Namibia is a vast country, but has one of the lowest population densities in the world. This "ageless land" is decorated with incredible landscapes, historic geological attractions and a variety of fascinating wildlife. All of these factors contribute to Namibia's feeling of antiquity, solitude and wilderness. This scheduled group itinerary affords you the chance to experience this magnificent and memorable country in a very personal way. Your group will be accompanied by a professional and experienced safari guide, who will enhance every aspect of the adventure. Let your voyage be captivating and stress-free, so your only job is to keep your eye out for the wildlife and admire the dramatic scenery. The knowledge and character of your guides will make for a successful safari, as you are led through cultural interactions, wildlife observations and unique lodging experiences.
2019 Departure Dates:
September: 3, 10, 17, 24
October: 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
November: 5, 12, 19, 26
December 17, 24
Welcome to Namibia! Upon arrival in Windhoek, a local representative will collect you either from the International Airport or your local hotel, from where your adventure will officially start.
Leaving Windhoek behind, you will be driven via safari vehicle with your guide and driver. The journey will begin southwest through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands, before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below. Along the way, you will stop for a picnic lunch at a scenic location. You will arrive at the Sossus Dune Lodge by the mid-afternoon. This will be your home base for the next two nights, as you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide.
If there is still time today, your guide will take you to visit Sesriem Canyon, a nearby geological attraction, or to explore Elim Dune. However, if you prefer, you can simply kick back, relax and soak in the scenic and tranquil surroundings at the Lodge.
**PLEASE NOTE: Guests must arrive before 8:00 AM otherwise you must plan to arrive a day earlier and overnight in Windhoek so you can make today's pickup time.
This place, this isolated, dry, epic, desolate place, is why you came to Namibia. Sossusvlei is a sea of red sand unlike any other, seemingly transplanted directly from Mars. Sunrises and sunsets light the sand on fire, and constant wind causes landscapes to change entirely, ensuring that no two visits to Sossusvlei are the same. Any native life one finds here is barely clinging to the term, and long-dead trees are often the only break in landscape. Make no mistake, Sossusvlei is one of the most beautiful places you will ever see, though your definition of beauty may be changed by your time here.
This morning, you will need to rise bright and early for a magical excursion with your guide in the Namib Naukluft National Park. Typically, you will set off on this tour before sunrise, in order to capture the dunes at a time when the light is soft and the shadows accentuate the towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world and this morning your guide will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive this harsh environment.
Once you have explored Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and surrounding dune fields to your heart’s content, you can enjoy a relaxed picnic brunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree. You will then return to the Lodge in the early afternoon, with time to relax and freshen up before a late lunch. You will also have the option of visiting Sesriem Canyon afterwards, if you didn't have the chance to do so yesterday. The rest of the afternoon will be left at your leisure, which, from experience, is usually welcomed after an exhilarating early morning in the dunes!
The fascinating drive today, will take you on a journey northwest through the picturesque and ever changing desert landscapes of the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. You will eventually meet the scenic coast at the port town of Walvis Bay, from where you will continue north to Swakopmund. This is where you will be staying for the next two nights for a taste of Namibia's pleasant seaside and to soak up the cooler coastal air. There will be time this afternoon to explore the town and wander along the waterfront on foot, before heading off for dinner at a popular restaurant which specializes in fresh seafood. Cheers!
Additional options at an extra cost on this day: The option to include a sunrise balloon flight early this morning or the option to embark on a scenic light aircraft flight over the Namib Naukluft National Park en route to Swakopmund, rather than an overland journey by vehicle.
* The accommodations in Swakopmund is subject to change based on availability. Similar centrally located guesthouse will be substituted if The Delight Swakopmund is not available.
