This is a self-drive adventure through some of Namibia’s most iconic landscapes, experiencing once in a lifetime adventures, excursions and experiences.

Enjoy hiking through the Kalahari Desert and overnighting under the clear Namibian skies; experiencing and learning about the Namibian night skies from a NASA accredited astronomer whilst looking at the wonders of the Universe, and even other galaxies, before experiencing the Namib desert on horse-back. Namibia has some of the lowest light pollution levels on the Planet and the NamibRand, the largest privately owned nature reserve in Southern Africa, was declared one of only two gold status Dark Sky Reserves in the World.

This tour then ends with some time spent exploring bizarre rock formations and Namibia’s unique flora, the Welwitschia plant, before returning home. This off the beaten track trip will give you an experience unlike any other; exploring less often visited areas of Namibia.

NB: The price of this holiday is based on four people travelling together.

Highlights

  • Kalahari Desert
  • Hiking and sleeping out in the Kalahari
  • NamibRand Nature Reserve
  • Rob Johnstone, NASA and Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics accredited astronomer
  • Horse riding in the Namib Desert
  • The bizarre rock formations, ancient Welwitschias and colonial history of Wustenquell

Full Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival in Windhoek and overnight before the Adventure

Windhoek

Land at Windhoek International Airport today and clear customs and immigration before heading into the arrivals hall where you will be met by our transfer driver holding a sign. From here you will be escorted to the city centre and onwards to Olive Grove. Once you have had the chance to settle in, one of our consultants will be on hand to meet you & hand over your vouchers, road map and itinerary, and to answer any last-minute questions you may have.

Windhoek has had several names, many inspired by the hot water springs found in the area, the earliest of which were the Damara /Ais //Gams (/ indicates a click in Nama spelling) which means firewater and the Herero Otjimuise or place of steam. The area was also called Queen Adelaide’s Baths for a (mercifully) brief time. Several opinions are offered for the origin of the present name; the most popular of these is that sometime before 1840 Jonker Afrikaner, a Nama leader, named the area Winterhoek, after the farm in South Africa where he was born. Windhoek, or windy corner, is a corruption of this name.

Olive Grove is a small, upmarket accommodation establishment situated close to the Windhoek city centre in a quiet, peaceful area. Breakfast included.

Destination: Namibia, Windhoek
Accommodation: Olive Grove Guesthouse
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Days 2 & 3: Exploring the rolling Kalahari Dunes

Trans-Kalahari Hike

Red Dunes Lodge lies on the banks of a vlei and is surrounded by some of the most beautiful sand dunes of the Kalahari. A 120-metre long wooden bridge leads out to the restaurant, bar and reception area, which also includes a sunken pool. 10 comfortable permanent tents are nestled on the embankment, spaced far apart to offer you an intimate atmosphere. Wildlife in this area includes giraffe, nyala, impala, zebra, wildebeest, oryx, springbuck and eland. Early morning and sundowner game drives are offered, as well as hiking trails on a well-developed network of paths.

You have an early start on day 3, to enjoy the fascinating Kalahari sunrise from a dune sofa. You will watch the sun come up while sipping freshly-brewed coffee in the pleasantly cool morning temperatures. The hike will continue over infinite chains of red dunes that keep crossing a vast tree savanna. Giraffes and oryx herds can often be spotted here. After the mid-day rest in a dune valley with lots of game to be spotted, the hike will continue into the depths of the Kalahari.

In the afternoon, the dune camp will be reached, a small oasis on one of the impressive red sand dunes. Enjoy a rest on a thatched terrace with a prepared buffet, small swimming pool, cosy sofa and sun loungers. Two cabin tents with thatched roof and an impressive view of a waterhole for watching game, offer a beautiful African atmosphere in privacy. Afterwards, a campfire and the sounds of the African desert will be waiting. Enjoy a night in the open on a bed on the dune, or retreat to the tent whenever you prefer. All meals included.

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Days 4 & 5: NamibRand Private Nature Reserve

Exploring the vast expanse of the Namibian night skies

South of Sesriem is the NamibRand Nature Reserve, one of Namibia’s Southern Africa’s biggest privately owned reserve covering an area of some 200,000 hectares close to Sossusvlei. NamibRand is bordered by the Naukluft Park in the west and the impressive Nubib Mountain range in the East. The special attraction of the reserve is the diversity of desert landscapes where mountains plunge into endless grassy plains, interspersed by red vegetated dunes.

