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Overview

Take in all the sights of Namibia’s most ruggedly beautiful and remote regions on this action-packed desert journey. Throughout the trip you are hosted by a dedicated and experienced guide with vast knowledge of Namibia’s natural world, culture and history. Lodges range from comfortable to luxurious, and are located on private concessions allowing you to have a delightfully exclusive experience. Absorb awe-inspiring mountain peaks, vast open grasslands, and endless dunes on 4x4 transfers, game drives and guided nature walks. If the weather permits, you will also see Namibia’s dunes and shoreline from the air on light aircraft flights.

First on the itinerary is Sossusvlei where you can walk on top of Namibia’s iconic red dunes and experience one of the world’s most beautiful International Dark Sky Reserves from a romantic star bed.  The adventure continues to Swakopmund for delectable seafood, a romantic beach picnic and to see the abundant marine life of the Atlantic Ocean like dolphins, seals, pelicans and whales, and turtles in season. As you travel up the Skeleton Coast stop to marvel at shipwrecks, quaint beach towns, old ruins and unique plant life.

As you move into the dunes and plains of Damaraland, the variety of big game increases and savannah animals like ostrich, jackal and antelope are joined by desert specialists like south-western black rhino, zebra, giraffe, rare desert-adapted elephants and even top predators like cheetah, hyena and leopard.

You then swing into the Skeleton Coast, whose notorious name and reputation belie areas of astounding beauty and stories of awe-inspiring survival. Although shipwrecks litter the shore, the area is also home to plenty of marine life in the Atlantic and desert creatures like aardwolf, brown hyena, eland and oryx in the dunes. Your grand finale is in Etosha National Park, the crown jewel in Namibia’s mesmerising landscape. Look out for elephants, lions and cheetahs, and be humbled the stillness of immense Etosha Pan.

Summary

  • Tour Duration: 14 Days

  • Start: Windhoek
  • End: Windhoek

Accommodations Visited

Namibia, Swakopmund

Hansa Hotel

2 Nights
This trip genuinely captures what Namibia is all about – unique and breath taking scenery, sand dunes, desert adapted animals and the stark beauty of the Skeleton Coast, what more could you ask for!
Rikke Williams

Rikke Williams

Africa Safari Expert

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Day to day

Itinerary

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Days 1-3: The Red Dunes of Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei, Namibia
Detailed breakdown

Days 1-3: The Red Dunes of Sossusvlei | 2 Nights

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Sossusvlei, Namibia

In the morning you will be collected by your guide, either from Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek or from a hotel of your choice, and begin driving towards the famous red dunes of Sossusvlei. Along your journey you will pass through the Khomas Hochland mountains, and stop for lunch at a scenic spot en route.

Take in the rugged mountains and endless landscapes of the Namib Desert after checking into Kulala Desert Lodge in the afternoon. Kulala is set on a 37 000 hectare private reserve bordering the Namib-Naukluft Park and has a private entrance to the Sossusvlei Dunes. From this down-to-earth and exclusive lodge, you can experience one of the world’s oldest desert landscapes on game drives, nature walks, birding excursions, or even a hot-air balloon ride over the rippled ochre-coloured dunes that this region is so famous for. For travellers wanting to make the most of Namibia’s International Dark Sky Reserve, ‘star beds’ can be made up on your private rooftop for dreamy nights gazing at the southern skies.

Days 3-5: Swakopmund & Sandwich Harbour | 2 Nights

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Swakopmund, Namibia

Your transfer to Swakopmund is via a light aircraft that allows you to appreciate in the astounding scenery from a bird’s-eye view. Pass over Namibia’s best-preserved shipwreck, vast dune fields and an abandoned diamond mining town before landing in Swakopmund – an interesting historical city wedged between desert and sea.

After your first night at Hansa Hotel, wake up for a full day exploring the Atlantic Ocean on a boat cruise followed by a 4x4 tour of the dunes field in Sandwich Bay. You are likely to see pelicans, dolphins, seals and even whales and turtles at certain times of the year. The boat cruise drops you off at a secluded beach where your guide is waiting to take you on a 4x4 game drive to the Kuiseb River, delta and wetlands to look for beautiful flamed flamingos or to a breath-taking lookout point of the entire lagoon area. After an action-packed morning you will be treated to a private seafood picnic lunch that includes fresh oysters and sparkling wine, before heading back to your hotel.

