EPIC ROAD'S SAFARI BLOG

Entries in Namibia (4)

Friday
Feb232018

Travel Guide to Namibia’s Best Adventures, Honeymoons, Luxury, and Wildlife

 

Visit Namibia and you’ll find incredible and diverse places, each offering a different kind of perfect luxury vacation depending on the what kind of African safari adventure you’re looking for. Namibia is one of Africa’s best kept secrets, and it’s one of the best countries for a safari because Namibia has thrilling adventures, plenty of opportunities to see rare and endangered wildlife like the desert-adapted black rhino, top choices for secluded romantic lodges with luxurious amenities, and the possibility of an unusual cultural immersion with indigenous Namibian tribes. One of the things that makes Namibia unique is that it is the second least populated country in the world, so if you want an off-the-beaten-path adventure Namibia is a top choice for a rewarding and wild safari experience. Most of the country is mountainous desert - the Namib is the second largest in the world, after the Sahara - but there is also a long stretch of beautiful coastline to explore.

We’ve compiled a Namibia travel guide with the best reasons to travel to Namibia for every kind of traveler:

Namibia for honeymooners

Namibia is one of the best places to experience a romantic safari honeymoon. Known as one of the best destinations in the world for stargazing because of the vast open expanse of desert, cloudless skies, and lack of light pollution. Some of the best and most luxurious and romantic lodging properties in Namibia have rooftop starbeds and telescopes to make the experience extra special. And the remote nature of some of the accomodation options make for plenty of privacy, a lost-in-the-desert fantasy come true.

Namibia for wildlife lovers

Namibia is known worldwide for making efforts toward environmental conservation and protection of wildlife. It was the first country in Africa to include environmental protections in its constitution.Through various organizations like Africat or Save the Rhino Trust it’s possible to visit with rhinos, leopards, lions, cheetahs, and positively impact the preservation of these incredible species. Namibia is home to the iconic animals that make for a perfect luxury safari, as well as lesser known endangered species including the wild dog, oribi, and piku. For birders, Namibia’s Kunene River is one of the best places to observe rare birds from a boat or, for the more adventurous, while white water rafting.

Namibia for luxury seekers

Seeing the topography and ethereal landscapes by air is one of the most special ways to experience in Namibia. Fly by hot air balloon over Sossusvlei, the tallest dunes in the world, or Deadvlei with its wild-looking dried out camel thorn trees. Take a helicopter ride to explore the shipwrecks and seal colonies on the mysterious Skeleton coast. Stay at a luxury lodge and enjoy sundowners, spas, stargazing and more.

Namibia for adventure junkies

There are several ways to experience the soaring scarlet dunes of Sossusvlei, arguably the highest dunes in the world. Climbing them is an adventure in itself, even for very fit travelers, so another option is to jump on a quad bike for a thrilling ride over the hilly sands. The Skeleton coast isn’t your typical beach, so called for the seal and whale remains that have been pushed ashore by strong currents, and also for the ancient shipwrecks just off the coast, where sailors and their vessels met their doom on hidden rocks in the roiling waters. No wonder it was dubbed as “the land God made in anger.” Drive or ride by car or swoop along the rugged terrain in a low-flying plane - both are fun and adventurous ways to see the mysterious sights and wildlife that live in the areas that connect the interior of the country with the coast.

Namibia for cultural enthusiasts

Immerse yourself in local culture with an authentic experience with the Himba tribe, a fascinating semi-nomadic indigenous group living in the remote northwestern corner of Namibia. The Himba’s traditional cultural practices are very different from the western world. Both adults and children wear hairstyles and headdresses that signify certain life milestones have passed or how big their families are. They apply a substance called “otjize” made from butterfat and ochre to their skin for care and beautification, giving it a striking red hue. For a really special and impactful interaction, Epic Road clients can give the gift of light to one of the Himba communities by delivering LUCI solar powered lights. The Himba live without electricity, and solar powered lights help them work or study in the evening and cut back on respiratory illnesses caused by keeping fires lit inside huts.

Check out our Namibia page for the best luxury lodging options in Namibia, and more information on the best time of year to visit.

Wednesday
Jun262013

Discover Namibia: Skeleton Coast Luxury Safaris and Beyond

Namibia is home to the world's oldest desert, the Namib, meaning ‘vast place.' The landscape across the desert is indeed vast, and diverse—ranging from tthe spectacular pink and orange dune seas to the so-called ‘long wall’ where the ocean meets the tall sands to the mysterious and foggy Skeleton Coast.

The Namib’s Sand Sea in Naukluft National Park has recently been added to UNESCO’s list of 217 World Heritage Sites. The area is the first in ten years to meet all four of the criteria. The ever-changing dune landscape is believed to be the only one on earth shaped by fog.

Namibia is a truly singular place to experience nature. Curious global nomads will thrill in exploring the region’s endless solitude via nature drives and quad bike excursions through the towering red sand dunes. Boating on the Kunene River, bordering Angola in the north, offers a lush conduit through the desert’s green riverside oases.

