Namibia

Namibia: Off the Beaten Track

16th to 29th October 2018

 14 nights

Itinerary

Your day-to-day itinerary in brief…
Day 1                      Galton House, Windhoek
Day 2 & 3              Sossus Under Canvas Camp, Sossusvlei area
Day 4 & 5              Strand Hotel, Swakopmund
Day 6, 7 & 8         //Huab Under Canvas Camp, Damaraland
Day 9                      Hobatere Lodge, western Etosha
Day 10 & 11          Safarihoek Lodge, south western boundary of Etosha National Park
Day 12 & 13          Onguma – The Fort, eastern boundary of Etosha National Park
Day 14                    Depart from Windhoek International Airport

And in more detail…

Day 1 – 16th October 2018 – Arrival in Windhoek

After landing at Windhoek’s International Hosea Kutako Airport, about 40km outside of Windhoek, you will be transferred to Galton House – your hotel for the night. The rest of the day will be spent at leisure, relaxing and recuperating from your flight. Dinner will be at one of the popular restaurants in town.

Overnight: Galton House
Dinner & local beverages
Galton House is named after the famous explorer Sir Francis Galton and is a mere ten minute drive from the centre of Windhoek in one of the town’s tranquil suburbs. All nine guest rooms are equipped with internet and satellite television, with a coffee/tea station available on request. The hotel also has a large sitting room, dining room,  peaceful garden and swimming pool with a delightful ‘al fresco’ dining area by the pool, serving freshly prepared and very tasty meals. There are also a number of shops, restaurants and supermarkets close by.

Day 2 – 17th October 2018 – Windhoek to Sossusvlei area

After breakfast, you will depart Windhoek for Sossusvlei. The journey takes you (in safari vehicles) southwest through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert, stopping for a picnic lunch at a scenic location along the way. You will arrive at your exclusive Sossus Under Canvas Camp by mid-afternoon. This is your base for two nights, while you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert, starting with an afternoon exploring the surrounding area with your guides, perhaps by foot, ending with sundowners overlooking the vast desert plains.

Other activities include visits to Sossusvlei with your private guide and general exploration of the private Neuhof Nature Reserve, including nature walks and drives, magic moments in desert pools (yes, intriguing…) and star gazing.This is also a great venue for photographers, offering fantastic landscapes, iconic quiver trees, and the opportunity for nighttime photography. There may also be the opportunity to visit the Plateau which offers some of the best views out over the Namib Desert. In addition to this, Sossus Under Canvas provides a convenient base from which to go on hot air balloon flights as well as scenic helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft flights over the local area.

Overnight:  Sossus Under Canvas Camp
Full board, excursions with your guides & local beverages
Located on the private 24,000ha Neuhof Nature Reserve and nestled between the Nubib and Zaris Mountains, this camp is a mere thirty minutes’ drive from the Sossusvlei gate: the gateway to the Great Namib Sand Sea (an area that has recently been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site). The camp offers eight tents, two of which are family units, and is open seasonally between April and November, offering utmost privacy.

Day 3 – 18th October 2018 –  Sossusvlei / Namib Desert

This morning you will rise early for a magical excursion with your guides 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. Your guides will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs. Once you have explored the dune fields to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxed picnic breakfast in the shade of a camel thorn tree. You then return to your Sossus Under Canvas Camp in the early afternoon for lunch, stopping off to view Sesriem Canyon along the way. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure (from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes). You have the option to head out on another sundowner drive or walk on the Neuhof Reserve later in the day.

Overnight: Sossus Under Canvas Camp 
Full Board, excursions with your guide & local beverages

Day 4 – 19th October 2018 – Fly from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund

This morning your guides will transfer you to the nearby airstrip to introduce you to your pilots, before they continue on by road to meet up with you in Swakopmund later in the day. You then board your light aircraft charter flight to Swakopmund, starting with an amazing bird’s eye view of Sossusvlei and the great dune sea that stretches to the coast. You then fly north along the coastline (fog permitting) over abandoned mining camps, shipwrecks, Sandwich Harbour, salt pans and Walvis Bay lagoon before you land at Swakopmund Airport. From here you will be transferred into town and to the stylish Strand Hotel to settle in and freshen up before enjoying a delectable lunch at one of the hotel’s popular in-house restaurants. There should be time this afternoon to wander around town and along the waterfront on foot if appeals. This evening your guides will take you to dinner at one of the popular restaurants in town that specialises in fresh seafood.

Overnight:  Strand Hotel (Luxury Rooms)
Full board, light aircraft charter flight & local beverages
The Strand Hotel is located on the well-known “Mole” beachfront – an historic and iconic site surrounded by ocean on three sides.  with its extensive, unique and creative restaurants, bars, deli, lobby-lounge, sea-facing terraces, beach kiosk and state-of-the-art conference and banqueting centre. The hotel is in walking distance from the centre of town, and has long, sandy beaches right on its doorstep. There are a total of 125 rooms of which 90% have beach and sea views and 10% garden and park views. Each room is elegantly furnished and feature en-suite bathrooms, complimentary internet access, air conditioning, electronic door locks, hairdryers, safes, direct dial telephones, LCD, satellite television, tea/coffee stations, stocked mini-bars and work desks with 220v international plug points for Europe, UK and South Africa.

