The essence of this trip is an organised tour with a South African operator and a medium sized group. They promise a comparatively plain standard with tent accommodation and long day trips in a not too comfortable kind of bus. They seek grown adults in good health and with an adventurous mind – like me I suppose. The safari starts in Windhoek, Namibia and ends 15 days later in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. In addition there will be another five days in transit.
This journey will lead me to five countries in Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe as part of the safari, and Zambia and South Africa on my way out. Furthermore, there will be a few hours in Qatar on the way in and a night in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) on the return trip.
I will use this post to present my itinerary. It is posted on the eve of my departure and will be adjusted when I return, hopefully satisfied and full of impressions.
Leg 1, The outward journey (Stavanger – Doha – Windhoek)
Stavanger – Doha
Stavanger, Norway is the place I live. I will catch a Scandinavian Airlines flight to Copenhagen, Denmark and board a Qatar Airways flight to Doha, Qatar. The afternoon arrival and after midnight departure to Windhoek offers an opportunity to see Doha. My estimated time of arrival means that there will be some daylight, enough to let me get some impressions of the city, before diving into the bazaars during the night hours.
The last time I was in Doha my plans went to pieces due to a huge delay. I wrote this: “I had been looking forward to three hours of daylight – enough to grab a taxi at the airport and explore the bay called Corniche making up Doha’s seaside front, and more. I would have been able to see the architectural masterpiece housing the Museum of Islamic Art with a lot of treasures inside. In the evening, after the sunset, I would have had the opportunity to wander into the maze of Souq Waqif. I might even had time available to dig into a modern shopping mall like the Villaggio before a few hours of sleep at my booked hotel.”
This time I hope my wishes will be fulfilled, except that I will not stay at a hotel.
Doha – Windhoek
The flight from Doha to Windhoek, Namibia is an overnight flight and I will hopefully get some sleep on the plane – I usually do. There is a morning landing upon which I will make a transfer to my hotel and have the afternoon and evening to explore the Namibian capital. The attractions seems for the most part to be linked to the German colonial era, with food, beer and architecture. I should be able to visit the church Christuskirche, the Alte Feste fortress and the parliament building Tintenpalast during the daytime. They are located next to each other. During the day or in the evening Joe’s Beerhouse seems to be the place to eat and drink.
Leg 2, The safari (Windhoek – Victoria Falls)
Windhoek – Namib Desert
I have received detailed information about the road trip from the operator, Kiboko Adventures, but will not get into details in this post. If everything goes as planned, there will be numerous articles after I return home.
I will be picked up at my hotel in Windhoek and transferred to a camp on the edge of the Namib Desert stopping in the dune belt to witness the world’s highest sand dunes. There will be hikes to Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and through the Sesriem Canyon, some awesome sights judging from pictures I’ve seen. The desert is a World Heritage Site.
We then leave the desert and drive up north to the coast at Walvis Bay and stay a couple of nights in Swakopmund, a former German colonial town. From here we move west and north to the boulders of the Spitzkoppe Mountains.
Wildlife in national parks
Coming up next is the Etosha National Park in northern Namibia. The park is recognised as one of the most important reserves and game sanctuaries in Africa. I’m looking forward to seeing wildlife like blue wildebeest, springbok, zebra, kudu, giraffe, cheetah, leopard, lion and elephant at the waterholes. We will be staying at a couple of camps in Etosha.
The Kavango River and the Okavango Delta are the next destinations. The latter is located in Botswana and is a World Heritage Site as well. Our nights will be at various places and during the days we’ll venture into the delta in boats, canoe style, to watch more birds and wildlife. Another national park is coming up after this, the Chobe.
Victoria Falls for the grande finale
The final stage of this safari is one of the world’s most spectacular sights. The Victoria Falls is the world’s largest sheet of falling water and was given its name by explorer David Livingstone in 1855. I will be staying one night in the town called Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. This is where my organised tour ends. The following day I will move across the waterfall to Livingstone, Zambia.
Leg 3, The return (Livingstone – Johannesburg – Dubai)
With only a day and night to spend in Livingstone I will see if I make it to the museum and a walk around the colonial centre. Otherwise, both cities (Victoria Falls and Livingstone) are densely packed with activities related to the waterfall (bungee jumping, rib boat, helicopter and more). Nonetheless, I have a flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.
I arrive in Johannesburg late in the afternoon and have a flight late on the evening the next day. That means I have an evening and a full day in Johannesburg. I have to prepare a plan to see the city, may be also take an excursion to the capital Pretoria and a tour of Soweto.
On my return to Norway I searched for the best possible opportunity for a long layover, usually called a stopover. I found it. My Emirates Airlines flight from Johannesburg lands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in the morning, and leaves for Oslo the next morning. This means I have about 24 hours to spend in an exciting city.
That’s it for now. I’m looking forward to this trip and I don’t like to be disappointed.
After my return home, and before I have been able to publish anything from my journey (except on Instagram) I will conclude that the trip was a success, in every respect. This is my road map.