During the day you will spend time exploring the nature reserve with your guide, and on the second overnight at the Private Camp you will experience a night under the Namibian stars with astromoner Rob Johnstone.

Namibia is blessed with one of the clearest and most stable atmospheres in the world, in fact Namibia is the 2nd best viewing location in the world. The lack of light pollution indeed makes Namibia one of the most sought-after star gazing destinations, and Namibia also has the only recognised gold status Dark Sky Reserve in Africa.

Rob Johnstone is a NASA and Harvard Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics accredited astronomer, and he specialises in travelling to guests at a venue of their request. Rob has over 30 years experience and has featured in both local and international media promoting Namibia as the premier star gazing destination in the world. All meals & activities included.

Accommodation: Wolwedans Private Camp
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Days 6 & 7: Exploring the Namib on Horseback

Exploring Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert

Deep in the 7000ha nature reserve of Desert Homestead, the Outpost offers relaxed hospitality with a natural atmosphere. Enjoy the impressive panoramic view from the eleven guest chalets or the main area with restaurant, lounge and pool area, set on the base of a mountain. On the wide open plains there are sometimes even cheetahs to observe, roaming the endless grasslands.

The thatched rooms all look out across a vast desert plain with mountains framing the background. Each room has its’ own private shaded viewing deck, mosquito nets and a ceiling fan to keep you cool during the warm summers.

On day 7 you can prepare for your next adventure; a ride into the private reserve and a sleep-out in nature. The reserve is situated between the majestic red sand sea of the Namib Desert and the rugged Naukluft Mountains. Leaving the stables and lodge behind, you will set off on an unforgettable journey through the plains, riding over varied terrain changing from soft, sandy, open fields to rockier mountain trails, through dry riverbeds, under Sociable Weavers nests and around Camelthorn trees.

Your experienced guide will eagerly tell you more about the environment, fauna and flora. You are almost guaranteed to come across a herd or two of grazing Oryx, springbok, or Zebra and some varieties of smaller carnivores, such as Jackal and Bat-eared foxes. Riding takes place at a comfortable pace. Slower riders can hang back while more experienced riders go for long gallops over grassy plains. Wind your way towards the tented camp, where refreshments await for a truly remarkable sundowner. After watching the sunset over the majestic mountains it’s time to kick off your boots, relax and enjoy the Namibian night skies. While your back-up team get dinner ready on the bush fire, true Namibian style, a refreshing shower awaits. Dinner included on Day 6, all meals & activities included on day 7.

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Days 8 & 9: Hidden Treasures of the Desert

Discovering the rock formations of Wustenquell

Wüstenquell is a private nature reserve and proudly protects the numerous species that occur here, both plants and animals. Internal fences that were installed previously have all been removed to allow herds of game to roam freely on 6000ha. On the property you will find Springbuck, Oryx, Ostrich, Kudu, Warthog, Leopard and numerous smaller animals and birds.

The guest farm uses a powerful photo voltaic and solar hot water system. Drinking water is provided via a reverse-osmosis installation while the rest of the water supply comes from boreholes and fountains – making them completely self-sufficient in terms of their power supply.

There is a rich colonial history in this area, today you can visit historical ruins, as well as a connected, private museum. A number of unusual species of plants and animals are found only in this desert. One of these is Welwitschia mirabilis. The Welwitschia is a shrub-like plant, but grows just two long strap-shaped leaves continuously throughout its lifetime. These leaves may be several meters long, gnarled and twisted from the desert winds. The Welwitschia is notable for its survival in the extremely arid conditions of the Namib, sometimes deriving moisture from the coastal sea fogs. Breakfast & dinner included.

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Wustenquell Guestfarm
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Day 10: Heading home!

Depart for home after an amazing adventure

After an amazing adventure through some of the most stunning and wild areas of Namibia, you will return to the International Airport in time for your onward flight. Namibia bids you a fond farewell!

Destination: Namibia, Windhoek

Included

  • Transfers as stated
  • Meals, Accommodation and activities as stated
  • Vehicle hire for the duration of the trip, including a second spare tyre
  • Services of Rob Johnstone at Wolwedans
  • Hiking in the Kalahari Desert
  • Horse back safari and overnighting in the Namib Desert

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