NAMIBIA DESERT + WILDLIFE SELF-DRIVE
Fully-Customizable Namibia Sample Itinerary
UNLIKE ANYWHERE ELSE ON EARTH
A 15-day self-drive adventure across the jaw-dropping scenery of Namibia. A land of contrast and uncompromising beauty, Namibia is regarded as one of the best destinations in Africa with the highest amount of conservancies in the world – superb landscapes, excellent game viewing, and a safe country to travel around ensure it remains at the top of everyone’s “must visit” destinations.
Let’s not forget that it is the ONLY country in the world with increasing free-roaming lion and black rhino populations. Namibia is the first country in the world to incorporate the protection of the environment into its constitution. Around 15% of Namibia’s land is protected including virtually the entire Namib Desert coastal strip. Namibia possesses some of the most stunning landscapes in Africa, and a safari through the country is one of the great road adventures. Etosha National Park is the icing on the cake of this Namibia Safari. Namibia is not only a wildlife destination, it is blessed with some of the world’s finest landscapes and wide open spaces. It’s like a coffee-table book comes to life as sand dunes in the world’s oldest desert meet the crashing rollers along the wild Atlantic coast. Among all this is a German legacy evident in the cuisine and art nouveau architecture.
Namibia is also the headquarters of adventure activities in the region, so whether you’re a dreamer or love hearing the crunch of earth under your boots, travel in Namibia will stay with you long after the desert vistas fade.
Interested in a Namibia Desert + Wildlife Self-Drive Adventure or guided tour of Namibia? Contact Us for more information about this itinerary or we would be happy to create something just for you.
DAY 1: Windhoek, Namibia – Arrival
Upon arrival in Windhoek, collect the vehicle and drive to your guesthouse, here you’ll meet one of our tour consultants’ who will go through your travel plans and answer any last-minute questions you may have. Depending on the time of your arrival, perhaps choose to wander into the city centre, relax by the pool, or alternatively join an optional township tour, sunset horse ride, or head out for a birding trip. Overnight in a twin room with en suite facilities on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals will be at the client’s expense. Approx 40mins to city; Note that this guesthouse does not have an evening restaurant facility – recommend nearby Joe’s Beer House
Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe, and well-organized, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language – though English is the official language. The city has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look at, including the Alte Feste (Old Fort), the 1896 Christuskirche (Christ Church), and the more contemporary Supreme Court. It’s not a city to linger though – generally, one or two nights is sufficient.
Overnight: Villa Vista Guesthouse
Villa Vista is a family-owned and managed guesthouse that will readily assist with local bookings and offer plenty of advice to amenities. Situated in a quiet neighbourhood close to the Windhoek city centre it’s in easy access to Joe’s Beer House and shops/banks. All rooms are individually decorated in a unique style, using wood, glass, candles, and natural elements with views over the garden, swimming pool, town, or western mountains. There’s a small gym area along with sauna and safe parking. Note there is no lunch/evening restaurant facility. Internet is available.
Overnight Windhoek: Villa Vista Guesthouse (or similar)
DAY 2: Kalahari Anib Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia, Mariental
Depart after breakfast, and head south onto the Kalahari Basin, and Anib Lodge, set on a private reserve, this former livestock farm is now home to various species of game such as kudu, giraffe, springbok and other desert species. Perhaps join an optional activity this afternoon on the reserve travelling over the apricot-coloured linear dunes and grassy valleys before stopping for a sundowner drink taking in the peace of the desert and wonderful views.
Overnight in twin room on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals and activities at own expense. Approx 3hours
Situated in south-central Namibia, fringing the Kalahari Desert, the city of Mariental lies along the TransNamib railway and serves as the Hardap Region’s commercial and administrative capital. It provides an important petrol stop before heading west to Sesriem to view the red-orange dunes of Sossusvlei. Mariental is located close to magnificent the Hardap Dam, which is the largest reservoir in Namibia. The Hardap Irrigation Scheme has breathed life into this arid terrain, which is now fertile with farmlands covered in citrus, melons, lucerne, wine, and maize, and dotted with ostrich farms. The dam is a popular holiday resort that draws city slickers from Windhoek and offers an array of watersports, scenic walks, and abundant wildlife in a 20000-hectare nature reserve set on its western bank; where visitors can spot rhino, ostrich, antelope, springbok, and a variety of bird species.
