This 13 day/12 night wide-ranging guided adventure takes in all Namibia's highlights from the red deserts of the south to the foggy Atlantic shore and the rugged northern beauty of Damaraland to the magnificent wildlife in Etosha National Park.
Highlights include exploring the highlights of southern Namibia including the Kalahari and Namib Deserts, the spectacular Fish River Canyon, enjoying Namibia’s popular seaside town, Swakopmund, with its wide range of leisure and adventure activities, and experiencing the highlights of northern Namibia including the World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein and the world-renowned Etosha National Park.
Tours depart on selected departure dates with a minimum of 2 guests up to a maximum of 16. All tours are in dual language German/English commentary. English only commentary tours are available on certain departures only. Also, some departure dates do not incur a single supplement - please enquire for further details.
The tour includes 12 breakfasts, all accommodation as specified, porterage, and transport/sightseeing as specified. A dinner package can be added (days 1-6 and 9-12) - cost on request.
PLEASE NOTE: Game drives in Etosha are in closed vehicles. Open vehicle game drives are optional and for own account.
Today you will start from Windhoek on this truly classic tour of Namibia and head to your accommodation in the Kalahari. This vast semi desert of wind-blown red sand and scattered acacias and shrubs covers several African countries, making it one of the largest continuous stretch of sand. Unlike other true deserts, the Kalahari does receive erratic rainfall, but even so, it lacks permanent surface water, making it a challenging place to live except for those who have adapted to not only survive but flourish here. The Bushmen refer to it as the Soul of the World, an emotive description for this area!
Intu-Afrika Camelthorn Lodge is in a secluded valley between 2 red dunes and hidden amongst ancient camelthorn trees in the Kalahari Game Reserve. The lodge consists of a thatched main building, dining area as well as a boma that overlooks a natural stone pool. The lodge's decor takes its decoration inspiration from African Bushmen, one of the oldest cultures in the world. You will have the chance to walk around the Kalahari with a bushman tracker and immerse yourself into a dramatically wild landscape, or take the opportunity to experience the red dunes, wildlife and plants in this desert environment on an optional nature drive.
Today you will continue south through arid and extensive rocky plains, and visit the unique Garas Quiver tree forest. You are welcomed by quirky man-made sculptures of scrap metal which set a contrast to this serene, timeless space with Quiver trees and aloes nestled amongst huge dolerite boulders, stacked in a mysterious way. Because of this feature, the area is also aptly referred to as the 'Giant's Playground'. After this you will you continue to your overnight accommodation at the Fish River Canyon.
On your arrival you will be greeted by a cart drawn by mules that will take you and your luggage to your chalet. Canyon Village is situated a short distance from the Fish River Canyon, and lies at the foot of a rock face. The main building is built into a massive granite boulder where you will see murals that depict the daily life of the region's early inhabitants - the Bondelswart-Nama. There is a bar and restaurant to relax in and appreciate this dramatic landscape and its historical wonders and natural beauty.
Take a walk on the Namibian wild side this afternoon and explore the area on foot or on an optional guided nature drive in the later afternoon highlighting the Quiver trees, rugged landscape and impressive sweeping rock formations.
The morning begins on the edge of the Fish River Canyon where you will gaze into this magnificent geological phenomenon. The canyon claims to be the second largest canyon on earth, and features a gigantic ravine that measures in total about 160 km long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep. The Fish River is the longest interior river found in Namibia, but its current flow is just a drop compared with the immense volume of water that poured down its length in the past. You will continue past the Naute dam, stopping at the Naute Kristall Cellar and Distillery, to optionally taste some of the unique liquors or simply enjoy a delicious cup of coffee, before arriving at your overnight accommodation in the coastal town of Luderitz. Along the way you will stop off at Garub, the viewing point for the wild horses of the Namib Desert.
The Luderitz Nest Hotel is set directly on the bay. Guests will have access to a private tidal beach and walk-on jetty as well as easy access to the town's main attractions and activities. Those wanting to indulge in some pampering treatments can book at the nearby day spa or just spend some time on the private beach, around the swimming pool or on the balcony of your luxury room enjoying endless ocean vistas.
The morning starts with a visit to Kolmanskop ghost town. Kolmanskop is a deserted diamond mining town in the Sperrgebiet National Park that was once opulent and decadent...until the diamonds ran out. Today the town stands as a haunting monument to the thriving past, offering visitors unique photo opportunities into a bygone era. On the return journey, you will visit Diaz Point with its Padrao on a cliff overlooking the harsh Atlantic Ocean, commemorating the initial Portuguese explorers. Here you can explore the forlorn coast, before heading back to Luderitz.
After an early breakfast you will travel across the wide open plains north along the Tiras Mountain range to your lodge in the Namib Desert. The lodge is located near Sesriem, the gateway to Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei and Sesriem Canyon - home to some of the highest sand dunes on Earth towering over the white desert plains. This afternoon, spend your time either at the sparkling pool, enjoying the vast open desert plains, or taking part in optional activities offered at the lodge.
Elegant Desert Lodge has its own Lapa bar and restaurant, as well as a waterhole where a range of wildlife come to drink. There is also an opportunity to do both guided and unguided walking tours for a more intricate insight into the landscape.
The morning demands an early start. Entering the Namib Naukluft National Park at sunrise, the first rays of sunlight paint the mountains of sand into a variety of apricot, red and orange, which contrast against the crisp blue skyline - you will find yourself reaching for your camera immediately! Prepare to be captivated by the surreal Dead Vlei surrounded by some of the highest dunes on earth and Sossusvlei, where the dry Tsauchab River ends abruptly amongst the dunes. Take the opportunity to walk up one of these majestic dunes to admire the desert landscape beneath. Afterwards, you will visit the Sesriem Canyon, a life sustaining natural phenomenon right in the heart of the Namib Desert.
