Experience the incredible highlights of Namibia, from the red sands of the Namib Desert to the varied game viewing in Etosha on this 9 day/8 nights guided safari tour, departing from Windhoek.
Your adventure begins in the Namib Desert, visiting the surreal Dead Vlei that is surrounded by some of the highest dunes on earth. You then continue to Swakopmund where you will enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this quaint coastal town. The next stop is Damaraland, home to Twyfelfontein—a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with bushman paintings and rock engravings, and a cultural highlight. Your journey ends in Windhoek after you experience the euphoria of a safari in the Etosha National Park.
Highlights of this trip including the heart-stopping roaring of lions and eerie call and response of jackals in an authentic and beautiful African wilderness, as well as special sightings of desert-adapted antelopes such as gemsbok and the endemic black-faced impala, big-game viewing of lion, leopard, hyena, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, black and white rhino, as well as the many smaller and fascinating species, and incredible concentrations of graceful plains animals congregating at the waterholes alongside Etosha Pan including zebra, wildebeest and springbok.
Tours depart on selected Wednesdays with a minimum of 2 guests. All tours are in dual language German/English commentary. English only commentary tours are available on certain departures only - please enquire for further details.
The tour includes 8 breakfasts, all accommodation as specified, porterage, and transport/sightseeing as specified.
Today you will be transferred to the Namib Desert. This is the gateway to Sesriem Canyon and Sossusvlei, where some of the highest sand dunes on Earth stand towering over the white desert plains. Once you have arrived at your accommodation, the afternoon can be spent 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.
The Swakopmund Plaza Hotel is in a prime location right in the heart of the town, putting the local attractions and restaurants at your fingertips. The hotel is also a short walk from the beach. This contemporary hotel has attractive decor and a welcoming feel.
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 will again takes you on a game drive through the Park, or optionally you can book an open game drive park drive with the lodge. You may encounter animal species you didn't see the day before and keep an eye out for any new surprises at the different waterholes visited. In the afternoon you'll travel back to the lodge, where you can enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure or experience the wellness centre.
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.