Namibia Hunting Update

M McDindi

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Dave - got your PM too. I go thru a couple of the local Namibian on-line newspapers every day or two and haven't seen anything. I just sent a text to my friend's daughter who works for the main news org there and asked if she's seen/heard anything. Will post up what she sends me.
 

M McDindi

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Dave and et al,

Friend's daughter just texted back that they are still following the chart I posted above. The "green" column shows that on 30 Jun (1 July) "1-A gradual reopening of the boarders of selected countries......."

Then there is still the caveat "Note" at the bottom right.
 

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Delta cancelled my June 11th flight. So, 2021 is the new plan! I’m sad about it, but at the same time curious to see what the good Lord has in plans for the next months. I suspect more time for introspection will be had.

I just ordered a bunch of ammo and plan to do a lot of shooting practice. I’m also beginning coordination for fall hunts in Idaho, Montana and Minnesota. I need to add another state to my list. Anyone need a fellow hunter to come take a deer or two off your property?
 

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Got word from my travel agent that it was Qatar Airlines that canceled the flight because they’re being very aggressive and canceling flights not because Namibia has closed.

That said if Namibia opens up on July 1 as planned I doubt that they’re going to open up to the US which seems to be the hotspot of the world right now
 

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My understanding from my outfitter is that it is closed, at least for the purpose of traveling there to hunt, until the end of July.
 

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We aren’t sure ourself. Hopefully June will provide more information. Everythingbis just hanging in the air
 

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Anymore insight on Namibia? Or still just in a holding pattern? Im on qatar as well and they arent even flying out of dulles right now and obviously not going to Namibia yet.. what ya all thinkin for ed of July flights?
 

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Even if Namibia "re-opens" in time, it's not clear what that will mean. In some (many?) places, re-opening means people can arrive on international flights, but they need to quarantine upon arrival. That obviously own't work for hunters.

To further complicate matters, most of us have to travel through more than one country to get where we want to go. Americans who could take the Delta flight from Atlanta to JNB were lucky, but it looks as if that flight might be cancelled. Most people travelling to Namibia or Zimbabwe will have to go through one or more countries in Africa and/or Europe to get there, and it's not clear that if the destination is open and quarantine free that you will be able to freely transit whatever country you have to go through. Things get even more complicated if you have to actually enter a country rather than just transit (which, for example, you have to do if you change airports in the UK) . . . there could easily be different rules for one and the other.

All of that is to say that life is still very complicated. And we likely won't know for a while what the world will look like in the late summer and beyond for a while yet.
 

M McDindi

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RB44 - You pose a good question regarding options to getting to Namibia when it does open up. Before everything shut down, here are the airlines you could use, (that I remember) to get there.

1 - Air Namibia: Offered daily flts from Frankfurt and multiple flts a day from J'berg. They were in trouble before the WuFlu and are in even worse shape now. I personally don't think the long haul flt from FRA will come back. I think they are still minimally operating just domestically and may be able to open up just regionally. By regionally, I mean flts between Windhoek, J'berg, Vic Falls and maybe Gaborone. I've flown on them in the past but they CNX'd our return flt from Gaborone last Aug with just 24hrs notice and no alternate plan to get us back to Windhoek. When we called, they finally got us sorter out on SAA via J'berg and our luggage and rifles got stuck in J'berg and only arrived in Windhoek a couple of hours before we got our flt home on KLM late the next afternoon. I'll personally not book with them again unless absolutely necessary.

2 - Delta/KLM: Offered flts 3-days a week from the US on Delta to Amsterdam and then KLM from there direct to Windhoek. We did this route last Aug. Good flts both ways. Had a long layover in AMS (12hrs) going in and 4hrs coming back. You do have to obtain a transit permit for taking firearms thru AMS even though your luggage/firearms are checked all the way thru. The form is a little long but simple enough but, you have to submit it 8-WEEKS prior to your flt. I didn't realize that and submitted it 5-weeks prior and with a few emails they did issue the transit permit 3-days before we departed. I'd fly this route again.

3 - Qatar Airways: They just opened 3-day a week service to Namibia last year from Doha. They called it "direct" but it's more "semi-direct" as they plan makes a short 1hr stop for fuel and a few PAX and continues on. I know a guy who made this trip every couple of months and says it's the only why to go. You have to get a transit permit for firearms thru Doha. Is pretty easy and just have to submit, passport, confirmation number, 4457 and invitation ltr at least 2-weeks prior. Don't know if/when they will open this particular route up. I do know they are at least planning to flying Doha to J'berg this Aug, as we've got 3 tickets booked two weeks ago for Chicago, Doha, J'berg, Gaborone and back.

