(Windhoek, Kalahari/Marientel, Fish River Canyon, Lüderitz, Namtib Biosphere Reserve, Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Palmwag, Etosha, Otjiwarongo)
To observe Namibia from the road is an awe-inspiring experience: there are some long drives but the vast expanses of moving, rippling sands, the great blue skies and grey of the ocean extending to the horizon are worth the time. You'll also have your own driver so you can still go a your own pace. This safari explores most of th distinct regions of the country: The Fish River Canyon, the sands and red dunes of Sossusvlei and the Kalhari; the icy, life-filled coasts at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay; the stark plains of Damaraland, with their desert-adapted elephants; and the amazing wildlife abundance on the savannah of Etosha. You'll also get to visit the world famous AfriCats foundation before heading back to Windhoek for your flight home.
Airport transfer with private vehicle, driver, and English-speaking guide.
The Elegant Guesthouse (4*) is situated in the up-market residential area of Klein Windhoek. This modern, up-market Guesthouse consists of 6 luxurious en-suite double rooms and a fully equipped boardroom. The guests can indulge in the contemporary flair and stylish surroundings of The Elegant Guesthouse. During your time at The Elegant Guesthouse, they will endeavor to make your stay as comfortable as possible and to provide you with personalized service and genuine hospitality. This Guest House is sure to impress as it holds the "Elegant Guesthouse: HAN Silver Award for 2012". Enjoy several amenities including 24 hour wireless internet, the beautiful garden swimming pool and various others. During your time at The Elegant Guesthouse, guests will endeavor to make your stay as comfortable as possible and to provide you with personalized service and genuine hospitality.
After breakfast departure from Windhoek and drive via Rehoboth, the centre of Namibia’s Baster community. From here we'll head into the red dunes of the Kalahari Desert.
You will meet up with others at the lodge for a scenic drive and sundowners. ‘Nature drives’ during the early morning and late afternoon will enable you not only to view our diversified animal and bird life, but also the unique dune topography and vegetation. After an afternoon drive enjoy traditional sundowners on a red Kalahari sand dune will be the perfect way to watch the sun sink away into the distant dune. Or a great alternative to stretch the legs is the bushwalk with sign posts and marked trees with the option of a accompanying guide.
The Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch combines design and décor, materials and furnishings, gardens and natural settings, to ensure guests live their dream of an African Safari. The lodge lies on the edge of the Southern Kalahari in the mixed tree and shrub Savanna. The ranch is characterized by huge red sands dunes running parallel, and in a northern-westernly to south-easternly direction. The valleys in between the parallel dunes are commonly known as ‘streets’. A rambling old farmhouse was extensively altered, upgraded and renovated to not only serve as a residence, but also as the main center of the Lodge. An entrance hall leads to the reception, lounge, dining room, library, bar and cellar at the Game Ranch. The Spirit of the African atmosphere, coupled with service delivered with graciousness and charm, in a luxurious setting, providing excellent value and unforgettable memories for the discerning traveler.
This morning you will depart the red sands of the Kalhari and head south to one of the largest canyons in the world, the Fish River Canyon.The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia. It cuts deep into the plateau which is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought-resistant plants. The river flows intermittently, usually flooding in late summer; the rest of the year it becomes a chain of long narrow pools. At the lower end of the Fish River Canyon, the hot springs resort of Ai-Ais is situated. On your way to the canyon you'll stop to see the famous quiver trees along with Giant's Playground.
Canon Lodge is situated on the 520 square kilometer, privately owned Gondwana Canyon Park. It is only 20kms from the main viewpoint of Fish River Canyon and is built from natural materials, including local rock and thatch roofs. The lodge is an ideal starting point for visits to the Fish River Canyon. The Canon Lodge's main area lies in the shelter of a granite hilltop, and the lodge itself has been built amongst enormous boulders, designed to blend in with the natural environment. The reception, an indoor restaurant and the bar area can be found here. There is a safe in reception for the safekeeping of valuables if necessary. As the building has been constructed by using mostly local stone, the interior is cool, but lacks natural sunlight. An old farmhouse, originally built in 1908 by three Bavarian brothers, has been restored to serve as the Canon Lodge Restaurant. It has a magnificent view of the canyon landscape, which makes dining in the restaurant a truly unforgettable experience. Spaced evenly amongst the tall weather-beaten granite boulders are 25 thatched, wooden bungalows. All units are equipped with comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms, a fan and mosquito nets. Be sure to enjoy the various activities to participate in including unguided morning hikes, Canyon and scenic drives, horse-riding and a guided sunset walk. Take in the superb scenery in this haunting, arid landscape.
