12 Days / 11 Nights
Situated in Central Namibia, the cosmopolitan city of Windhoek serves as the capital of the country. It is home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look, including the Alte Feste an old fort, the 1896 Christuskirche Christ Church, and the more contemporary Supreme Court.
Located in the scenic Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red dunes to make this one of the most scenic natural wonders of Africa and a photographer’s heaven. This awe-inspiring destination is possibly Namibia’s premier attraction, with its unique dunes rising to almost 400 metres-some of the highest in the world. These iconic dunes come alive in morning and evening light and draw photography enthusiasts from around the globe. Sossusvlei is home to a variety desert wildlife including oryx, springbok, ostrich and a variety of reptiles. Visitors can climb ‘Big Daddy’, one of Sossusvlei’s tallest dunes; explore Deadvlei, a white, salt, claypan dotted with ancient trees; or for the more extravagant, scenic flights and hot air ballooning are on offer, followed by a once-in-a-lifetime champagne breakfast amidst these majestic dunes.
Set along Namibia’s spectacularly scenic coast, the seaside town of Swakopmund is known for its wide-open avenues, colonial architecture, and its surrounding otherworldly desert terrain. Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort town, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, adventure options, laid-back atmosphere and cool sea breeze make it a very popular Namibian destination. Visitors can look forward to a number of exciting activities including: quad biking, horse riding, paragliding, fishing, sightseeing and fascinating desert tours.
This vast desert landscape is known as one of the most beautiful regions in Namibia. Huge, untamed and ruggedly beautiful, Damaraland is an exceptionally scenic landscape featuring open plains, ancient valleys and spectacular rock formations. The major attractions are the sacred Spitzkoppe, the Brandberg, Twyfelfontein, Vingerklip and the otherworldly Petrified Forest. Visitors can take in the dramatic vistas, catch a glimpse of the rare desert-adapted elephant, and enjoy spectacular stargazing in crystal-clear night skies from one of the many safari camps dotting Damaraland. Other popular activities include: guided drives, nature walks and visiting the local communities. Don’t miss the opportunity to view the Damaraland’s world-famous ancient rock art.
Located just south of the boundary of Etosha National Park in northwestern Namibia, Etosha South makes up the southern region of this wild paradise. Ongava Private Game Reserve shares the southern boundary with Etosha National Park and offers an array of luxury lodges overlooking picturesque landscapes dotted with abundant wildlife. The national park can be accessed via the southern entrance at Andersson’s Gate. Visitors can catch a glimpse of a variety of wildlife including: lion, giraffe, elephant, white and black rhino, and a multitude of plains game. Popular activities include: game drives, tracking rhinos on foot, guided nature walks, or watch the sunset over this magnificent landscape.
Situated east of Etosha, bordering Fisher’s Pan, Onguma Game Reserve is one of Namibia’s best-kept secrets. The reserve offers visitors the opportunity to experience Africa in all her beauty and diversity. Onguma Game Reserve features over 34000 hectares of protected land scattered with a variety of wildlife including plains game, black rhino, kudu, giraffe, zebra, lion, cheetah, leopard and more than 300 bird species. The seasonal rains attract thousands of migrating birds to the Fisher’s Pan wetland area. The neighbouring Etosha National Park is home to a rich array of wildlife, including four of the Big 5. Visitors can enjoy game drives, guided walks and rhino research drives within the private reserve as well as wildlife safaris into Etosha National Park to view abundant game in the largest national park in Namibia.
Midway between the spectacular Etosha National Park and the capital city of Windhoek, lies the well-known Okonjima Nature Reserve. The 22 000 ha nature reserve is home to AfriCAT, a carnivore sanctuary, which gives the captive cats a second chance to be released back into the wild and become completely independent hunters in a protected area right in the middle of commercial cattle farmland. Visitors can enjoy a stay at a variety of excellent accommodation options including everything from luxury villas to secluded camping. Enjoy thrilling cat tracking guided safaris, leopard-spotting, off-road night drives and learn about local San culture along the Bushmen trail.
Upon arrival at Hosea Kutako (Windhoek) International Airport, you will be warmly welcomed by your private guide. Kick-start your adventure with approximately an hours’ drive to The Olive Exclusive in Windhoek. The rest of the afternoon is available for you to relax and settle into your accommodation, with the option to explore Windhoek’s shops and craft market if desired.
