As an established model, Wendy Dubbeld has travelled to the most incredible destinations on the planet. She appeared on the covers of magazines like Elle, Vogue Esposa, US Maxim, and in ad campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Nivea and Abercrombie & Fitch.
This year she has traveled to Vietnam as an ambassador for Plan Netherlands, a nonprofit organization to protect and promote children’s rights, where she cycled 250 miles in four days for their campaign, Cycle4Girls. With Cycle4Girls Wendy helped raise €200.000 , which will allow 200 girls to go to school for the next 3 years. Today, she continues to work and travel full time with frequent visits to exotic locations for photoshoots and some off-course fun in between.
With this year's honeymoon season in mind, Wendy tells Travelle about her recent trip to Namibia and her secrets to staying fabulous on a safari.
How did you decide on the itinerary for your trip?
I planned the whole itinerary myself from scratch. I didn't really know anything about Namibia so I used advice from friends, Google Maps for route planning and TripAdvisor for accomodation planning. I really liked TripAdvisor because other travelers can write reviews on places and activities - it was super helpful. I now regularly make the effort to write reviews myself because I know just how useful they can be.
How did you spend your time while in Namibia?
I like active holidays and Namibia was the perfect place for such a trip so we kept very active! I find that I’m able to mentally relax best while doing activities. Namibia is a very large country and I wanted to see as much as possible. It has so much to offer! Every other day we would drive for about four to five hours to a new spot. The driving required extra planning because there were only a few gas stations in the country. Also, when driving through game reserves, you can't drive at night.
We climbed big dunes to watch the sunrise and visited sights like the Deadvlei. We drove along the skeleton coast and saw shipwrecks. Ultimately we did activities depending on the locations. Game drives, walking safari's, hiking up mountains, scenic flights, and of course relaxing by the poolside. We did a lot and could have done so much more!
Were there any pleasant or unpleasant surprises?
Definitely the crawling creatures that I would find in our rooms and tents. We found them even in the most beautiful resorts! Lets just say I quickly got over my fear of spiders and insects.
Also the WiFi in Namibia is a very sparse. There maybe was enough for a quick shoutout to home, but definitely not enough to keep a business running when needed.
Did you bring any special beauty products?
Yes, Namibia is very dry! I would say trim your hair before departure because split ends are going to have a whole new meaning after three weeks in the desert. Also, take lots of hydrating creams, hair masks, face oil. I started the day with a serum, then a faceoil and after that my sunblock which I kept re-applying throughout the day. At night I used a hydrating face and hair mask. Also, bring cuticle care cream, I absolutely love the Dior cuticle cream. For body lotion, I use a La Roche-Posay balm. I don't travel light because I need my toiletries!
What did you wear during the days and evenings?
During the day I would wear hiking and safari gear. I wore J Brand Cargo's with lots of neutral colors like beige and green because you can't wear flashy colors on a game drive or walk. Also, don't wear white! It attracts blister beetles which I unfortunately learned the hard way. In the evenings I would spice things up a little with some colors, jewels and kaftans depending the accommodation.
Anything you wish you brought with you?
Be prepared for anything! Definitely on the pharmacy side whenever I travel to these kind of destinations with no hospitals nearby I bring enough supplies for emergencies.
Where and what did you eat while on the safari?
Be prepared to eat lots of meat. Not a place for vegetarians! We ate oryx and eland for example. We barbecued ourselves when camping out. It's not a place to be on a diet, but that’s ok. Holidays are there to enjoy. After returning home I did a non-meat detox week.
Did you bring snacks with you?
Yes, I stocked up on nuts and healthy snacks when we arrived in Windhoek for the rest of the trip.
Any tips for someone who has never been who is planning to go on an African Safari?
Yes, be sure to investigate the migrations well depending on where and when you go! This ensures that you are at the right spot at the right time to see wildlife. Be prepared to wake up as early as 5 am, because that's when nature is at its best, Wildlife is active and nature is waking up! And try to get out of your comfort zone! Experience things like camping, hiking safari’s and walking with a ranger. Experiences are everything!