(Windhoek, Kalahari/Marientel, Fish River Canyon, Lüderitz, Namtib Biosphere Reserve, Sossusvlei)
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 south is an area of the country that is very seldom explored.
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.
This morning you will meet your guide and depart from Sossusvlei and drive to Windhoek. This drive will take approximately five hours.
November 08, 2012
"I am a world traveller and this was one of my Top 3 vacations ever! Kensington Tours did a great job with EVERY little detail, from the planning to being met and catered to every step of the way. Our favorite lodges were Tau Pan in the Kalahari, Botswana & Moon Mountain in Sossusvlei, Namibia. We especially loved the Batswana people and all the animals we saw at Camp Moremi on the Okavanga River. The highlight of our trip was actually our stay in Swakopmund when we stayed on the South Atlantic & went for an exciting boat ride to see all the sealife up close and personal (like a seal coming onboard the boat!), a rollar coaster dune ride in a 4 X 4!! the balloon ride over the red sand dunes over Namibia and several champagne brunches in the middle of the desert. Also, will never forget all the sundowmer game drives which ended with our favorite cocktail, watching the sunset with wildlife close at hand!
Unforgettable. Thanks Ivona for planning it all!"
October 26, 2012
"35 Goose Pond Road
Lincoln, MA 01773
Re: Steven Weru Kinyua, Kenya tour guide
We recently returned from a wonderful 8 day tour of Kenya with Steven, he is an exceptional individual. But one example: As we returned to the Samburu lodge from our first game drive, Steven pointed out a young, sick-looking lion in the shade of a tree. We observed it momentarily and soon returned to the lodge for dinner.
The next day Steven mentioned he had reported the weak young lion to the local Samburu ranger. Steven explained that due to the arrival of a new alpha male in his pride the young lion had likely been chased out before he was able to hunt for himself. He further explained that the young lion would be welcome back in a week or two, if he were alive. I pursued the full story w/Steven. The ranger Steven had reported the weak lion to had been unresponsive, indicating he would do nothing. Steven, unsatisfied w/that response told the ranger to report it to the Head Park Ranger, or he would. The Head Ranger agreed with Steven's analysis of the situation; bought 10 kilos of meat for the young lion; and directed his staff to feed it appropriately.
Steven understood the workings of that lion pride, and has an exceptional knowledge of all the wild animals of Kenya. Furthermore he has a passion for their well-being. He would not accept a lazy, disinterested response from the local ranger. During our trip in Kenya I had occasion to speak to groups of secondary school students. I related Steven's actions as an excellent example of a Kenyan's knowledge, passion and commitment.
One day Steven pointed out a cheetah. We saw the cheetah w/a young impala in its mouth. After the cheetah had choked the young impala, Steven explained the mother cheetah was calling her cubs --it was thrilling to see the 3 cubs come tearing across the plain creating a mini-dust storm in their wake. The mother gave the kill to her cubs. Steven explained they had to learn to open it up. Shortly she sent them off the kill, twenty paces or so, then froze, looking westerly. A lion, smelling the kill Steven explained, was moving off to the north about a 1000 yards away. Intent on the lion the mother cheetah remained frozen in place (as we're the cubs, mimicking their mother). After the lion passed the mother called the cubs back to the kill. Not 15 minutes later the lion came back, followed by yapping jackels, this time moving off to the east of the cheetahs. As soon as the lion appeared, the mother cheetah repeated her previous actions, sending off the cubs and freezing over the kill, intently watching the lion. Steven explained that the jackels were distracting the lion from the kill, knowing if the lion found the kill, nothing would be left for them. Again the lion passed off to the southeast, never able to find the cheetah kill.
This summary highlights events that played out over a 90 minute period. In that time several tourist rovers and vans came, took pictures of the cheetahs, and left. None of those tourists had a complete explanation of the scene that was playing out before us. Game-viewing w/Steven is a rich experience, a clear cut above the average.
In our time w/Steven we had lengthy conversations about the pluses and minuses of grass-burning, the challenges of maintaining wildlife corridors, park encroachment by locals, roadway underpasses for big game, etc. in addition we discussed ukabila and other political challenges facing Kenya. Steven Kinyua is an exceptional Kenyan guide. He has a wonderful sense of humor, and made our Kenya safari a wonderful learning experience we will cherish for years.
Mark Masterson, Ed.D."
October 18, 2013
"I am so happy that I used Kensington Tours to help with my dream trip to Cape Town South Africa. I was looking for a well respected tour company that planned private guided tours that was not going to cause me my leg, lol. I begin searching companies by reputation and value. I narrowed it down to Kensington Tours because of the quality and value. I felt taken care of prior to my departure due to the detailed itinerary.
From the time of got off the plane to the time I headed back to the states, I was in excellent hands. The service was EXCELLENT! I will definitely use Kensington again. Certainly, a trip of a lifetime!"