Overnight: Kalahari Anib Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia (or similar)
Kalahari Anib Lodge lies like a lush green oasis in the midst of red Kalahari dunes. The restaurant and chalets are arranged around a shaded courtyard with a large swimming pool. 36 rooms with a private veranda are available for tour groups. For individual travellers there are 19 rooms, set slightly apart, with views of the open savannah and with a separate swimming pool. Located about 30km northeast of Mariental the lodge makes for a perfect stopover on the way south. All rooms are en-suite with safe, air-con/heater, and free wifi. This is an excellent value option
Bed & Breakfast
DAY 3-4: Fish River Lodge, Fish River Canyon
Your drive today takes you to the far south of the country and Fish River Canyon, perhaps stop at the Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground before continuing onto Fish River Lodge, set on a private reserve overlooking the magnificent canyon. The canyon is regarded as one of the largest in the world and has spectacular views. Recommend joining an optional activity – this lodge offers drives to the base of the canyon, and in winter months, hikes to the bottom where you can appreciate the scale and geology of one of the greatest natural wonders. The lodge is located on the north of the park and is the only lodge offering day activities to the base – from the national park you can walk along the rim but not go to the bottom. Highly recommended Approx 5 hours – longer if diverting via Quiver Trees
You can also take a little diversion and stop en-route at the Quiver Tree Forest!
The country’s most spectacular geological site and generally regarded as the main highlight of the “Deep South” is the Fish River Canyon. The famous ravine – reputed to be the second largest in the world, lies in the lower reaches of Namibia’s longest river – The Fish. Over millions of years, it continues to evolve and is 161km long, up to 27km wide and up to 550m deep.
Overnight: Fish River Lodge
Fish River Lodge in southern Namibia is the only lodge perched directly on the rim of the Fish River Canyon offering guests breath-taking views of the canyon from sunrise to sunset. Experience firsthand the geological forces that unfolded 300 million years ago, when the Fish River began to etch its way through hard quartzite forming a Canyon 90km long, nearly 550m deep, and 28kms wide in some places, making it the world’s second-largest Canyon. The lodge itself is set within the 45,000 hectare Canyon Nature Park – a natural sanctuary for Karoo succulent flora and endemic wildlife. Incredible hiking trails meander down into the heart of the canyon affording guests spectacular scenery combined with 75km river frontage made up of permanent water holes and rock pools that attract Hartmann’s zebra, kudu, oryx, springbok, and many other smaller wildlife species and endemic birdlife.
The main lodge offers a lounge, bar, and dining area, along with a curio shop, all looking out across the canyon and enjoying the majestic views. A swimming pool, along with loungers share this same view.
AM Scenic Drive – The AM scenic drive is the perfect introduction to the geology of this fascinating landscape. The drive will take you around the pristine Canyon nature Park, passing by some water points which will give you the opportunity to read signs of past animal activities. There will be chances to see general game as well as Karoo Korhaan and Ludwigs Bastard for the bird lovers.
Canyon Rim Walk
Awaken your senses with an easy un-guided walk from the lodge along the rim of the canyon, providing spectacular scenery, space to breathe & time to reflect. Guided walks are available subject to demand. Our guides are experienced and keen to share their information on the resilient flora and fauna of this harsh environment and stunning geological features.
Canyon Day Hike (Full Day or Half Day)
Only done from April to September (Winter Season)
Get intimate with the canyon on this challenging, but, rewarding journey of discovery with expert guidance. Climb down the sheer face of the upper canyon wall, traverse the rock-strewn wilderness, and descend through a stunning gorge. Enjoy lunch and drinks at a shaded spot while absorbing the view of the Fish River.
