First timer trip to Namibia and Botswana. Am I being too ambitious?





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  1. #1
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    Default First timer trip to Namibia and Botswana. Am I being too ambitious?

    I am planning a firs time trip to Namibia and Botswana in May 2010. I Have a Toyota Fortuna 3D 4x4 fitted with SAC chip, Koni shocks and Cooper STT’s. I will be towing a Commander. Following is a rough itinerary of the trip I have planned. Am I being too ambitious?
    Rough planned itinerary of the trip is as follows:
    Departure: Glen Harvie Gauteng
    Day 1 Kuruman (Municipal Caravan Park?)
    Day 2 Augrabie Falls (Augrabie Campsite?)
    Day 3 Augrabie Falls (Augrabie Campsite?)
    Day 4 Ai-Ais Park (Ai-Ais Resort?)
    Day 5 Ai-Ais Park (Ai-Ais Resort?)
    Day 6 Sendelingsdrif (Sendelingsdrif campsite?)
    Day 7 Aus (Klein Aus Vista Campsite?)
    Day 8 Maltahohe (Daweb Guest farm?)
    Day 9 Sossusvlei area (Hauchabfontein Campsite?)
    Day 10 Sossusvlei area (Hauchabfontein Campsite?)
    Day 11 Swakopmunt (Alte Bruecke Campsite?)
    Day 12 Swakopmunt (Alte Bruecke Campsite?)
    Day 13 Windhoek (Arrebusch campsite?)
    Day 14 Windhoek (Arrebusch campsite?)
    Day 15 Kalahari Anib Lodge?
    Day 16 Kgalagadi Park (Mata Mata Campsite?)
    Day 17 Kgalagadi Park (Nossob Campsite?)
    Day 18 Kgalagadi Park (Nossob Campsite?)
    Day 19 Kgalagadi Park (Twee Rivieren Campsite?)
    Day 20 Vryburg ( Boereplaas Holiday Resort Campsite?)
    Day 21 Home ( exhausted? J)

    I have approximately 4 days spare to change itinerary. Any comments or suggestions will be gratefully accepted. Thanks for an incredible off road forum and keep up the good work.

  2. #2
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    My one trip to the KTFP taught me one thing - stay over two nights in one camp. I under estimated the time it takes to travel the distance and ended up packing up every day and driving - not nice experience. All the game and lions are out first thing in the morning, by the time we hit the road we did not see that much.
    Just pack and go - I went travelling with a wife and a one year old on our own, no other vehicles.
    Keep a note book on the dash with a pen and jot down ideas or things that you would pack differently or would have left at home.
    Just go and enjoy it!!!
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  3. #3
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    I agree, KTP deserves more time. On the other hand, Ai-Ais deserves no time IMHO. When we hiked the Fish River Canyon earlier this year, we wanted to stay over there as that is where the hike finishes.

    The camping grounds and ablution blocks was not ok'ish, but not the best and their rates was through the roof. Also, there are no swimming pools anymore, ony popup pools where they pump in the warm spring water.

    They are busy renovating the site and I'm sure when it's finished it will be a top destination again, but at the moment, spending two nights there? I would'nt waist my time. I'd rather travel 60km's up noth to the Canyon Lodge, PM me for details. What a lovely place that is with WONDERFULL hospitality!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sniper View Post
    ......... I'd rather travel 60km's up noth to the Canyon Lodge, PM me for details. What a lovely place that is with WONDERFULL hospitality!
    Hi Sniper, I'd be interested in those details too, please post those here on the forum ?
    I've been trying to contact Hobas campsite without any luck .......

    ....... or can one just arrive there without booking - we will be there the 15th of September.

    BushSleeper, welcome to the Forum and enjoy your trip, still some time before you go but the planning and packing is also part of the fun
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  5. #5
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    IMHO, stay away from NWR run places (government run) and try to go to places where these guys have camping sites / loges: http://www.gondwana-collection.com/

    When the Ai-Ais resort is finished with all the renovations, Im sure it will be a very nice destination again.

    I've been trying to contact Hobas campsite without any luck .......
    When we were down there for the Fish River hike, Hobas made us pay again as they couldn't confirm our bookings... WE BOOKED A YEAR IN ADVANCE! There is a limit of 50 people per day that is allowed to start hiking the Fish River Canyon, but when we were there, they were letting people into the canyon left right and centre without any bookings! There is no control!

    So yes, if you want, you can just rock up there to camp...
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  6. #6
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    To the best of my knowledge AIS AIS has not yet re-opened, has been closed for about 2 years and when it does open @ NWR prices RRRRRRRR!
    HOBAS is conveniently situated at entrance to the Fish River Canyon, but also close by is Canyon Roadhouse.
    You don't say where you are crossing the border, because you have Sendlingsdrif after Ais Ais?
    After Augrabies cross at Vioolsdrif/Noordoewer and go straight to Fish River, then Aus via Seeheim.
    Make Richtersveld a seperate trip, it's beautiful but very slow going especially towing, bad roads, hectic passes etc. You need at least 4 days there, majic campsites on the Orange river.
    There is not much at Aus and Luderitz is only 100kms away. Shark Island Camp Site, is NWR but majic location.
    It sounds great and your trips are not long so you definetly won't be exhausted, just relaxed, refreshed and raring to go back again!
    I did CT, Fish River, Luderitz, Sossusvlei, Swakop, Etosha. Caprivi, Kasane (Bots), Vic Falls, Maun (Bots) Windhoek, Kgalagadi, Augrabies, CT in 21 days.
    Going back to Kgalagadi in April/May 2010 for a week.
    ENJOY
    Steve

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    Firstly WELCOME.

    We went to Augrabies last year - MOSQUITOS !!!! Make sure you take some insect repelent with. We tried everything, but got eaten alive.

    You can camp or stay in houses at Augrabies. The facilities are good.

    I can not comment on the Namib part of your trip.

    Pack and GO !! ENJOY IT.

    If you are riding alone consider renting a satelite phone ... if things go pear shaped in some remote spot.

  8. #8
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    When visiting the Fish river canyon, it is best to stay at Canyon Roadhouse. Lovely camping sites and friendly people.

    We stayed at Sophia Dale for 4 nights while we were in Swakopmund and can recommend it. Lovely place and friendly German owners. It,s a bit out of town but you don't get so much morning fog. Not so expensive as Alte Brucke.
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  9. #9
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    BushSleeper,

    I have 2 things for you to read:

    Namibia:http://www.pictureafrica.org/Picture..._CAMPERS..html

    Botswana:http://www.pictureafrica.org/Picture...ampers....html

    Your plan seems fine, apart from Ais Ais which is still closed. Hobas if fine and no booking necessary.

    Enough said.

  10. #10
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    Yip, agree on all Ai-Ais remarks, it is open though, when we were there earlier this year the "office" was a temporary bar and they had 12 fixed "luxury" tents with 2 beds in each, the camping grounds, ablution facilities and two temporary "swimming pools" - so there really is nothing else. The wanted to charge us R500 per person for those tents!!! There were only a few campers when we got there...

    The suits / rooms that they are building though looks great and the were in quite an advanced stage of building / renovating but yes, NWR prices may be sky high like Etosha lately...
    -

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  11. #11
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    Have not camped at Arrebusch Lodge in Windhoek, but stayed in a chalet there a while back (R500 a night!!!), is right on the main road, (Truck stops entrance is just opposite the Lodge's entrance!! and noisy, but i guess if you are tired enough you can sleep.

    Anybody in NAM have a suggestion for a GOOD alternative? or is Arrebusch as good as it gets?

    if it was me for R200 - R250 bucks a night i would rather park the caravan and stay in a pension (Guest house) for those 2 nights, as there is NO benefit in staying in the caravan. (at Arrebusch anyway - closer to nature etc.).

    can you camp at Daan viljoen i think it is called?
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  12. #12
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    In Windhoek it is better not to camp. No suitable campsites close to town. We thought maybe one can camp at Groos Barmen in Okahandja - but it is to far out

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Williepiet View Post
    In Windhoek it is better not to camp. No suitable campsites close to town. We thought maybe one can camp at Groos Barmen in Okahandja - but it is to far out
    It is not that far +-70km i think, but takes more than an hour in a AVIS platkar if i remember correctly. road is rather busy.
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  14. #14
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    I would just like to say thanks to Christob, Sniper, Stevienicks, ChrisF, Gert, FreeFlyd, Randy, Williepiet and SA4x4community for your usefull replies. It is great appreciated.

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    Sorry, I have only just spotted this one.

