$2K Photography Crawl Through Namibia

My Best Trip is an anonymous, vacation-in-the-life diary that provides a real-world look (including cost!) at exceptional trips.

Sossusvlei-Dunes in Nambia Africa.jpg

*No service, jeep adventures, and animals (lots of animals!).

MEET OUR TRAVELER
Your job:
Business development & marketing manager
Your age:
35
Where you’re based:
Beirut, Lebanon
The month you traveled:
May

QUICK BACKGROUND

Trip goal: De-stress/fun. I try to explore a completely new country every year. I had read a lot about Namibia and how visually stimulating it is! This was my first time visiting Africa.

Your go-to trip planning tools: Photography is my passion,  so I always start by looking at the scenery. Once the excitement kicks in, I start looking up hotels and eventually restaurants and things to do. My references range from a lot of travel blogs, travel magazines like Culture Trip, Conde Nast, and I fine tune eventually based on availability and rates.

QUICK FACTS
Destination visited:
Cape Town and Namibia
Length of trip:
7 Days
Cost of trip: $2,000
Trip type: Adventure! This is also a perfect trip to disconnect as there are plenty of areas with zero service. It's also a bonding trip for two because of long hours on the road, whether SO or sibling or best friend. It might be enhanced if another couple travels, too. Not a trip for a big group in my opinion. Prepare for a bumpy ride as most roads are gravel!
Vibe: Photography dreams, road adventures, animals & more animals! 

THE QUICK & DIRTY

THE GREAT

Sossuvlei Desert
The vastness of it, the dunes (never two alike!), the ever-changing colors depending on the sun.. it changes from beige to shades of pastel pink to bright orange.. the lines of the dunes change daily.. the calmness of the desert.

Skeleton Coast
You can only explore the entire coast by air, but we stopped at one of the many shipwrecks along the coast, and the grandeur and brutality of the weather was totally mesmerizing.

Spreetshoogte Pass/Kuiseb Canyon Pass 
While planning a road trip, I check maps, but I never pay attention to elevation or topography so we had a few surprises, including mountain passes with tight winding roads! They were adrenaline inducers, but deff worth the views!

If a carnivore, game meat is a must!

THE NOT SO GREAT
The market in the capital Windhoek I thought was over-hyped. Although you can find plenty of locally made items, it lacks the feel of a market. It's more of a basic mall/shops feel.

In Swakopmund, always dine in non-hotel restaurants like Jetty or The Tug. Hotel restaurants are what they are: hotel restaurants. They lack the vibe!

Nothing about Namibia is overrated.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?
African sunsets/sunrises. They are special, every day - a wow moment every single time. 

Photo courtesy of Karma Soueid

Photo courtesy of Karma Soueid

THE ITINERARY  

DAY 1 
Cape Town

Land @13:45 p.m.Check In at the Gorgeous George (30-minute drive from airport)
Walk around MALAY DISTRICT

DAY 2
Boulder Beach (penguins) and Cape Point
Table Top Mountain (cable car and hike)

DAY 3 
Cape Town / Windhoek
Depart at 5:55a.m.  // Land at 8:05a.m.
Drive to Etosha National Park (5.5 hours)
Check in at Mushara Outpost (dinner and breakfast)

 DAY 4 
Game at 7 a.m. and  3 p.m.Sleep at Mushara Outpost

DAY 5 
Etosha / Swakopmund (10 hours via Etosha National Park)
Check in at The Delight Swakompund (breakfast included)

DAY 6 
Shipwreck: Zeila
Cape Cross Seal Reserve
Desert biking
Sleep at The Delight Swakompund

 

DAY 7 
Swakopmund / Sossusvlei (5 hours)
Check in at Desert Quiver Camp (breakfast included)
Sossusvlei Desert (Dune 45)
Sleep at Desert Quiver Camp

DAY 8
Sossulvei/Windhoek (4 hours)
Hot air balloon at 5 a.m. - 8 a.m. (pick up at Sossuslvei Lodge) cancelled
Sossusvlei Desert (Deadvlei, Hidden Vlei)
Check in at Am Winberg Hotel

 DAY 9 
Check out and leave for airport

THE BOTTOM LINE
Pick Namibia because it's still below the radar, not a lot of tourists, vast country, relatively cheap, too, with PLENTY to see. I would go again and explore the north and south, which are definitely worth a look and very diverse from what I covered this time around. Every segment I covered is completely different from the safari to the foggy coast to the arid desert passing by mountainous roads.


KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Learn how to change a tire! Ninety percent of the roads were gravel. Chances of a flat tire were high. We were lucky! 4x4 is a must no matter what you read! And fill up the tank every chance you get, no taking risks!

I learned never to take refueling for granted - very scarce petrol stations! Also, paved roads are a blessing - 75 percent of our trip was on gravel, dirt etc.

I will never consider going to a zoo in the future. Animals in the wild are where they should be and should be seen there.

I would definitely go back and make an extended trip to include the places I couldn't squeeze in this time like Fish River Canyon down south.


COST BREAKDOWN
Ticket $1,200 // on SS points
Cape Town / Namibia ticket $188
Gorgeous George 2 nights $282 (including breakfast)
Mushara Outpost 2 nights $726 (including breakfast and dinner)
The Delight 2 nights $348 (including breakfast)
Desert Quiver Camp 2 nights $263 (including breakfast)
AM Weinberg Hotel Windhoek $120
Car rental $478
Hot air balloon $482/person (cancelled due to weather so refunded)

*$2,000 including all hotels (breakfast and lunch), car rental,  game viewing twice. Flight was purchased with miles ($1,200 if not). This is excluding gas, lunch. No shopping money as not much to buy except a few souvenirs.

Dylan Essertier