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We fully appreciate that when it comes to rating our tailor-made adventures we may be a tad biased (a bit of self-confidence never killed anybody), which is why we’ve brought in an impartial source. Enter Lori Ann Graham. One of our savvy travel consultants, Dee Dlamini put together a trip that would’ve made Columbus green. The explorers: Lori Ann and Chuck Graham. The destination: Namibia. This is what Lori had to say about gallivanting around Namibia:
“When we were in Africa, we drove almost three thousand kilometers, visited nine different lodges and camps, and took almost four thousand images. And we fell deeply in love. Namibia is indescribable. The landscapes and the wildlife, and the people. The people. The pride of place that we found everywhere, and in everyone we met. It’s been said that stepping foot on the African continent is like coming home. We had an incredible adventure.”
Lori’s camera went along for the ride. To say Lori knows how to use a camera is misleading. Deceitful even. She doesn’t just take photographs – she is a storyteller. But we’re not going to waste any more time trying to convince you of her talent because the proof is in the pudding. Lori did such a good job of capturing the essence of Namibia that we’ve decided to sit back, relax and let her do the talking.
“Here is a well worn old friend, our trusty map. I was the navigator and know this paper very well now. Our journey has taken us from Windhoek, to the dunes at Sossusvlei, to the Skeleton coast, to the mountains of Southern Damaraland and the Plateaus of the north.”
“After a while of floating over stunning landscapes where we could see for miles, the balloon was lowered. We could see animals and birds now! We were above a kestral hunting, and I spotted a black – backed jackel that had just dug up an ostrich egg and he was batting it around. Incredible!”
“We felt sad leaving the dunes. We had been looking forward to being here for a very long time. But oh it’s been fantastic. Driving out we saw: herds of gemsbok (oryx), flocks of ostrich, a bevy of springbok, and a greater kestral.”
“The sights, sounds and smells are staggering, Cape Cross is a breeding colony and there are hundreds of seals here, thousands. We watched for hours. The sounds they make have been compared to barnyard animals, there is barking and baaing, mooing and clucking. So entertaining! I liked watching the pups wrestle, so cute and funny.”
“This is an old fishing boat out of Angola. Beached four years ago. Her name is Sela. Now seabirds use her to nest on.”
On reaching the Mowani Mountain Camp, “we were greeted with cold wet towels and ice filled drinks and then kindly hurried through reception and up to the viewing rock, so we wouldn’t miss sundowners of this kind…”
“The desert elephant differs from its cousins. They are smaller, and have larger feet, which makes it easier to walk in the sand. They can go many days without water to drink.”
A waterhole forms part of the Mowani Mountain Camp and “we watched the comings and goings for hours.” This Rosy Faced Lovebird is one of Lori’s favourites.
Chuck enjoying the view of the mountainous area of the Etendeka Plateau from the Grootberg Lodge. Lori described the scenery as “dizzingly beautiful.”
“Etosha means ‘place of mirages’ , ‘land of dry water’ or the ‘great white place.’ The silvery white sand plays tricks on your eyes, and mirages blur the horizon.”
“We found lions. Terribly exciting. We saw that one of this pride was hiding in the grass, watching a herd of zebra in the distance.”
“Okonjima – home of the Africat Foundation. Set amid the rolling Omboroko mountains, this protected 20,000 hectare wilderness is a place chuck has wanted to return to for 17 years.”
“We stepped out into a clearing, and far across to the other side, I saw a termite mound, and then nearby a spotted tail flipped up out of the long grass. Cheetah!”
“We drove around, greeting the wakening bush veld. We saw: oryx, sand grouse, banded mongoose, squirrel, red-billed frankolin, swallowtail bee-eaters. And then Jonas said, ‘There is a leopard in the tree’. ‘What?’ He whispered it again as we drove through trees and brush, thorns poking, a branch even broke off and I had to pry it off my seat but all the while never taking my eyes off the trees in front. ‘Where?’ We couldn’t see until we drove directly in front of an acacia and Jonas pointed up. ‘There’.”
“We sat and watched him walk away. It was then I think I remembered to breath. I was so lucky to be sitting closest to him. On a safari truck everyone has a good view, but sometimes it can be great.”
If you love Lori’s photographs and stories as much as we do, why not plan your very own adventure in Namibia? Start planning your trip by contacting one of our expert consultants. For more of Lori’s photographs and stories, take a look at Lori times five.
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Matt discovered a passion for writing in the six years he spent travelling abroad. He worked for a turtle sanctuary in Nicaragua, in an ice cream factory in Norway and on a camel safari in India. He was a door-to-door lightbulb-exchanger in Australia, a pub crawl guide in Amsterdam and a journalist in Colombia. Now, he writes and travels with us.
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Love Africa, Can’t wait to go back.
The Lion King 😮
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