Namib Desert, Skeleton Coast, Zambia
Our very early morning private charter departure from Hoanib, Namib Desert was almost thwarted by thick early morning fog blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. We were airborne at sunrise and flew into Windhoeck (capital of Namibia) to clear exit immigration and customs. We joined our magnificent jet & crew for our final flight back to South Africa, enjoying an excellent brunch on board.
We were flying to the renowned, but not so well known, Tswalu – meaning a place of rebirth. This magnificent slice of South Africa is now a vast wild kingdom conservancy encompassing about 500,000 acres of the ‘green Kalahari’, known as such because of all the stunning hills & vegetation around. Our lodge, The Motse, is a dream come true! One guest even said ‘we should have started here and just stayed’. Well, that’s just one personal opinion. For sure, we are in a ‘heaven on earth’ as far as sumptuous accommodations are concerned.
As usual our group uses two 4×4 Safari LandRovers, and everyone appreciates the seeming smoothness of the Kalahari sands tracks. We have a lot of wild Africa to traverse and our Safari Guides, “Kali” and “Juan”, along with their important Trackers, “William” and “Jackson” are to be our ‘eyes and ears’ drivers for the next 3 days. There’s much enthusiasm not only for the bigger game sightings but also for the smaller more unusual for which this area Is renowned, that’s Meerkats and Pangolins and maybe Brown Hyena.
We enjoy daily game drives all over the vast area. Early mornings at dawn are cold and we are all bundled up with several clothing layers and blankets (and even hot water bottles) against the winds in our open vehicles. However, sightings of cheetah and rhino and lions (with cubs) are made all the more exciting with this kind of safari cruiser. On our first afternoon we enjoy time walking with Meerkats … curious creatures with energetic habits … you have to keep up as they don’t wait around. Each game drive is different, seeing plenty of giraffe and oryx and red hartebeeste and zebra and Springbok, and one afternoon having a most amazing encounter with a large family of Wild Dogs … Africa’s “painted wolves” and witnessing their hunting prowess which is gruesome. This is a place of contrasts and it is a place where Africa truly shows a unique living desert beauty all around us.
All too soon “all good things come to an end”. It’s time to say ‘au revoir’ Africa. This has been a trip of extraordinary experiences and amazing adventures. Each destination has opened some new ‘windows’ into Africa. We are so privileged in what we have been able to do and see.
Asante Sana / Thank You Africa.