Namibia question

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metacritic
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:58 pm

Namibia question

Post by metacritic » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:02 pm

Experienced travelers -- I am contemplating a family trip to Namibia and wonder what those who have been have to report back in terms of the experience, price, and range of things to do.

I've made some 40 trips to parts of Africa, yet I have never traveled to Namibia nor have I seen any geography like that of Namibia. I have young-ish children, ages 10 and 7.

Does a trip of 7-10 days make sense (we would be coming from South Africa in this case, adding on to some work travel) and will it seem rewarding compared, say, to a drive through Kruger? I have little knowledge of what to expect, having seen the otherworldly photography that is on the web but knowing nothing else.

Natsdoc
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Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 8:53 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by Natsdoc » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:14 pm

Following as I’m going next month for work!

stan1
Posts: 5989
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by stan1 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:22 pm

You've been to Africa 40 times. You already know how to travel safely in Africa and either know how to handle the unexpected yourself or know to pay someone to get you around the hurdles. I've only been to Africa four times including places like Cameroon and Mozambique that are not tourist destinations. Together they have been among the most impactful trips I've ever taken. By all means you should go with your kids, just a matter of setting up the logistics. I would hire a private local guide but can't help with the specifics since I haven't been there.

TravelGeek
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Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by TravelGeek » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:33 pm

metacritic wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:02 pm

Does a trip of 7-10 days make sense (we would be coming from South Africa in this case, adding on to some work travel) and will it seem rewarding compared, say, to a drive through Kruger? I have little knowledge of what to expect, having seen the otherworldly photography that is on the web but knowing nothing else.
So about three years ago we did a 10 day (plus travel to/from US) self-driving trip that took us all over the country. We had previously (15 yrs ago) spent two weeks in South Africa, including a week of driving all over Kruger.

In short, we absolutely loved Namibia. We did spend a few days in Etosha National Park, probably the closest to Kruger as far as “safari experience”, but we saw so much more of the country that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.

We booked a 4x4 pickup truck and a series of lodge/guest house stays through a Namibian agency that specializes on such trips. They have many pre-selected routes you can choose from, but you can also customize/configure to your own desire. I can dig up more details if it helps you.

Can’t wait to go back.

metacritic
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:58 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by metacritic » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:36 am

Truly grateful for this trip report. I'm reasonably intrepid but it is different to travel with young children. Given the many great opportunities in Southern Africa I also was/am looking for reassurance that this is time well spent. You seem to be indicating it is.

May I ask where else you traveled other than Etosha and how you allocated your time and how you would re-allocate if doing that trip all over again?

My thanks!
TravelGeek wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:33 pm

So about three years ago we did a 10 day (plus travel to/from US) self-driving trip that took us all over the country. We had previously (15 yrs ago) spent two weeks in South Africa, including a week of driving all over Kruger.

In short, we absolutely loved Namibia. We did spend a few days in Etosha National Park, probably the closest to Kruger as far as “safari experience”, but we saw so much more of the country that I wouldn’t have wanted to miss.

We booked a 4x4 pickup truck and a series of lodge/guest house stays through a Namibian agency that specializes on such trips. They have many pre-selected routes you can choose from, but you can also customize/configure to your own desire. I can dig up more details if it helps you.

Can’t wait to go back.

metacritic
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:58 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by metacritic » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:38 am

Don't hesitate to tack on your own questions. I'm sure we would both learn from the feedback given.
Natsdoc wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:14 pm
Following as I’m going next month for work!

an_asker
Posts: 2198
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:15 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by an_asker » Fri Oct 19, 2018 9:46 am

metacritic wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:02 pm
Experienced travelers -- I am contemplating a family trip to Namibia and wonder what those who have been have to report back in terms of the experience, price, and range of things to do.

I've made some 40 trips to parts of Africa, yet I have never traveled to Namibia nor have I seen any geography like that of Namibia. I have young-ish children, ages 10 and 7.

Does a trip of 7-10 days make sense (we would be coming from South Africa in this case, adding on to some work travel) and will it seem rewarding compared, say, to a drive through Kruger? I have little knowledge of what to expect, having seen the otherworldly photography that is on the web but knowing nothing else.
Don't call me an experienced traveller ... but you might want to a) check out Namibia centric trip reports on FlyerTalk and/or b) post your question there as well.

