After a night in the capital city, your journey takes you south through the majestic scenery of the central plateau and continue south into the red dunes of the Namib Desert. Pay a visit to the iconic Sossusvlei pan before relaxing under one of the most spectacular starscapes in the world. Continuing west, cross the Namib Desert to Namibia’s western coastline and the sleepy town of Swakopmund; its colourful Germanic buildings are an architectural throw-back to colonial times. From here, leave the dusty road behind and head north by light aircraft into the culturally rich and mountainous Damaraland region, looking out for desert-adapted elephant and mountain zebra along the way.

Spend time tracking the elusive Black Rhino from Desert Rhino Camp before continuing into Etosha National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa. In the dry season, the many waterholes act as magnets to game animals – and of course the predators that follow them! Have a last cocktail under an African sunset before flying by light aircraft to Windhoek and your onward flight home.

Highlights

  • Windhoek
  • Gamsberg Pass
  • Sesriem & Sossusvlei
  • Swakopmund
  • Damaraland
  • Etosha National Park

Full Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1: Sunset over the city

Arrival

Land at Windhoek International Airport today where you will be met by our transfer driver holding a sign in the arrivals hall who will escort you to the city centre and onto Hilltop Guest House.

Once you have had the chance to settle in, an ATI Holidays representative will come around to meet you & hand over your vouchers, road map and itinerary and to answer any last minute questions you may have.

Breakfast Included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Hilltop Guest House
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Day 2 & 3: Desert vistas

Sesriem & Sossusvlei

Make your way via Solitaire today to Sesriem and Sossus Dune Lodge, situated in the National Park. You will need to pay park entry fees of approximately N$80.00 per person per day and N$10.00 per vehicle. These unfortunately cannot be paid in advance.

You will also have to pay a key deposit of N$500.00, which will be refunded when you check out. Please allow an extra 20 minutes so the room can be checked before you are refunded.

Sossus Dune Lodge lies just 4km from the Sesriem Gate, at the base of a mountain. There are magnificent views of the distant dunes to the west. It is the first, and currently only, lodge to be built in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Guests can walk directly from the lodge into the nearby Sesriem Canyon.

The main central areas of Sossus Dune Lodge are raised on wooden decking. There is a small reception room, large open-plan restaurant with separate lounge/bar areas, all fitted with large sliding doors. There is also a swimming pool, with a few lazy-loungers, but guests should bring suncream as the pool area is not shaded.

Self-drive vehicles are parked in a shaded parking area and guests are transferred by electric golf cart!

On the morning of Day 4 you can wake early and drive from the lodge towards Sossusvlei, around 70km. Enjoy the eerie silence of the desert before other travellers are allowed to enter at sunrise and make the most of the solitude!

The last section of the road into Sossusvlei is a 4×4 area only and you can either leave your vehicle at the car park and proceed either on foot (a beautiful walk), or take the shuttle which usually runs between here and Sossusvlei which is 5km away.

The shuttle costs approximately N$100.00 per person return. Enjoy the amazing scenery of the desert, and maybe take a short walk to Deadvlei, a bizarre collection of ancient camelthorn trees, or climb the nearby dunes.

Breakfast Included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Sossus Dune Lodge
Type:
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Day 4&5: Coastal scenery and dunes

Swakopmund

Drive onwards to the coast this morning. This road is all gravel until you reach Walvis Bay, and the mountain passes are quite steep so please drive carefully.

You may like to stop at Walvis Bay to see the famous lagoon, a wetland of international importance and home to many bird species including greater flamingo.

From there head north to Swakopmund and make your way to Cornerstone Guesthouse.
Swakopmund itself is a fascinating and intriguing resort town, complete with German half-wooden architecture, monuments, historic buildings, well-maintained gardens and palm lined avenues, coffee bars and great seafood restaurants.

The weather is unpredictable. Temperatures rarely drop below 15C and rainfall is practically zero, the town is subjected to 9 months of morning fog each year.

These damp and grey conditions often result in cool temperatures persisting the whole day, but this mist band, stretching up to 30km inland, gives water and life to the deserts plants & animals giving rise to 80 types of lichen and ancient Welwitschia plants.

Day 6: You will be picked up at 08h00 from the Guesthouse you are staying at.

