After a night in the capital city, your journey takes you south into the dramatic landscape of the Namib Desert. From your base at Hoodia Desert Lodge, pay a visit to the iconic Sossusvlei pan before relaxing with a cocktail under one of the most spectacular starscapes in the world. 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.

Take an optional relaxing boat cruise to explore the diverse wildlife or get your adrenaline pumping with a quad-bike or sand-board through the dunes. From here hit the dusty road north into the culturally rich and mountainous Damaraland region. Visit the San rock etchings at the Twyfelfontein World Heritage Site before flying by light aircraft to the Hoanib River Valley. Take a game drive down the dry riverbed and enjoy a proliferation of game including giraffe and desert-dwelling elephant. Take a day to explore the seal colonies and shipwrecks of the Skeleton Coast before flying south by light aircraft to Grootberg Lodge to enjoy an infinite view down the Klip River Valley. Continue your journey into Etosha National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa. As you drive back towards the capital get up close and personal with AfriCat’s rehabilitated cheetah and leopard at Okonjima before returning to Windhoek and your onward flight home.

Highlights

  • Sossusvlei
  • Swakopmund
  • Damaraland
  • Skeleton Coast
  • Etosha National Park

Full Day by Day Itinerary

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Day 1: Sunset over the city

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, I will be on hand to meet you and hand over your vouchers, road map and itinerary, and to answer any last minute questions you may have.

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

Each room has a large veranda with tables and chairs for al fresco dining. The open-air lounge, spa bath, plunge pool and tranquil garden all invite the visitor to unwind and rest under Namibia’s open skies. The Wellness Room offers a selection of professional services to help guests relax and de-stress after a long flight or for just the perfect end to an adventurous holiday.

The inside lounge is tastefully decorated, with comfortable chairs and a fireplace in front of which to recline, perhaps with a glass of good whiskey on a cold winter’s evening. The stunning open plan kitchen creates a homely feel whilst providing tasty meals.

Olive Grove will turn Windhoek into one of the highlights of any trip, creating and leaving a lasting impression of this beautiful country.

All the rooms are furnished and fitted in a simplistic, but stylish fashion. Extensive use has been made of natural stone cement, especially in the bathrooms, which are spacious and particularly indulgent.

Moroccan lights give the room a romantic feel, further enhanced by dimming switches which give guests the option of choosing the brightness and therefore the ambience. Rooms are configured such that the guesthouse can accommodate requests for double (queen size) beds, or for twin (3/4 size) beds.

Some of the bedrooms have a more open bathroom, while others have a more traditional en-suite bathroom. The overall feeling is one of comfort and coolness with all the facilities and added touches aimed at ensuring our guests have an enjoyable and pleasurable stay.

Breakfast included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Olive Grove Guesthouse
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Day 2-3: Desert vistas

Sossusvlei

Travelling from Windhoek you depart on the B1 south towards Rehoboth, and then on to the desert dunes of Sossusvlei.

The lodge is built overlooking the ephemeral Tsauchab River, where kudu and oryx can often be seen browsing. The facility consists of just 12 comfortable, canvas and wood chalets.

All units are equipped with air-conditioning, inside and outdoor bathrooms and are well-spaced to offer that little extra privacy. The lodge is family-owned and managed by Thomas & Henreza Becker, both of whom come from a food and hospitality background, who along with their small team offer personable, warm service.

Guided or self-guided walks along the course of the Tsauchab River can be enjoyed in the afternoon, or alternatively join the lodge for a sundowner drink from a vantage point overlooking the Namib Desert.

Also offered is a Namib Naukluft Mountain Excursion: experience this hidden jewel with us on a professional guided tour, as an addition to the Sossusvlei area.

A mountain lunch in the beautiful natural habitat with water springs is going to be a highlight after hiking in the mountains.

Dinner & Breakfast Included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Hoodia Desert Lodge
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Day 4-5: Coastal dunes

Swakopmund

Drive to the coast this morning, these roads are all gravel until you reach Walvis Bay and the mountain passes are quite steep so please drive very 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 the greater flamingo.

Occupying a quiet corner of Swakopmund’s old town, near the marine museum and the old brewery, Cornerstone Guesthouse offers the charm and intimacy of a family-run B&B combined with the modern amenities of a luxury hotel.

