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Old 15th August 2019, 19:53   #1
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Default Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Its a journey of 2883kms road trip in Namibia, southwest Africa, with a Toyota Hilux, and 4 friends for 10 days.

Dr Bones - Orthopedic surgeon
Dr Anil - Plastic surgeon
Dr YSR Anjaneyulu - Neurosurgeon
Mr Vijay - Businessman

Watch this video in HD 1080P resolution on your youtube.



Plan of a road trip in Africa with camping, cooking and off-roading is on my mind for almost 4yrs, but not materializing. I kept the dream burning, never letting it die. 4 months back I started to work on it, after seeing an ad on the internet about driving holidays in Namibia and South Africa. Immediately contacted the person, his name is David Nicolas Senekal. He operates from Cape Town, South Africa. He does not have any office in Namibia, I have to blindly trust him and go ahead taking along with me my friends. His itinerary was good, but payment is by an account transfer to his South African account(which I was not comfortable & confident). His price kept on changing, and whenever I asked a query he started saying he booked it, and want me to transfer the money as soon as possible. Here it started to be suspicious. Meanwhile my friend Dr. Anil got in touch with Gondwana collection people of Namibia who have a secure payment gateway, and have a local office at Windhoek, Namibia, which is reassuring. Finally went ahead with Dr. Anil's way, he took all the pain of booking our flights to accommodation and Hilux in Namibia. Hearty thanks to Dr. Anil for all his effort.

Booked our flight tickets, and the visa process has to be started. Namibia visa is issued from their Delhi high commission office. One has to submit by documents by hand and collect the same by hand. Else you can send someone with an authorization letter, the same person has to go collect the same. Its a hassle-free process, and can get the visa in 3-4 working days.

After all the things are in place, time comes to a standstill, bloody time doesn't move.
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A very long wait at Mumbai airport, to catch the connecting flight.
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Finally we are heading towards Africa.
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Hot chocolate keeps me away from boredom.
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After almost 36 hrs of traveling from home to Namibia by different modes of transport, we reached Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. Multiple layers of clothing is advisable, as mornings and nights are chilly, with hot afternoons sun. Climate is freezing with temperatures falling below 7-degree centigrade( desert nights).
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Here is the beast that will take us through the Namibian wilderness.
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After finishing all the formalities with the Hilux, its time to head towards our Glamping site in Kalahari desert.

A place to relax and eat by the roadside are a very good idea, they have a cement table with cement bench under a tree, and a dust bin close by. These places are found all over Namibia.
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Wildlife is all over the country, you are literally traveling in a heaven of wildlife.
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We got our first taste of how traveling hundreds of miles in wild Namibia will be like.
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Unfortunate to see wild animals killed due to vehicle hits.
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We are completely blown away by our camp site location in the Kalahari desert.
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Now we can say, that we are here.
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Check in was smooth, dumped our luggage in the tent, and went for a sun downer drive in the Kalahari.
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A colony of weaver bird nests, nature at its best.
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Found some ostrich eggs, just by the side of a track.
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Ostrich keeps fertile eggs in the center, and infertile eggs at the periphery, so predators get the infertile eggs to eat, and fertile eggs are much safer.
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Mama ostrich is very aggressive when it comes to protecting its nest, so be very careful, and don't go near its nest ever.
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You can never outrun an ostrich, always keep that in mind.
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That red colored sand of Kalahari has a different vibe during sunset.
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My dream of driving a land cruiser 70 series in Africa got fulfilled. Amazing vehicle with lots and lots of torque, with a smooth clutch. Its not built for speed, but will get you out of the most tricky situations if you know how to drive it.
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Witnessed one of the most beautiful Moon rise,
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and sunset over the Kalahari.
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Time to start cooking our dinner.
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Freezing desert with hot barbecue, can I ask anything more than this in my life?
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First light of the day. Where ever you look, that sight will take your breath away. Fell in love with those tents.
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Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 18th August 2019 at 19:31.
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Old 16th August 2019, 17:33   #2
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Default re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

First rays of the sun hit a windmill, to make the scene awesome.
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Chilly mornings with sun rays tickling your skin.
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Its time to head towards Namib desert.
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Amazing views all around, is Namibia.
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The most notorious stretch of Namibia, which can kill your tyres.
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As the signboard suggested, we had our first puncture.
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We started to change the tyre, with the spare one.
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Two guys from South Africa, who were on their Namibian road trip stopped to helps us.
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Can't thank these guys enough for their help.

