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Classic Namibia Experience

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Day 1 - Windhoek

After clearing customs at Windhoek Airport you will be met and transferred to your accommodation in a comfortable hotel or guesthouse in one of the city's quiet suburbs. There is time to relax before you meet your guide who briefs you on the safari and answers any queries you might have. Dinner is for your own account tonight allowing you to try out one of the many good restaurants available in Windhoek, or you can eat in if you prefer.

No meals included.

Day 2 - Cheetah Conservation Fund

Your safari guide collects you after breakfast for an easy drive north through the towns of Okahandja and Otjiwarongo. Turning east onto a gravel road you'll continue on to the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF), where you arrive in time for lunch. CCF is a non-profit organisation committed to the long-term conservation and preservation of Namibia's cheetah population. The education centre here is fascinating and you can learn more about the rescue, relocation and education work that the foundation does, before watching some of the resident cats being fed.

After this insightful and memorable experience you'll continue on to your accommodation in a comfortable lodge situated on a game farm about an hours drive away.

Windhoek to CCF area: approx. 4 hours (320km)

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Days 3 & 4 - Etosha National Park

After a hearty breakfast you drive north to the town of Tsumeb, where you may make a short stop to stock up on supplies. Your destination is Namutoni Camp (or similar accommodation), situated within Etosha National Park. During the afternoon there is usually time to head out into the park on your first exciting safari drive.

Rise early the following morning to enjoy a full day of game viewing; spending your time spotting animals as you drive between the surrounding waterholes and stopping by the busiest to watch the action. In your search for wildlife you will cover several different types of terrain, from open savannah to mopane woodlands.

CCF area to eastern Etosha Park: approx. 4.5 hours (310km)

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 5 - Etosha National Park

Day 5 is an enthralling day of game viewing as you slowly head west across Etosha, taking your time to stop at waterholes and game sightings along the way. The route takes you along the southern edge of Etosha Pan, a vast shallow depression of silvery-white clay that fills with water only in exceptional rainy seasons. Otherwise it's bone dry, but around it are numerous perennial springs that attract wildlife, particularly in the dry season. At this time it is not uncommon to see a variety of species congregating at these waterholes and the interaction between them is fascinating.

You will be accommodated in en-suite bungalows at Okaukuejo Camp (or similar accommodation) in the park's southwest region. After dinner at the camp's restaurant you can slope off with a drink and watch the action at the flood-lit waterhole - there is usually plenty to see with elephant, rhino and lion being regular visitors.

Safari drives.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Days 6 & 7 - Damaraland

Exit Etosha National Park, and travel south towards the town of Outjo before turning west to the mountainous landscapes of Damaraland. Your destination is the Mowani foothills where your luxury mobile camp stands, surrounded by huge granite boulders and superb scenery.

The following morning you make the most of the cool air to take a guided walk around Twyfelfontein; a sandstone valley that shelters an amazing open-air gallery of ancient Bushman rock art, recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There's also time to visit the nearby 'Organ Pipe' rock formations, the surreal Burnt Mountain, and a Damara Living Museum. Together with the Bushmen, the Damara people belong to the oldest nations in Namibia. Due to their loose social structures the Damara way of life suffered during the colonization of Namibia by more aggressive peoples. To help keep the Damara culture alive, community projects such as this Living Museum have been created. The museum replicates a Damara Village and showcases the daily way of life with scenes including a blacksmith making tools and weapons, how leather was tanned to produce cloths, traditional crafts, dancing, singing games and much more.

During the afternoon you are treated to a nature drive along the scenic river valley with a possibility of encountering wildlife, including the elusive desert-adapted elephant. Stop for a sundowner drink at Welwitschia Hill before heading back to camp for a hearty dinner.

Etosha National Park to Damaraland: approx. 6 hours (470km)

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Days 8 & 9 - Swakopmund

Before heading south you stop for a cultural visit at a Himba village. The Ovahimba are a semi-nomadic tribe who live in scattered settlements throughout the region. This community retains their traditional way of life and welcome visitors to come and experience their unique culture. A local guide introduces you to the community and helps you to understand their background and customs.

Back on the road, you circumnavigate Brandberg, which at 2,573m is Namibia's highest mountain. Pause at the small outpost of Uis where semi-precious stones such as amethyst and tourmaline can often be found at bargain prices. Uis was once a bustling community established around a large tin mine, but the mines closure in the early 1990s has led the town into a sleepy decline.

From Uis you cross what seems an endless and forbidding desert plain on your way to the Atlantic Ocean and the Skeleton Coast. It's then an easy drive south to the charming coastal town of Swakopmund where you will settle into a lovely guesthouse. During the afternoon you have free time to browse among the many interesting shops, galleries and craft centre.

The following morning your safari guide takes you on a short drive south along a stunning coastal road to the port town of Walvis Bay. Here you join a memorable seal and dolphin cruise into the harbour which gives you the opportunity to see some of the Skeleton Coast's rich marine life including Heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, playful Cape fur seals, flamingos, pelicans, cormorants and much more. Drinks are available throughout the cruise and snacks, along with fresh oysters and local champagne, are served before heading back to the jetty.

Dinner on both nights in Swakopmund is for your own account so that you can choose between a variety of great restaurants, located on the waterfront or in the town centre. Ask your guide to recommend their favourites. The seafood is excellent, as is the locally grown Swakopmund asparagus when in season.

Damaraland to Swakopmund: approx. 6 hours (315km)

Includes breakfast.

Days 10 & 11 - Namib Desert

Today you drive inland through varied and spectacular landscapes devoid of civilisation as you aim for your luxury mobile camp on the edge of the Namib Desert. You head south-east, traversing barren gravel plains before dropping into the deeply incised Kuiseb and Gaub canyons. The road follows the base of the mountainous escarpment to the east and vast desert plains to the west. You might make a short stop at the tiny desert outpost of Solitaire for refreshments and perhaps some homemade apple pie, before arriving at your campsite in the mid-to-late afternoon.

Rise before dawn to drive deep into some of Namibia's most breathtaking desert landscapes. The Namib-Naukluft National Park is home to the world's highest free-standing dunes, towering around 300m above the surrounding plains. The rising sun creates amazing patterns of light and shadow over the orange desert sands, a captivating sight and a photographers dream. You drive along the Tsauchab River valley until it is closed off by encroaching sands, and continue on foot to experience the desert up close. Spend the morning exploring Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei; a natural clay pan where the skeletons of dead camelthorn trees point towards the sky. The view from the top of one of these gigantic dunes is always spectacular if you have the energy to climb them! During the afternoon you'll visit Sesriem Canyon and wander through its conglomerate walls that have been carved by the ephemeral Tsauchab River. Return to your camp in time to watch the evening hues change and glow across the distant mountain range.

Swakopmund to Namib Desert: approx. 5.5 hours (300km)

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 12 - Windhoek, and flight home

Pass through yet more stunning scenery on your return journey to Windhoek as you climb up and over the escarpment into the Khomas Hochland highlands. You will arrive back in Namibia's capital city at about midday, ready to transfer to the airport for your scheduled afternoon flight home.

Namib Desert to Windhoek Airport: approx. 6 hours (375km)

Includes breakfast.

Classic Namibia Experience

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