Within a few minutes from the guest house you can walk to beaches, cafés, restaurants, lively pubs, Swakopmund tourist attractions and a variety of interesting shops and markets. All rooms have en-suite bathrooms with large solar-assisted showers and modern fittings. They offer an inclusive breakfast with a fresh selection of fruits, juices, yoghurts, breads, preserves and eggs and bacon cooked to order.

Wash that all down with your choice of either freshly brewed coffee or tea and you’ll be ready to explore the attractions of Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast.

Breakfast Included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Cornerstone Guesthouse
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Day 6-7: Rugged wilderness

Damaraland

Departing from Swakopmund you head in a northerly direction towards one of the most geographically diverse regions of Namibia. Camp Kipwe is situated within the Twyfelfontein Conservancy in the Damaraland area, only 4 kilometres from its sister lodge of Mowani Mountain Camp. Damaraland is renowned for its geology, unusual rock formations, rock paintings, and rare desert-adapted flora and fauna.

Relax and unwind in the lounge; the mountain views from here are breathtaking as are the stunning sunsets. There is also a swimming pool which many guests head straight to after a day’s activities, and a laundry service.

Accommodation is in 8 igloo-shaped double bungalows, allowing a maximum of 16 guests at a time, emphasising the peace and quiet of the camp. Outside each bungalow is an en-suite bathroom with a shower, as well as a private veranda, overlooking the surrounding plains. They all have an in-room safe.

Activities include elephant nature drives lasting 3-6 hours, starting in the morning. These guided trips include exploring the surrounding area in a 4×4 vehicle, in search of Namibia’s remaining 600 desert-dwelling elephant. The Twyfelfontein excursions will last for around 2½ hrs, starting in the afternoon.

The drive will include visits to the Burnt Mountain, the Organ Pipes, as well as to the fascinating Bushman Engravings. There are a number of guided nature walks that will cover trails in and around Camp Kipwe, the durations will depend on the guests.

Twyfelfontein: Perhaps make an excursion to the Twyfelfontein rock etchings and paintings, a local guide will escort you around the ancient hillsides which are open for guests between 08:00 and 17:00. This area is covered in numerous fascinating examples of San rock art and is well worth a visit where a local guide will explain the area to you.

Burnt Mountain & Organ Pipes: The ‘Burnt Mountain’, an interesting area of volcanic rock, is close by and also worth visiting. This area is an amazing site as the sun shines over these rocks, giving the impression of flames moving over the mountain.

Another intriguing site is the ‘Valley of the Organ Pipes’ situated across the road from the Burnt Mountain. This strange formation was created when basalt slabs were gouged out by a river thousands of years ago.

Desert Elephant/Nature Drive: For this drive you will head out on a drive along the meandering course of the Aba Huab River. The drive will take you in search of some of the area’s many varied birds and animals, hopefully culminating in an encounter with the region’s rare and beautiful desert-adapted elephant.

Dinner & Breakfast Included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Camp Kipwe
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Day 8-10: Ephemeral rivers

Border of the Skeleton Coast National Park

From Camp Kipwe you will drive the short distance to Doro Nawas to meet your light aircraft flight to Hoanib where you will spend the next three nights.

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp is scenically located in a broad valley at the confluence of two tributaries of the Hoanib River in the northern part of the private Palmwag Concession. Its location thus straddles the Palmwag area and the iconic Skeleton Coast National Park, in one of the most remote areas of the Kaokoveld.

Exclusivity is taken a step further as camp is only accessible by light aircraft and the camp itself consists of only seven twin-bedded tents and one family unit, each comprising stylish en-suite bedrooms with shaded outdoors decks. Flanked to the east and west by rugged hills, the camp looks out over stunning, starkly beautiful scenery and offers guests all the luxuries and amenities for an unforgettable stay.

Activities take the form of drives along the ephemeral Hoanib River valley, looking for the occasional oasis that support desert elephants, giraffe, mountain zebra and a multitude of antelope species. And where there is game, the predators are never far behind.

On the third day (weather dependant) you will have the opportunity to take an inclusive fly-in day trip down to the Skeleton Coast.

