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¦ Chris Bakkes is a guide with Wilderness Safaris. His book In Bushveld and Desert: A Game Ranger's Life is published by Human and Rousseau At Cape Frio we walked among the fur seals. Fifty thousand of them lay on the beach, waddling into the waves at our arrival. Jackal patrolled up and down the beach. When we drove back that afternoon, I knew: the safari was a success One of the Skeleton Coast's many shipwrecks DANA ALLAN A visit to the seal colony at Cape Frio DANA ALLAN

E scape the crowds as you travel along the Cape to Namibia route ( www. capenamibiaroute. com). Namibia's excellent road infrastructure offers visitors the freedom to travel independently and leisurely take in the impressive and dramatically changing landscape. As you enter the country through the South African border, visit the colossal Fish River Canyon, second only to the Grand Canyon. Fish River Lodge at the Fish River Canyon has just re- opened after a long period of renovation ( http:// fi shriverlodge- namibia. com). An additional lodge at Twyfelfontein, close to Mowani in the northwest of the country, called Camp Kipwe has recently opened, with the fi rst clients staying at the beginning of August 2009. The camp is in the Damaraland area renowned for its unusual rock formations, rock paintings and rare desert fl ora and fauna. Accommodation is in eight igloo- shaped double bungalows, allowing a maximum of 16 guests at a time, emphasising the peace and quiet of the camp. Outside each bungalow is an en- suite bathroom with a shower, as well as a private veranda, overlooking the surrounding plains. Regular excursions to Twyfelfontein, a large concentration of Namibian rock art, take place from the camp. There is also a new lodge in the Palmwag area that recently took its fi rst guests. Nestling on the banks of the Hoanib River in the magnifi cent Khowarib Gorge in northwest Namibia, Khowarib Lodge has 14 chalets that project out from the river bank on stilts over the river bed, providing unrivalled, shady views of the cliffs opposite. On the fringe of Kaokoland, the lodge offers a perfect jumping off point to explore the remote northwest, either independently or on one of the lodge's extensive guided tours. As well as international fl ights to Windhoek's Hosea Kutako International airport, there are also connecting fl ights available from Cape Town and Johannesburg. On safari Expert Africa ( www. expertafrica. com/ 020 8232 9777) offers a wide range of self- drive and fl y- in safaris, including a 16- night/ 17- day Springbok self-drive from £ 2233. These trips include a 2WD car, detailed maps and all the information needed for an independent exploratory trip. Somak Holidays ( www. somak. com/ 020 8423 3000) boasts a variety of tours and trips, including Four Deserts - a chance to explore each of Namibia's four desert plains. The itinerary is comprised of searching for a variety of animals, reptiles and insects that inhabit the desert, and includes a visit to the Succulent Desert, which is transformed into a bright carpet of fl owers after the winter rains. A 10- night trip from £ 2325 is inclusive of a shared tour between 2- 9 people, a driver/ guide throughout, minibus, 10 breakfasts and 8 dinners. For more information about travelling to Namibia visit www. namibiatourism. com. na Looking to make the most out of your trip to South Africa during the 2010 World Cup? Whether you're looking for a break in between games, or simply looking to enhance your southern Africa experience, Namibia is in a league of its own Come and see the real Africa Fish River Canyon NAMIBIA TOURISM - WWW. FOTOSEEKER. COM Epupa Falls, Kaokoland ( top); Football in Damaraland NAMIBIA TOURISM - WWW. FOTOSEEKER. COM UTE VON LUDWIGER