From its name, to its architecture, to its residents, it's hard to ignore German colonization's influence on Swakopmund, and Namibia as a whole. The German tourists that frequent this city certainly feel at home here, and with its seaside promenade and authentically laid back attitude, you certainly will as well. You can spend the day on one of its many beaches, or venture out to partake in one of many available adventure activities. Surfing, sand boarding, sky diving, it's all here in Namibia's adventure sports capital. Lastly, Swakopmund is also the gateway into the Skeleton Coast to the north, making it a likely stop on your way into this fascinating region.
Following an early breakfast this morning, your guide will drive you along the scenic coastal road back south to Walvis Bay for a memorable kayaking adventure within the outer lagoon. After meeting your kayaking guide, you will be taken on a short drive to Pelican Point to see its lighthouse and windswept beauty, stopping briefly at the salt works, where you can observe the variety of bird life on your way to the launch point. This kayaking tour will be an ideal way to see Cape fur seals, heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other sea birds. If you are lucky, you may even catch a sighting of whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish. During the course of the day, your guide will stop and inform you about the surrounding environment. Light refreshments will be served on the beach, before heading back to Walvis Bay.
Should the kayaking tour not appeal to you, you will also have the choice to partake in a motorized boat seal and dolphin excursion within the outer lagoon and harbor. This option would afford you the same chance to admire the wildlife you would while kayaking. During the course of this excursion, snacks will be served along with local sparkling wine and fresh oysters, before returning to the jetty in the midday.
After touring, you will have the opportunity to further explore the waterfront area of Walvis Bay on your own, before returning to Swakopmund for an afternoon at your leisure. Activities such as camel rides, scenic flights, sandboarding and more, can all be booked at an extra cost, should you desire.
* The accommodations in Swakopmund is subject to change based on availability. Similar centrally located guesthouse will be substituted if The Delight Swakopmund is not available.
Continuing on your safari today, the road takes you north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. Along the way, you will pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg, which peaks at 2,573 m above sea level. Of course, the drive will also reward you with plenty of opportunities to view the game and absorb the vastness of the scenery. Damaraland is characterized by rich displays of color, magnificent table topped mountains, unique rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces, which have created rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area, as well as the scenic splendor, which will impress and astound you, offering an authentic understanding of the word 'wilderness'.
If time allows later this afternoon, your guide will take you to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of the pre-historic Twyfelfontein rock engravings. This UNESCO World Heritage Site showcases boulders and slabs of red sandstone that present some 2,500 prehistoric engravings that depict wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs. It is perhaps the largest and finest collection of petroglyphs in all of Africa. However, not to worry if the day gets away from you, there will be plenty of time to see them tomorrow instead.
Central Namibia is dominated by a series of plateaus at its higher elevations, and it's on these plateaus where life has found a way to thrive. Winding rivers and active springs dot the landscapes of Damaraland, attracting giraffes, elephants, zebras, antelopes and even the rare black rhino. The relatively livable environment also allowed for early man to build societies here, leaving behind evidence of their passing via fascinating rock engravings - some of the oldest in the world. Damaraland is one piece of a landscape puzzle that is necessary for a complete picture of Namibia's awesome space and scope.
After an early morning breakfast, you will be treated to an exciting 4x4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River Valleys. Explore this remarkable region and search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants, if they are in the area. Damaraland is home to a variety of desert adapted wildlife and hidden desert treasures. As the elephants are mostly active in the mornings, you will normally have the best chance to see them then, just as the day begins to break. Following an exciting adventure, you will return to Camp for lunch, however, if everyone in your safari group agrees, you may also have the option to pack a picnic lunch, stopping to eat it offsite the Camp, in the shade of a large Ana tree by the riverbed. This option will allow you the entertainment of watching a nearby herd of elephant browsing, as you munch on your snacks.
Your guide will make sure to arrange visits to Twyfelfontein and other nearby attractions today, if you were not able to fit them into your schedule yesterday. When it is time to head back to Camp later in the day, there should be time to take a leisurely walk into the local area with your guide if desired, or of course, simply relaxing and enjoying some well-deserved rest is always encouraged as well.