A light aircraft will take you low level down to Mowe bay, where guides and vehicles will be waiting to take out on an exceptional day of discovery, looking for the so-called ‘clay castles’, lichen fields, shipwrecks and ancient anthropological remains.

All Meals & Activities Included

Destination: Namibia
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Day 11: Iconic landscapes

Grootberg

Upon your arrival at Doro Nawas, by light aircraft you will make your way to Grootberg Lodge.

Perched on the lip of the Grootberg Plateau, with an infinite view down the Klip River Valley, lies Grootberg Lodge. This benchmark project in mainstream tourism draws the local #Khoadi// Hoas community into the many benefits of the tourism industry.

The community owns the lodge which was built using EU funding, whilst the management and staff training has been subcontracted out to a private lodge management company while the community becomes self-sustainable.

The lodge consists of 11 thatched en-suite chalets, with hardwood verandas that project one into the impossible view. Gorgeous feather duvets, polished concrete floors, delicious rooibos and honey soaps, home-grown salads and vegetables and endless, endless views.

The 12,000 hectare exclusive-use area that the lodge encompasses, boasts a myriad of Damaraland flora and fauna, with desert elephant, black rhino and even lion occasionally ghosting an appearance.

For travelers making their way between Swakopmund and Etosha, the lodge provides the ideal midway stopover, whilst allowing guests to experience the true wilderness that is Damaraland.

Dinner & Breakfast Included

Destination: Namibia
Accommodation: Grootberg Lodge
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Day 12-13: Incredible wildlife

World renowned wildlife in Etosha

Ongava Tented Camp is located on the famous Ongava concession, a private nature reserve bordering the Etosha National Park. You will find the entrance to the Ongava concession right outside the Andersson entrance gate into Etosha, on your left hand side as you approach the gate from outside the Park.

Ongava Tented Camp is situated on the 35,000 hectare Ongava Private Game Reserve. It shares a common border with one of Africa’s largest game parks, Etosha National Park, Namibia’s premier game viewing destination. A perfect destination in it’s own right, it is also an ideal place from which to base your activities when visiting Etosha. The Camp is situated towards the centre of the game reserve, at the base of the foothills of the Ondundozonanandana Range, meaning “mountain where the boy took the calves”.

This 9 tented lodge has an intimate bush camp atmosphere, the main restaurant and bar area being constructed out of locally occurring rock and thatch.  Drinks and dinner can be enjoyed around the open air fire place or swimming pool, both of which overlook a busy, floodlit waterhole, situated at eye level in front of the camp. Black and white Rhino are both common visitors to the camps waterhole by night, as are lions and the occasional leopard.

All Meals & Activities Included

Accommodation: Ongava Tented Camp
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Day 14: Conservation & Big Cat Activites

Okonjima

Travelling from Etosha you continue on Okonjima, arriving in time for the afternoon activities which begin at 15h00 in winter / 16h00 in summer.

West of the Waterberg Plateau, the vast plains are occasionally broken by the remnants of ancient Sandstone outcrops, which once covered large areas of northern Namibia. Nestled among the Omboroko Mountains lies Okonjima; a Herero name meaning Place of the Baboons. This is much more than just a lodge; Okonjima is also home to The AfriCat Foundation.

The AfriCat Foundation works with farmers and the public to conserve the big cat species of Namibia.

The project is there to educate the local communities on how to work with big cat species rather than capturing them and removing them from arable land and it includes a local school. The hopes are to extend their environmental education efforts to high school and even university undergraduates in the future.

Maintaining a quintessential bush flavour, the lodge offers Edwardian safari elegance, subtly combined with modern necessities and comforts. The large, spacious rooms open out onto the grass and acacia savannah. Each split-level room has a daybed, bar and tea & coffee facilities.

The large bathrooms contain his and her sinks. Perhaps choose to sleep with the blinds open allowing you to enjoy the unique stillness of the African night.

Dinner & Breakfast Included

Destination: Namibia
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Day 15: Flying out

Depart/Onward Journey

After what I hope has been an amazing holiday you will travel via Windhoek and onto the International Airport in time for your onward journey.

Destination: Windhoek

Included

  • Transfers as stated
  • Meals, Accommodation and Activities as stated
  • Vehicle rental, including second spare tyre
  • Light aircraft flights to and from Hoanib

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