Day 1 - Windhoek
On arrival to Windhoek in Namibia, you are met and driven to a comfortable guesthouse in one of the city's leafy suburbs: the perfect place to relax after your flight and before your wilderness safari. We have not included dinner this evening; there are many good restaurants to choose from in the city or, alternatively, you can order in at the guesthouse - just ask your hosts for details and recommendations.
No meals included.
Days 2 & 3 - Namib-Naukluft Park
On the first day of your actual safari, you are met at your guesthouse after breakfast and taken to meet the group and guide. It's a fairly long drive today but the stunning scenery as you drive through the Khomas Hochland highlands, over the escarpment and down on to the gravel plains should capture your attention throughout.
Your destination is the Kulala Adventurer Camp situated on the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve. The semi-permanent camp is set up exclusively for your safari group in a picturesque area of the desert. Accommodation here is in canvas dome-tents set on platforms under a shade roof, each with an en suite 'bush' bathroom complete with flush toilet and shower with hot/cold running water.
A drive deep into the Namib Desert's spectacular Great Dune Field the following morning makes your early wake-up call worthwhile. Travelling through the reserve's private gate and following the path of the ephemeral Tsauchab River, you'll reach Sossusvlei, where the river's course is finally swallowed into a great mass of apricot dunes. Arriving here while the morning light is soft shows you one of Namibia's most photogenic landscapes; a sea of dunes with some towering up to 300m high. Those with the energy to climb a dune are rewarded with a stunning view from the top. In the afternoon, with your guide, you look more closely at the private Kulala Reserve's unique fauna and flora. Desert-adapted antelope such as springbok and gemsbok can be seen on the reserve, along with the puckish ostrich. Smaller creatures like the bat-eared fox, the black-backed jackal and the Cape fox can also be spotted if you're lucky. Dine under a canopy of stars each evening accompanied by a chorus of barking geckos.
Windhoek to Kulala: approx. 5.5 hours (340km)
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 4 - Swakopmund
Drive along the edge of the Namib-Naukluft National Park as you head north and then west towards the coast. You'll cross endless flat gravel plains and journey through the craggy Kuiseb canyon before your first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean.
Your accommodation tonight is at the Hansa Hotel, Swakopmund's oldest and best traditional hotel. It is ideally situated in the centre of the town and within walking distance of the shops, cafes, crystal gallery and beach. There will be a little time to relax or explore before the group gets together for dinner at one of many good restaurants. Swakopmund is particularly renowned for its delicious seafood and for its tender asparagus (grown in the Swakop River bed and available between about September to May).
Kulala to Swakopmund: approx. 5.5 hours (370km)
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 5 - Swakopmund
After breakfast, you drive south along the coast to the town of Walvis Bay where you'll meet your kayaking guide. A scenic drive of about an hour takes you around the Walvis Bay Lagoon and past salt mines to Pelican Point. Spend about two hours kayaking in tandem kayaks amongst a colony of playful and inquisitive seals. Weather permitting, this is a memorable way to explore the bay and see the marine animal and birdlife. Your afternoon is free to explore the curio markets and other attractions in the picturesque town of Swakopmund, with its eclectic mix of European and African culture. Dinner is at your own expense tonight; ask your guide to recommend their favourite local restaurant.
Includes breakfast and lunch.
Days 6 & 7 - Damaraland
As you drive north and east from Swakopmund to Damaraland you travel partly using the back roads and along scenic routes. Your destination is a private reserve in Damaraland that encompasses an area of spectacular scenic beauty. This is an ancient glacial landscape where rugged mountains change hue as the sun travels across the sky, bare granite domes spring up from the gravel plains like sentinels and hidden natural springs all come together to create variable and photogenic scenery. Based from a private semi-permanent camp, you and your expert guide will explore amongst hills and through dry river beds. Each day you'll venture out by vehicle and on foot. At each turn your guide will point out and describe the desert-adapted flora and fauna you come across - much of it unique to this area. One excursion might include a visit to a valley of ancient rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and discovering nearby fascinating rock formations sculpted over the millennia. Damaraland is renowned for its sightings of desert-adapted elephants but giraffe, Hartmann's mountain zebra, kudu and even cheetah have also been seen here. Each night you'll dine under the stars before retiring to your comfortable bed in an en suite dome-tent.
Swakopmund to Damaraland: approx. 8 hours (320km)
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Days 8, 9 & 10 - Etosha National Park
Leaving the desert landscape of Damaraland behind, you head east towards Etosha National Park, one of Africa's top wildlife areas. On the southern boundary of Etosha lies the private Ongava Game Reserve. This 300km2 reserve is home to large concentrations of wildlife including white and black rhino, lion and cheetah. During your afternoons and evenings, the focus is likely to be on this private wilderness reserve with time to enjoy a spot-lit night drive and/or walking safari - the latter is an activity not allowed in the national park.
In the mornings, and probably for one full day, you'll explore the 22,000km2 Etosha National Park. Traveling slowly, you'll stop often to discuss and photograph any animals you spot along the way. You'll visit the waterholes along the southern perimeter for the enormous Etosha salt pan seeking out animals such as elephants, lion and gemsbok. On a full-day excursion a lunchtime picnic stop at Halali Camp in Etosha allows you to stretch your legs, relax in the shade and visit the camp's waterhole to see what might have come for a drink.
Each night you'll return to stay in spacious en-suite tented rooms at Ongava Tented Camp. Even after sunset; game viewing doesn't end as the camp floodlights its own waterhole at night. As well as the antelope that drink here, it is possible to see some of the more elusive nocturnal animals such as genets, honey badgers and even leopard.
Damaraland to Ongava: approx. 5 hours (330km)
Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 11 - Windhoek
Driving back to Windhoek after breakfast, you pass through the small towns of Otjiwarongo and Okahandja before arriving at your guesthouse in the early afternoon where your Namibia safari guide bids you farewell. Spend the afternoon at your leisure, with lunch and dinner at your own expense today so you can choose between some of the city's good cafes and restaurants or ordering in at the guesthouse for your evening meal.
Note: If you prefer to do so, it is possible to book a late afternoon flight out of Windhoek and depart for home on this day. We include a final night in Windhoek for a more relaxed experience.
Ongava to Windhoek: approx. 5 hours (420km)
Day 12 - Flight home
A free morning in Windhoek allows you time to buy Namibia souvenirs in memory of your wilderness safari. You will be collected from your guesthouse and driven to the airport in time to depart on your flight.