Now its time to start our journey towards Sossusvlei.
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Deadvlei
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Namib desert euphoria.
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Dune 45, the highest dune in Namibia to climb.
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View from the top of dune 45 is mind-blowing.
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reached Sesriem for the puncture repair, and was shocked to see what Africa can do to your tires.
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After the tyre repair, we were in a hurry to reach our tent, as the sun started to set, and driving in Namibia after sunset is like, you are very likely to hit a wild animal.
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To our good luck, we had our second puncture in less than 4 hrs, only to notice that we left our repaired spare tyre at the tyre shop, which is 2 hrs away. Lucky that our Hilux had the 2nd spare tyre. Changed the tyre and head towards our camp, which is 15 mins away.
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Only to give us the opportunity to get some wild animal sightings in the most beautiful backdrop.
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That night was the most memorable for me, with moon hiding behind the sandy hills, freezing cold, and wild animals calling all night, gave that night a different charm.
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Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 18th August 2019 at 19:34. Reason: Typos
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Old 16th August 2019, 23:44   #3
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Default re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Next day morning, we need to collect our spare tyre,
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which was being carried by a good Namibian on his bus. This saved us a good 4hrs.
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Our next destination is Swakopmund, a little sleepy town on the Atlantic coast.
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Solitare, is a small dwelling on the way. This can be called as a grave yard of vehicles.
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Two legends of Africa who never die, at the graveyard, alive and kicking some dust.
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Swakopmund, the town I fell in love with forever.
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Beach on the Atlantic coast is super clean, with an amazing view.
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These urban dwellings can change your perception of Namibia. We start comparing with our very own country.
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Had a hearty Indian dinner at this Indian restaurant, which serves authentic Indian cuisine, its an oasis in nowhere, for thirsty and hungry Indians.
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Next day was a boring catamaran ride over the Atlantic ocean.
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I was completely wrong, there are so many surprises there.
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Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 18th August 2019 at 19:35. Reason: Typo
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Old 17th August 2019, 12:06   #4
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Default re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Atlantic seals are wild and friendly, until their wild instincts kick in.
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Pelican, a species of immense beauty,
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and seagulls don't need a special mention.
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Springbok valley, place where fresh water is just 1-2 feet below the sand. This is how wild life is sustained here.
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Super beautiful sandwitch harbor on Atlantic coast.
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Skeleton coast.
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Shipwreck in Hentiesbaai, ship wreck. On the way to Damaraland.
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Damara mopane lodge, I am surprised how Namibians build such beautiful resorts in nowhere?
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Every cottage has a vegetable garden, and all the kitchen vegetable needs are harvested from the cottage gardens.
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79 Series is the SUV which makes my heart skip a beat. Sad that these SUVs can no more survive in the modern world. Its worth to travel Africa to just drive these endangered species before they become extinct. Sadly there is no one to save these endangered species.
Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux-43.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 18th August 2019 at 19:37. Reason: Typo
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Old 18th August 2019, 15:05   #5
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Default re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Etosha national park is our next destination.
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Time to chart out our route plan.
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View all around is mesmerizing.
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Bush elephants of Namibia had developed a strange adaptation to live in deserts.
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Majestic bull elephant.
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The apex predator of Namibia.
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Females are always the trouble makers, she made us worry, and had to leave our ground before she confronts us.
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Okaukuejo water hole, this is the place I want to be in Etosha. I can stay there whole night to watch the wildlife extravaganza. India needs to take leaf or two from Namibia's wildlife tourism book.
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Pic credit : Dr Anil
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Our next destination, and had a hectic drive ahead for the day.
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This is the only such organization on the planet for cheetah conservation, this is a place not to miss.
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The most confusing route to Erindi game reserve is a big challenge.
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After driving 3 hrs in the deepest isolated African savannahs, we landed at this route block. Sun is soon setting, which made our situation very unsafe. After a lot of confusion and fear, we were able to reach our destination before nightfall, safe and sound.
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Wild animals come really close to the cottages, but has a safe barrier, one can watch wildlife very close.
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Old 18th August 2019, 15:17   #6
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Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux-21.jpg

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Time to head back, want to bring that Hilux with me back home, but. Now my craving for african wilderness is much stronger than before, only to explore more in future.
Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux-24.jpg
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Old 18th August 2019, 19:15   #7
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Default re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Excellent travelogue with pictures, Dr. Rakesh.
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Old 18th August 2019, 20:15   #8
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Default re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Fantastic travelogue Dr. Rakesh, extremely crisp for the breadth and width it covers. Breathtaking landscapes, particularly the Atlantic coast where desert dunes meet ocean. Wildlife especially the critically endangered Desert Lions is quite exotic. Friendship with Seals and Pelicans must have been exciting.

Spotting indian restaurant amidst nowhere would have been a surprise. Thanks for sharing, well deserved 5 stars.

Would appreciate if you can add more information because these types of travelogues are unique in a way not many go from this side of the planet. Information like travel dates, routes/itineraries, cost, precautions, a bit of background, local culture, cuisine etc., from a readers or potential travelers perspective would be really helpful.

PS: missing your signature jumps, that ostrich run isnt enough

Last edited by Thermodynamics : 18th August 2019 at 20:39.
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Old 18th August 2019, 22:32   #9
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Default Re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Excellent travelogue with pictures, Dr. Rakesh.
Crazy driver, thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermodynamics View Post
Fantastic travelogue Dr. Rakesh, extremely crisp for the breadth and width it covers. Breathtaking landscapes, particularly the Atlantic coast where desert dunes meet ocean. Wildlife especially the critically endangered Desert Lions is quite exotic. Friendship with Seals and Pelicans must have been exciting.

Spotting indian restaurant amidst nowhere would have been a surprise. Thanks for sharing, well deserved 5 stars.