It is worth taking a day to explore ‘Swakop’ because the town is crammed with iconic late 19th-century German colonial architecture that is virtually unchanged. The German influence is still felt in bakeries and bars where you can drink beer from an immense glass ‘boot’ in the age-old tradition. If that does not appeal to you, then consider a quad-bike ride in the dunes to get your pulse racing.

Day 5-6: Desert-adapted wildlife of Damaraland | 1 Night

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Damaraland, Namibia

This leg of your Namibian adventure takes you into the heart of Namibia’s wilderness to explore the spellbinding scenery and intriguing desert wildlife of Damaraland and Kaokoveld. Visit the Möwe Bay Museum, the Suiderkus shipwreck, listen to bizarre ‘roaring’ sand dunes and see Klein Oasis and Auses Springs, all the while looking for wildlife like oryx, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, ostrich and jackal.

In the afternoon you will arrive at Damaraland Camp located in the private Palmwag Concession.
There is much more to Damaraland than meets the eye – this ruggedly beautiful landscape is inhabited by a surprising amount of wildlife which you can track on game drives and guided nature walks. Highlights include desert-adapted elephants, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe and springbok, and closer to the coast you may even spot the elusive brown hyena or black-backed jackal.

damaraland_Camp
damaraland_Camp

Days 6-8: Track rare desert rhino | 2 Nights

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Damaraland, Namibia

Departing from Swakopmund, travel to Desert Rhino Camp, also located within the private Palmwag Concession. The camp is known for its key role in the conservation of endangered south-western black rhinoceros. This very sparse subspecies is highly adapted to survive in arid savannah and desert climates, and the camp works closely with Save the Rhino Trust in protecting these rare and precious animals. In addition to tracking rhino you can discover other desert wonders such as unusual plant life, endemic birdlife, and even the occasional cheetah, leopard or spotted hyena.

Desert Rhino Camp is set on vast golden plains with the grand, flat-topped Etendeka Mountains as a backdrop. When you’re not exploring on game drives or walks, enjoy alfresco meals around the fire, have a gourmet picnic or soak up the 360-degree views of dramatic Damaraland.

Days 8-11: See the shipwrecks of Skeleton Coast | 3 Nights

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Skeleton Coast, Namibia

The journey continues north to the Skeleton Coast where you will witness first-hand how this portion of Namibia got its name. Numerous ships lay wrecked on the shore, washed in by the dangerous currents of the Atlantic, and you will stop along your journey to see some of these remains, including The Zelia and SW Seal. The day is spent travelling by road and taking in the dramatic and beautiful coast with well-timed stops for refreshments, lunch and other interesting highlights like the extensive lichen colonies at Wlotzkasbaken and the fascinating ruins of an old mining operation at Toscanini.

You will spend three nights at Hoanib Skeleton Coast Lodge, a small tented camp that is ideally placed to venture into Skeleton Coast National Park. The unusual combination of the cold Atlantic current hitting the hot desert air gives rise to occasional dense fogs that provide much-needed precipitation for area’s fauna and flora. This means that a skilful guide can find wildlife in a seemingly empty landscape, a thrilling way to spend a few days. Look up, too, as sought-after lanner falcons catch the thermals as the scan the arid land below for prey.

Day 11-14: Explore vast Etosha | 3 Nights

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Etosha, Namibia

After 11 enthralling days, it is time for a true highlight of any visit to Namibia: a big game safari in Etosha National Park. Your base will be Ongava Lodge, which is situated in a private reserve on the border with Etosha. This gives you the very best of both worlds: the ability to explore Etosha’s huge area on all-day game drives and, back in the reserve, go on night drives and nature walks that are not permitted in the national park.

This environment cannot support buffalo – which need plenty of good grazing – but all of the other Big 5 family are found here. Game drives will take you out to spot elephant, lion, leopard and both black and white rhino, while the flat, open terrain is prime cheetah territory. At least 10 known endemic bird species are found here, a treasure trove for birders. If you are a keen photographer, head down to Ongava’s secluded hide and while away the hours getting perfect images of giraffe, zebra and other iconic African species.

Inclusions tick icon

Inclusions

  • All scheduled activities
  • Road transfers and internal charters on a seat- rate basis as specified in itinerary
Exclusions tick icon

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature