(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.
Enjoy your private transfer to or from Windhoek Hosea Kutako International Airport.
After breakfast departure from Windhoek and drive via Rehoboth, the centre of Namibia’s Baster community. From here you will 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 the 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.
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.
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.
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 your 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.
Today you 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. Your 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.
Early morning visit to Sossusvlei. It is surrounded by possibly the 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 you will 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 you 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.
This marine dune day gives you the ultimate combination of a leisure cruise on the Atlantic Ocean, a delicious lunch on the beach or in the dunes and a 4x4 ride in the breathtaking Sandwich Harbour area of the Namib Naukluft Park. The day starts with a marine cruise in the morning at 09h00. You get a chance to see flying pelicans, seals, the Walvis Bay Harbour, old boat wrecks, dolphins and during season even whales and turtles. Around 11h30, your skipper will drop you off at a deserted beach at the Jetty at Pelican Point, where your Sandwich Harbour 4x4 guide will meet you with a Land Rover. You will see the Kuiseb River Delta, flamingoes, the saltpans and the wetlands just north of the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon. If weather and tides allow, the drive goes right to the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon, one of Southern Africa’s richest and unique wetlands. If vehicles cannot make it there due to tides, you will have the time to walk 4 – 5 kms. Alternatively, you will get a chance to see the Lagoon area from one of the many beautiful lookout spots. You will have plenty of time to take photos, when the big dunes in Sandwich Harbour are crossed. En route, a light meal with snacks and salads as well as oysters and sparkling wine are dished up. The oysters here are amongst the best in the world. On the return drive to Walvis Bay, more giant dunes are crossed, including the big roaring dunes. Arrive in Walvis Bay at app 16h30.
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.
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 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.
You will 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.
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.
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.
The Elegant Guesthouse 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.
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.
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.
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.
At Namtib Desert Lodge you will find your genuine Namibian experience in typical Namibian farmstyle accomodations in the middle of the vast Namib desert.
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.
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.
Grootberg Lodge 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.
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.
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.
Ronald Jones ,
December 12, 2014
"I cannot express how fabulous our trip was!! I know it was made that way thanks to ALL the kind, knowledgable, and helpful people that you all placed in our path. Many went above and beyond to make our experience even more positive. From drivers, to guides, to hotel staff---we met some wonderful people that we can now call friends. Thank you Christine and Kensington tours for this once in a lifetime African adventure!"
December 09, 2014
"A truly wonderful trip......first class accommodations and service in each venue....the guides were knowledgable and went out of their way to insure that we could see and understand Africa. Capetown is a fascinating city, Sabi Sands an extraordinary private game preserve, and Zimbabwe with Victoria Falls and the Victoria Falls Hotel a once in a lifetime experience. For those who want to visit Africa we enthusiastically recommend Kensington Tours. And Jolene Plant stayed with us in every step during the planning of our trip and itinerary. We saw as much of Africa as much as anyone can during our two weeks vacation."
Belinda Skelton ,
December 12, 2014
"This was one of the most amazing trips that I have ever had. The custom tours and activities exceeded my expectations. I was traveling alone but felt safe and in good hands. The process of booking the trip with Lily Baffour was so easy and personal, especially with the constant communications from her up to my departure. Thank you Kensington Tours for an awesome experience. I will definitely use you for my next adventure!"
Nathan Nerland ,
December 15, 2014
"Kensington Tours is always our only guided company we use because every staff has been amazing along the way and they accommodate everything we request, and more."
December 12, 2014
"Our week-long tour in Morocco went without a hitch in the company of a great driver and knowledgeable guide who were always prompt, courteous, helpful, and very nice. Kensington Tours' picks for our overnight accommodations were excellent, as well as the excursions planned for us. We're grateful to our conscientious agent, Lily, who went out of her way to make us feel welcome in Morocco. We feel confident that we are in very capable hands whenever we travel with Kensington Tours. "
December 12, 2014
"Our trip was a perfect 10 - exceeding all expectations! Starting with Christine Willner's attentiveness to our wish list and balancing it to our budget, every leg and element of our journey took place without so much as a hiccup. We were blown away by the quality of our tours, accommodations and guides. Thank you for giving us a great experience and wonderful memories!"
Rebecca Warren ,
August 02, 2014
"My 26 year old daughter recently traveled alone to Madagascar using Kensington tours. I was a little concerned about her safety and wanted to make sure that she would be well taken care of. Kensington was great from start to finish. Our travel agent, Marc Sisson, put together the tour in very short order with very little notice, had no problem doing it for just one person, and gave me a sense of security that my daughter would be well cared for. She did the Anjajavy 5 Day Beach extension. The tour guide who picked her up at the airport in the capitol city was outstanding -- very knowledgeable and helpful. The Anjajavy hotel was extraordinary. Her pictures are breathtakingly beautiful. She kayaked, swam in the ocean and saw lemurs feeding. She got to practice her French with the outstanding hotel manager and otherwise was able to just relax and unwind. She described the experience as "visiting Eden." I highly recommend Kensington. I contacted a number of tour/travel agencies and none of them compared to Kensington. "
Shayna Maislin ,
April 21, 2014
"I would highly recommend the tour guide that we had in the Serengetti . He was extremely knowledgeable, very helpful and courteous. We all agree that Kensington has first class staff working for them in Africa. All the camps that we stayed at were absolutely beautiful except perhaps for the one in Lake Manyara. All in all it was a spectacular trip!"
Lucy Gilkes ,
April 21, 2014
"The whole trip was wonderful but the guides were what made it for us. They were knowledgeable and thoughtful a pleasure to spend time with."
Janine Chey ,
April 21, 2014
"Our trip to Masai Mara via Kensington ran very smoothly. We stayed at the Mara West Lodge. Beautiful location atop a ridge overlooking the Masai Mara plains. Our luxury tents were quite comfortable and the staff/service at the lodge were great. Meals were very nice especially the daily soups. Our guide, Steve, was also great...so knowledgeable and eager to show us many interesting things. He planned our daily game drives and took us on a nature hike one afternoon. He clearly knows and understands this ecosystem. He has an amazing eye, finding animals in fields of tall grasses. Our entire family had an amazing time, trip of a lifetime...would love to go back!"
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