You will be transferred to the Eros airport this morning to meet the flight to your first camp, Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, where you will be picked up by your private naturalist guide and transferred to camp. Should time allow, the afternoon will be spent exploring the Hoanib River, a recovering wildlife refuge. You will return to camp at around sunset, in time to freshen before dinner and enjoying the evening around the campfire, learning about this remarkable area.
The following day is spent on activities along the Skeleton Coast as arranged by the camp, exploring this remarkable area with local guides. The activities include exciting game drives searching for desert adapted wildlife, guided walks to hide platforms and hiking trails and afternoon drives. After breakfast on Day 4, you will board a light aircraft to enjoy a scenic flight to the coast before landing on the beach. From here you continue in a safari vehicle exploring the majestic coastline as offered by the camp. After a picnic lunch on the beach and some further exploration you will be flown back to Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp with enough time to relax and enjoy a ‘sundowner’.
After an early breakfast this morning you will leave Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and head north, crossing the Giribis plains and entering the Tomikas River which will lead you to the Hoarusib River. You continue north through this rough and rugged terrain, which will take you through dramatic scenery towards the Onjuwa Plains (meaning holy plains), an area set aside where local tribes have not allowed hunting for centuries, thus creating an interesting sanctuary often dotted with livestock and game grazing side-by-side in harmony. Lunch is had picnic style en route, arriving at the Etambura Camp in the late afternoon in good time to enjoy the magnificent view with a ‘sundowner’ drink in hand. Tonight is spent around the campfire absorbing the tranquility of the area whilst your guide prepares and serves a tasty dinner.
This morning you will start early for a magical drive north to the Kunene River. The trip starts by traversing the rocky Hartmann’s Pass to Rooidrom (Red Drum), a major intersection in the middle of nowhere. Heading west and then north you will head up the famous Hartmann’s Valley, eventually making your way over the Hartmann’s Mountains and into the Marienfluss Valley. This area is filled with the mysterious fairy circles, something which is bound to keep the conversation going in the vehicle whilst heading for the Kunene River before arriving there in time for lunch. The Kunene River is a wild river having its origin in the Angolan Highlands, and it abounds with large crocodiles, while still being a lifeline for man and beast in this arid environment. This area used to be home to desert adapted elephants until the 1960’s and 70’s when poaching decimated the last remaining population. It is currently part of a conservation plan which is working on a project to attract elephants back to these parts.
You will arrive at the luxurious Okahirongo River Camp at the top of the Marienfluss Valley in time for lunch, after which you will have some time to relax and enjoy your beautifully appointed room. This afternoon is spent on boat excursion along the Kunene River, taking in this contrasting landscape whilst looking out for local birdlife and crocodiles. The return to camp will normally be just after sunset, in good time to freshen up in time for dinner.
Marienfluss Conservancy, Kunene River
The following day is filled with exciting and informative guided activities. In the morning a scenic nature walk with your Ultimate guide into the impressive surrounding areas along the Kunene River. During the midday heat you will be at leisure in the comforts of the lodge. Lunch will be had at camp, allowing for some time to relax in before departing on an exciting activity to search for the last nomadic tribe of Namibia, the Himba tribe. Your search for a local Himba settlement could perhaps take a while as the semi-nomadic Himba people sometimes move location with no notice. They are one of the last and most traditional peoples of Namibia and have little time for conventional practices. You will learn about the customs and traditions of this very proud nation, and will be given insight into their beliefs, way of life and everyday routine. After time spent at the settlement you will take a scenic drive back to the lodge and stop on top of a mountain for a stunning sunset over the picturesque landscape. You will return to Okahirongo River Camp with enough time to freshen up before dinner.
After an early breakfast this morning you will head south along the picturesque Marienfluss Valley. You will pass the Holy Mountain of the Himba as well as the towering Mt Ojiunaune and Mt Otjiomuhana peaks while meandering your way back to the settlement of Orupembe. Depending on the season, your guide will either head along the Hoarusib and Khumib Rivers, hopefully spotting desert adapted wildlife, including elephant and giraffe or, should the season not allow, you will head through the western vast and silent plains. After a scenic picnic lunch stop under the welcoming shade of towering camel thorn and ana trees you will make your way down the river. This is also well known area for desert adapted wildlife, including elephants and lions.
After visiting the Himba settlement you will continue onto Puros, a small settlement of a population of less than 300 Himba and Herero herders. You will arrive at the luxurious Okahirongo Elephant Lodge in the late afternoon, with time to revel in the luxury of the lodge and enjoy an entertaining evening reminiscing about the experiences of the past days while enjoying the comforts of the lodge.
After an early breakfast you set off on your long, yet scenic drive to the Grootberg Mountain to reach the scenic Grootberg Lodge. You make your way south, through the small town of Sesfontein and then travel in between the Etendeka and Palmwag Concessions, where wildlife is frequently seen along the side of the road. The journey will take most of the day and you will have a picnic lunch en route. Arrival at Grootberg Lodge will be in the late afternoon, and the rest of the afternoon would be at leisure to take in the views from the lodge, situated on the edge of the mountain overlooking the Klip river valley. After an early breakfast on Day 9, you will take part in a ¾ day of rhino tracking. You will head out with your guide and experienced local trackers to track these highly endangered animals, by identifying their tracks and tracking them from there. This is a truly remarkable experience! Namibia is home to the larger of two subspecies of the black rhinoceros found in southern Africa. The only population that remains in the wild, unfenced and outside reserves occupies an arid range in the western Kaokoveld. Their preferred habitat is the mountainous escarpment, but they follow ephemeral rivers into the northern Namib as well, especially when conditions are favorable after rains. They are the only black rhinoceros in Africa that are internationally recognized as a “desert group”.Lunch will be had in the field and you will return to the lodge in the later afternoon.
After a leisurely breakfast you make your way to the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein, to take a walk through history to view ancient rock art. Named by the first European farmer in the area the name refers to the failings of a perennial spring which wells up near the base of the valley and the name simply means ‘doubtful spring’. Strewn over a hillside amongst flattopped mountains of red sandstone, Twyfelfontein’s boulders and slabs of red sandstone hold some 2,500 prehistoric engravings that depict wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs. It is perhaps the largest and finest collection of petroglyphs in Africa. The engravings show animals such as elephant, giraffe, kudu, lion, rhinoceros, springbok, zebra and ostrich that once used to drink from a fountain at the bottom of the hill. In some cases footprints were engraved instead of hooves or paws. The abstract motifs feature mainly circles. Stone tools and other artifacts found at Twyfelfontein suggest that hunter-gatherers occupied the site over a period of perhaps 7,000 years. These days a local guide accompanies visitors to showcase the rock art. The engravings lie along two circular routes, one an hour’s climb and the other 40 minutes longer. Twyfelfontein is one of Namibia’s key National Monuments and has recently become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
You will then head to the Doro !Nawas Airstrip, having a picnic lunch in the vicinity of the airstrip before boarding the flight back to Windhoek. You will be met and transferred back to Galton House for your final overnight in Namibia. All meals included.
Sadly on day 11 it’s time to depart. This morning is at your leisure until it’s time for the transfer back to the airport to depart. Breakfast.