Namibia with Cardboard Box

By: Emilee Hines Cantieri
This item appears on page 30 of the April 2018 issue.

My husband, Gerald Liedl, and I took a 6-day safari in Namibia, “Dunes & Wildlife,” in March 2017. We booked it online through The Cardboard Box Travel Shop (15 Bismarck St., Windhoek, Namibia; phone +264 61 256580, www.namibian.org). 

The cost of the safari, which was limited to 12 travelers, was $990 each and included everything but one dinner and bottles of water.* Because the drives were long, on three days we had box lunches to save time.

We were picked up at the Hilton Windhoek and, along with another group (with members from South Africa, Brazil, France, UK and the Netherlands), were given a brief orientation. 

Our first two nights were spent at lodges in and near Etosha National Park, with breakfast included. The second night, we had a bountiful buffet that included cooked-to-order steaks from various kinds of antelope. 

At Swakopmund, after driving through the vast, white-sand desert, we spent the night in an old hotel by the ocean (with dinner on our own and breakfast at the hotel).

After crossing the rugged high ridge of the country (where “restrooms” were in the bush), we spent the final two nights in a luxury tented camp that had a swimming pool.

Our guide, Alvin Chanakiri, and our driver, Johnny Nanyeni, unpacked the supplies from the back of the safari vehicle and cooked us steaks over the fire pit. They also produced breakfast the next morning, packed up everything quickly and drove us to the giant orange sand dunes.

Five members of our group decided to climb the largest dune. Three made it to the top. Afterward, Alvin and Johnny produced lunch in the shade of a tree among the dunes.

The catch to the low price was that we were expected to help set up for meals and clean up afterward, washing our plastic plates and coffee cups, but it was worth it for a scenic trip through an interesting country.

EMILEE HINES CANTIERI

Hendersonville, NC

*This tour is being offered through March 31, 2019, for $1,302 per person, double occupancy, with a single supplement of $249.