4 - British Airways: I don't remember if they had daily flts from London to Windhoek or just 3-days a week. There were several guys I know who flow that route a lot and loved it. Have to be careful when booking though and IF you have to change airports (Gatwick and Heathrow) traveling with your firearms is NOT practical as you have to hire a transfer service and it was VERY expensive. One guy I know who did this route every year and did the airport transfer just used PH's loaner rifles. He did miss his flt once to Windhoek because "the tube" was either on strike or shutdown. I looked into this route in the past and figured out a way to get from the US to the same airport for the leg to Windhoek but it added an extra stop and then BA added an extra fee to carry firearms, I said screw it. The couple of guys who've done this route in the past via the same London airport say it was very good and even with the extra firearm fee was less than Delta to J'berg and in. Oh, and be careful as BA partners with a carrier named Comair. Comair does NOT carry firearms.

5 - Lufthansa/Swiss Air: I'm putting both of these together because you can use them to book flts to Windhoek and they are the major carriers hubbing out of Frankfurt and Zurich to J'berg, but then they code share with either Air Namibia, SAA, SAA Express or SAA Airlink. We've flow these routes in the past and except for having to transit thru J'berg and change planes and carriers they were good routs and flights. Trouble is with SAA looking like they are tits up along with SAA Express and Air Namibia on life support, that pretty much leaves SAA Airlink currently the only option from J'berg to Windhoek.

6 - Ethiopian Air: They had direct flts 3-days a week from Addis Ababa to Windhoek. I've read guys experiences using them and they were all very positive. The airline and Addis Ababa were becoming the "hub" for travel into northern Africa, like J'berg has become for southern Africa and actually starting to rival J'berg as a hub for travel into all of Africa. Unfortunately, they got a pretty bad rap for the airliner crash last year and that had more to do with the design of the A/C than the airline itself.

7 - By boat: I say this kind of tongue in cheek BUT, there are cargo freighters that that make weekly r/t's between Savannah GA and Walvis Bay. You can actually book a limited number of passenger cabins on them. Unlimited baggage as long as YOU can schlep on board yourself and can carry firearms/ammo. Technically you can do you your temp firearm paperwork and permit in Walvis Bay but you'll likely be the first and nobody working in the port will likely know what to do. Just though I'd toss this in for fun and YES, I actually looked into this!!

The big questions are obviously, when the boarders will be open and what carriers are going to offer service at all and how fast will they add flts and planes. I don't believe it will be like flipping on a switch and all flts and routes will open immediately. I do think it might come back kind of quickly due to a LOT of pent up demand.

As to when Namibia will open? I don't think they (Govt/Pres) has any idea. Just like here, it is a balancing act between the economic damage and loss of life to the WuFlu.
 

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Hello M McDindi,

Great info, thanks for posting it.
Is there a web site for the freighter passage, Savannah / Walvis Bay?
Being mostly retired, I might just have the time needed to go by ship next time.

One of my uncles used to book passage on freighters, to many places in the world.
But I was too young then to know what a treasure that information was.
And so, the information passed away with him.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
 

M McDindi

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Paul - it's been maybe 10 or so years since I looked at doing the freighter thing. Can't find the link/site I saw the original Savannah GA to Walvis Bay route, but I did still have this link https://wikitravel.org/en/Freighter_travel that gives you the details and then links to companies that provide the services. The main reason I was thinking about doing a trip was to be able to bring taxidermy back. Then decided to just do it as excess baggage on the airlines and do my own USF&W import paperwork and clearing.
 

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Hello M McDindi,

Great info, thanks for posting it.
Is there a web site for the freighter passage, Savannah / Walvis Bay?
Being mostly retired, I might just have the time needed to go by ship next time.

One of my uncles used to book passage on freighters, to many places in the world.
But I was too young then to know what a treasure that information was.
And so, the information passed away with him.

Cheers,
Velo Dog.
@Velo Dog, if you figure this out, would be great if you could share. I'd love to do something like that!
 

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So, what do you do all day with no alcohol?
We make a plan...

IMG-20200522-WA0016.jpg
IMG-20200522-WA0015.jpg
IMG-20200522-WA0014.jpg
 
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RBurg44

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2 of my 4 flights there and return were cancelled we were to leave out july 30th from dulles layover in doha then on to windhoek. we were Arriving back to states aug 15. I believe it was one of the legs there and one if the legs back that got cancelled. We were flying qatar air.
 

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RB44 - You pose a good question regarding options to getting to Namibia when it does open up. Before everything shut down, here are the airlines you could use, (that I remember) to get there.

1 - Air Namibia: Offered daily flts from Frankfurt and multiple flts a day from J'berg. They were in trouble before the WuFlu and are in even worse shape now. I personally don't think the long haul flt from FRA will come back. I think they are still minimally operating just domestically and may be able to open up just regionally. By regionally, I mean flts between Windhoek, J'berg, Vic Falls and maybe Gaborone. I've flown on them in the past but they CNX'd our return flt from Gaborone last Aug with just 24hrs notice and no alternate plan to get us back to Windhoek. When we called, they finally got us sorter out on SAA via J'berg and our luggage and rifles got stuck in J'berg and only arrived in Windhoek a couple of hours before we got our flt home on KLM late the next afternoon. I'll personally not book with them again unless absolutely necessary.