Today you'll meet up with your guide to explore the Fish River Canyon.You will be able to view the spectacular northern fringes of the Fish River Canyon from various vantage points. Here the impressive surrounding rock formation provides many interesting hours for enthusiastic nature lovers. There are some great walking trails around the lodge that your guide can take you on later on in the afternoon.
The next leg of the journey takes us via the small historic village of Aus and through the vast barren expanse of the Prohibited Diamond Area, to Luderitz. En route you may also get to see the wild horses as they roam the sparsely vegetated plains of the Namib Desert in small groups. Over the decades they have conquered the desert as their habitat. They come to drink from the trough at Garub, some 20 km west of Aus. From a hide you can watch the horses and take pictures. We'll continue on to Luderitz which is renowned for its old-world charm and distinctly German colonial architecture. Set around the bay, with their original gables, winding stairwells, verandas, turrets and bay- and bow windows still intact, these buildings have a unique character.
The Nest Hotel is situated directly on Lüderitz bay with its own private beach. All rooms are sea facing. A variety of fresh seafood, including the famous Lüderitz oyster and lobster, is served in the Penguin Restaurant. Outstanding and personalised service is a matter of course at this four star Hotel.
After breakfast we visit Kolmanskop, a ghost town that was abandoned over 40 years ago and now gives a fascinating insight into the area's great diamond boom. A few of the buildings have been restored, but many are left exactly as they were, and now the surrounding dunes are gradually burying them. Return to Lüderitz. After a short sightseeing tour of Lüderitz, we are going on an afternoon excursion to the Diaz cross where the daring Portuguese sailors erected a stone pillar in the 1480’s.
After breakfast our journey leads once more through the Diamond Prohibited Area via Aus and Helmeringhausen to Farm Namtib. Experience the daily life of a farmer in the south.
Through close personal contact with the family at Namtib Desert Lodge you get to now the typical Namibian farm life and you will find out a lot of interesting information about the famous Namib Desert, the fascinating Tiras Mountains and the fauna and flora of Southern Namibia. You'll have the option of going on nature walks, scenic drives on the property, birdwatching and amazing star gazing.
At Namtib Desert Lodge you will find your genuine Namibian experience in typical Namibian farmstyle accomodations in the middle of the vast Namib desert.
Today we travel through some of Namibia’s most spectacular sceneries. Vast expanses of yellow savannah are dotted with bushes and solitary camelthorn trees. Distant mountain ranges take on different nuances of purple and blue as the day progresses. En route you visit the Duwisib Castle, which was built by Baron von Wolff for his American wife Jayta in 1909. The furnishings and paintings were imported from Germany. Our destination is Sossusvlei
This afternoon you'll head out on the Kulala Wilderness Reserve which has 22 000 hectares. It's the perfect way to end the day and enjoy a sundowner with snacks and beautiful views. The scenery is unlike anywhere else in the world.
The Desert Homestead lies approximately 32km's southeast of Sesriem. The wide grassy valley is sheltered by the Nubib, Tsaris and Naukluft mountains with a view reaching the distant dunes of the Namib Desert in the west. In this exuisite position, we offer simple but stylish accomodation in thatched chalets which were designed with the fragile beauty of this remarkable environment in mind. The Desert Homestead will ensure you an unrivalled experience in the desert extremes, tranquil surroundings, Alfresco dining, delectably fresh farm cuisine, refreshing dips in the pool, stunning sunsets and sunrises are basic pleasures at the Lodge.
Early morning visit to Sossusvlei, (a clay pan surrounded by some of the highest sand dunes in the world), which is surrounded by the possibly highest dunes in the world and is filled only with water in years when exceptionally good rainfall is received. After spending time in the dunes we'll visit the Sesriem Canyon. It is said that the canyon got its name during the time of the ox wagon, when a person had to use six harness straps to haul water from the bottom of the canyon. Please note that if you're not using a 4X4 throughout the trip you will take a 4X4 shuttle into the dunes.
Desert Homestead offers many activities such as Afternoon Nature Drives, morning or afternoon on horseback, walking trails, quad biking, scenic flights by plane or helicopter, hot air ballooning. These activities can either be booked directly with the lodge or prior to departure with your Trip Specialist.