At Epic Road, we have a special place in our hearts and minds for the often otherworldly and entirely unique landscapes of Namibia. One of our global nomads, Amanda Manchia, wrote to us, “I recently went on a week-long, mind-boggling journey through Namibia with Epic Road. The Namib Desert was an unexpected, endless, arid expanse of sand dunes and mountains set among the dense bush of southern Africa. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. Namibia is a gorgeous country unlike any other.”

Here are a few of our favorite destinations in the country:

Sossusvlei: The startling salt and clay pan of the Sossusvlei, in northern Namibia, have been drawing curious travelers for generations. The pan is surrounded by immense red sand dunes of breathtaking beauty that stretch unbroken in rolling, crested waves until they reach the sea. They can be explored by car, quad bike, or even a hot air balloon. The area is inhospitable but not barren—you may catch sight of one of the adapted species that calls Sossuvlei home, like the jackal, the ostrich, and the oryx.

To experience Sossulvei in luxury, stay at the isolated Little Kulala, where you’ll sleep peacefully in a climate-controlled, thatched villa with a romantic skybed for rooftop stargazing. It’s hard to imagine a sky where the stars burn more brightly.

Damaraland: You might not expect large wildlife in Damaraland’s vast sandy wastes, but there it is. The desert sustains small but vibrant populations of rhino, oryx, ostrich, elephants and giraffe, who have adapted to survive the harsh demands of life in the desert. The region is also home to some astonishing scenery, including petrified forests, craggy mountains, and prehistoric rock paintings. In Damaraland, the slow passage of time is palpable.

At Desert Rhino Camp, the largest population of free-ranging black rhino is on at your doorstep. In collaboration with Save the Rhinos Trust, Desert Rhino camp offers a comfortable place to observe on of the most magnificent, and fastest dwindling, species on Earth.

Skeleton Coast

In a land of little water or resources, the Skeleton Coast is a major exception. The cold ocean water is rich in fishery resources, which support populations of brown fur seals and shorebirds that, in turn, serve as prey for the Skeleton Coast's lions.

It’s a fascinating ecosystem that makes for a great safari. Despite the inhospitable, arid weather, life finds a way.

Kunene River

The Kunene River is a rare channel of life in a very dry desert--a winding band of green surrounded by the lunar landscape of the Namib Desert stretching to the Serra Cafema mountain range in the north.  It is a precious resource to the people and animals of the region, and it draws an impressive panoply of wildlife to its shores. 

We recommend experiencing this desert oasis from Serra Cafema, the most remote camp in Namibia. The only way to reach the lodge is by a 3hr, light aircraft trip from Windhoek. Once there, you'll be rewarded by a riverfront, Meru-style tent with an en-suite bathroom and a private deck, complete with breathtaking views of endless wilderness.

The l camp shares this region with the Himba tribe, one of the last true nomadic people in Africa.  

Luci solar lights and the Himba People

We often wonder at animals’ ability to adapt to inhospitable conditions; we forget that we, too, are a species who have made homes in some of Earth’s harshest corners. The Himba, one of the last true nomadic people in Africa, have built a home and a way of life in the desert that few could imagine or endure.

Epic Road is working alongside MPOWERD to bring Luci, a solar-powered inflatable lantern, to the Himba people. Amanda Manchia told us:

“The Himba people are thriving in one of the harshest environments on the planet—their bodies muscular, their bellies full, and their livestock hearty, despite the relentless heat and minimal water, plants, and shade. While visiting with these tribes, Epic Road arranged for me to deliver solar lights to members of the Himba tribe that do not have access to electricity. The potential impact on their lives is huge: increasing productivity and safety, decreasing CO2 emissions, reducing incidents of pulmonary diseases, kerosene burns, and risk of gender based violence, as well as saving money spent on kerosene. I spent several hours herding cattle to a small underground water source with four welcoming Himba women. I was struck by how strong, independent, and resilient these women were and how indomitable the human spirit can be when pushed to the limit. This trip made me realize that the only thing that holds any of us back from achieving the extraordinary is the determination, confidence and discipline that defined these women. When I returned home, I felt a renewed sense of self, that any obstacle was surmountable, and that anything is possible.” 

Friday
May032013

Epic Road's Most Romantic Honeymoon Safaris

romantic honeymoon safari

Whether you're looking to relax together in the utmost elegant luxury, or to strengthen your bond over thrilling natural adventures, Epic Road has the most romantic trip for you. 

Rwanda: Trekking with Gorillas

With less than 800 mountain gorillas remaining in the wild, the time to see them is now. Ascend the slopes of Rwanda’s dormant volcanoes into dense, misty green forest, and come face-to-face with the great ape who shares 95% of our DNA. Be amazed by the eerily familiar behavior of these intelligent, charismatic and endangered apes as they eat, nap, and play in family groups.

Cape Town, South Africa: Jet-set holiday

Cape Town is the most European of African cities–a true melting pot, molded by Dutch and English imperialism, and deeply infused by the indigenous African cultures. The glittering skyscrapers that stretch towards the cloud-wreathed peak of Table Mountain are punctuated by the shouts of children in the townships and the call of the muezzin from the mosque. In one day, you can experience dazzling landscapes, visit cutting-edge art galleries, and enjoy a world-class meal made from the region’s many farms and vineyards.

Serengeti Plains, Tanzania: Africa's vast plains and you

Experience the Africa of storybooks and documentaries of the Serengeti Plains. Wide open savannahs, herds of wildebeest and big cats tracking them down. Zebras, elephants, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, giraffes and you. Reminiscent of a bygone era, Singita Sabora Tented Camp dishes up lavish doses of romance, exploration and intrigue. It's location on a private reserve in the Serengeti will often make you feel like you’re the only one on the planet. Alone to experience Africa’s vastness.

Arctic Circle: Northern Lights

The delicate, painterly wash of the Aurora Borealis is worth staying up for. Nestle close with your loved one outside of your safari-style luxury igloo while the sky lights up in psychedelic pinks and greens. In the morning, helicopter over the ice floes in search of a mother polar bear with her cubs, and the rare Torngat caribou herds. When night falls, settle once again into the warmth and luxury of your own personal igloo.

Mozambique Archipelago: Lost in the Indian Ocean

Aside from the wonderful staff on Mozambique’s Vamizi Island, who provide everything—shade, lunch, drinks, snorkeling equipment—don’t expect to see a soul. In this most remote, pristine setting, you and your loved one can dive with whales, dolphins, turtles, giant parrotfish, and manta rays, fish for your dinner, explore the island’s conservation activities with the World Wildlife Fund, or simply lie on the beach and let your worries be washed away by the island’s beauty and gentle surf.

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe: Wonders of the World

Few natural sights are as arresting as the massive Victoria Falls, the biggest waterfall in the world and one of Africa’s top draws. Less known however, are the wonders that surround the waterfall in this rich and diverse regions—one of Africa’s most beautiful. Swim in the thrilling precariousness of Victoria Falls’ Devil’s pool. Lounge beside hippos as they bathe in the great Zambezi River. Bungee jump next to the awesome, powerful Falls. Safari on the back of an elephant. This is romance at its most exciting.

Namibia and Botswana: Animal Adventure

The Kalahari Desert, stretching across Namibia and Botswana, is Africa’s oldest, unchanged landscape. This land of epic dunes, volcanic mountains, and prolific plains is also home to some of Africa’s most luxury safari lodges. In addition to spectacular landscapes—vast deserts with thousand-foot sand dunes and a coastline strewn with bleached whalebones and ancient shipwrecks. Stay at the Serra Cafema Camp in the northwest corner of Kakaoland to enjoy the mars-like landscape in luxury. Then head to greener Botswana’s Okavango Delta, where you can spot some of Earth’s most adorable creatures (giraffes, elephants, zebra, wild dog, hippopotami, lions, and leopards) gather at the rich floodplains near Selinda Camp.

Stellenbosch and Franschoek, South Africa: Food and Wine

Few regions on earth rival the gustatory bounty of South Africa’s Western Cape. This is the heart of Africa’s farm-to-table movement, a veritable eden of vegetable garden’s, sheep farms, vineyards, orchards, and even apiaries. Feast your eyes and stomach on the best that culinary Africa has to offer—from famous fine dining to over one hundred wine cellars open to the public. 

Wednesday
Apr242013

Best Documentaries on Africa

documentaries on african safaris

Here at Epic Road, we like to get ready for our epic journeys and African safaris by reading up on the natural history of the region. Another, faster way to prep is watching some of the best documentaries on Africa there are—and there are many. Here are a few great recommendations to get you excited and aware.

The Last Lions

A collaboration between National Geographic and Explorers-in-Residence Derek and Beverly Joubert, The Last Lions documents the rapid decline of Africa’s lion population due to poaching and a terrible lack of government protection. The film documentary focuses on a lioness named Ma di Tau ("Mother of Lions") as she battles to protect her cubs against the daunting onslaught of enemies to ensure their survival. This is the jumping-off point for a disturbing, well-researched and beautifully shot cri de coeur about our moral duty to save this majestic species and others like it.

BBC’s Planet Earth

There’s no one segment on Africa in this mind-boggling series about the world’s wealth of little-known natural wonders; rather, spectacular footage of the continent is sprinkled throughout. Look out for a lion pride’s elephant hunt, elephants migrating towards the Okavango Delta, a seasonal bloom of life in the otherwise arid Kalahari desert, huge families of gelada monkeys living on the steep precipices of Ethopian highlands, and the touching, uncannily human behavior of Chimpanzees in the Congo.

War Dance

In war-torn Uganda, the L. R. A. (Lord's Resistance Army) kidnaps young children, turning girls into sex slaves and boys into soldiers. Thousands of children seek refuge from the L. R. A. in the Patongo camp, and this film follows several of the camp's children as they compete in the National Music Competition. Despite the enormous odds against them, these children manage to find new life and hope in dance. A story of human resilience in the face of total brutality, War Dance was nominated for an Academy Award and heralded as one of the best documentaries about Africa.

Africa

BBC’s latest addition to its spectacular annals of nature documentaries is Africa, a beautifully shot, in-depth look at the elusive continent. Narrated by David Attenborough, the series travels across Africa region-by-region, capturing never-before-recorded natural phenomena and animal behaviors on film.