2 - Delta/KLM: Offered flts 3-days a week from the US on Delta to Amsterdam and then KLM from there direct to Windhoek. We did this route last Aug. Good flts both ways. Had a long layover in AMS (12hrs) going in and 4hrs coming back. You do have to obtain a transit permit for taking firearms thru AMS even though your luggage/firearms are checked all the way thru. The form is a little long but simple enough but, you have to submit it 8-WEEKS prior to your flt. I didn't realize that and submitted it 5-weeks prior and with a few emails they did issue the transit permit 3-days before we departed. I'd fly this route again.

3 - Qatar Airways: They just opened 3-day a week service to Namibia last year from Doha. They called it "direct" but it's more "semi-direct" as they plan makes a short 1hr stop for fuel and a few PAX and continues on. I know a guy who made this trip every couple of months and says it's the only why to go. You have to get a transit permit for firearms thru Doha. Is pretty easy and just have to submit, passport, confirmation number, 4457 and invitation ltr at least 2-weeks prior. Don't know if/when they will open this particular route up. I do know they are at least planning to flying Doha to J'berg this Aug, as we've got 3 tickets booked two weeks ago for Chicago, Doha, J'berg, Gaborone and back.

4 - British Airways: I don't remember if they had daily flts from London to Windhoek or just 3-days a week. There were several guys I know who flow that route a lot and loved it. Have to be careful when booking though and IF you have to change airports (Gatwick and Heathrow) traveling with your firearms is NOT practical as you have to hire a transfer service and it was VERY expensive. One guy I know who did this route every year and did the airport transfer just used PH's loaner rifles. He did miss his flt once to Windhoek because "the tube" was either on strike or shutdown. I looked into this route in the past and figured out a way to get from the US to the same airport for the leg to Windhoek but it added an extra stop and then BA added an extra fee to carry firearms, I said screw it. The couple of guys who've done this route in the past via the same London airport say it was very good and even with the extra firearm fee was less than Delta to J'berg and in. Oh, and be careful as BA partners with a carrier named Comair. Comair does NOT carry firearms.

5 - Lufthansa/Swiss Air: I'm putting both of these together because you can use them to book flts to Windhoek and they are the major carriers hubbing out of Frankfurt and Zurich to J'berg, but then they code share with either Air Namibia, SAA, SAA Express or SAA Airlink. We've flow these routes in the past and except for having to transit thru J'berg and change planes and carriers they were good routs and flights. Trouble is with SAA looking like they are tits up along with SAA Express and Air Namibia on life support, that pretty much leaves SAA Airlink currently the only option from J'berg to Windhoek.

6 - Ethiopian Air: They had direct flts 3-days a week from Addis Ababa to Windhoek. I've read guys experiences using them and they were all very positive. The airline and Addis Ababa were becoming the "hub" for travel into northern Africa, like J'berg has become for southern Africa and actually starting to rival J'berg as a hub for travel into all of Africa. Unfortunately, they got a pretty bad rap for the airliner crash last year and that had more to do with the design of the A/C than the airline itself.

7 - By boat: I say this kind of tongue in cheek BUT, there are cargo freighters that that make weekly r/t's between Savannah GA and Walvis Bay. You can actually book a limited number of passenger cabins on them. Unlimited baggage as long as YOU can schlep on board yourself and can carry firearms/ammo. Technically you can do you your temp firearm paperwork and permit in Walvis Bay but you'll likely be the first and nobody working in the port will likely know what to do. Just though I'd toss this in for fun and YES, I actually looked into this!!

The big questions are obviously, when the boarders will be open and what carriers are going to offer service at all and how fast will they add flts and planes. I don't believe it will be like flipping on a switch and all flts and routes will open immediately. I do think it might come back kind of quickly due to a LOT of pent up demand.

As to when Namibia will open? I don't think they (Govt/Pres) has any idea. Just like here, it is a balancing act between the economic damage and loss of life to the WuFlu.

Think your mistaken on the BA flights from UK to windhoek. Never have been any.
 

M McDindi

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Spike.t - all I know is that before the lockdown, you could go on the BA website and book r/t from the US to London and direct to Windhoek. I know of one guy who actually flew that route last Aug. He didn't carry firearms and it may have been on their code share/subsidiary Comair. I also know a rather popular outfitter on another site that sent a lot of clients on BA to Namibia.

I just looked on the BA website and they are no longer listing any direct flights to WDH for the end of this year. Just flight from LHR to JNB on BA and then from JNB to WDH on Comair.
 

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