Southern Africa, 2007

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We spent three weeks in southern Africa in late August through mid-September, exploring Botswana and Namibia. If you'd like to read the whole story, our detailed trip log is below. Otherwise, you can skip to the summary.

Trip Log Contents

Arrival in Joburg
1: Arrival in Joburg
Botswana - Moremi
2: Botswana - Moremi
Botswana - Savute
3: Botswana - Savute
Botswana - Okavango
4: Botswana - Okavango
Botswana - Chobe
5: Botswana - Chobe
Planes, Boats, and Automobiles
6: Planes, Boats, and Automobiles
Namibia - Namib Dunes, Sossusvlei, and the Desert
7: Namibia - Namib Dunes, Sossusvlei, and the Desert
Namibia - Swakopmund
8: Namibia - Swakopmund
Namibia - Etosha
9: Namibia - Etosha
Accommodations
Appendix: Accommodations

Summary

We traveled for ten days in northern Botswana, from the Okavango Delta to the Chobe River. We then went on to Namibia, passing on the way through the Victoria Falls in Zambia. In Namibia, we visited the Namib Dunes at Sossusvlei, the town of Swakopmund, and Etosha National Park.

Most of our time in the bush was spent in small safari camps and lodges. Typically, we slept in fully equipped "tents" and had all of our meals included at the camp.

Botswana - Moremi - Xakanaxa - Tent - LauraBotswana - Chobe - Kwando Lagoon Camp - TentNamibia - Desert - Kulala Wilderness Camp - TentNamibia - Desert - Kulala Wilderness Camp - Tent

The usual routine at camp was to head out twice a day on safari. Safari in Kiswahili (which is not the native language of Botswana) means "to travel". In our case, it meant heading out to look for animals in a guided truck, in a boat, or on foot. It would be luck and the experience of our guide that often led us to find an amazing variety of animals.

Botswana - Savute - Safari Truck - ElephantNamibia - Etosha - Sundowner - Safari TruckBotswana - Chobe - Safari TruckBotswana - Chobe - Safari TruckBotswana - Okavango - HippoBotswana - Okavango - ElephantBotswana - Savute - Lion - Safari TruckNamibia - Etosha - LionNamibia - Etosha - Oryx Fighting

As it was the dry season while we were in southern Africa, we found the most exciting animal activity around the waterholes. All animals need to come to the waterholes to drink at some point during the day and, as it was late in the dry season, water was especially sparse. The lions knew this and were typically found eating something at the waterholes, or waiting there for some new prey. Most of the waterholes we visited were man-made or at least man-enhanced with solar-powered well pumps. Many of the camps we stayed at also maintained waterholes within view of camp.

Botswana - Savute Safari Lodge - Waterhole - ElephantNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole from Hide - Wildebeest - ElandNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole - Oryx - Ostrich - SpringbokNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole - Lion - OryxBotswana - Savute - Elephant - JackalNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole - LionNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole - ZebraNamibia - Etosha - Waterhole - ElephantNamibia - Etosha - Ongava Main Lodge - WaterholeNamibia - Etosha - Ongava Main Lodge - Rhino at Waterhole

We also spent a few unscheduled days in Swakopmound, Namibia, taking a break from the constant routine of safari life — and cooking for ourselves in a rented apartment. Swakopmond is a small town on the Atlantic shore, surrounded by dunes. We went on an excellent dune tour, looking for not the Big Five, but the "Tiny Five" — little creatures living in the sand.

Namibia - Swakopmund - View From Tower (panorama)Namibia - Swakopmund - Alte Brucke - Alte Brucke Apartment - Dinner - LauraNamibia - Swakopmund - Tommy's Tour - Dunes - Truck - Land Rover 101FCNamibia - Swakopmund - Tommy's Tour - Dunes - ChameleonNamibia - Swakopmund - Tommy's Tour - Dunes - Chameleon - LauraNamibia - Swakopmund - Tommy's Tour - Dunes - Truck - Land Rover 101FC - Laura

In Swakopmund, we also visited the Mark 9:37 Children's Home, started by Laura's high school friend Kristina.

Namibia - Swakopmund - Mark 9:37 Children's Home - Kids - Geoff - LauraNamibia - Swakopmund - Mark 9:37 Children's Home - GroupNamibia - Swakopmund - Mark 9:37 Children's HomeNamibia - Swakopmund - Flight - Mark 9:37 Children's Home

Well, that's a little preview. If you want more, you can read our detailed trip log!