After breakfast, your Namibian adventure continues with a visit to the little settlement of Solitaire on the edge of the Namib Naukluft National Park. Enjoy a cup of coffee with a piece of delightful apple-pie, written about in so many travel books before travelling via the desolate, rolling hills of the Kuiseb Valley towards the Atlantic Ocean. Upon reaching the coastal harbour town of Walvis Bay, you will visit the shallow lagoon, one of the most important wetland areas on the African continent and a RAMSAR World Heritage Site. Over 80% of the African flamingos feed in this lagoon and present a breathtaking picture when they appear in large groups. Continuing along the scenic route between the dune belt and the Atlantic Ocean you will reach Swakopmund, where the rest of the day is spent at leisure. With palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, Swakopmund is a popular holiday destination in Namibia.
Hotel Europa features distinctive German architecture and has a welcoming ambience of Namibian hospitality. The hotel is centrally located and is within walking distance of the main tourist attractions within Swakopmund.
Swakopmund is often referred to as the playground of Namibia, and it has numerous activities to offer visitors during your day of leisure here. Embrace the relaxed pace of this idyllic coastal town whilst enjoying coffee and freshly baked pastries in one of the many cafes. Alternatively explore the rugged, sweltering desert on a day tour, or view this awesome environment from the air on a scenic flight. Find your inner child and push adrenaline to its limits with extreme adventures such as skydiving over the desert or quad biking and sand boarding on the dunes. Take time to get the feel of this quaint town with its historic buildings, museums, shopping arcades and beach bar that has transformed into its own personality by the vibrant use of colour and the bohemian lifestyle.
Departing after breakfast, you will travel along long yet still interesting and scenic roads and head further north past the Brandberg, Namibia's highest mountain (2,579m), into Damaraland, one of the least populated and geologically diverse areas in Africa. This harsh, rocky environment is home to the elusive desert elephant, the black rhino and free-roaming antelope species. Accompanied by a local Damara guide you will visit Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO heritage site where Bushman communities engraved and painted over 2,500 pictures some 6,000 years ago. After a visit to the nearby Living Museum you will then head to the Petrified Forest - a geological phenomenon depicting the creation and metamorphosis of wood into stone amongst some of the oldest landmasses on Earth. In addition, you will have the chance to see the Welwitschia mirabilis plant - the oldest living desert plant on Earth.
You will then continue to your next lodge. Just east of the town of Khorixas providing an ideal stopover between Swakopmund and Etosha National Park is the unique Damara Mopane Lodge. The wattle and daub style chalets are laid out in a village format, each with its own vegetable and herb garden and the walls are decorated with copies of the famous Twyfelfontein rock engravings. There is also a viewing point just outside out of the camp with views of the expansive plains - a great spot for stargazing.
After a relaxed breakfast, you will travel towards the Etosha National Park, famous for its vast amount of wildlife. Once you have reached your camp, which is located just 10 km outside the National Park, you will then head out with your guide on a game drive in the Park, exploring the various waterholes located close to Okaukuejo and the Anderson Gate. Optional and time permitting, open vehicle game drives can be booked with the lodge.
You will then return to your camp for dinner. Etosha Safari Camp is perched on a small hill, and each en-suite safari-bungalow promises comfort at all times. Meals are served in a rustic farm style restaurant at the foot of the hill and here you can also take a refreshing dip in the swimming pool, make use of the internet cafe or enjoy one of the walking trails surrounding the camp.
Today is devoted purely to the abundant wildlife found in the Etosha National Park, which surrounds a parched salt desert known as the Etosha Pan. The Park is home to 4 of the Big Five - elephant, lion, leopard and rhino. The Park was proclaimed as Namibia's first conservation area in 1907 by the then Governor, von Lindequist. Despite the size of the Etosha National Park, only the southern edge of the pan is accessible to visitors. Game viewing in the Park is largely focussed around the waterholes, some of which are spring fed and some supplied from a borehole, ideal places to sit and watch over 114 different game species, or for an avid birder, in excess of 340 bird species. Popular game species such as giraffe, blue wildebeest, plains and mountain zebra, hyena, lion, leopard, antelopes such as kudu, oryx, eland, as well as some of the endangered species such as black rhino, cheetah and the black-faced impala are all found here.
You then exit the Park and head to your next lodge, situated just 2 km from the eastern entrance of the Park and set in its own adjoining private reserve. All of the spacious rooms at Mokuti Etosha Lodge have private verandas. The lodge offers excellent dining experiences in both the restaurant and under the stars in the boma. There are 2 bars where you can enjoy sundowners or a nightcap, a sparkling swimming pool and 2 floodlit tennis courts. The lodge also has a fitness centre and spa.
Today your guide again takes you on another game drive into Etosha, or optionally you can book an open game drive with the lodge. Later in the afternoon you will return to the lodge, where you can relax for the rest of the day.
After breakfast you will travel back through the centre of the country to the capital Windhoek. Time permitting, you may stop at the famous wood carvers market in Okahandja or the craft market in the main street in Windhoek to pick up some souvenirs. Windhoek is a cosmopolitan melting pot of European architecture and African culture, with a variety of good restaurants to choose from. On arrival, you will be dropped off at your accommodation of choice, or transferred to the airport for your outward flight.
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