Europe, Asia, Africa · 15 Days · 42 Moments · September 2017

Richard and Philippa Caine's Honeymoon

2 October 2017

Home sweet home. Ran into John at the train station so got a lift home! Now to sleep and unpack. What an amazing holiday!!
Just landed in Manchester and on hour 25.5 of travelling. Hope baggage and passport control goes quickly! X
Sat in Dubai waiting for our last flight of the trip. We loved Namibia but wish it was closer or we could afford first class!

1 October 2017

Landed in Johannesburg for our connecting flight to Dubai and then Manchester. They are having thunderstorms here so could be a bumpy take off!
The view for our last morning in Namibia. So sad to be going home!

30 September 2017

We are surprised with a bottle of fizz and some chocolates for our last night of honeymoon!
We've just got back from the Leopard tracking and it was AMAZING! They have around 36 leopards in the reserve each with their own territory. 10 of them have collars and only 4 of those can be tracked as they are used to the cars. We are tracking them with radio collars and we are told there is a 50/50 chance of seeing them due to the thick bushes and the roads available. But we get a signal from Jojo a female with 2 9/10month old cubs. Shortly after we see her crossing the road in front of us. No cubs but she hides them while hunting so we keep tracking her through the bush, losing her a couple of times then finding her again. Finally she stops at a watering hole and we get a good look. She is so beautiful. Then to our surprise she starts calling out and shortly after her male cub arrives! We manage another 10 mins of so seeing them bonding and playing at the top of the embankment around the watering hole. It was amazing to see and so close! Apparently she hides the cubs separately
We have now arrived in our final hotel of the holiday, the Africat reserve in Okonjima. This reserve is a charity which looks after orphaned or injured big cats and rehabilitates them so they can be released back into the wild. They also run educational programmes with the local farmers and track wild animals to see where they go and offer early warning to farmers if needed. We are staying at the plains camp and have booked into the leopard tracking trip this afternoon. Currently sat looking over a watering hole filled with warthogs (my favourite) listening to a thunderstorm echo in the distance.
Last morning of the honeymoon and our first and last opportunity to lie in for about a week and guess who woke up at 6.30am, yep the honeymoon ended early when Richard decided he couldn't sleep anymore and turned on the light at 6.30am to read!!! But that did mean we were all ready to go earlier than planned so we popped back into Etosha park to the first watering hole to see what was there and were greater with a huge range of animals. Giraffe Zebra Oryx Jackals Warthogs Bustards (big birds) Guinea fowl It was a great way to finish our time in Etosha.

29 September 2017

Another great day in Etosha. Started off with lions at the first watering hole, then 3 cheeta lounging by the side of the road (we actually saw the same 3 cheetahs (we think the same) 10hrs later walking down another road.) and more elephants. We drove down rhino road trying to find the rhinos but with no luck. We also didn't manage to find any Eland which Richard really wanted to see. Just as we were giving up we finally saw a rhino. We think it is a black rhino but so difficult to tell. We just missed a leopard as we pulled up to a stopped car who had just seen it run off! We also saw some lions mating at sunset! Then at the very final watering hole before the gate leaving Etosha, what to our surprise but a second rhino!! 4 out of the big 5 seen and we go to a big cat sanctuary tomorrow so leopard tracking it is there! Amazing experience! Oh and i nearly forgot-we saw more mongoose! Banded mongoose this time and about 20 crossing the road in front of us!

28 September 2017

Wow what a day. To sum it up: elephants!!! Richard and I now think we have now seen over 80 elephants including desert adapted elephants, bull elephants, toddler elephants and baby elephants! We also started off the day with lions and saw more at lunch time including some cubs. No rhinos, eland or leopards or cheetas but we have seen pretty much everything else!

27 September 2017

Today we went to Etosha national park and spent the day exploring the park looking for wildlife. We had a great day ticking off some new animals and seeing others close up. More tomorrow as we travel to andersons gate.

26 September 2017

Finished the night drive and only saw a brown hyena so a bit dissapointing though the stars were amazing!
Tonight's sunset.
We've had an amazing afternoon sat on the veranda of the lodge watching the animals at the 2 watering holes. We have seen: Springbok Impala Kudu Gemsbok Warthog Zebra We had a couple of hours with 4 bull elephants getting cool in the watering hole and shade of a big tree only 60metres away from us. We are now sat enjoying the sunset and watching a giraffe by the big watering hole. After dinner we are off on a night drive.
We have arrived in Hobatere lodge and have sat down for some dinner. They have upgraded our room and left us a bottle of fizz which we are enjoying while watching the wildlife at the watering hole next to the lodge. We are booked on a night drive this evening to hopefully see some of the nocturnal animals. Finally seen some zebra up close. It is middle of the day here so we currently have all the vegetarian animals, but apparently they have had lions here this week so keeping our fingers crossed. We had to sign a waver when we got here as we are that close to the animals. Richard is busy taking photos on the big camera and we can't wait to see how they turn out!