    Camping at Windhoek is fine if you go out of the City. Don't whatever you do, camp at Arebusch. Head out on the airport road (B6) to the Trans Kalahari campsite. It is a very decent spot, nice and quiet with a good restaurant and swimming pool as a bonus. It isn't that sheltered, though. I haven't got a note of how far out of town it is, but I guess about 20km from memory. It is not far after a large and obvious taxidermist with lots of coloured animals on the road-saide.

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeAG; 2009/09/08 at 10:08 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeAG View Post
    Sorry, I have only just spotted this one.

    Camping at Windhoek is fine if you go out of the City. Don't whatever you do, camp at Arebusch. Head out on the airport road (B6) to the Trans Kalahari campsite. It is a very decent spot, nice and quiet with a good restaurant and swimming pool as a bonus. It isn't that sheltered, though. I haven't got a note of how far out of town it is, but I guess about 20km from memory. It is not far after a large and obvious taxidermist with lots of coloured animals on the road-saide.

    Mike
    Is this the one HALFWAY to the airport? if so allow 20 - 25 minutes of very EASY driving.
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  17. #17
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    Yes, that's the one Randy....on the left as you head out of Windhoek towards the airport........a few kilometres after the police road-block.

    Mike
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BushSleeper View Post
    Am I being too ambitious?
    Day 1 Kuruman (Municipal Caravan Park?)
    Day 2 Augrabie Falls (Augrabie Campsite?)
    Day 3 Augrabie Falls (Augrabie Campsite?)
    Day 4 Ai-Ais Park (Ai-Ais Resort?)
    Day 5 Ai-Ais Park (Ai-Ais Resort?)
    Day 6 Sendelingsdrif (Sendelingsdrif campsite?)
    Day 7 Aus (Klein Aus Vista Campsite?)
    Day 8 Maltahohe (Daweb Guest farm?)
    Day 9 Sossusvlei area (Hauchabfontein Campsite?)
    Day 10 Sossusvlei area (Hauchabfontein Campsite?)
    Day 11 Swakopmunt (Alte Bruecke Campsite?)
    Day 12 Swakopmunt (Alte Bruecke Campsite?)
    Day 13 Windhoek (Arrebusch campsite?)
    Day 14 Windhoek (Arrebusch campsite?)
    Day 15 Kalahari Anib Lodge?
    Day 16 Kgalagadi Park (Mata Mata Campsite?)
    Day 17 Kgalagadi Park (Nossob Campsite?)
    Day 18 Kgalagadi Park (Nossob Campsite?)
    Day 19 Kgalagadi Park (Twee Rivieren Campsite?)
    Day 20 Vryburg ( Boereplaas Holiday Resort Campsite?)
    Day 21 Home ( exhausted? J)
    My suggestion - stay a minimum of 2 nights at every destination unless you are just travelling from A to B. A holiday is meant to be relaxing!

    Some comments -
    • Ai-Ais - take of your list (as explained in other posts) - what about Abiqua campsite?
    • Take the river road (take your time and explore along the way - may turn out to be one of the highlights of the trip) from noordoewer to Rosh Pinah and then on to Klein Aus (2 nights).
    • From Aus, it is worthwile to travel to Luderitz for the day (not to overnight at Luderitz especially if camping as the weather can be extreme!). Sleep at Klein Aus again.
    Regards Kimball
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevienicks View Post
    Going back to Kgalagadi in April/May 2010 for a week.
    ENJOY
    Steve
    Steve, what would the weather be like that timeof the year (especially the evenings). I was looking at rather going in October, as I thought evenings may start getting colder over that period?
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  20. #20
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    BushSleeper
    Agreed. Give Ais Ais a miss. If you're going to the Richtersveld stay at least three days (De Hoop campsite on the river is great, but leave your trailer at Sendelingsdrift, because the road to De Hoop via the Akkedis Pass is pretty bumpy and some trailers have come adrift there!). There's also a pont crossing between South Africa and Namibia at Sendelingsdrift and a great drive along the Orange on the Namibian side to/from Noordoewer. If you're at Noordoewer, stay a night at Abiqua Trails Camp on the Orange (Gariep) River.
    Candoza... We were in the KTFP six weeks ago. The night-time temperatures then were down to minus 10 degrees Celsius at Urikarus. It should have warmed up quite
    a bit since then.

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