SA 09: 13 Nights/ 14 Days Discovery of Namibia’s Secrets
Day 1: Windhoek
Our Namibia representative will receive you at Windhoek Airport and transfer you to your hotel for overnight.
Day 2-3: Windhoek – Sossusvlei
A classic image of Namibia awaits you today: the towering, orange-red dunes of Sossusvlei. Soaring to 1000 feet, the spectacular ridges dwarf the visitor and provide a challenging habitat for clattering tok-tokkie beetles, translucent geckos, sidewinders and other subtle, specialized wildlife. Depart early to savor the rich, changing hues and shadows of the crests bathed by morning light. Enjoy a picnic lunch in this phenomenal setting. Then continue to your lodge, an ideal base for exploring the dunes and joining such optional activities as hot-air ballooning or game-viewing drives in search of mountain zebra, klipspringer, hyrax, springbok and black eagles.
Day 4-5: Sossusvlei – Swakopmund
Depart with a picnic lunch to the resort of Swakopmund and your landmark hotel. Thursday tour the Bay, with its squawking flocks of flamingos and seabirds, and travel inland to the desert to see dune fields and 1000-year-old welwitschia plants. Between outings, explore Swakopmund’s German landmarks, craft shops and cafes.
Day 6-7: Skeleton Coast – Swakopmund
Set out through the infamous Skeleton Coast to the otherworldly terrain of Damaraland, home of rare desert rhinos and elephants and the Himba culture who maintain their nomadic lifestyle untouched by modern times. For two nights, you will be among the very few to explore this area’s rugged scenery, wildlife, and great concentrations of ancient rock engravings, the Twyfelfontein. Your lodge is spectacularly set on the banks of the normally dry Huab River, and offers nature walks, game-drives, swimming in a spring-fed pool, and evening campfires. Though large game sightings are sporadic, your guides bring the desert to life by explaining the lives of ancient plants and insects found nowhere else in the world, and taking you to unusual finds amid what appears to be total desolation.
Day 8-9: Etosha Game Viewing
Depart to Namibia’s quintessential safari park, Etosha, one of Africa’s most abundant and varied wildlife habitats. Your first experience of Etosha’s splendor is from Ongava Reserve on the park’s southern edge. Your stay here features safaris into Etosha, plus activities not permitted within the park such as bush walks and night drives. Accommodations are in charming chalets built around an African boma, located amid rich concentrations of waterholes and vegetation, with an ongoing procession of elephants, black rhinos, antelopes and birds.
Day 10: Etosha Game Viewing
Travel across the heartlands and hinterlands of Etosha on a remarkable drive to your lodge just outside the park’s eastern gate. The tenacity of life is rarely as well illustrated as it is around Etosha’s desolate salt pan and surrounding waterholes, where animals vie for grasses and gather in huge numbers around life-giving waters. Game-view all the way to your atmospheric lodge amid a scenic stand of acacia, mopane, and mushara trees.
Day 11-12: Okonjima Private Reserve
Depart southward to one of Africa’s most innovative private nature reserves, Okonjima, dedicated to the conservation of cheetah. Here nature’s swiftest species can be viewed up close and in good numbers, in addition to leopard, baboons, and other species drawn to a small waterhole on site. Accommodations are in a farmhouse amid rolling hills and a unique Bushman trail which your hosts, the Hanssens, happily share with guests. This afternoon enjoy a game-drive and cheetah visit.
Day 13: Windhoek
Depart the desert and return to Windhoek, arriving in time for your afternoon flight to Johannesburg.