After arriving our first stretch takes us past grass plains interspersed with huge mountain ranges into the area of Sossusvlei, where you lodge is situated. At your lodge, you have the rest of the day at leisure to take part in optional nature drives and walks to stretch the legs.
Namib Desert Lodge
Today calls for an early rise, as you will forever remember the picture of a sunrise over mighty dunes in the Namib Desert. Gaze at the bright splash of sun-baked sand combined with the mighty play of shadows cast onto the lay side of dunes. After taking a walk along or even up some of the majestic dunes, travel back to your lodge. Stop at the Sesriem Canyon; a 30-meter deep gauge eroded into the desert floor by the forces of the mighty Tsauchab River.
Namib Desert Lodge – Breakfast
Our destination today is the Atlantic Ocean and the coastal town of Swakopmund. This idyllic town is wedged between the sweltering Namib Desert and the cold Atlantic Ocean and for the international guests; Swakopmund is a bohemian mix of German architecture and African rhythms. The remaining day is spent at leisure. With palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, Swakopmund is a popular holiday destination in Namibia. Its pleasant summer climate and long stretched beaches attract anglers and surfers from all over Southern Africa resulting in a laid-back attitude with an abundant choice of adrenalin activities, misty mornings and desert heat. It is colourful, it is vibrant, but most of all, it is pure fun.
Royal SeaStar Guesthouse
Swakopmund is often fondly referred to as the “playground of Namibia”, it has numerous activities ranging from, adventure to exploring the fascinating features of the Namib Desert and the animals and plants that occur and survive here. We have the morning to optionally participate in one of the many activities on offer or simply embrace the relaxed pace of this idyllic coastal town while enjoying coffee and freshly baked pastries in one of the many café’s. Activities range from exploring the rugged, sweltering desert on a day tour, or view this awesome, environment from the air on a scenic flight. Find your inner child and push adrenaline to its limits with extreme adventures such as skydiving over the desert or quad biking and sand boarding on the dunes.
Take time to get the feel of this quaint town with its historic buildings, museums, shopping arcades and beach bar that has transformed into its own personality by the vibrant use of colour and the bohemian lifestyle. We continue north along the coastline towards Cape Cross, where we spend the night directly on the shore with the cape-fur seal colony close by.
Cape Cross Lodge – Breakfast, Dinner
Today our journey continues through Uis past the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain (2.579m), into the Damaraland, one of the least populated and most geologically diverse areas in Africa. This harsh, rocky environment is home to the elusive desert elephant, the black rhino and free-roaming antelope species. We arrive at our lodge in the afternoon, where we have the remaining day at leisure.
Ondjamba Hills – Breakfast, Dinner
On an optional early morning scenic nature drive through, at times untouched wilderness area of the Otjimboyo Concession, we head out towards the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain. This is the best time to capture the perfect light of sunrise and catch the last mist engulfing the mountain. We continue down into the dry Ugab riverbed, which we follow back towards the camp.
Stopping under one of the majestic camelthorn trees we enjoy a light picnic lunch. On our drive along the meandering river, we might encounter the elusive desert elephant that roam the dry riverbeds of the Damaraland, feeding on the nutritious pods of the trees lining the riverbanks. Arriving back at the camp we have enough time left to enjoy the scenery or follow one of the walking trails. A highlight is the sundowner drive that offers you unforgettable photo opportunities of the Brandberg and surrounding landscape.
Ondjamba Hills – Breakfast, Dinner
DAMARALAND / PALMWAG CONCESSION
Today we proceed further north deeper into the remoteness of the Damaraland. On route, we should stop at the Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO heritage site where Bushman communities engraved and painted over 2.500 pictures some 6.000 years ago! Optionally we can visit the Living Museum of the Damara, which is located directly next to Twyfelfontein. Our journey continues further north to the Palmwag Concession.
Between Kaokoland and the Skeleton Coast, where the flat-topped Etendeka Mountains and the carpet of rich red rock greet the tributaries of the Uniab River, lies the Palmwag concession. Amid swaying Makalani palms and robust Mopane trees nourished by underground water, your lodge for the night overlooks the sweeping Damaraland landscape sprinkled with green euphorbias.
Palmwag Lodge – Breakfast
DAY 8 & 9
We continue our safari further north into rural outskirts of the Koakoland. Here we reach our accommodation for the following two nights at Sesfontein. Staying at Sesfontein is a very rural experience with donkey carts a common sight. Guests can visit traditionally living Himba tribes close by. On the second night we have the option, which we strongly recommend, to experience true safari style traveling with accommodation in modern dome style tents in untouched landscape. The tents provide comfortable beds consisting of a stretcher, a fully made up bedroll, duvet, and pillow.
