Namibia and Zimbabwe

with Jackie and Elston Hill

May 9- June 13, 2015
This is our account of our five week trip to Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Below are links to our trip, or you can just start with the first link and then click the link at the bottom of each page for the next
page in our trip This is primarily a pictorial account of the trip, and it is generally arranged chronologically. If the pictures are
too big for your computer screen, click the Control and Minus keys at the same time.

After these links to pictures from our trip is some information about how we booked the trip as well as some of the special
people who helped make our trip possible.
We spent two weeks in Namibia and two weeks Zimbabwe and were gone for a total of five weeks. In order to avoid two red eye
flights and to see our children, we stopped off in Dallas for two nights on our flight to Johannesburg. Below, our children Elena
and Elston:
We used our Alaska miles for the whole trip. The stop in Dallas did not require any extra miles. At the last minute we were able
to upgrade to Business Class. And to our surprise, when the airplane pulled into the gate, it was an Airbus 380. Traveling in
business on the A380 was quite luxurious. Below, Jackie in the bar.
Coming back, we flew in economy. Emirates may be awesome upstairs in business class on the A380, but economy is only
average.The flight back was interesting. We stopped in Dubai for two nights before the 14 hour and 20 minute flight to Seattle.
To my surprise, the polar route for this flight is directly over the north pole since Dubai is on the opposite side of the globe. We
stayed in old town in Dubai which was colorful.
We booked our trip with Africa Easy which is located in Seattle. The owner and founder Nadia Eckhardt is from South Africa.
She is supported by a wonderful staff which includes Leslie, Ashley and Ilse  The trip was put together in less than three
months before our departure to our specifications and it was an amazing trip.

      May 12 Arrival in Johannesburg.
      
      May 13 Flight to Windhoek, capital of Namibia.
      May 14 Four nights in Sossusvllei
      May 18 One night in Swakopmund
      May 19 Three nights Damaraland
      May 22 Five nights in Etosha

      May 27 Return to Johannesburg for one night.

      May 28 Flight to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe and then car to Camp Amalinda adjacent to Matobo Hills National Park
      May 31 Three nights at Little Makalolo in Hwange National Park
      May June 3 Two days in Victoria Falls in the historic Victoria Falls Hotel
      June 5, Three nights at Changa Safari Camp in Matusadona National Park
      June 8, Two nights Ruckomechi Camp in Mana Pools National Park     

      June 10 Return to Johannesburg for over night and then flight to Dubai for two nights.

We are so grateful to all the wonderful people we met on the trip. Paulo de Oliveira was our guide and driver for two weeks in
Namibia and endured the long hours and early depatures without a complaint and catered to our every whim. Actually, he did
complain at the end of the trip saying he hoped I would let him have a real breakfast at least one morning. Fortunately, our last
camp had no issues with serving us a hot breakfast at 5:30, so I made Paulo and Jackie very happy. Howard at Camp
Amalinda got us out at the crack of dawn to see the amazing granite domes. Themba was a terrific guide at Little Makalolo and
his wife Bee was such a charming hostess. Likewise, Livingstone gave us such an amazing trip into Hwange National Park. At
Changa Safari Camp we were fortunate to be the only guests and were so spoiled. Sean gave us very long and very complete
safaris including a full safari before we left on the bush plane our last morning. The staff at Changa Safari Camp surprised us
one morning by setting up a complete brunch in a remote valley at the end of the morning safari and the other Sean was such
an amazing host. Finally, a guide who was so over the top was Honest at Ruckomechi. Honest understands photography very
well--the very best on our trip--and will get you to the right locations and the right light.
      
Zimbabwe is a wonderful country. The people, black and white, are all so warm and all love their country very much. Zimbabwe
is one of the most spectacular countries on the planet with incredible geography and wildlife. National Geographic recently
listed Zimbabwe among its 50 most recommended trips to take in 2015.        

Trying to do Africa on a budget? Then Namibia and South Africa might be your best destination. In both countries it is possible
to rent and drive your own car (on the left side of the road) and do your own Safari.