NOTE: You can can include a sunrise balloon flight over the Namib Naukluft National Park before you depart for Swakopmund (optional extra at additional cost).

Day 5 – 20th October 2018 – Swakopmund

This morning you will be driven down to the Walvis Bay Harbour where you will board a catamaran to go on a memorable seal and dolphin cruise on the outer lagoon. This starts at around 08.30 and will last until around 13.00. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to have a light lunch, for those who are still hungry after the various snacks served during the cruise. Afterwards, your guides will take you back up to Swakopmund for an afternoon at leisure and the opportunity to do some shopping in the local arts and crafts shops or to visit the Swakopmund Museum and Krystall Gallerei. You will then meet up again in the evening to go out for dinner at one of the restaurants in town or at the hotel.

Overnight:  Strand Hotel (Luxury Rooms)  
Full board, marine cruise / Living Desert tour  & local beverages

Day 6 – 21st October 2018 – Swakopmund to Damaraland

Continuing on your safari today, the road takes you north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland to reach your remote and exclusive camp near the Huab River. On the way, you pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573m above sea level, where you can take time to view game and absorb the vastness of the scenery during this journey, although there is still quite a long (and bumpy!) drive from the main road into the camp.
Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, 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 splendour which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’.

Overnight: //Huab Under Canvas Camp
Full Board, excursions with your guide & local beverages
This special camp is located in a core desert-adapted black rhino area in the //Huab Conservancy in Damaraland, approximately 90km north west of Khorixas, nestled in a grove of Mopane trees on the banks of a tributary of the //Huab River. Protected from all the prevailing winds and sun, the semi-mobile camp is virtually invisible from anywhere around and it carries, arguably, the lowest environmental footprint of any camp in Namibia. Tents are raised on mobile platforms and have basic infrastructure that allows for important comforts such as en-suite flush toilets, but the essence of the camp remains Under Canvas, mobile and experiential.  With provision for up to eight tents, this camp is booked on an exclusive basis for each group staying in it.  Activities include tracking desert-adapted rhino which is completely private and done in an area that has the highest tracking success rate in north western Namibia; exploring the upper and less crowded //Huab River in search of desert-adapted elephants; nature walks and scenic game drives; as well as the possibility of visiting some nearby prehistoric rock engravings.

Days 7  & 8 – 22nd / 23rd October 2018 – Damaraland

For the next two days you explore the remarkable Damaraland area, enjoying the freedom to explore the fascinating landscapes with your private naturalist guides, both by vehicle and on foot. Damaraland is a surprising refuge for desert-adapted wildlife that may include elephants, giraffe, oryx, springbok and even some predators such as lion. However, as with any wildlife sightings, nothing is guaranteed – the wildlife roams large tracks of unfenced desert landscapes and finding game can be challenging, but this is all part of the adventure of exploring this wild, untouched gem of Namibia.
The //Huab Under Canvas Camp works in conjunction with the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) – an NGO that has been has been instrumental in the preservation of the rare, endangered, desert-adapted black rhino. Having barely survived the slaughter in many parts of Africa during the ’80s and ’90s, the black rhino population of Namibia increased substantially since the formation of SRT. You will spend an exciting and memorable morning out rhino tracking with your guides, before returning to camp for a freshly prepared brunch and with time to relax at camp during the heat of the day. Later in the afternoon you head out again for a scenic nature drive or walk to explore this vast and astounding ecosystem.

Overnight: //Huab Under Canvas Camp
Full Board, excursions with your guide & local beverages

Day 9 – 24th October 2018 – Damaraland to western boundary of Etosha National Park

Today after a very early breakfast you set off on your journey toward the western border of Etosha National Park, travelling via the scenic back roads of Damaraland. Along the way your guides will take you to visit a local Himba settlement – you may have to search for a while as the semi-nomadic Himba people sometimes move location with no notice. They are one of the last truly traditional peoples of Namibia and have little time for conventional practices. Here 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 visiting the Himba, you will head east through the small town of Kamanjab before heading on north to enter the Hobatere Concession area and go on to stay at Hobatere Lodge. Depending on your arrival time, you will then either go out on a late afternoon ‘sundowner’ game drive or on a night drive after dinner. Hobatere is one of the few wildlife areas where night game drives are possible, and these normally offer the opportunity to see a variety of nocturnal animals that are hard to find at any other time – but, as always with game viewing, there are no guarantees.

Overnight: Hobatere Lodge
Full board, guided lodge activities, & local beverages
Hobatere Lodge is situated 65km north of Kamanjab on the western border of the Etosha National Park. Wildlife on the 8,808ha concession area includes elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah and many more. Guests accommodation is in en-suite bungalows under thatch.
Wholesome meals are served on a waterhole beside an indigenous garden and in a boma under the stars. The facilities include a lounge, bar, curio shop, game viewing hides and a swimming pool. Hobatere offers guided walk and game drives with an experienced naturalist. The reserve is recognized as the best site in Namibia for endemic birds. It also supports large game like elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, giraffe, eland, kudu, gemsbok and mountain zebra among other species.

