Simple Mile Life

Oct to Nov 2016 – Namibia -2

Watching Wild Animals – Etosha National Park

Our next main destination was Etosha National Park, located farther north from Windhoek. We visited by joining a 3-day-2-night tour offered by Wild Dog Safari. That means the temperature is much hotter in Southern Hemisphere. It was extremely hot with dry air. I’ve never experienced this kind of climate. It was much more comfortable than the one with humid air, but I was always thirsty and always wanted to drink coca-cola!

Etosha was an awesome place. Since we visited during the dry season, there wasn’t so much green on the ground or in the trees. The ground was dry, but completely different from Sossusvlei. I was so impressed with how beautiful and proud the wild animals were! Many kinds of animals were interacting and also relaxing.  It was something we can’t watch on TV or at zoo. It’s their daily life.

During the tour, we stayed at a separate camp site. Each camp site had an artificial water hole to allow people to observe wild animals from a distance. Even though the holes were artificial, we can still see the animals which came there to get water. However, it’s difficult to always see the animals coming to waterhole.

One of the favorite picture – Though I couldn’t capture the clear shape of giraffes and rhinoceros with my camera after sunset, their silhouettes were so beautiful.

While moving from one camp site to another, we mostly had to stay in the car. The car had a big window and its roof can be opened a little to allow us to observe animals. These are the great animals we observed from the car.

The Wonderful animals! – I still regret I didn’t buy an expensive camera and binocular! This is worth experiencing once in a lifetime!

During the stay in Namibia, we enjoyed seeing some dynamic and unique nature and beautiful wild animals. Namibia is really worth visiting if you want to experience something that is not normal.

Hilton Windhoek

We decided to stay at the Hilton Windhoek between our trips to Etosha and Sossusvlei. We had a very nice experience at the Hilton Doubletree in Cape Town, and we believed we would have the same positive experience in Windhoek. The Hilton in Windhoek allowed us a very comfortable stay, and at a very reasonable price. We could stay using both Hilton points and cash. For one night, it cost around $40 + 12,000 Hilton points. We could enjoy a very nice room, and were given access to the lounge on the top floor because of my Diamond Status with Hilton.

We stayed a total of 4 nights in the Hilton Windhoek, and were able to enjoy complimentary breakfast each morning at the lounge. We were even upgraded to a diplomatic suite due to Diamond status for 2 of our 4 nights. This upgraded room was actually two rooms that were joined together, with one room serving as a master bed room, while the other served as a living room. The rooms had nice views of the city, and the surrounding landscapes. It was very beautiful and very comfortable.

The rooms are tooooo gorgeous to stay between outside camp nights!! Are you sure, Hilton?   

In the evenings, the lounge also provided complimentary dining options that were perfect for our dinner. Beverages were included with this service as well. The staff in the lounge were very professional, and always made sure we felt at home. Many of the staff would remember the guests by name, and were happy to help with any concerns we may have had.

The meals and drinks are complementary. This Windhoek beer was so tasty!

During our stay, we could easily relax at the Hilton in Windhoek. We also did not spend too much money during our stay thanks to using Hilton points. In total 4 nights at this hotel, with our breakfast, and dinner included, cost around $160 plus 48,000 points. Usually one night at the hotel would cost $160 plus tax. It was the best place we could have possibly stayed between our trips with Wild Dog Safari.

When it came time to leave Namibia, we flew from Windhoek to Johannesburg using British Airlines. While many of our experiences flying during our trip went very well, our experience with British Airlines was exceptionally poor. We waited over an hour in line to check our baggage. Also, the employees opened up a different line, and did not stop all the passengers at the back of the line from crowding to the front ahead of everyone else. The whole time, no staff members attempted to explain the problem or when the flight would eventually depart. In the end, we ended up staying over 2 hours past our arranged departure time. The pilot apologized, but many of the passengers were rightfully upset. We did have a safe flight, and saw a beautiful sunset before landing. However, if choosing between airlines that are all priced equally, it would be difficult to choose British Airways again.