Office Trip Reports

Szilvia Hegyi in Namibia

AAC Senior Safari Consultant Szilvia Hegyi is currently in Namibia. Join her adventure as she travels through this wonderful country – famous for its stark beauty and diversity of tribes.

Ongava Lodge – Ongava Private Game Reserve

Her journey begins in Ongava and Etosha.  Etosha is one of Africa’s greatest parks in both size and variety of wildlife species. The park is mainly mixed scrub, mopane savannah and woodland surrounding the huge Pan. Ongava is a private reserve adjacent to Etosha, which allows more guests to partake in additional activities (e.g. night drives).

Ongava Lodge

Beautiful 1st day in Namibia: full moon, rhinos, lions, good company

Andersson’s Camp – Etosha National Park

The zoological diversity at an Etosha waterhole can’t be overstated: ostriches, jackals, springbok and oryx
Waterholes are great to spot thirsty felines!

Serra Cafema – Kunene Area

Szilvia departed Ongava today in the morning and flew to her next camp: Serra Cafema. The Kunene River, located in Namibia’s northernmost region, is the only permanent source of water in the area. Thus, it is esentially an oasis for wildlife, and because of the surrounding rugged mountains and sand dunes, also a beautiful landscape.

Himba village visit

Furthermore, The area around the Kunene River is where the Himba people reside. They are considered to be some of the last truly nomadic people in Africa.

The very stylish Serra Cafema

Completely rebuilt in 2018, Serra Cafema’s stylish decor, immersive aesthetic and remote location combine as a perfect refuge after a day’s activity. One of the camp’s highlights is the carefully guided quad-bike excursions that tread lightly on the dunes. Szilvia could hardly wait to hop on one!

Bumping into locals while on a quad-bike excursion
Views of the Kunene River

Szilvia’s final day at Serra Cafema began very auspiciously: in the very early morning, she and her guide Elias drove out to the dunes. But what awaited them was well worth lost sleep: an indescribably beautiful sunrise, painting the dunes with gradually more vibrant hues of red, gold and ocher as the morning progressed.

Sunrise near Serra Cafema

Later that morning, Elias found snake tracks. Not dismayed at the initial lack of success, he persisted until he found a horned adder lying underneath a bush. Eventually the adder left the bush to move around in the open. Szilvia had no doubts that she wouldn’t have seen it without his deft tracking and spotting abilities!

Scenes from Szilvia’ hike though a “lunar-like” landscape

In the early afternoon, Szilvia and Elias began a 2 hour hike through some unusual, yet spectacular scenery. Though a bit challenging, the effort was worthwhile: not only was the trek through some very “lunar-like” terrain, there were also excellent views of the Kunene river and numerous small, cascading waterfalls to see.

More scenes from Szilvia’s hike

Szilvia also noted that, unlike other similar areas elsewhere in Namibia, the experience was very exclusive: except for her small group, no one else was in sight!

Though sad that her stay as come to an end, Szilvia is still elated: she’s off to Skeleton Coast tomorrow! We’ll keep you posted with more of her photographs and stories.

Skeleton Coast

Some members of one of Skeleton Coast’s many seal colonies

Wherever you are on safari in Africa, it’s a good idea to take at least part of your charter flight to watch the landscape as it passes by. In the case of Namibia, however, you should dedicate a majority, if not all, your time to watching the scenery.

From Serra Cafema to Hartmann Valley in Skeleton Coast, Szilvia was treated to one of the most breathtakingly spectacular plane rides she has ever been on. Flights connecting you to different parts of Namibia are experiences in and of themselves!

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

Szilvia enjoyed lunch at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp. After taking a charter flight to the coast she spent 2 nights at a mobile-tented camp set up next to the thunderous Atlantic Ocean within Skeleton Coast National Park! This is a way to connect with one of the world’s most desolate, yet wild landscape on another level.

Welcome to Skeleton Coast National Park. Population: ourselves!

For the wildlife aficionados, don’t be distraught: despite this being one of the world’s most arid environments, there is plenty of wildlife to see. In fact, they are also incredibly unique, as they have had to behaviorally (and in some instances physically) adapt to these desert conditions. Examples of desert-adapted wildlife here includes elephant, lion, giraffe, antelope, black rhino, leopard and cheetah.

Activities along the Skeleton coast include fishing for dinner, hiking along the beach to find shipwrecks and visiting the resident seal colony.

Seals enjoy the occasional modelling here and there

What’s fascinating about these seal colonies is that they have to be on high alert for both nautical and terrestrial predators, including lions and brown hyenas. Szilvia was fortunate to see several, one of which had a baby seal in its mouth!

Szilvia had a chance to learn about the park’s resident brown hyena and lion populations from not only her guide, but also from Emsie Verwey of the Brown Hyena Project and Dr. “Flip” Stander of the Desert Lion Conservation Project. Sometimes these opportunities arise serendipitously, but we advise all of our clients to try to pre-arrange meetings with wildlife conservationists/experts wherever they go!

The best spot to relax in the mid-day sun!

As Szilvia’s time in not only in Skeleton Coast, but all of Namibia came to a close, she spotted some desert lions after her guide’s diligent tracking. It was a great way for Szilvia to end a very pleasurable and stunning trip!

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