Our planning of this Namibia Safari trip revolved around getting to and staying at Desert Rhino Camp.
My whole itinerary changed after I spoke with an expert on Namibia, Chris Liebenburg, with Piper and Heath. He reminded me that traveling to Namibia shouldn't be about the lodges I chose to stay at (I was choosing lodges based on how beautiful I thought they looked on their websites) but the experiences I couldn't get anywhere else in the world. Where else was I going to get the chance to track rhino on foot?
This is where that possibility was going to happen.
And it did.
This area has the largest free-roaming Black Rhino population in Africa and a landscape that gives you a sense of what it would be like to roam on Mars.
After meeting our new friends Marc and Crystal who are French Travel Agents doing "site inspections" (my new dream job by the way) we had cocktails around the campfire and speculated what our evening surprise might be. I thought I overheard that we may be in search of a hyena den. But no, something much more beautiful awaited us.
We drove a short distance to where the rest of the camp guests were already waiting for us to join them for a bush cocktail party and dinner under the stars. Imagine the most ridiculously romantic set up from the TV show The Bachelor, where there are dozens of torches and lanterns and a giant camp fire lighting the evening sky. We were greeted by the entire staff singing welcome songs and serving cocktails on platters.
It was the perfect ending to a very long journey.
It's amazing how quickly you can come to love someone. The enthusiasm, knowledge, and humor Bons shared with us. He left an indelible impression on my mind and my heart.
Check out Save The Rhino Trust for more information on conservation.
We met up with them and followed them up and over a mountain, where they believed a female and her calf may soon be approaching. After a 40 minute hike over a landscape, I imagine Mars to look like, we found them. Trotting towards us in the distance. We were told to remain still and don't speak. Even though we were uphill and upwind, she still knew we were there and quickly turned in the opposite direction and ran off with her calf.
Quite a fortuitous pee stop.
Leaving Rhino Camp was very bittersweet, but we realize our time here was an amazing once in a lifetime experience. We can't recommend it enough.
Now onto another very long road trip headed south with an overnight pit stop in Swakopmund in route to Sossusvlei.
This is a good 2 days in the car, so settle in and make sure your reader is charged up and you have plenty of snacks and drinks. We got very good at pulling over on the side of the road and having a quick picnic in the middle of nowhere.
Also, get ready for driving through clouds of white dust as other cars pass you by. You might as well pull over for a few minutes and let the dust literally settle.
To read about our experience in Sossusvlei, click here.
For our self-drive safari in Etosha, click here.
And for our safari in Ongava Game Reserve, click here.