(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.
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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