That evening, enjoy dinner with your guide as you discuss the itinerary for your upcoming safari. Namibia’s capital, Windhoek is a bustling metropolis that is unexpectedly neat and orderly, though this is perhaps less surprising when one considers it was a German territory for many years. This is the main port of call for most tourists and all travelers pass through the city at least once. Situated in a pretty valley, Windhoek boasts buildings very much in the German architectural style. The German presence can be strongly felt in the food, restaurants – and, of course, the beer. The Namibian beer is said to be the best in Africa and is brewed in Windhoek.
After breakfast, you will be driven to andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge by your Guide. One of the highlights of any trip to Namibia is a visit to Sossusvlei in the heart of the enormous, almost 50 000km² Namib-Naukluft Park. Easily accessible to visitors, Sossusvlei is a clay pan, only rarely filled by water, but a place of awe-inspiring beauty. Visitors to the region will be left spellbound by the magnificent ochre-colored sand dunes, which rise over 300m into the sky – the highest sand dunes in the world.
An incredible half-day adventure will take guests across the awe-inspiring sand dunes of Sossusvlei, largely known as one of the Namib Desert’s most scenic and spine-tingling attractions. A breathless climb to the top of the massive ‘Big Daddy,’ the tallest dune in the Sossusvlei area, at 325 meters, rewards adventurers with a spectacular view over the peaks and troughs of the sand sea, down to Deadvlei. End the spectacular day off with a daring run down the vertical slopes and steep sand dunes, with the wind enlivening your hair and caressing your glee filled face.
Enjoy a quad bike adventure trail through the Namib dunes, gliding across the smooth, silk-like texture of the tawny desert sand, in sharp contrast to the bright, cerulean sky above, and the russet, rugged mountain ranges of the Namib escarpment in the distance.
Today’s fascinating drive takes you northwest through the awe-inspiring and ever-changing landscapes of the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. You will reach the coast at the port town of Walvis Bay, visiting the lagoon to see the interesting mix of pelicans, flamingos, and other sea-birds before continuing north to Swakopmund, where you can enjoy the pleasant Strand Hotel and cooler coastal air for the next two nights. In the afternoon there will be time to wander around town and along the waterfront on foot if you wish before heading off to dinner at the popular Tug Restaurant by the jetty, which specializes in fresh seafood.
The charming little coastal retreat of Swakopmund on Namibia’s western coast retains a strong German flavor, from its cobbled streets and picturesque buildings down to its typical German restaurants and pubs. This town is traditionally a holiday spot for locals and foreigners alike, with many opportunities for adventure sports and some good old-fashioned fun. Swakopmund is an ideal place to relax after a few days in the desert. Wash off the sand and sample some of the finely brewed local beer and seafood, including fish, lobster, and the utterly delicious oysters.
Your guide will drive you along the scenic coastal road to Walvis Bay for a memorable seal and dolphin cruise within the outer lagoon and harbor. This is an ideal way of seeing Cape fur seals, dolphins, pelicans, flamingos, and a wide variety of other sea birds. If you are lucky, there is also the chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles, and sunfish. Snacks, including local sparkling wine and fresh oysters, will be served during the course of the cruise. You will return to the jetty at roughly 12h30, after which you may like to explore Walvis Bay further before returning to Swakopmund for an afternoon at leisure at your guesthouse or in town. You may also like to partake in some of the many other activities that Swakopmund has to offer, which include camel rides, scenic flights, quad-biking in the dunes, sky diving, or vibrant township visits (all at additional cost).
After breakfast, your guide will drive you heading into the Damaraland of north-western Namibia. You will head inland, passing Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg, and make your way towards Twyfelfontein. Typified by displays of color, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations, and bizarre-looking vegetation, Damaraland offers some of the most breath-taking scenery on your safari. The present-day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind and water, as well as geological forces that have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains, and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area, as well as its scenic splendor, that will reward and astound you, giving you an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’.
The breath-taking mountain region of Damaraland is situated on the eastern side of the Skeleton Coast National Park and southwest of Etosha National Park. An assortment of desert-adapted wildlife such as elephant, rhino, zebra, and lion live in this near-barren landscape. A not-to-be-missed attraction is the picturesque Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, which is home to thousands of ancient rock paintings, most notably The White Lady. The rocky outcrops of Twyfelfontein feature exceptional Bushmen engravings, which are considered to be some of the best-preserved etchings on the continent. Visitors to Damaraland can view one of its more unusual habitats – the Petrified Forest, which dates back millions of years and offers a haunting landscape of gigantic fossilized trees, some up to 30 meters (100ft) in length.
