Namibia Travel Review

Nancy's Namibia Travel and Hunt Review

This Namibia travel review was written by one of our previous USA guests, Nancy Morris.

Here she shares with us her thoughts, experiences and recommendations on traveling to and hunting in Namibia, Africa.

The purpose of this article is to give some insight to anyone who dreams of such a trip to Africa (and especially Namibia) and to answer FAQ. These recommendations are very useful since they are from a visitor's point of view.


The vastness and magic of Namibia

"Until we experienced it, we had no idea of the distances between settlements of people in Namibia. It is what I term splendid isolation.

It is hard to put into words what we felt – trying to relate it to something we were familiar with in the States – we think the experience was to a degree what it must have been like for the early pioneers in America.

We saw people in Namibia who were very self-sufficient and at peace with the land yet aware of their surroundings and the potential risks and hazards they faced.

Our thoughts on the Kalahari and our stay at Uitspan Hunting Ranch

Splendid isolation ... never could we have imagined the beauty that awaited us in the Kalahari... the land, the animals, the people!

Our stay at Uitspan Ranch was magical! The Duvenhages were such gracious hosts – so willing to share their knowledge of and love for the Kalahari and to welcome us into their home. The hunts and game drives were incredible. Our lodging had all the comforts of home and included a breathtaking view of Botswana from the veranda.

It was a wonderful adventure that truly enriched our lives.

Nancy relaxing in the Kalahari

(Picture: Nancy relaxing with us on Uitspan Hunting Ranch)

What we experienced during our stay on Uitspan Hunting Ranch, was a family content with its life in the Kalahari, truly at peace with the land, and a family of great faith. We all got to experience a brief moment of that peace and contentness while we were at Uitspan. You shared with us an amazing gift.– Thank you!

The Wildlife

We simply could not believe the abundance, variety and quality of animals we saw. Being able to approach the animals so closely on game drives was also an unbelievable experience.

General knowledge of Namibia by Americans

Namibia is generally not well known or known of at all in the U.S. Most Americans including us, know of Africa mainly as South Africa. This is due mainly to the vast amount of publicity SA received because of apartheid.

That view for many years was not a positive one. Other sources of information on Africa were from movies which can sometimes be exaggerated or idealized – these run the range from Out of Africa to Blackhawk Down to Hotel Rwanda.

Most Americans frankly have no idea where Namibia is. Generally once you tell them it is north and west of South Africa they have some recognition. International geography is not a strong suit for most Americans…we however, love it!

There has been more recognition of Namibia because of movie stars Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt choosing Namibia and in particular Swakopmund as the place to have their baby. Privacy laws are much stricter in Namibia than they are in the U.S. or other parts of the world, so these high profile movie stars chose Namibia as a way to get away from the media.

Even more recently the Kalahari is becoming more well known because of a television show called Meerkat Manor, which is aired on the Animal Planet channel. The show has become incredibly popular in the States.

I have two friends that had traveled to Namibia that I consulted before our trip. Both had been parts of organized scenic tours and neither had any interest in hunting.


They were helpful with ideas on sites to see in Namibia. Additionally, I looked for information on Namibia on the internet, read travel brochures from tour companies and purchased travel books from Amazon.com."

Our expectations of Namibia

Namibia was way beyond any of our expectations. The diverse natural beauty of the country, its vastness, the magnificent animals, and the wonderful warmth of all the people we met in Namibia was far above anything we had imagined.

Arranging travel to Namibia and costs

Considering the distances that are covered, the airfares while high did not surprise me. Our airfares were U$1300 per person for coach class – of course we had some extra stops along the way and spent time in SA after the trip to Namibia.

Making the airline bookings probably took me the longest and was the most frustrating an stressful part of the pre-trip planning.
(We recommend that you contact Gracy Travel for arranging and booking your flight-tickets. You may also contact them at telephone nr. +1-800-299-8558)

Things to consider prior to a trip to Namibia

  • Check with health department at least six months before departure to determine what inoculations and vaccines are necessary.

