every evening in the vehicle before going to rest...

Kalahari desert

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Safari in South Africa

Safari in South Africa

Safari in South Africa

This tour was choosen by our guests from Poland as a Chalet-Tour in the beginning of 2013. We started in Upington to visit the highlights of the Nortern Cape Province of South Africa. Tour 2 - Pearls of the Northern Cape was ideal for this safari vacation.      

Safari South Africa

Highlights of the Northern Cape

Safari Highlight #1
The two day safari drive at the Kgalagadi National Park was very successfully. We where privileged observe a whole pack of Lions on our first game drive. Especially the world knows black manned Kalahari Lion was absolutely impressive.

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Kalahari desert - weather conditions

Kalahari desert - weather conditions

What's the best time to visiting the Kalahari desert?

SUMMER:

In the Kalahari we only have two seasons. Hot summer season from round about October until April. First rain usually can be expected end of November. Peak rainy season are between February to April. But we do not having days with whole day raining, Normally we having on 2 to 3 days a thunder storm in the evening, until temperatures have dropping a bit, and then we ones again have sunny days until temperatures heats up again for the next thunder storm.
Temperatures between Decembers to end of March are up to 38 degrees, and it doesn’t cools down a lot during the night. But these high temperatures are not unpleasant, because there is always a pleasant breeze and not this high humid as around the equator happens.

WINTER:

Between May and October there is normally no rainfall. Blue sky for weeks is usual, quit warm temperatures between 18 to 22 degrees during daytime, but during the night temperatures can easily drops down to minus 7 degrees. You therefore needs warm winter clothes and important a really warm sleeping bag, for a restful sleep. This weather and temperature conditions are typically for such an arid semi desert as the Kalahari is.

 

Current Weather Conditions for Kalahari Desert at Twee Rivieren

                            

There is no common answer for this question! Generally all the year!

Deepens where your priorities are:
During winter time the possibility observing animals at the human made water holes, is a little bit likelihood, because all animals must come to the water hole if they are thirsty. Therefore with a bit of luck and passion you’ll have a good change for excellent pictures. But keep in mind that the landscape will be dry and brown.
But should you prefer to see the beauty of the Kalahari after a good rainfall, the best time then is between November to March, because the scenarios of the Kalahari are spectacular. Cooper red sand dunes, covered with yellow and violet flowers, green grass, blue sky with some with clouds gives you fantastic pictures of the Magic of the Kalahari Desert. Much Antelopes having babies from approximately November on.

Therefore it is completely up to you witch season you prefer for visiting the unique Kalahari.

 

Climate and Temperature Table for Kalahari Desert

January:  19,6 - 35,5°C

February: 18,5 - 34,9°C

March: 16,8 - 32,5°C

April: 11,6 - 28,5°C

May: 5,5 - 22,9°C

June: 2,2 - 21,5°C

July: 1,1 - 21,8°C

August: 2,7 - 23,8°C

September: 7,3 - 28,7°C

October: 11,8 - 30,9°C

November: 15,9 - 33,5°C

December: 17,9 - 33,1°C

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