Welcome to Musings, a newsletter for discerning travelers. To read the complete issue, click here.
Sandy, I’m still dreaming of Africa and reliving our amazing trip (Namibia 2014) every time I go through my photos. Friends and family are getting a little weary of my tales of our adventures tracking leopards and the elusive desert elephants, of the herds of magnificent zebra, or our romp with the seals in Walvis Bay, as thousands of flamingos ignored us as we passed. The lodges you picked were outstanding, a combination of rustic and luxurious that perfectly fit the wonderful land we travelled through, and our visit with the Himba tribesmen was a high point that will be hard to beat. I now can really appreciate your “personalized” service because you left no detail untended, including your choice of guides, who were a perfect fit for our group. Thank you Sandy for making this, my first visit to Africa, one I will never forget.
Bonnie, New Jersey
I just returned from an incredible journey to Namibia. Once again Sandy had put together a great itinerary that attracted a group of great women. In sum, the trip far exceeded my expectations and it would take pages and pages to relate all of the wonderful experiences I had. I’ve included just a few of what were highlights for me in this (somewhat lengthy) testimonial.
Everywhere you go you are greeted with friendly, cheerful smiles and good humor. Maybe it is because the population is only 2.3 million for a land mass of the size of California and the animals outnumber the people.
Tribe has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Tribe is family with all the love, fun respect, caring and (I’m sure) dysfunctionality that makes up a healthy happy family. Everyone is brother, sister, uncle, aunt. Family is more important than things. Maybe this is why as you get in the countryside, you see the farms which consist of small building made of sticks and thatched roofs. No TV, cars, toilets… a very simple existence. What you do see are smiles.
This is a trip that will defy your expectations … vast-open- sun-drenched-semi arid land that has a surprising amount of life both plants and animals. It is the land of adaptation. The tribes, the colonists, the animals – they have all adapted to the dry climate. I was particularly captivated by the rugged granite mountains of huge volcanic rocks that look like giants dropped their misshapen marbles in piles over the landscape. And, of course, the massive sand dunes, some of the highest in the world.
The guides are delightful. The two leading us were very knowledgeable, good humored, well organized and skillful trackers who paid attention to every detail, making everything seamless. Extremely generous with their time, they shared their experiences and information (even after I asked hundreds of questions sometimes the same ones two or three times).
And yes, we saw up close and personal lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, springbok, antelope and kudo, to name a few. We stayed in wonderful lodges where you witnessed an array of big and little game drinking at the waterhole as we relaxed close by, having our ritual “sundowners” and then listened to the roaring of lions at night. Wow.
Treat yourself. Take this trip. I think it will defy your expectations of Africa and safaris. I encourage anyone intrigued by Namibia to research other tours so you understand the terrific value of this high quality experience. There was not one thing I would change about this itinerary … except I would love to do it all over again.
This trip (Namibia, 2014) included so many spectacular moments that’s it’s impossible to cite them all; lots of amazing opportunities to see incredible countryside and many breath-taking visits with Africa’s beasts of the wild kingdom.
In addition to the group’s compatibility, sparkling personalities and shared humor, (as well as wonderful accommodations and great food), I think our guides made the biggest difference in our trip as they set the tone, the mood. What a joy to have such fine warm, knowledgeable, caring individuals who tried their best to educate us, patiently answering our questions more than once, gently correcting our animal identifications when necessary and introducing us to interesting people along the way, not the least of whom were the Himbas. Perhaps others can put together a great itinerary and pick the best lodging spots, but Sandy, you KNEW the difference a guide could make, insisting on using individuals you knew were special.
And Sandy, when you described how to recognize each other for the first time at the airport – “look for the most intelligent/interesting-looking woman in the room – that will be your group member” – I think this pretty much describes you, the leader of our own ‘personalized odyssey’. Thanks so much, Sandy, for making it happen. Although I’d often thought about going on a safari, I hadn’t known that Namibia was on my bucket list until I saw it on your webpage. Now I know that whenever I’m wondering what interesting places I might want to add to my list, I simply have to ask myself, “What would Sandy do?” and go to your website.