After landing at Windhoek’s International Hosea Kutako Airport, you will be transferred to Galton Guesthouse for your first night in Namibia.
On the morning of day 2, your guide will pick you up at your hotel to join the rest of the group to embark on your safari. Drive southwest through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands before you head down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below. A picnic lunch will be served at a scenic location en-route. You will arrive at Hoodia Desert Lodge in the late afternoon where you will stay for two nights whilst 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 you can relax and soak in the scenic and tranquil surroundings at the lodge.
This morning you will rise early for a magical excursion with your guide into the Namib Naukluft National Park, entering the Park gates at sunrise to capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate their towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world. Sossusvlei is the biggest of four pans in the vicinity. Another, famous for its gnarled and ghostly camel thorn trees, is Deadvlei which can be reached on foot over 1 km of sand. Deadvlei’s striking camel thorn trees, dead for want of water, still stand erect as they once grew. They survived until about 900 years ago when the sand sea finally blocked the river from occasionally flooding the pan.
Once you have explored to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxing picnic breakfast under the shade of a camel thorn tree. Return to Sossus Dune Lodge in the early afternoon for a late lunch, stopping off to view Sesriem Canyon if you haven’t already done so the day before. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure. Overnight at Sossus Dune Lodge. All meals are included.
The fascinating drive takes you northwest through awesome and ever changing desert landscapes of the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. You will meet the coast at the port town of Walvis Bay and then continue north to Swakopmund where you can enjoy the pleasant seaside location and cooler coastal air for your next two nights. The following day you’ll head out on the Atlantic Ocean for a chance to spot dolphins, whales, seals and a myriad of marine and bird life. Your afternoons are free to explore the quaint town. Overnight at The Delight. All meals included.
On the morning of Day 4, there is the option to include a sunrise balloon flight or scenic light aircraft flight over the Namib Naukluft National Park before you depart for Swakopmund. As an alternative to the drive from Sossus Dune Lodge to Swakopmund you may like to take a scenic light aircraft flight over Sossusvlei and along the Diamond Coast (optional extra at additional cost), allowing you a bird’s eye view over the dune sea, abandoned mining camps, shipwrecks, Sandwich Harbour and salt pans before you land at Swakopmund Airport. Your guide will drive to meet up with you in Swakopmund later in the day. (Optional flights at additional cost)
Today continue heading north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland and Camp Kipwe. You will pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg, which peaks at 2,573 m above sea level, and take time to view animals and absorb the vastness of the scenery along the way. Damaraland is typified by displays of color, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed 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 reward and astound you, giving us an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’. You’ll spend the days here in search of the rare desert-adapted elephant and visit the Twyfelfontein rock engravings (recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes.
Today you head to Etosha National Park, traveling via the Grootberg Pass. Along the way you will visit a local Himba settlement; we may have to search for a while as the semi-nomadic Himba people tend move location with no notice! The Himba are one of the last traditional peoples of Namibia and one of the last truly nomadic tribes in Africa. They are a tall, slender and statuesque people, characterized especially by their proud yet friendly bearing. The women especially are noted for their unusual sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and traditional adornments. We will learn about the customs and traditions of this very proud people, and will be given insight into their beliefs, way of life and everyday routine. After visiting the Himba you will head east through the small town of Kamanjab before heading on for tonight’s destination at the homely Andersson’s Camp, which is situated just south of the Etosha National Parks Andersson Gate. A picnic lunch will be had en-route and arrival will be in the very late afternoon or early evening (after a long but rewarding day). After your arrival you will have some time at leisure, which can be spent appreciating the unique surroundings and enjoying the game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole.
Southern to Eastern Etosha National Park
Today you have a full day of exciting game viewing within the central section of Etosha National Park from your private safari vehicle as you make your way from the southern Andersson’s Gate to Halali (where you may stop for lunch) and then on across via selected waterholes such as Goas, which are normally particularly good for game viewing, to Namutoni Camp in the east. You will have to leave the Park before sunset and head out to stay at the delightful Onguma Tree Top 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 throughout the day and night.
Another morning dedicated to memorable game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park. You will return to camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, spending your final afternoon on a game drive on the private Onguma Game Reserve, culminating in a final sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. You will return after sunset with enough time to freshen up and enjoy your final ‘safari dinner’ overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole.
Situated on the eastern side of Etosha and borders Fisher’s Pan. Onguma Game Reserve has more than 20,000ha of protected land and wildlife. The nature reserve boasts over thirty different animal species consisting of plains game including kudu, giraffe, eland, oryx, hartebeest, zebra, impala and many more roam freely, as well as predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard, being common residents of the area. Onguma Game Reserve is now also proud to be home to a family of black rhinos! More than 300 bird species can also be viewed at Onguma Nature Reserve. Overnight at Onguma Tree Top Camp. All meals included.
AfriCat Foundation & Windhoek
Your early departure will take you south from Onguma Tree Top via Tsumeb, Otavi and Otjiwarongo to reach Okonjima’s AfriCat Day Centre, a wonderful highlight with which to conclude your safari. You will arrive in time for lunch before embarking on an exciting and informative game drive and tour of the center. Here you will learn about the function and vision of the AfriCat Foundation and will also get to meet some of the Foundation’s special carnivore ambassadors. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a wildlife sanctuary which focuses on the research and rehabilitation of Africa’s big cats, especially injured or captured leopard and cheetah. Close encounters with leopard and cheetah are an unforgettable highlight. Activities available include leopard tracking by vehicle, a visit to the cheetah welfare project and a visit to the night hide where nocturnal animals such as porcupine, caracal, honey badger and even leopard may be seen.
After the excursion and freshening up, the journey continues further south to arrive back in Windhoek in the late afternoon, just as the sun is setting. Upon your arrival in Windhoek you will be transferred back to Galton House for your final night in Namibia (unless your flights depart after 9 pm this evening.) Breakfast and lunch included.
Sadly on day 12 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 included.