The route takes us north via the Kuiseb Canyon to Swakopmund. Highlights en route include a drive to the “Moon Landscape” and the ancient desert plant, “Welwitschia mirabilis”. This quaint desert town with its old-world charm and relaxed atmosphere hedged by desert and sea, is enhanced by lush green lawns and palm trees.
The Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre is a centrally positioned four-star hotel. It is built in and around the old Station Building in Swakopmund and dates back to 1901. After extensive renovations, it has been restored to its former Victorian glory, and has been opened as one of the towns premier hotel's since the end of 1994. The hotel boast of it's 'combined architectural beauty with first-world comfort.
Boat departs from Walvis Bay at 09h00 and cruises the harbour through to the Bird Island, and then cuts across the lagoon to Moored Russian trawlers where inquisitive seals will swim up to the boats for something to eat. From there we head for Pelican Point where entertainment is provided by a large Cape Fur Seal colony and pods of Heavyside- and Bottlenose dolphins swimming alongside the boats.For the bird lovers, apart from seeing flamingos, cormorants and pelicans, there are common sightings of the White Chinned Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel,Cape Gannet, Black Oystercatcher, and even the Jackass Penguin. At approximately 11h30, you will be dropped off on a deserted beach where your guide and 4 x 4 vehicle will meet you. But, first you will enjoy a light lunch of fresh oysters, snacks and champagne before departing for the magnificent scenery of the dunes and natural lagoon meeting the sea on route to Sandwich Harbour. Tour ends at approximately 17h00. Please note that while on the boat there may be other guests on board.
Departure from Swakopmund along the Atlantic Coast towards the North. Visit the lichen fields near Wlotzka’s Baken before continuing to Henties Bay, a small holiday resort. Onwards to the seal colony at Cape Cross. After visiting the seals, the journey continues via Ugabmund to the southern Skeleton Coast Park to inspect a shipwreck. You leave the Skeleton Coast Park in the early afternoon via Springbokwasser and can experience the harsh transition from the Namib Desert to the Damaraland highlands with its impressive landscape and ragged valleys.
While at Grootberg you can choose many activities such as Elephant or Rhino Tracking, Guided walks, a cultural visit to the Ovahimba Tribes, Nature Drives or even a horseback safari. These activities can be booked and paid for at the lodge or ask your trip specialist to arrange this prior to travelling.
Grootberg Lodge (4*) is a landmark in Namibia for the tourism industry as it is the first middle-market establishment in the country that is 100% owned by the conservancy it is located on a large private concession in the remote northwest of Namibia. Perched on the edge of the Grootberg Plateau, it probably has the most spectacular views of any lodge in Namibia. The purpose of the Grootberg Lodge is not only to offer a professional service, great surroundings, extremely good food, well-trained guides and exceptionally good local management but, at the same time, to benefit the local community thanks to the revenues generated by the Lodge.
Departure is at 6.00am after an early breakfast at the lodge. The guide, along with the game trackers will take you in an open 4x4 game vehicle down to the Klip River. Part of the tracking will take place on foot, with the possibility of between 1 to 3 hours walk at the most. At lunchtime there will be a stop near the springs where you can enjoy some refreshments. It's almost a full day activity going along bumpy roads and walking in rocky terrain, so not advisable for the faint-hearted. Damaraland is one of the few last places where the wildlife roams freely thus we cannot guarantee sightings.
Today you'll join up with others from the lodge for a Nature Drive. The lodge offers scenic drives down to the Klip River Valley where permanent springs provide water for the local population of zebras, antelopes and occasionally elephants, lions and black rhinos. Springboks, kudu and oryx are a permanent fixture and even the nervous and shy klipspringers are sometimes seen leaping about on the steep cliffs of the mountain as if they were flying. The morning drive starts after breakfast and takes between 3-4 hours, the afternoon drive is shorter, leaving after tea and coffee at the lodge for a 2-3 hours drive. .
We travel via the Grootberg Pass to Kamanjab and further on the tarred road to the Etosha National Park. Afternoon arrival at your lodge in the southern end of the Etosha National Park. At the heart of this National Park is the Etosha Pan, a vast dry shallow depression. Perennial springs feed the waterholes along the southern verge, which attract a myriad of animal species.
