Namibia Explorer Safari Review

Ian Hemmings from the West Midlands in the UK joint a small group departure to Namibia in March 2009. This Wild Dog Namibia Explorer Safari, visiting both northern and southern Namibia, runs weekly departing on a Tuesday.

I embarked on my first ever safari in Namibia and I cannot fault the service I had from my two guides for the duration of my stay. They made me feel at home straight away. We departed from Windhoek heading for the AfriCat Foundation. This is the first time I got up close and personal to Cheetahs. The best part of my experience at the AfriCat Foundation was at night when I looked up to the Milky Way – a sight not often enjoyed in Europe.

Over the next few days we traveled to and around the Etosha National Park, where we engaged on numerous game drives. I saw many different animals of Africa with the mysterious and magical elephants taking an appearance. I had a truly humbling experience, when I was invited into the Himba community and sampled their culture.

Ian Hemmings quad biking near Swakopmund

We then headed off towards Swakopmund taking in the Brandenburg Mountain as well as the Skeleton Coast. Along the Skeleton Coast we stopped off at Cape Cross and got up close to the seals.

Swakopmund was our base for two nights. The accommodation was on a B&B basis, but there are plenty of areas to eat within Swakopmund. We visited various bars around the area – all friendly and welcoming. During my time in Swakopmund I went quad biking into the desert, an awesome experience.

The next day we set off to see the flamingos at Walvis Bay, before heading off back into the desert. We then carried on to our campsite for the next two days. A predawn start was in order, so that I could see the beauty of the rising sun over the Namib Desert and the dunes at Sossusvlei. We stopped after breakfast at the foot of Dune 45, which I climbed.

Ian Hemmings at Sossusvlei

The next day was the final day of my safari, which meant we had to head back to Windhoek. The journey took us through a beautiful mountain range as well as the Remhogate Pass and finally approaching Windhoek.

I enjoyed my safari experience and fully intend on embarking on another African adventure in the near future. The thing I loved most about my trip most was meeting local tribes people and that the money spent on the safari contributed to the local people and not to multinational companies.

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One thought on “Namibia Explorer Safari Review

  1. Thanks for this review Ian.

    Namibia is a beautiful country noted for its desert environments. We often get asked about activities such as quad biking and 4×4 driving in the desert. It is possible to enjoy these activities responsibly in selected locations as Ian experienced here. The area between Swakupmund and Walvis Bay has tracks set aside specifically for these activities – it is crucial not to venture out of this designated area.

    There is some controversy over the use of bikes in the sand dunes as it poses a threat to some of the animal species and plant life that make the sand dunes their homes. The Skeleton Coast has a highly vulnerable soil surface due to a very brittle gypsum crust and extremely sensitive lichen fields.

    The lichens grow on the gypsum which breaks up easily when cars or quad bikes drive over it. It may take up to 100 years for the gypsum to form again and the lichens to recover. Besides that, lichens are extremely slow growing hence this leaves a long-lasting scar clearly visible from the air. It can also disturb nesting sea birds such as the Damara Tern, one of the rarest seabirds in southern Africa, which breeds exclusively along the Namibian coast in November/December.

    Permanent scaring of desert surface due to illegal 4x4 driving. Photo courtesy of from Henties Bay Tourism Association.
    Permanent scaring of desert surface due to illegal 4×4 driving.
    Photo courtesy of Henties Bay Tourism Association.

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