  • Medical evacuation insurance – consult with your medical insurance provider about health insurance coverage for international travel. Both our insurance providers recommended we get emergency medical evacuation insurance. We used Med-jet Assist and my in-laws’ policies were through Travel Guard. This type of insurance is readily available and reasonable in price for people under age 70. It was a little more difficult to find companies that would insure Dad because he was 75 – but once I found Travel Guard, while a little more expensive, it was still reasonable.

  • Check with airlines well in advance of travel for restrictions on transporting weapons and ammunition. Each airline needs to be consulted regarding its policies. It is particularly important to plan ahead if you plan to make stopovers as we did on our way to and from Namibia. Some countries may require prior approval before weapons or ammunition may enter the country. Checking with the country’s embassy location in the U.S. is the best first step.

  • Pack converters for electrical appliances.

  • Packing for the trip: Emphasis should be on packing light. We could have packed many fewer clothes, since the laundry (really) get done every second or third day. The Kalahari reminded me of the high desert of Utah and Arizona, warm days and nights that cool off quickly once the sun goes down. Our lightweight fleece jackets were great for these temperature changes. Zip off pants, light weight t-shirts, and light weight long sleeve shirts plus a very good hat and a comfortable pair of boots are about all that is needed.

  • Communication: Since most everyone in Namibia can speak English this is a great positive for Americans considering travel there.

  • Food: We did not really know what to expect, but found food styles very similar to the States or what you would find in Germany. The exception being we were able to enjoy local game (kudu, gemsbok, springbok, etc.) in place of beef, pork and chicken which we normally eat.

  • Consider a photo-scenic safari: Clearly what made our trip a tremendous success was traveling around Namibia by private plane. We got to see so much more of the country going by air. While this was more expensive, if was well worth it! "

    (We can arrange it for you. Just send a note with your booking.)

(Picture: Nancy with her in-laws and the Duvenhage-family - picture taken several years ago.)

Other costs/expenses

  • Daily costs per person –- very reasonable for an all inclusive trip.

  • Incidentals / Souvenirs –- wonderful value for local artists work

Professional Hunters

Namibia Gemsbok Hunt

(Picture: Nancy's husband, Larry on the left and his father Eugene with a Kalahari Gemsbok trophy.)

The PHs amazed us with their knowledge of and respect for the animals, tracking abilities, hunting skills and focus on safety, and their dedication to maintaining the environment.

My husband, father-in-law and I had all been with other hunting/fishing guides before in the states and Canada, however none has ever come close to the level of knowledge and professionalism we experienced in Namibia – especially with Kobus and Michael – we were all very impressed!


Nancy is the former Vice President of New Business Growth, The Dow Chemical Company. She worked for the company for 29 years and retired in 2005.

Nancy, thank you for the time spent on the thorough notes. This Namibia travel review will be helpful to a lot of travelers! Nancy and her family came to hunt on Uitspan Ranch with Kobus Honniball.



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Meaning of "Uitspan"

'Uitspan' is an Afrikaans word that means place of rest.

When the Boer settlers moved inland in Southern Africa in the 1800's, they used ox carts. When they found a spot with game, water and green grass, they arranged their ox carts into a circular laager for protection against wild animals and stopped for a rest.

They referred to such an action of relaxation for man and beast, as Uitspan.

(Picture above of our ancestors.)

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Did you know?

Greater Souther Kudu
Greater Southern Kudus are famous for their ability to jump high fences. A 2 m (6.56 ft) fence is easily jumped while a 3 m (9.84 ft) high fence is jumped spontaneously. These strong jumpers are known to jump up to 3.5 m (11.48 ft) under stress.

Read detailed info on the Kudu antelope



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Kalahari Lion

Some animals have one sense more than man!

The flehmen response is a particular type of curling of the upper lip in ungulates, felids and many other mammals. This action facilitates the transfer of pheromones and other scents into the vomeronasal organ, also called the Jacobson's Organ.
This behavior allows animals to detect scents (for example from urine) of other members of their species or clues to the presence of prey. Flehming allows the animals to determine several factors, including the presence or absence of estrus, the physiological state of the animal, and how long ago the animal passed by. This particular response is recognizable in males when smelling the urine of a females in heat.

Click here to read how the Kudu antelope use this sense.