Despite being a principally arid country and seemingly untouched by present day humanity, Namibia hosts most of Africa’s big game, including rare species such as the black rhino.
The distinctive habitats of the Namib Desert and the Skeleton Coast cultivate a diverse indigenous fauna and flora and well known species that have tailored to the unforgiving climatic conditions.
Home to dramatic vistas, desert, elephants, intriguing cultures and friendly people, Namibia provides ample room to be discovered.
Behind its unkind and dry disguise, lies a multitude of geological wonders and captivating wildlife, leaving what almost seems like limitless space. Naturally mysterious, the Namib Desert will linger long in your heart, with geographical attractions such as the Organ Pipes, created over 125 million years ago when Africa separated from South America; and the Erongo Mountains, remnants of a long spent volcano. The Etosha National Park is situated in the Kunene region and spans an area of 22,270 square kilometres, getting its name from the large Etosha pan which is almost entirely within the park. The Etosha pan, which covers 23% of the National Park, plays home to hundreds of species of mammals, birds and reptiles. These are just a few features which make Namibia’s landscape so evocative.
Complimenting this natural world is a rich human history, as it is a country with a significant historical record for human settlement. The Bushmen, Damara & Namaqua all call Namibia home, and have left their mark on the landscape around them in the form of rock art. The district of Swakopmund is a beach resort and an example of German colonial architecture. Founded in 1892, it was the main harbour for German South-West Africa, and a sizable part of its population is still German-speaking today. Attractions in Swakopmund include the local architecture, as well as mesmerizing drives through breath-taking and ever changing desert landscapes towards the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. Outside of the city, the Rossmund Desert Golf Course is one of only five all-grass desert golf courses in the world.
The Damaraland & Kunene region is home to giant inselbergs, shaped millions of years ago when lava was all the rage, sheer and jagged from the desolate plains of the inner Namib Desert. Most remarkable of these are Spitzkoppe and the Brandberg Massif which, in addition to being the highest peak in the country, includes the charm of prehistoric rock paintings and the intriguing White Lady of Brandberg. Among the red sandstone boulders and hills at Twyfelfontein, one finds an impressive collection of petro glyphs in Africa. Around 2,500 prehistoric rock paintings and engravings feature animals, tracks and abstract symbols. The exact age is unknown but archaeological evidence indicates that hunter gatherers lived here more than 7,000 years ago. The renowned desert-adapted elephants navigate this vast dry land in search of water, while the world’s only naturally occurring population of black rhino co-exists with the Damara communities.
Day 1: Windhoek, Namibia
Arrive in Windhoek where you will be met and transferred to Galton House.
Galton House, named after the famous explorer Sir Francis Galton, is perched on the edge of Windhoek’s northernmost suburb 10 minutes drive from the city centre.Overnight at a very elegant lodge.
DAY 2-3: Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, Namib Rand Nature Reserve, Namibia
After breakfast, light aircraft flight to the Namib Rand Nature Reserve.
The breathtaking Namib Rand Nature Reserve extends over 180,000 hectares of pristine Namib Desert and shares a border with the Namib-Naukluft National Park.
The particular attraction of Namib Rand is its diversity of different desert landscapes, representing virtually all facets of the Namib Desert. Expansive sand, gravel plains and endless stretches of grass savannah alternate with majestic mountain ranges and vegetated dune belts of deep red sand. The variety of flora and fauna is as fascinating as the colour nuances of the landscape, which change continuously as the day progresses.
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge makes the most of its breathtaking surroundings whilst providing a sophisticated and luxurious stay. Each spacious, air-conditioned suite features a shaded deck, split level bedroom and living room with fireplace for cool evenings, en-suite glass encased bathroom and outdoor shower. Guided activities on offer to explore the local reserve include scenic 4×4 nature drives, fascinating walks and exhilarating quad-biking excursions.
On day 3 you will rise early for a magical excursion with a local guide from the lodge 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 local lodge 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. Arrive at an attractive ‘Afro – village’ style lodge in the late afternoon where you will stay for two nights whilst you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide.
