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Ultimate Namibia Journey

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Day 1 - Windhoek

After arriving in Namibia and clearing customs at Windhoek Airport, you are transferred to a comfortable guesthouse in one of the town's leafy suburbs. Our colleagues in Namibia are easily contactable and happy to discuss your trip, answering any queries you might have. Lunch and dinner are at your own expense today; this allows you to choose from Windhoek's many good restaurants or to eat in at the guesthouse.

No meals included.

Day 2 - Namib-Naukluft Park

After breakfast, your safari guide collects you at around 09.00 for a journey through the Khomas Hochland Highlands, over the escarpment and down towards the dune-fields of the Namib Desert. On route you'll stop to enjoy a picnic lunch at a scenic spot. Your base for the next two nights is Dead Valley Lodge, one of only two properties located within the Namib-Naukluft Park. Accommodation is in spacious climate-controlled tented chalets, each with an en-suite bathroom and sweeping views over the desert or mountains.

Due to its location within the park, guests of Dead Valley Lodge benefit from being able to reach the desert before sunrise or stay after sunset - and therefore catch the best light for photography. The Namib is one of the world's oldest deserts. Here your guide introduces you to the flora and fauna that have specially adapted to their arid surroundings. There's a sprinkling of large animals, from gemsbok and springbok to fleeting ostrich, as well as an abundance of amazing smaller life forms.

Windhoek to Dead Valley Lodge: approx. 6 hours (370km)

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 3 - Namib-Naukluft Park

Use the whole day to explore in and around Namib-Naukluft National Park with your guide. An early start takes you deeper into the desert for a spectacular sunrise. You make for Sossusvlei, where many of the dunes tower up to 300 metres above the Tsauchab River Valley. There's much to see by walking around here; Namibia's Namib-Naukluft Park is one of the largest conservation areas in the world, so it covers an amazing diversity of desert landscapes. You find not only great dune-fields, but also wind-sculpted rock formations, fossil valleys, arid scrub areas and smooth gravel plains. Visit Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei and climb some of the highest free-standing dunes in the world before enjoying a delicious brunch under a camelthorn tree. Return to Dead Valley Lodge in time for a late lunch. Later in the afternoon you'll visit Sesriem Canyon and explore its cool depths, if you didn't already do this activity the afternoon beforehand. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to relax or take a stroll in the local area.

Dead Valley Lodge to Sossusvlei to Dead Valley Lodge: approx. 2.5 hours (120km)

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 4 - Swakopmund

After breakfast, you continue on your lodge safari, travelling north and west to reach the Atlantic coast. Much of your journey is through contrasting areas of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Your route to the coast offers a series of spectacular views as you cross the desert plains before descending into the depths of the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons and climbing back out again. Around mid-afternoon you arrive at the comfortably and centrally located Delight Hotel, with time to wander around this pleasant coastal town or take a short siesta.

Your guide knows the restaurant choices in Swakopmund well, so this evening takes you to one of his/her favourites; often The Tug Restaurant by the jetty. This is your chance to sample the excellent local seafood that the coast of Namibia is known for.

Notes: You have the option to include a spectacular sunrise balloon flight over the desert before you depart for Swakopmund. The cost for this is roughly GBP 340 / US$440 per person valid for 2021. This includes approximately a 50-minute balloon flight followed by champagne breakfast in the desert.

As an alternative to the drive from Dead Valley Lodge to Swakopmund, you may opt to take a scenic flight transfer departing at about 10.45 and arriving midday. This would take you over the Namib Desert and along part of the Skeleton Coast (fog permitting); flying over vast dune fields, abandoned mining camps, shipwrecks, Sandwich Harbour and Walvis Bay salt pans before landing at Swakopmund Airport. You will then be transferred to your guesthouse where your guide will meet you later in the day. There will be an additional cost for this, and the amount will depend on how many passengers are in the plane. Speak to us for a quote.

Dead Valley Lodge to Swakopmund: approx. 6.5 hours (345km)

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 5 - Swakopmund

This morning you drive south to Walvis Bay for a memorable kayaking adventure. After meeting your kayaking guide you'll be taken on a short scenic drive past salt works and a myriad of bird life to Pelican Point, on the outer edge of the lagoon. There's a colony of Cape fur seals based around a lighthouse here and you spend your morning kayaking in single or tandem kayaks amongst these gregarious creatures. There's also the possibility of seeing heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other sea birds. Light refreshments will be served on the beach before you head back to Walvis Bay. If the kayaking doesn't appeal to you, ask us about taking a boat trip to seek out the Atlantic's plentiful marine life instead.

You usually head back to Swakopmund around midday for an afternoon at leisure, perhaps checking out the town's museums, colonial architecture, curio markets and other attractions. The day ends with dinner in one of the many good restaurants.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 6 - Damaraland

Leaving Swakopmund early, you first travel along part of the infamous Skeleton Coast. Then you turn inland, across one of the Namib Desert's harshest, flattest areas, before gradually climbing into the beautiful mountains of Damaraland. As always whilst on this safari, you stop periodically for your guide to show you points of interest and to explain the changes of landscapes, flora and fauna that occur as the desert gives way to relatively verdant mountains.