Kick off your day, as you continue on the next leg of your journey to the Etosha National Park, traveling via the scenic Grootberg Pass. Along the way, your guide will take you to visit a local Himba demonstration village near Kamanjab which acts as a “Himba Living Museum”. This village has been established to allow visitors to get to see some of the traditional activities that happen at any Himba settlement and it also offers an opportunity for keen photographers to get unique images in an acceptable manner. The village consists of 3-4 extended family groups. Here, you will learn about the customs and traditions of this very proud nation, and will be offered insight into their beliefs, way of life and everyday routine.
Following your visit at the Himba Living Museum, you will enjoy a picnic lunch as you head northeast to tonight's destination at the recently refurbished Etosha Mountain Lodge, which is situated on the south western border of Etosha National Park. After your arrival you will have some time at leisure which can be spent appreciating the unique surroundings of the lodge and enjoying the game viewing at the camp's floodlit waterhole. You can also take advantage of a different game viewing vantage point by visiting the camp’s underground and elevated hides.
Etosha, meaning "Great White Place," is dominated by a massive mineral pan. The pan is part of the Kalahari Basin, the floor of which was formed around 1000 million years ago. The pan is now a large dusty depression of salt and clay which fills only if the rains are heavy and even then it only holds water for a short time. This temporary water in the Etosha Pan attracts thousands of wading birds including impressive flocks of flamingos. The perennial springs along the edges of the Etosha Pan draw large concentrations of wildlife and birds. Ranking as one of Africa's top wildlife viewing destinations, Etosha is your opportunity for a more traditional game viewing safari in an otherwise nontraditional African travel destination.
Today, your voyage will take you beyond the borders of Southern Etosha National Park. The full day will be dedicated to exciting game viewing activities within the central section of Etosha. Your observations and experience will be enjoyed from the comfort of your safari vehicle, as you make your way from the southern Andersson’s Gate to Halali, where you may stop for lunch. From there, you will continue across selected waterholes, such as Goas, which are particularly known for excellent game viewing, all the way through to Namutoni Camp in the east. Due to the Park rules and regulations, you will have to leave the boundaries of the Park before sunset, as the time comes to head out to your final destination at Onguma Tree Top Camp. You will arrive at the Camp with enough time to relax and freshen up before for dinner. The rest of the evening can be spent game viewing at the Camp’s floodlit waterhole, where game comes and goes regularly throughout the day and night. The action never stops!
Wake up to another early morning dedicated to memorable guided game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park. After plenty of wildlife sightings and thrilling excitement, you will return to the Camp in time for lunch. Enjoy some time at your leisure for a midday rest, before embarking on your final afternoon game drive on the private Onguma Game Reserve.
Situated on the eastern side of Etosha National Park and bordering Fisher’s Pan, Onguma Game Reserve has more than 20,000 hectares of protected land and wildlife. The nature reserve boasts over 30 different animal species, consisting of plains game such as kudu, giraffe, eland, oryx, hartebeest, zebra, impala, as well as predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard, among many other residents of the area. Onguma Game Reserve is now proud to be home to a family of black rhinos! More than 300 bird species can also be viewed in this region.
Your game drive will be topped off with a refreshing sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. Soak in the picturesque views and the colorful skyline one last time. You will then head back to the Camp after sunset, with enough time to freshen up in your room and sit down for your final ‘safari dinner’ set with a spectacular view over the camp’s floodlit waterhole!
Your early departure this morning, will take you south via Tsumeb, Otavi and Otjiwarongo, to reach Okonjima’s AfriCat Day Center. This is the perfect highlight with which to conclude your safari. The AfriCat Foundation is a wildlife sanctuary, which focuses on the research and rehabilitation of Africa's big cats, especially injured or captured leopard and cheetah. You will arrive at the Center in time for lunch, before embarking on an informative game drive and tour. You will have the chance to learn about the function and vision of the Foundation and will also get to meet some of the special carnivore ambassadors.