When it does decide to get chilly, especially during wintertime there is a supply of extra blankets for ultimate comfort. Basic communal ablution is provided and ensures privacy as well as comfort in the wildest of locations. This adventure starts as a whole day excursion into the dry Hoanib riverbed. After an early breakfast, we depart from the guesthouse. We explore parts of the Hoanib River in search of the elusive desert-adapted elephants and other Namibian game that call these dry landscapes their home.
In the late afternoon, we find a suitable spot to set up our camp. While the guests enjoy the surroundings and a sundowner drink, the staff will put up the tents and prepare the scrumptious camping style food. The guests can enjoy their evening out in the wild with a refreshing drink whilst sitting around the campfire. A warm dinner will be prepared on the open fire. After dinner, guests can enjoy sitting around the fire, listening to the sounds of the wild and gazing at the stars above.
As dawn breaks, our day begins with hot filter coffee/tea and rusks around the fire before being transferred back to the guesthouse in time for a scrumptious breakfast and departing onwards to the next destination. Guests not option for the sleep out can book the Elephant drive as a stand-alone activity.
Sesfontein Guesthouse & optional 1 night sleep Out – 2x Breakfast, 1x Lunch, 1x Dinner
Day 10 & 11
KAOKOLAND / EPUPA FALLS
Today we reach one of the highlights of Kaokoland. In the far northern reaches of Namibia, Epupa is a magical belt of Makalani palm forest on the perennial Kunene River. There’s something special about this Kaokoland refuge north of Opuwo, where the Kunene River plunges into the gorge below. Baobab trees cling to the rocky slopes as torrents of water rumble and tumble down the rocks with a flash of rainbow and an invigorating burst of wonder. Two hundred metres upstream from the cascading falls, our Camp for the night is a cosy thatched lodge on the riverbank set under the palms.
Dine with a river view and wake to the music of the falls and the sound of palm thrushes singing in the trees. In between rest and relaxation, there is much to experience here. Take the golden opportunity to visit the local Himba, one of the last semi-nomadic groups in Africa; join a guided walk in search of the Kunene crocs or push your adrenalin limit on a rafting trip on the Kunene River (seasonal); and follow trails downstream keeping eyes open for wildlife who favour this rivers edge.
At sunset join a sundowner drive to a hill overlooking Epupa Falls for that time of day when everything pauses for beauty and celebration.
Omuranga Epupa Falls Camp – Breakfast
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
Our onward journey takes us back south to the wildlife heaven of Namibia – the Etosha National Park. We enter the most western gate, Galton, into the National Park and our first game drive takes us towards our camp for the night, which is located on a dolomite ridge overlooking the seemingly endless bush savannah. Here we can unwind after the adventure filled day alongside the pool.
Dolomite Camp – Breakfast, Dinner
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
The day is devoted purely to the abundant wildlife found in the Etosha National Park, which surrounds a parched salt desert known as the Etosha Pan. The park is home to 4 of the Big Five – elephant, lion, leopard and rhino. The Park was proclaimed as Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907 by the then Governor, von Lindequist.
Despite the size of the Etosha National Park, only the southern edge of the pan is accessible to visitors. Game viewing in the park is primarily focussed around the waterholes, some of which are spring fed and some supplied from a borehole, ideal places to sit and watch over 114 different game species, or for an avid birder, more than 340 bird species.
Popular game species such as giraffe, blue wildebeest, plains and mountain zebra, hyena, lion, leopard, antelopes such as kudu, oryx, eland, as well as some of the endangered species such as Black rhino, cheetah and the black-faced impala are all found here. An extensive network of roads link the over 30 water holes allowing visitors the opportunity of a comprehensive game viewing safari throughout the park as each different area will provide various encounters.
Okaukuejo Camp – Breakfast
ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK
We again head out on a game drive into the vast expanse of the Etosha National Park, or optionally you can book an open game drive park drive with the lodge. We may encounter animal species we have not seen the previous day and look forward to any new surprises at the different waterholes visited. The Etosha Pan dominates the park. This salt pan desert, which is nearly completely enclosed by the park and is lined by numerous watering holes, is roughly 130 km long and as wide as 50 km in places. During Etosha’s notorious dry spells the pan is a deathly place, lying parched and cracked under the molten African sun.
It is claimed that game viewing is best during the dry periods as animals will then congregate closer to water. But even in the rainy season, the park remains an abundant wildlife haven. You then have the pleasure of experiencing the rebirth of life as the young foals, cubs and chicks are seen frolicking with their parents, and the sprouting new green shrubs and grasses create a pleasing green oasis. In the afternoon we travel back to our camp, where we enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure at the well-lit Okaukuejo Waterhole. Here abundant wildlife comes to quench its thirst, which you can view from close range all through the night.
Okaukuejo Camp – Breakfast
After breakfast, we travel back some sort of civilisation. Traveling south through bush land savannah reaching the capital in the centre of the country. En-route we may stop at the famous wood carvers market in Okahandja or the craft market in the main street in Windhoek to pick up the last few souvenirs. Windhoek is a cosmopolitan melting pot of European architecture with African culture.