You stay in the heart of this region at Camp Kipwe. The camp is made up of comfortable thatched chalets, with private open-air bathrooms, nestled amongst an outcrop of giant granite boulders.

Swakopmund to Twyfelfontein: approx. 6 hours (325km)

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 7 - Damaraland

After an early breakfast you will be treated to an exciting 4WD nature drive along the ephemeral Aba-Huab River valley. This is a remarkable region and offers some of the most beautiful scenery found in Namibia. At certain times of year the Aba-Huab River valley is a ribbon of vegetation in an otherwise barren landscape. This food source attracts a variety of desert-adapted wildlife including elephant, giraffe and kudu. Whilst you drive and enjoy the magnificent scenery, your guide will be on the lookout for signs of the special desert-adapted game that can be found here. You will return to Camp Kipwe for lunch and time to relax during the heat of the day (or if the entire group agrees, you can enjoy a picnic lunch along the river bed, in the shade of an Ana Tree). Later in the afternoon you may visit some of the interesting sites of southern Damaraland that you didn’t experience the previous day, including the ancient Bushmen rock art at Twyfelfontein and the 'Organ Pipe' rock formations.

Nature drives.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 8 - Southern Etosha

Your route this morning takes you through the regional center of Khorixas and on to a private reserve, bordering one of Africa's premier game areas: Etosha National Park. Your accommodation is Etosha Mountain Lodge in a luxury chalet with a wonderful view. Made up of 9 farms, regenerated back into wilderness, the private Etosha Heights Reserve is home to an array of wildlife and there's time to explore on an afternoon guided game drive with the lodge (possibly shared with other lodge guests).

Twyfelfontein to Southern Etosha Reserve: approx. 4 hours (300km)

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Days 9 & 10 - Etosha National Park

Today you head into Etosha National Park and game drive your way east, taking your time to watch animals and discuss your sightings with your guide. You stop at Halali Camp for lunch, and a chance to stretch your legs as you walk up a gentle slope to a rocky outcrop overlooking the camp's waterhole.

Etosha National Park covers 22,270km2 and at its centre is a vast salt pan. Along the southern rim of the pan lies a series of springs and waterholes which attract numerous animals, both big and small, so keep your eyes peeled for elephant, giraffe, blue wildebeest, kudu, zebra, rhino, cheetah, warthog, leopard, hyena and lion, as well as the endemic black-faced impala and diminutive Damara dik dik.

Towards the end of the day you'll exit the park from its eastern gate and enter the private Onguma Game Reserve. Your destination is likely to be the unique Onguma Tree Top Camp. With only six en-suite 'tree-houses', this small and intimate camp is built up on wooden stilts overlooking a waterhole. Alternatively, you may be accommodated at one of the other excellent properties on the Onguma Reserve: Onguma Tented Camp or Onguma The Fort.

The following morning you pick up the animal's story back within Etosha National Park. Visit the many pans and waterholes in the eastern area of the park, known for excellent wildlife concentrations. Return to camp for lunch and a bit of down time before an afternoon drive on the Onguma Reserve, and a memorable sundowner overlooking Fischer's Pan.

Safari drives.

Includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Day 11 - AfriCat Foundation & Windhoek

It's an early start today as you head south to Okonjima and the home of the AfriCat Foundation, which has long been involved with the conservation of Namibia's big predators, especially its cheetah, but also leopard and spotted hyena. Arrive in time for lunch, after which you'll visit the fascinating day centre where you'll learn more about the conservation and education work of the AfriCat Foundation. You will also get to meet some of the Foundationss special carnivore ambassadors.

Later in the afternoon you'll continue your journey on to Windhoek, arriving at your guesthouse in the early evening. Dinner tonight is not included, allowing you to enjoy one of the city's many good restaurants or to relax and dine in at the guesthouse.

Note: You have the option to extend your safari for an additional night or two and stay at Okonjima's smart Bush Camp. This allows you to get more of an insight of the work done by the AfriCat Foundation, as well as the chance to get close to some of the reserve's big cats. Other activities available from the lodge include nature drives, bird watching, walks and visits to their night hide where honey badgers, porcupines and other small nocturnal animals often appear. The photographic opportunities at Okonjima are often unbeatable and this is a wonderful highlight to end your Namibia safari on. At the end of your stay, you'll be transferred on to Windhoek for a final night in a guesthouse there.

A one-night extension to your holiday would cost about an additional GBP 640 / US $830 per person for 2021. Solo travellers incur a single supplement surcharge of about GBP 75 / US $95. The price includes accommodation, meals and all activities.

A two-night extension to your holiday would cost about an additional GBP 1,090 / US $1,420 per person for 2021. Solo travellers incur a single supplement surcharge of about GBP 150 / US $190. The price includes accommodation, meals and all activities.

Eastern Etosha to Windhoek: approx. 6.5 hours (530km)

Includes breakfast and lunch.

Day 12 - Flight home

After a leisurely morning, you will be met at the guesthouse and transferred to Windhoek Airport in time for your departing flight.

Includes breakfast.

Ultimate Namibia Journey

© Wild about Africa 2021