October 29, 2013
"My husband and I have just returned from the trip of a lifetime in Egypt. The sites were amazing and overwhelming. Everything was as promised. We had the most amazing pyramid view and Nile view from our hotels. Our itinerary included the most magnificent sites and we were accompanied by the most informative and friendly people. I highly recommend visiting Egypt. It is totally safe. Thank you to everyone at Kensington for this experience. It was so beyond our expectations!"
October 31, 2013
"From our greeter, who whisked us through customs in Johannesburg, to all our excellent drivers, guides and associates in Lions Sands, Cape Town and the wine country, everyone was highly professional, well dressed, well mannered, and well informed. Overall our tour worked like a superbly designed, technically perfect Swiss watch. An experience for the ages. Bravo!"
October 29, 2013
"This was a trip of a life time for me and I was never disappointed. Sylvia listen to me and give me exactly what I wanted in the way of a photo Safari as well as full tour of Cape Town and the wine country. I never had to wait one minute for a guide or any of the transportation provided. The people I dealt with along the way could not have been more courteous and friendly. I just cannot say enough about my experience with Kensington Tours, it was fabulous! "
Hanne Jones ,
October 24, 2013
"I have travelled all my life. I've combed much of Europe, from The arctic north in Norway to the streets of Seville in Spain, the beaches of Cannes and Nice in France and the medieval heart of Bologna in Italy. I've been on two African safaris (one tented, one not), both "luxurious." I've been on more than a dozen jaunts to India, some guided, others not. Over the years I have discovered that I had rather be lost and disoriented in a foreign country than submit once again to the unbending schedule of a guided tour. Hence I had given up tours of any kind, until Molly Kelly, an American Express travel agent, suggested I might want simply to list the places my friends and I wished to see in Morocco then let Kensington Tours make accessing them in an orderly way not only possible but thoroughly enjoyable as well. And this Kensington Tours did. They pulled our disparate destinations together and designed a far, far better route than we could ever have done on our own. They satisfied all our requests and threw in delicious additions, areas of interest we had never considered or even heard of. Our accommodations were well within our means and wonderful. Our guide and driver, not to mention our Mercedes SUV, could not have pleased us more. In other words, thanks to Molly and her recommending Kensington Tours, we had a sensational holiday. "
Anthoula Korina ,
September 05, 2013
"Africa had always been a myth in mind since I was child that was up until a week ago. I just returned from an epic safari adventure! Kenya, Tanzania and the Maasai are sorely missed.
Words cannot fully express the magic of this ever-flowing journey. It was awe-inspiring, breathtaking, free and powerful. My mind keeps playing tricks on me; thinking rather hoping that I'm going to see a giraffe cross a busy NYC street :)
The memories will resonate for a lifetime. To boot, I went on this trip solo; female traveler. Not sure any of it would have been possible w/out Kensington Tours!!! Thank you..."
July 12, 2013
"I had a wonderful trip visiting the mountain gorillas in Uganda. We were able to get really close to the gorillas and watched their interactions with each other. The local people are so gracious and made every minute a delight. The accomodations were great. I loved waking up in the morning to the sounds of the forest. The added luxury of a massage was a great way to end the trip!"
July 26, 2013
"Our family of 6 traveled to Morocco for a 9 day Imperial cities discovery, I was absolutely amazing. Our guide Lahcen Zaaim was the best guide we have EVER had and we have traveled to many countries. There was not one subject that he was not knowledgeable about. He made the trip sooooo memorable. He was so flexible and when he picked us up in the mornings to head out, he was talking nonstop to tell us soo much about everything we were seeing. There was soooo much to see in Morocco and he made sure we saw it all.. He truly has a gift in the touring business, you feel as if your leaving your best friend when the trip is over. When we got to the airport in casablanca, he spotted us before we saw him and of course, we asked him, how did you recognize us? He even went as far as to get the King of Moroccos artist to meet us at our riad the night before we left to return home late to do our names in moroccan arabic to frame, They were beautiful, He showed us a picture of the Kings Face he had done for the Palace! Lily Baffour from Kensington planned our trip and she was amazing, planning everything as she thought we would like based on what I told her. She did an Outstanding job and literally sent our Iteniaries by next day air in a beautifully done spiral bound personally book for each family that was going on the trip, SOOOOOO IMPRESSED and she even got the guide we requested!!!! I cant say enough about this trip and Kensington, we will definitely use again!!! We experienced a VERY different culture in going to Morocco and thats what we wanted, a Very different exotic trip and thats what we got!!!! Again our accomodations we Top Notch, staying in the TRuly authenic Riads, they were SOOOOO Luxurious, Plan on taking another suitcase or buying one there because you will buy more things to bring home than any other trip because of all the Handicrafts there, especially in Fes!!!
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