That said, if you are going for the sake of your kids, a) why don't you take them to places you've been to and b) wouldn't they be too young to appreciate the special things in Africa that you won't get elsewhere? Even Kruger wouldn't be much of a learning/fun experience for 10 and 7 year olds I would think. They might appreciate a zoo more.

PS: We recently returned from South Africa - with two teenagers - and we all appreciated it.

metacritic
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:58 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by metacritic » Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:27 am

Children absolutely not too young to appreciate Africa travels. South Africa is one of their favorite places in the world. They will (likely) spend a couple weeks there again with me before any add-on. And the following year we will all go to East Africa to Kenya, another place dear to me.

The question for me is what to add on to South Africa this time. More SA? Beach? Or something like Namibia.

Bfwolf
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Re: Namibia question

Post by Bfwolf » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:25 pm

Would this trip take place during Northern Hemisphere Summer?

jminv
Posts: 576
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:58 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by jminv » Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:38 pm

metacritic wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:27 am
Children absolutely not too young to appreciate Africa travels. South Africa is one of their favorite places in the world. They will (likely) spend a couple weeks there again with me before any add-on. And the following year we will all go to East Africa to Kenya, another place dear to me.

The question for me is what to add on to South Africa this time. More SA? Beach? Or something like Namibia.
Namibia is nice, I would recommend doing a road trip. There is a lot to see but also big empty spaces and some stunning scenery. There are many options for this, check out some of the trip reports for ‘Namibia road trip’ and see what interests you. I don’t think it’s something the kids will forget. Prices are ok, nothing crazy.

I’ve spent a lot of time in South Africa and travelled/worked throughout the country. I like it a lot but sounds like you’ve been a few times before so try something new for your add on. If I were a kid and I’d already done Kruger and already was spending some time with you in South Africa on the trip I would probably like Namibia more than say doing the garden route which sounds like maybe what you had in mind (beaches).

Could also catch a flight to Mauritius or Reunion if you like the idea of beach. With reunion there’s a lot of outdoor activities that are not beach related so if they tire of the beach they can go into the forest. Or spend some time at a lodge on lake Malawi. See Victoria falls, Zambia is lovely, Zimbabwe less so, can get the combined visa on arrival and do both of you like. On the Zambian side you can go out to a small island at the edge of the falls and literally sit on the edge (or even lean over). It’s professionally run, you have lunch after. That’s not something they would forget.

metacritic
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:58 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by metacritic » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:28 pm

Northern hemisphere summer: August specifically.
Bfwolf wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:25 pm
Would this trip take place during Northern Hemisphere Summer?

metacritic
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:58 pm

Re: Namibia question

Post by metacritic » Fri Oct 19, 2018 1:31 pm

Brilliant. Thank you. And yes, I’m tempted to add a weekend trip to the falls. I’ve been before and agree children would love it.

Thanks for the google tip on searching for Namibia road trips. Thanks too to the poster suggesting I look at trip reports on FlyerTalk.
jminv wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:38 pm
metacritic wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 11:27 am
Children absolutely not too young to appreciate Africa travels. South Africa is one of their favorite places in the world. They will (likely) spend a couple weeks there again with me before any add-on. And the following year we will all go to East Africa to Kenya, another place dear to me.

The question for me is what to add on to South Africa this time. More SA? Beach? Or something like Namibia.
Namibia is nice, I would recommend doing a road trip. There is a lot to see but also big empty spaces and some stunning scenery. There are many options for this, check out some of the trip reports for ‘Namibia road trip’ and see what interests you. I don’t think it’s something the kids will forget. Prices are ok, nothing crazy.

I’ve spent a lot of time in South Africa and travelled/worked throughout the country. I like it a lot but sounds like you’ve been a few times before so try something new for your add on. If I were a kid and I’d already done Kruger and already was spending some time with you in South Africa on the trip I would probably like Namibia more than say doing the garden route which sounds like maybe what you had in mind (beaches).

Could also catch a flight to Mauritius or Reunion if you like the idea of beach. With reunion there’s a lot of outdoor activities that are not beach related so if they tire of the beach they can go into the forest. Or spend some time at a lodge on lake Malawi. See Victoria falls, Zambia is lovely, Zimbabwe less so, can get the combined visa on arrival and do both of you like. On the Zambian side you can go out to a small island at the edge of the falls and literally sit on the edge (or even lean over). It’s professionally run, you have lunch after. That’s not something they would forget.

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