DAY 4-5: Mowani Mountain Camp, Damaraland, Namibia
After a leisurely breakfast, board your light aircraft flight to Mowani Mountain Camp. where you are met by your private guide, who will be with you for the remainder of your safari, and transferred to the lodge giving you time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
On day 5, an early breakfast you will be treated to an exciting 4×4 excursion with your private guide along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valley 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. You will return to camp for lunch and this afternoon your guide will take you to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of Twyfelfontein rock engravings (recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes returning to camp with time to relax before dinner.
The desert elephant ranges extend from river catchments in northern Kaokoveld as far south as the northern Namib. And these elephants walk further for water and fodder than any other elephant in Africa. The typical home range of a family herd is larger than 2,000 km², or eight times as big as ranges in central Africa where rainfall is much higher. You will also visit Twyfelfontein – boulders and slabs of red sandstone hold some 2,500 prehistoric engravings that depict wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs. It is perhaps the largest and finest collection of petroglyphs in Africa.
Twyfelfontein is one of Namibia’s key National Monuments and has recently become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
DAY 6-7: Ongava Lodge, Ongava Game Reserve, Southern Etosha National Park Boundary, Namibia
Head northeast through northern Damaraland to reach the Ongava Game Reserve. Here you enjoy an afternoon game drive on the private Ongava Game Reserve with a local guide, returning to the lodge in time for dinner. The Ongava Game Reserve is a private game reserve, spanning 30,000 hectares along the south-west border of Etosha National Park. The reserve is home to a wide variety of game including lion, leopard, giraffe, rhino, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, gemsbok (oryx), kudu, steenbok and much more. The scenery is attractive with large open plains blending into Mopane tree woodlands and granite outcrops.
Ongava Lodge is situated on the slopes of a rocky outcrop within the private 30,000 hectare Ongava Game Reserve, which shares a common border with Etosha. Ongava Lodge offers guests the full Etosha experience whilst providing superb accommodation and service, as well as night drives and nature walks on the reserve. Guests are accommodated in luxury air-conditioned thatched chalets with private veranda, all with en-suite bathroom. The main lounge, dining and pool area is situated on the foothills of the Ondundozonanandana Range, overlooking a floodlit waterhole and a vast plain.
On day 7 you will rise for an early breakfast before heading back into the Etosha National Park for an exciting morning game drive stopping at selected waterholes, returning to camp in time for lunch. After lunch you will have some time to relax before heading out on an afternoon game drive on the Ongava reserve.
Etosha National Park covers 22,270 km², of which approximately 5,000 km² is made up of saline depressions or ‘pans’. The largest of these pans, the Etosha Pan, can be classified as a saline desert in its own right. The Park consists of grassland, woodland and savannah. Game-viewing centers on the numerous springs and waterholes where several different species can often be seen at one time- 114 mammal and over 340 bird species, including elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, kudu, gemsbok (Oryx), zebra, rhino, cheetah, leopard, hyena, honey badger and warthog, as well as the endemic black faced impala.
DAY 8-9: Okonjima Villa, AfriCat Foundation, Omboroko Mountains, Namibia
Continue south to Okonjima Villa for two nights. The camp is located at the base of the Omboroko Mountains near Waterberg and this is 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. Close encounters with leopard and cheetah are an unforgettable highlight. Activities include leopard tracking by vehicle, a visit to the cheetah welfare project and a night game drive on the reserve or a visit to the night hide where nocturnal animals such as porcupine, caracal, honey badger and even leopard may be seen.
Okonjima Villa is located within the private Okonjima Game Reserve and overlooks a small waterhole that attracts game close to the villa. The two separate and very stylish thatched suites each stand about 40 to 50 m from the main house; one on each side. The en-suite bathrooms have inside and outdoor showers. A personal host and chef run the villa, and there’s a dedicated guide and 4WD vehicle for all guided activities.
DAY 10: Homeward Bound
COST PER PERSON
COST PER PERSON
FROM US$ 6 445 PP SHARING
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT $453
Flexible to suit
Flexible to suit
Requires a moderate level of fitness
A COMBINATION OF LUXURY LODGES AND TOP GRADE SAFARI TENTS WITH EN SUITE FACILITIES AND AMENITIES
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