October 21. - November 20. 2007

Trip to Hamburg, South Africa, Namibia and Dubai

October 22. - 24. Hamburg

October 24. - 25. via Dubai  / Johannesburg to Port Elizabeth
Although we had reserved and paid for our rooms, the Protea Marine Hotel denied our reservations. After some discussions and apologies we were offered the loft. No problem!
Opening up a convertable bed.....

26. - 29. October Amakhala Game reserve
We stayed three nights at the very beautiful lodge. Two awesome game drives every day, friendly people and very delicious food.
Highlights were the gorgeous Lions, Elephants at the Addo waterhole, Rinos, Buffalos, lots of Zebras and towers of Giraffes, Warthogs, all sorts of different Antelopes, getting stuck in the mud at the spot where the lions had hunted the night before....

Buffalos - we were told they are the most dangerous of the Big 5, since they are the most unpredictable.

Watching a few hundred Elephants at the watering hole -

The Elephants came so close to the jeep that one could capture their eye lashes

Giraffes, Zebras and if you look at the many pictures in linked folders, lots of beautiful scenery, many different types of Antelopes.

These Lions were just sitting there going about their business of yawning and snoozing and simply putting on a gorgeous show.  After a while they got up and  disappeared into their den under the low hanging branches of a tree. We were just about driving away, when the male appeared on the other side of the tree, followed by the female and three  wonderful cubs. What a sight!!!

They proceeded to the highest part of the gentle slope and sat down.

King of the Hill:

and two of the cubs. I think I forgot to breathe while I was taking many many pictures, these animals are simply beautiful.

A Rhino family -

Having a sundowner amongst the Cotyledon orbiculata

and a sunset at Amakhala

October 29/30.
via Jeffrey's Beach to Knysna
visit to one of the several nearby Ostrich farms. We got a tour of the place, stood under a gorgeous Pepper tree, the Ostrich race was fun.

October 31.
Swellendam, a nice colonial town with beautiful gardens

Nov. 1. -5.
Sightseeing bus tour, view from Table mountain, watching Penguins and Whales, visiting Capepoint,

finding a Disa cornuta amongst the interesting Fynbos vegetation

and a visit  to the famous Kirstenbosch Garden.

Nov. 6  Lambert's Bay
Dinner at Muisbosskerm, a great outdoor restaurant.
Here is a link to the place:
we walked in to have a beer and were invited to a most delicious Dinner. It was a great experience.

Nov. 7. Namaqualand and Springbok

Nov. 8. into Namibia
We dropped in for lunch and stayed overnight. It was a very nice lodge near the Fish River canyon.

Nov 9. off to Luederitz
An old German town, lost in time. It was very windy and chilly and empty - I felt like being dropped into the "Twilight Zone".

Nov. 10. into direction Sossusvlei, the Desert Homestead lodge
Interesting landscapes

Nov. 11. We slept at the Desert Camp lodge and drove over to Sossusvlei for dinner. Driving into the dunes from this location was really interesting and we booked a flight over the dunes.

Nov. 12. Plane ride over the famous dunes.

Nov. 13 Swakopmund
Another old German town, it has to be the cleanest place I have ever seen in my life, no kidding! Great shopping. But as with all the other towns, one never walks around after sunset.

Nov. 14/15. Windhoek
The old German Street names are now being replaced by many-syllables names of famous black leaders, tough to pronounce. All buildings are heavily secured, high unclimbable walls and gates everywhere.

Nov. 16.-18. to Dubai
We lost one of the two planned days due to bad weather in Windhoek at take off and heavy fog in Dubai, as we were about to land. We landed instead in Abu Dhabi, the airport was about 100 km away from Dubai. We sat again for hours, mostly on the tarmac and finally after exchanging first only the pilot and then the whole crew ( they can't work more than 15 hours at a clip), we landed about 14 hours late in Dubai.  We had lost 2 pieces of luggage between the four of us.
The next day was spent with sight-seeing and touring the city/Emirate which included a bit of exploring the spice souk and gleeming gold/jewelry souk.

Nov. 19  back to Hamburg, ( lost another piece of luggage here!!! ) and flying home on the 20.

All pieces of luggage were hand-delivered some days later.