- Starts at: Windhoek
- Ends at: Windhoek
- Duration: 10 Days / 9 Nights
Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes. Embark on exciting game drives within the Etosha National Park. Sea kayak with seals and dolphins on the Skeleton Coast (option ski boat). Stay in the only camp inside the world’s 4th largest National Park. Track for desert-adapted elephants. Travel with one of Namibia’s most reputable and well-known naturalist guides. Visit an authentic and remote Himba settlement. Visit the AfriCat Foundation at Okonjima. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein.
Departure from Windhoek in your safari vehicle with your private guide and drive southwest through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below, stopping for a picnic lunch at a scenic location along the way. You arrive at Sossus Dune Lodge in the midafternoon and you will stay here for two nights whilst you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide.
This morning you visit the Namib Naukluft National Park, normally setting off before sunrise to capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate the towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world and your guide 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. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure (from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes).
The fascinating drive today 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. There will be time this afternoon to explore the town and wander along the waterfront on foot, before heading off for dinner at a popular restaurant which specializes in locally harvested seafood.
Option to include a sunrise balloon flight or scenic light aircraft flight over the Namib Naukluft National Park before you depart for Swakopmund (optional extra at additional cost).
NOTE: 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.
After an early breakfast your guide will drive you along the scenic coastal road back south to Walvis Bay for a memorable kayaking adventure within the outer lagoon. You will be then taken on a short scenic drive to Pelican Point to see its lighthouse and windswept beauty, stopping briefly at the salt works to view the variety of birdlife on your way to the launch point. The kayaking is an ideal way of seeing Cape fur seals, Heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other sea birds. If you are lucky, there is also a chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish.
You also have the choice to partake in a memorable motorized boat seal and dolphin excursion within the outer lagoon and harbour should the kayaking not appeal. Again, if luck is on your side, there is also a chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish.
You then have the opportunity to explore the waterfront area of Walvis Bay further before returning to Swakopmund for an afternoon at leisure at your guesthouse or out in town.
Continuing on your safari today, the road takes you north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. You pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573 m above sea level, and take time to view game and absorb the vastness of the scenery along the way. 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’.
If time allows this afternoon your guide will take you to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of the pre-historic Twyfelfontein rock engravings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) – if not there is plenty of time to see them tomorrow.
After an early breakfast you will be treated to an exciting 4×4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valleys to explore this remarkable region and to search for 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. As the elephants are mostly active in the mornings you will normally have the best chance to see them then before returning to camp for lunch. However, if all the safari participants agree, you also have the option to take a picnic lunch and stop to enjoy that in the shade of a large Ana tree by the riverbed, ideally while watching a herd of elephant browsing nearby.
Today after a very early breakfast you set off on your journey to the Etosha National Park, travelling via the scenic Grootberg Pass. Along the way your guide 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. Depending on the school semester and school holidays, you may also visit the Grootberg Primary School, a rural school where Ultimate Safaris’ Conservation Travel Foundation is actively involved, assisting with improved education infrastructure and methods.
After visiting the Himba and school you will head east through the small town of Kamanjab before heading on towards tonight’s destination at the new Etosha Mountain Lodge, which is situated on the south western border of the Etosha National Park. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed en-route and arrival will be in the very late afternoon or early evening (after a long but rewarding day).
Today is dedicated to 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.
The rest of the evening can be spent game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterholewhere game comes and goes throughout the day and night.
Another morning dedicated to memorable game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park with your guide. You 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 sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. You then return after sunset with enough time to freshen up and enjoy your final ‘safari dinner’ overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole.
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. 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. You arrive in time for lunch before embarking on an exciting and informative game drive and tour of the centre. 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 captive carnivore ambassadors.
NOTE (OPTIONAL EXTENSION): You have the option to extend your safari for an additional night or two at Okonjima, staying at their delightful Luxury Bush Camp. This affords you the opportunity to get a more in-depth insight into the work being done by the AfriCat Foundation as well as getting to see more of cheetah, leopard and other big cats in the wild.
Included in the price of this trip:
- Accommodation as stated above.
- Transportation in a luxury air-conditioned safari vehicle.
- All meals.
- Services of a registered and experienced naturalist English-speaking safari guide.
- Entrance fees and excursions as described in above itinerary.
- Mineral water on board the safari vehicle.
- Option of either kayaking or catamaran boat cruise in Swakopmund.
- Onguma afternoon property drive in open game viewer with lodge guide
- Welcome pack.
Not included in the price of this trip:
- International flights to Namibia and airport taxes.
- Return airport transfers from Windhoek International Airport – Windhoek – Windhoek International Airport.
- Pre and post safari accommodation in Windhoek.
- Any entrance fees and excursions not included in the above itinerary such as scenic flights.
- All beverages with the exception of mineral water on board the safari vehicle.
- Laundry (laundry service available at lodges at extra cost).
- Items of personal nature (telephone expenses, curios, medicines etc).
- ENTRY VISA FEES.
- BANK CHARGES (as per bank or 3.5% commission for VISA/MASTER and 4.5% commission for AMEX)
For our latest discounts and exclusive deals see our special offers page.
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