After this excursion, your journey continues further south, arriving back in Windhoek by the late afternoon, just as the sun is setting. Upon your arrival in Windhoek, you will be transferred to your accommodations or the Windhoek International Airport. Please note that departure flights must be no earlier than 9:00 PM, to allow sufficient time for the AfriCat Foundation visit. A final night in Windhoek is highly recommended to relax and reminisce before returning home!
*** Please note that you have the option to extend your safari for an additional night or two at Okonjima's Luxury Bush Camp. This extension affords you the opportunity to get a more in-depth insight into the work being done by the AfriCat Foundation, as well as getting to see more of cheetah, leopard and other big cats in the wild.
Sossus Dune Lodge is built in an environmentally sensitive manner, primarily from wood, canvas and thatch, in an attractive ‘afro–village’ style. Situated within the Namib Naukluft Park and close to the Sesriem Canyon, the property offers sweeping vistas of the dunes to the west. Staying at this lodge provides the unique opportunity to be able to reach Sossusvlei before sunrise, or to stay until after sunset. The accommodation units are interlinked by elevated wooden walkways, and consist of 23 well spaced en suite desert chalets. The guest rooms are equipped with tea stations and small fridges, with an additional relaxation gazebo. All units offer magnificent open vistas of the surrounding landscapes. Sossus Dune Lodge offers the perfect base from which to head out on unforgettable guided excursions to Sossusvlei, Sesriem and the surrounding areas, as well as sunset drives and guided walks, to fully unleash the beauty and biological diversity of the desert environment.
The Delight is located on the corner of Theo-Ben Gurirab Avenue and Nathaniel Maxuilili Street, opposite the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Center and the old railway station. Among this small town’s captivating contrasts and old traditions, Gondwana’s Delight is a fresh breeze in the desert. Conveniently located within short walking distance of the ‘Mole’, this modern, uplifting and inviting hotel is the ideal base for your coastal stay. Every effort is made to surprise and delight guests with thoughtful touches and locally inspired reasons to smile. All of the fifty four rooms have en-suite facilities, hairdryer, tea and coffee station, fridge, air conditioning/ heating and personal safe. The rooms surround a central courtyard with a pretty garden, perfect for relaxing after a busy morning exploring the coast.
Creatively designed to blend in with the surrounding granite boulders, Camp Kipwe cures the mind, body and soul of travelers. Making the most of the expansive pristine landscape, the camp features a refreshing perspective on traditional safari life. Accommodation is offered in 8 igloo-shaped double bungalows, welcoming a maximum of just 16 guests at a time. Each bungalow includes its own private veranda, overlooking the wide open plains. The simplistic elegance of the camp invites you to enjoy Namibia at it's finest, in peace and quiet.
The newest addition on the Etosha Heights Reserve is located on the southern boundary of Namibia’s Etosha National Park. This private reserve covers 600 Km, within this the lodge will be situated on the side of a dolomite hill offering views of the surrounding bush and promises an unforgettable experience. There will 6 thatched chalets and one semi-suite, which can be used as a family room, all offering en-suite bathrooms, with shower and bathtub each. Outside each room will have its own private wooden viewing deck. The main area will focus on a large Lapa area containing a bar, dining room, curio shop and reading lounge. Outside there will be a swimming pool, Boma area and unique wine cellar.
Onguma Tree Top Camp is a small and intimate camp, especially designed for those travelers who would like to truly experience the bush in all of its raw splendor. In the midst of a busy traveling schedule, this is the perfect place to come and relax for a few days, breathe in the aromas of the bush and take in all that the surrounding wilderness has to offer. The Camp is built on wooden stilts among the tree tops with full views over one of the most beautiful watering holes on Onguma Game Reserve. It consists of only 4 thatched rooms with canvas walls, outside showers, a dining room and a main complex. Onguma Tree Top Camp is a place where birds and animals become your daily companion. A place where giraffe, zebra, lion, and many other species of antelope come to quench their thirst, and enhance every bit of your experience.
*Pricing is based on two persons traveling together, based on availability, subject to change.
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