25 September 2017

We started this morning with a guided walk around the plateau seeing lizards and birds and springbok and jackals. We stopped at a ledge with a beautiful view and got the binoculars out. We saw baboons and zebra and a oryx but they were about 10kilometers away so no photo.
Elephant tracking today. The desert adapted elephants are different to the African elephants and have bigger feet and longer legs. We tracked them from a farm where they had been drinking the water to a rocking hill top. There where over 20 elephants in the group including 2 babies. We also saw Kudu and jackals and some baboons at the water near the lodge. Great day!

24 September 2017

Long drive today from Swakopmund to Grootberg lodge but the scenery changed from dunes to mountains. Grootberg lodge is as amazing as descriped and we arrived about 3 pm and went for a swim and relax before dinner. The view is amazing and we are booked on the desert elephant tour tomorrow!

23 September 2017

Our B&B in Swakopmund and some shots of the beautiful sunset last night.
Kayaking with seals this morning so another early start, but well worth it. The seals were all over the bay and loved playing near the boat. Richard got to give a few tummy rubs to a few who took a liking to him. Great trip with Jackells and flamingos as well. Off to a microbrewery tonight for dinner and beer tasting.

22 September 2017

We left sossusvlei and drove the 5 hrs to swakapmund. Richard and I shared the driving (my first time on a gravel road) but it was pretty boring. We went hours without seeing another car or building! We are now settled into our B&B in Swakapmund relaxing before heading to a seafood restaurant for dinner. Up early again tomorrow to go kayaking with seals and see the flamingos!
Some of the animals from this morning. We also saw some African foxes but they were too far away to get on the iPhone.
This morning we visited the dunes at sossusvlei and saw lots of wildlife on the way (further pictures to follow). We climbed dune 45 and went of tossing over the sand road.
Up early this morning to catch the sunrise before heading to Soussevlie for the sand dunes and then on to Swakopmond.

21 September 2017

After a very lazy day reading our books and enjoying the view we are now sat with a drink enjoying the sun setting over the hill next to the lodge.
Finally a lie in. Today is a lazy day enjoying the desert and facilities at our lodge before watching the sunset. Still doing some wildlife spotting with some very friendly red eye bulbul.

20 September 2017

It's all go here! Relaxing evening teaching Richard to play Cribbage and then finishing with Sh*thead. I won Cribbage and Richard won Sh*thead!!
We've arrived at Desert Homestead lodge where we are staying for 2 nights. We have our own thatched cottage and I think they have heard we are on honeymoon! Now sat enjoying the mini bottles of bubbles cooling down before dinner.
Some more photos. Saw a lot of wildlife today including: Meerkats Secretary bird Ostriches Gembok (Oryx) Springbok
Some pictures of our drive to Sossusvlei today along with our first African traffic jam (goats) and weever bird nests.
Our tour guide Michelle came this morning to give us our maps of Namibia and explain our route. She met us with a basket of bubbles and chocolates to celebrate our honeymoon. At first I thought Richard had been romantic and told them Ferraro roche's are my favourite but then I saw the bubbles where Chardonnay! Off out of Windhoek by 10.30 having popped by Richards old office and stopping at a shopping centre for water and lunch.
Breakfast this morning is fresh fruit. So tasty!

19 September 2017

And dinner is served. Oryx carpaccio and marinated smoked Kudu starters and then a kebab of crocodile, zebra, Kudu, Oryx and Springbok for mains! Just waiting for desert! Richard is happy with the local beer and I am having a dry white wine which is really nice. It'll be an early night to night, we were travelling for 30hrs and the car is being dropped of to us at 8am tomorrow morning!
Finally at our B&B for the night. Villa Violet has grapefruit and lemon tree's in the garden. Some animals for grandpa - some kind of weasel. 2 darted out in front of us as we walked from the accomodation to Joe's beer and grill for dinner. Great drive from the airport to the B&B. Richardo was our driver and we saw Kudu and Giraffes along the side of the road. Both Richard and I missed the Springbok unfortunately.
Some sights from the plane.
The sights of Cape Town airport and a penguin for John! Our aeroplane! At least they didn't say the Lord's Prayer just before take off! Good job neither Richard or I are afraid of flying! Namibia here we come, final leg!
We've arrived at Cape Town. We were met at the plane exit by a lovely lady called Monika who personally escorted us through the airport to collect our bags and check in for our next flight. Such a nice experience to be treated like VIP's and skip the queues. It is muggy and cloudy here but I am excited to be so close to the end of our flights. 2 hrs before boarding and then a 2 hr flight and we finally arrive.

18 September 2017

Treated ourselves to the Emirates Business class lounge as we have 3 hrs before the next flight. It is 36 degrees here at midnight!!
The first giraffe of the holiday. Photo actually taken in Manchester airport!
At Manchester airport waiting for some lunch before our flight! Eventful trip so far with our bags being pulled to one side due to Richard's epi pens. Lots of bags being checked, they must be on high alert due to the recent bombing. Now relaxing with our first honeymoon drinks.
We'll all ready and waiting for the taxi!