Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
2021 is looking like a record year for J5Travel, something our team is very proud of considering the challenges to travel over the last couple of years. I have to say that I am beyond grateful for all the work and support that Kendall, Kanise, Shanna, Sarah, Tori and Kristin have provided. For our clients who have continued to travel with us, thank you, thank you.
We understand that even now it is perfectly reasonable to be wary of traveling internationally and even domestically. We remain ready for you when you are ready and we do see the path to simpler, and less worrisome travel ahead. The global trend to the full return of travel remains positive despite the humps and bumps that Covid continues to unfortunately provide.
My recent trip to Namibia is highlighted this week, with a Top 5 from a country that surprised me more than anywhere on the planet I have been before.
Top 5 - Namibia Part 1
1. Am Weinberg Hotel, Windhoek
I found the capital city of Namibia, Windhoek to be more relaxed and less hectic than previous African cities I've visited, a rather sweeping statement I know. Most travelers to Namibia are likely to enjoy just one or two nights here before heading out to the delights this whole country holds, but it's important for this first 24 hours of adjustment to stay somewhere that will allow you to relax before heading out on the road. My actual hotel, Galton House definitely qualifies, as does the beautiful boutique property I toured, Am Weinberg Hotel featured in the photos. It has the bonus of being set in the middle of a hip restaurant area so there is plenty of choice right on site and the rooftop cocktail/tapas bar (below) is a killer especially at sunset.
We drove 3 hours north of Windhoek to Okonjima Lodge (above). The target for our first afternoon game drive was leopard tracking. As you can see we had great success there and so much more, including a mother zebra with it's estimated 3 week old offspring.
The next morning at Okonjima we focused on a group of 5 cheetahs, all rescue cats, and part of an essential research and conservation project. We were very lucky to come across them all together and hung out quietly for almost an hour.
4. Off The Beaten Path
There's off the beaten path, and then there's our Saturday and Sunday which was more "where are we? Surely we can't drive up there? How can there be anything out here?"
2 hours of tarmac heading north from Okonjima, an hour of gravel heading NW and over another hour on a track that was barely good enough for hiking, our off-road experience led us to Huab Under Canvas where we had exclusive use of the 6 tent camp. I have never felt so isolated or at one with the world.
5. Save The Rhino Trust
Introducing John (above), a senior ranger with the Save the Rhino Trust who have a research station within the Huab Conservancy we were staying. He also led our successful black rhino trek along with 3 others. By the time we met up with him, he had already hiked 25km that day.
As you can imagine the rangers boots and kit take a beating in this terrain, and our group of 6 were privileged to make a donation to provide 3 full kits including backpack, uniform and boots. These kits last only a year before replacements are required.
We are able to arrange meaningful give back moments like this for all our Africa travelers and strongly encourage everyone to pick a project during their trip and to delve deeply into how important essential conservation and ethical tourism are. It also means you interact even more with locals, the key element in heart filling travel.
I love travel and I love travel planning just as much and I am proud to be building a team as passionate about exploring the world as myself. It took me a very long time to align my career with my undeniable passion for exploring, but now I and the team are here for you. Your personal travel tailors - award reservation and luxury custom itinerary experts. We provide a bespoke service, imagining and creating itineraries for independent minded families and groups.
Be social and follow along on our travel adventures.
Want our blog posts delivered straight to your inbox? Enter your email below to subscribe to our newsletter.