The newly-built Andersson's Camp is located in the Ongava Game Reserve, situated only 4.5kms from Etosha National Park's western gate. The Reserve is dominated by Mopane woodland, whilst a low range of dolomite hills, the Ondundozonanandana Range, provide relief to the otherwise flat surrounding area. Andersson's Camp is the ideal location for a comfortable, modern-day exploration of both the Ongava Game Reserve and Namibia's Etosha Park. The Reserve has a healthy population of both black and white rhino. Populations of the endemic Anchieta's dwarf python, striped tree squirrel and a localized subspecies of rock hyrax, can also be found here. On either side of the main farmhouse are 20 new luxury tents for the guests comfort. Enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast and wonderful cuisine from the chef's 'a la carte' menu, wine and dine under the stars, have a drink or simply relax around the inviting camp fire.
Today you'll spend the day searching for the Big 5 in Etosha National Park.
Today you will drive south via Tsumeb, Otavi and Otjiwarongo to Okonjima Lodge which is home of the Africat Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of the Namibian wild cats in particular the leopard and cheetah.
Okonjima, home of The AfriCat Foundation, was established as a small 'guest farm' in 1986. For many years, Val (VJ) & Rose Hanssen had been avid cattle farmers until the need for solutions to increasing livestock losses and post-independence interest in Namibia as a tourist destination, changed the face of Okonjima, as well as that of Carnivore Conservation. With the family still at the helm (now the next generation), Okonjima now encompasses a dedicated team and a variety of accommodation facilities, offering you, our guest, a truly Namibian stay. Established in 1993, The AfriCat Foundation started off as a sanctuary for Cheetah and Leopard rescued from irate, livestock farmers.
Today you'll have access to your vehicle and guide. You can discuss all of the possibilities with your guide. All park or entrance fees can be paid direct.
The Okonjima Lodge includes the following activities;THE AFRICAT FOUNDATION: AfriCat is a non-profit organisation set up to conserve and protect threatened cheetah, leopard, and other wild carnivores of Namibia. Visitors will be able to observe some of this programme at work and learn more about these amazing and beautiful animals.
LEOPARD VIEWING: Leopards are frequently seen, giving visitors an opportunity to observe these magnificent predators that are ‘radio-tracked’ from our game-viewing vehicles. The leopards roam freely and catch their own prey within the 4 500ha & 16 000ha rehabilitation nature reserves. These cats however, are notoriously people-shy and sightings are not guaranteed.
THE CHEETAH PROJECT: Offers visitors a valuable insight into the ‘welfare work’ of The AfriCat Foundation.
LARGE CARNIVORE TRACKING ON FOOT: Visitors are invited to participate on foot in the radio-tracking of the rehabilitated Cheetahs or the Spotted Hyaenas on the Tracking Trail within the 4 500ha & 16 000ha rehabilitation nature reserves.
BUSHMAN TRAIL: Experience a day in the life of a Bushman. It constitutes an easy walking trail and is highly informative. Guests get to learn about the art of making traditional artefacts and how the San adapt and survive in an unforgiving wilderness environment. Participation is welcomed!
This morning you will meet your guide and depart from Otijwarongo and drive to Windhoek. This drive will take approximately 4 hours.
VISA/PASSPORTA passport and visa are normally required. Bearers of U.S. or Canadian passports who plan to visit Namibia for tourism for less than 90 days can obtain visas at the port of entry and do not need visas prior to entering the country. All travelers traveling to or from Namibia via South Africa are strongly encouraged to have several unstamped visa pages left in their passports. South Africa requires two unstamped visa pages.
Please note obtaining a visa is your responsibility. These requirements change often and therefore it is best that you check with the embassy of Namibia for the most up to date visa information.
HEALTHHealth insurance is essential. Medical facilities are poor quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/namibia.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Windhoek. Government: Republic. Gained independence from South Africa in 1990. Language: English is the official language but is the first language of only 7% of the population. Afrikaans, the lingua franca, is the first language of most of the white population. German, Herero, Kavango, Nama and Ovambo are also spoken. Religion: Christian (80 to 90%) and indigenous beliefs (10 to 20%). Time: GMT + 1 (GMT + 2 from the first Sunday in September to the first Sunday in April). Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50hz. Outlets are of the South African three-pin type (two small round pins over one larger round pin). Telephone: Country code +264. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone operators. Coverage is limited to urban areas. Internet: There are Internet cafes in Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and Windhoek.
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