Spend 5 hours in the company of one of the area’s specialist guides, taking you into the delicate dune ecosystem south of Swakopmund. This child-friendly trip explores the wonderful adaptations plants and animals have made in a bid to survive the harsh conditions. You’ll see Geckos that appear to be dancing, raising their feet to cool them from the hot midday sands and spiders that escape their enemies by cart-wheeling down the dunes at incredible speeds.

The side winding Namib Adder, Chameleons, Scorpions, Skinks, Lizards, Beetles and Bugs, all with a difference and unique to the Namib Desert, are some of the creatures to be found on this exciting tour.

You can leave the vehicle keys at the Cornerstone reception and Europcar will collect the vehicle.

Breakfast Included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Cornerstone Guesthouse
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Day 6 – 8: Rugged mountain wilderness

Damaraland

You will be transferred to Swakopmund airport today for your light aircraft flight into Damaraland.

Desert Rhino Camp is situated in the one million acre private Palmwag Reserve in northwest Namibia, between Etosha and the Skeleton Coast; few places on the planet can offer this level of privacy and wilderness experience.

The camp itself is run in conjunction with the Save the Rhino Fund and is the central research base for monitoring and tracking Africa’s last free roaming Black Rhino population, giving you an incredible opportunity to learn and understand a little more about these highly endangered creatures.

A portion of every guest’s revenue goes to the Trust. The camp consists of luxury tents with en-suite facilities including bucket showers with hot water on call, accommodating a maximum of 12 guests. The tented dining room offers uninterrupted views of the desert and mountains. Welwitschia (ancient desert adapted plants) plants dot the plain in front of the camp.

All activities are fully inclusive and include tracking on foot with the aid of local guides, game driving both night and day, and general nature walks. This massive area of Damaraland is also home to Brown Hyena, Desert Elephant, Lion, Leopard and Cheetah, offering a wonderful, unexploited and exclusive view of wildlife in its natural environment.

All Meals & Activities Included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation:
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Day 9&10: Incredible wildlife

Etosha National Park

Fly today from Damaraland to Etosha National Park.

Ongava Tented Camp is situated towards the centre of the game reserve. It is at the base of the foothills of the Ondundozonanandana Range, meaning “mountain where the boy took the calves”.

Ongava Tented Camp has a bar and dining area built out of rock and thatch. It has a unique, intimate feel to it.

Drinks and dinner can be enjoyed around the open-air fireplace and swimming pool, both of which overlook a busy, floodlit waterhole, situated at eye level in front of the camp.

Black and White Rhino have been seen drinking side-by-side at this waterhole. Lion are also frequent visitors. Many guests have commented that they feel safe here – despite the roaring of lions at night.

Ongava Tented Camp is a small, classic traditional tented camp. There are 9 “Meru” tents, the classic East African style of tent.

Each has a double door to allow for uninterrupted views of the bush and waterhole in front of the camp and every tent has its own covered verandah. The tents have been tastefully furnished, each with its own en-suite thatched bathroom, with flush toilet, and open-air private shower.

Activities include guided walks and night drives around the reserve and game drives during the day into the Etosha National Park. There is also a swimming pool. Ongava Tented Camp. A real bush experience!

Etosha, meaning “Great White Place”, is dominated by a massive mineral pan. The pan is part of the Kalahari Basin, the floor of which was formed around 1,000 million years ago. The Etosha Pan covers around 25% of the National Park. The pan was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River however the course of the river changed thousands of years ago and the lake dried up.

The pan now is a large dusty depression of salt and dusty clay which fills only if the rains are heavy and even then only holds water for a short time. This temporary water in the Etosha Pan attracts thousands of wading birds including impressive flocks of flamingos. The perennial springs along the edges of the Etosha Pan draw large concentrations of wildlife and birds.

A San legend about the formation of the Etosha Pan tells of how a village was raided and everyone but the women slaughtered. One woman was so upset about the death of her family she cried until her tears formed a massive lake. When the lake dried up nothing was left apart from a huge white pan.

All Meals & Activities Included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Ongava Tented Camp
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Day 11: Flying on!

Depart

After what I hope will have been a fantastic holiday you meet your charter flight from Ongava to Windhoek International Airport to meet your departing flight.

Destination: Windhoek
Accommodation:

Included

  • Zero excess 4×4 air-conditioned double cab Hilux
  • Internal flights where stated
  • Accommodation in 3 to 4 star lodges, chalets or guest houses on the meal basis stated
  • Route map & 24 hour support.

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