You will be treated to an exciting 4x4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab River valley to explore this remarkable region and to search for a 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. You will return to your camp for lunch. In the afternoon you may visit Twyfelfontein and other nearby attractions if you haven’t already done so, take a walk with your guide in the area surrounding the camp or simply relax and enjoy some well-deserved leisure time.
Today’s route takes you northeast towards Etosha National Park, traveling via the farming centers of Khorixas and Outjo, with a stop at the fascinating Petrified Forest along the way. Just south of the Etosha National Park you will enter the private Ongava Game Reserve and enjoy wildlife sightings as you driveway through the reserve to Anderssons at Ongava
Delight in various exciting activities including bird watching, game drives, game viewing, nature walks, and a visit to the Ongava Research Centre
Today is spent game-viewing in the Etosha National Park from your private safari vehicle. You will make your way through the breadth of the park, entering at Andersson’s gate on the southern boundary. You will then make your way across the park via Okaukuejo, Halali, and Namutoni, stopping at selected waterholes along the way to observe the game gathered there. You will leave the park through the eastern Von Lindquist Gate before it closes at sunset, arriving at Onguma The Fort in good time to freshen up for dinner. Etosha is one of Africa’s great wildlife parks and Namibia’s prime wildlife conservation area.
Spanning a vast 22 300 km² (8 610 square miles), it consists mostly of grassy plains around a huge salt pan, which becomes a beautiful lake after heavy rains and attracts large flocks of pink candy-floss-colored flamingos. Etosha hosts a vast array of animals, including the Big Five, as well as giraffes and rare and unusual species like the black-faced impala, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, and the smallest antelope in the world, the Damara dik-dik. Large herds of elephant can also be seen, while predators range from lion to black-backed jackal.
The wildlife in Etosha congregates around the watering holes, making for exciting and productive game viewing. Apart from its wildlife, Etosha is also known for its immense salt pans, which covers 4 731 km² (1 827 square miles) at the heart of the park. Formed by a massive lake that gradually evaporated, this vast stretch of shimmering salt forms a picturesque contrast to the rich range of wildlife found in the park.
Enjoy a full day of exciting game viewing within the eastern section of Etosha National Park. After discussion with your guide, you can opt to go into the park in the morning and the afternoon and return to your camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, you can choose to head back west to spend more time in the area around Halali or you can head north past Fischer’s Pan and up into the Andoni Plains. Either way, you will return to the comforts of your accommodation before sunset.
After breakfast you make your way to the AfriCat Foundation, visiting Lake Otjikoto en route. You will arrive in time to enjoy lunch at Okonjima, which is located at the base of the Omboroko Mountains near Waterberg. Here you can enjoy the welcoming atmosphere, superb accommodation in an Okonjima Bush Suite as well as fantastic activities, starting with a guided afternoon excursion. Okonjima Reserve is situated just west of the renowned Waterberg Plateau Park, amidst the vast plains scattered with remnants of ancient sandstone outcrops that skirt the Omboroko Mountains. A Herero name meaning “place of the baboons” this spectacular area is home to the world-famous AFRICAN Foundation, which supports the conservation of the world’s largest free-ranging population of the cheetah and Namibia’s large wildcat population. Created as a refuge for rehabilitated predators, the reserve is a haven for cheetah, leopard, spotted hyena, and African wild dog, as well as several species of antelope.
Among the carnivores being researched and rehabilitated at AFRICAN are cheetah, leopard, lion, caracal, wild dog, and hyena. Visitors to the area can embark on interpretive tours of the Foundation as well as enjoying breathtaking nature drives. Adventures include tracking cheetah and leopard on foot, bird watching, and the opportunity to embark on the Bushmen Trail, during which guests can experience a day in the life of a San Bushman. Night drives set off after dinner, providing a glimpse into the nocturnal life of the predators, as well as magnificent viewing of the star-studded skies. Keen hikers can set off into the majestic solitude of the desert on a selection of nature trails, while bird watchers will be sure to spot and photograph a number of colorful species.
After a leisurely breakfast, you will depart for Windhoek in the late morning. The drive will take you through the town of Okahandja, where you can stop at the craft market.
On arrival in Windhoek, you will be driven to Windhoek International Airport to check-in for your flight home (departure flight must be no earlier than 16h00 to allow for the drive back to Windhoek)
Thoughtful thoughts to your inbox