Day 10 – 25th October 2018 – Safarihoek/Etosha Heights Game Reserve

After a relaxing start, you will take another short game drive through the concession area on your way back to the main road before heading south parallel to the park fence and then east until you reach the Safari Hoek Reserve, where you will check in to Safarihoek Lodge. This lodge is situated on the southwestern side of the Etosha National Park. You should arrive in time for a late lunch and then some time at leisure, which can be spent appreciating the unique surroundings and enjoying the game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole before going out for a late afternoon game drive.

Overnight: Safarihoek Lodge
Full board, guided lodge activities & local beverages
This beautifully built lodge is located inside the private Etosha Heights Reserve, which shares its border with about 65km’s of the Etosha National Park. It consists of 9 farms that were originally used for domestic farming. Over a period of time, acquired and combined to create a stunning wildlife reserve that they are now privileged to be part of.  With an array of animals which include various species of antelope, predators, birds as well as others.   Etosha Heights Namibia partakes in various conservation efforts and projects that are currently operational and many more still to come. The main goal and vision is to encourage and develop sustainable eco-friendly tourism, all to the benefit of the area, animals as well as the community

Day 11 – 26th October 2018 – Southwestern to eastern boundary of Etosha National Park

Today is available for a full day of exciting and memorable game drives on the private Etosha Heights Game Reserve looking out for the wide variety of animals that inhabit the reserve. As this is a private reserve, you will be taken out by rangers based at the lodge and you will also be accompanied on these excursions by your own naturalist guides.

Overnight: Safarihoek Lodge
Full board, guided lodge activities & local beverages

Day 12 – 27th October 2018 – Southwestern to eastern boundary of Etosha National Park

Today is dedicated to a full day of exciting game viewing within the central section of Etosha National Park from the comfort of your private safari vehicles 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 luxurious Onguma Plains Camp – The Fort 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.

Overnight: Onguma – The Fort
Full Board, excursions with your guides & local beverages
Positioned to give guests unrivalled views of the spectacular Namibian sunset, Onguma – The Fort is a unique refuge in this vast landscape. Overlooking the beautiful scarceness of the Etosha Pans, the Fort gently enfolds guests within massive, cool raw walls and uncompromised luxury. Each suite offers sprawling views of Etosha and Fisher’s Pan, and has a spacious bathroom with both an indoor- and a private outdoor shower. From every corner of your suite, wooden decks and sun-loungers invite you to come out and play. Elaborate antique African doors, raw plastered walls and elegant furnishing fuse classic African style with a touch Moroccan and Indian themes – creating a world of dreams. At Onguma – The Fort, the diverse wildlife can be enjoyed from the comfort of your suite, on a sunset game drive or from the main tower – offering unparalleled views of this unique landscape. Zebra, giraffe, lion, a variety of antelope and superb birdlife will accompany you during your stay. Savour relaxing sunset moments in the outdoor pool, as the view invites you to become one with the dream.

Day 13 – 28th October 2018 – Etosha National Park / Onguma Game Reserve

Another morning dedicated to memorable game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park with your guides. You return to camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, spending your afternoon on a game drive on the private Onguma Game Reserve, culminating in a sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. You then return after sunset with enough time to freshen up before enjoying your safari dinner overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole.

Overnight: Onguma – The Fort
Full Board, excursions with your guides, sundowner Onguma Drive & local beverages

Day 14 – 29th October 2018 -Etosha National Park to Windhoek International Airport and depart

After a relaxed breakfast and some time to check out the waterhole, your guides will transfer you to the local airstrip where you say your farewells before boarding your private charter light aircraft flight direct to Windhoek’s Hosea Kutako International Airport. You will be met on your arrival at the airport and assisted with checking in for your departure flights – normally heading out via Johannesburg.

** Onward international flight to be no earlier than 12h00

 

Extension to Vic Falls & Botswana

Windhoek to Vic Falls

Flight from Windhoek to Vic Falls. Overnight at Vic Falls Safari Club with full board service.

Vic Falls to Chobe National Park

Road transfer to Kasane, Botswana. You will be met by one of our representatives and transferred to The Chobe river for the short boat ride to our houseboat – The Pangolin Voyager. During your stay we will cruise up The Chobe river to enjoy this magnificent National Park and its wildlife.

Chobe River Safari

When on board the Pangolin Voyager the daily itinerary is yours to design and we offer a range of activities including game viewing, fishing, walks and visits to traditional fishing villages along the banks of the river.

After 3 full days on the houseboat it’s time to head over back home … or alternatively we will find you another adventure in search of Botswana and South Africa Wild Dogs!!!

 

Dates & Prices

16th -29th October : GBP 7,195* per person, with 5% off for loyal Ice and Wild Trackers, please contact us

Vic Falls & Chobe Extension: date and prices to be confirmed, please contact us

(All prices are quoted in GBP as reference only and all prices are subject to exchange fluctuations – the exact amount will be calculated on the day of final payment. Ice Tracks reserves the right to correct or amend prices if necessary.)

 

Photos