Would appreciate if you can add more information because these types of travelogues are unique in a way not many go from this side of the planet. Information like travel dates, routes/itineraries, cost, precautions, a bit of background, local culture, cuisine etc., from a readers or potential travelers perspective would be really helpful.

PS: missing your signature jumps, that ostrich run isnt enough
Thermodynamics, Surprised how you know my name . Thanks for your Kind words of appreciation. Atlantic coast and the towns beside them are mesmerizing, they are the best little places to live, with very little population, huge open spaces, well planned and built infra-structure. Namibian towns are no less than any european town. Indian restaurant belongs to a gujarati from rajkot.

Travelogue is already very lengthy, hence did not add the itinerary, and other details. One can get every detail online, Namibia to go, and Gondwana collection has a very big network, and are very good, we opted for them. One can try savanna car hire, as they have a variety of 4x4 vehicles, and are very professional with a huge infrastructure, i had visited their place in Windhoek, and was surprised, they are a bit pricey over namibia to go people. Try to travel between May and june, as its the end of offseason, you get good deals. I felt glamping is the best option for first timers, as they have a fully equipped kitchen, and local food in namibia is not for me, hence we were happy cooking our own daily breakfast and dinner, Lunch was always some fruits with milkshake, or a cake or a sandwich. Most of the rental vehicles are equipped with a 40L fridge, so you can fill it at any supermarket and hit the african wilderness.

Most exciting and cheap option will be camping, here you sleep in a roof top tent, and cook your own food in a pre fixed camping locations( in the middle of african wilderness), which have toilets and dustbins, if you are lucky you can even get a shower.

Last edited by drbones : 18th August 2019 at 22:38.
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Old 19th August 2019, 11:01   #10
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Default Re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Superb travelogue. Congrats guys. It reminded me of my Kenyan trip long ago. Africa is Africa.
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Old 19th August 2019, 11:22   #11
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Default Re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Thanks for sharing this travelogue with nice pictures drbones.

Africa is a beautiful continent. I've been to South Africa a couple of times and have Tanzania, Kenya and Botswana in the list. After seeing the pictures you have posted, ill add Namibia as well.

Great that you got to see so much of Africa's wilderness and natural beauty. Every safari is a different experience.
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Old 19th August 2019, 11:51   #12
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Default Re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

This is just epic.
I remember your previous thread too, in an Isuzu MU-X to Ladakh.

Few questions:
- What is your photography gear like (especially drone)
- How much approx this trip dented the pocket (per person)
- How was the weather, asking WRT a 3 year old.
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Old 19th August 2019, 12:02   #13
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Default Re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Hi drbones,

Excellent Travelogue

You captured the real essence of the Namibian land scape.

Also thanks for sharing a lot of pictures of your Hilux & the other trucks around.

A quick question for you is what tyres were there in your Hilux ? Also were all 4 tyres the same ?
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Old 19th August 2019, 13:57   #14
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Default Re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Simply beautiful narration. Loved every picture. Felt like reading a story with pictures. Went through the whole thing in one go. Thanks for sharing. Would love to read more about your adventurous trips.
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Old 19th August 2019, 14:04   #15
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Default Re: Southern Africa: Namibia road-trip in a Toyota Hilux

Quote:
Originally Posted by car love View Post
Superb travelogue. Congrats guys. It reminded me of my Kenyan trip long ago. Africa is Africa.
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Thanks for sharing this travelogue with nice pictures drbones.

Africa is a beautiful continent. I've been to South Africa a couple of times and have Tanzania, Kenya and Botswana in the list. After seeing the pictures you have posted, ill add Namibia as well.

Great that you got to see so much of Africa's wilderness and natural beauty. Every safari is a different experience.
ChiragM, Namibia is still not destroyed in the name of development, being an ex-german colony, its visible all over the country. It has a very unique charm, and to be true, i liked the towns of namibia very much( especially Swapokmund), fell in love with them.
What makes namibia unique is, its one of the least densely populated country.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nitish.arnold View Post
This is just epic.
I remember your previous thread too, in an Isuzu MU-X to Ladakh.

Few questions:
- What is your photography gear like (especially drone)
- How much approx this trip dented the pocket (per person)
- How was the weather, asking WRT a 3 year old.
Nitish.arnold, Photography gear is an - iPhone 7plus and Mavic pro, Stopped carrying a heavy DSLR and lenses these days.
Weather is dry, with cold nights and hot afternoons, its a safe and friendly country with good infrastructure, so there should be no problem with a 3yr old.


Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Hi drbones,

Excellent Travelogue

You captured the real essence of the Namibian land scape.

Also thanks for sharing a lot of pictures of your Hilux & the other trucks around.

A quick question for you is what tyres were there in your Hilux ? Also were all 4 tyres the same ?
Thanks Karan561,
Namibia is a paradise for people who love 4x4 trucks, and suvs( last breed of beasts are surviving here, before Electric vehicles take over), specially for people who love Land cruiser 79 series, with 4.5L V8 diesel. Finding all tyres from same manufacturers will be the rarest thing in africa, as africa eats up tyres for a small snack.
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