Canyon Day Drive (Three-Quarter Day)
Experience an amazing variety of geological features as you journey into the depths of the second-largest canyon in the world. See rough limestone, shiny quartzite, fine shale, and dramatic fault lines. Catch your breath as you take in the dramatic views of the river before descending to the base of the canyon for refreshments by the river. The excursion is approximately 7 hours.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast
DAY 5-6: Desert Homestead, Sossusvlei
Day Itinerary – An early morning today, driving north to Desert Homestead, this afternoon you can relax or take part in an optional sunset horse ride. The following day, rise early to be at the Sesriem Gate for sunrise, driving to the to the 2×4 car park (it’s around 55km from Sesriem Gate). Take the shuttle into the dune fields and from here explore on foot. Ensure you visit nearby Dead Vlei, where the ancient and skeletal camel thorn trees stand on the white pan with the backdrop of orange sand dunes and blue sky, and climb one of the towering dunes to appreciate the endless sand sea. On your back to the lodge it’s worth a stop at Dune 45 – one of the most photographed dunes, and Sesriem Canyon. Overnight in twin share chalet on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals will be at the client’s expense. Day 5: approx 5hours; Day 6: 30-40mins to Sesriem & 1hour from gate to 2x4car park
Notes – Alternatively, you can take a guided excursion with the lodge to the dunes
Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes within the Namib Naukluft National Park. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographers’ heaven. Perhaps the most iconic is the stunning Dead Vlei where the dazzling white clay pan is punctuated by skeletons of ancient camel-thorn trees, and set against the backdrop of the apricot dunes. Aside from the attractions at Sossusvlei – Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Elim’s Dune – other attractions in the area include the Sesriem Canyon and Namib-Naukluft National Park, where the mountains of the Namib meet its plains and a great hiking destination.
Overnight: Desert Homestead (or similar)
The wide grassy valley in which the lodge is situated is sheltered by the Nubib, Tsaris and Naukluft Mountains with a view reaching the distant dunes of the Namib Desert in the west. The lodge (3*) offers simple but stylish accommodation in individual thatched chalets which were designed with the fragile beauty of this remarkable environment in mind. Located 30km south-east of Sesriem, it provides a good location to explore the dunes of Sossusvlei, as well as trips to Naukluft Mountains, or join trail rides, nature drives and unguided hiking trails. Hot air ballooning and scenic flights can also be arranged. There are 20 chalets (including a family chalet), all with private deck, mossie nets and ceiling fan. The main lodge houses the restaurant and bar along with a safe deposit box, laundry service and curio shop, outside has a swimming pool with shaded areas and viewing deck. Credit cards (Mastercard and Visa) are accepted, Wifi is available
Dead Vlei – This ancient clay pan was once an oasis, studded with acacias and fed by a river that suddenly changed course, leaving the earth to dry up along with the trees it previously supported. So dry were the climatic conditions that the trees never decomposed – instead they were entirely leached of moisture so that today, 900 years later, they remain as desiccated, blackened sentinels dotting the pan’s cracked surface. Surrounded by the red-pink dunes of the Namib Desert, blue skies, a white-clay pan, they create a surreal spectacle that is a photographer’s dream.
Dune 45 – Dune 45 is located 45kms from the Sesriem gate, (and entrance to dunes), it is renowned for its elegant shape, which – along with its position close to the road – has earned it the distinction of ‘most photographed dune in the world’.
Popular for sunrise, many people climb to gain a vantage point to watch the sun rise over the surrounding area and enjoy the changing colour of the dunes, at only 80 metres and featuring a much gentler gradient it is an easier climb than many of the other dunes found.
Sesriem Canyon– Sesriem Canyon, a deep chasm carved through the rocks by water, is a striking natural feature of the area that is best explored on foot. Stony walls rise up sharply on both sides of the canyon, while birds roost in its crags and lizards dart along the ledges. The canyon’s name was coined when early settlers used it as a water source, using six lengths of leather (‘ses riem – six thongs) tied together to lower buckets into the water at the base of canyon.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast
DAY 7-8: Swakopmund & Coastal Strip
Drive across the gravel plains and over the Kuiseb and Gaub Passes to Swakopmund today. En-route stop at Walvis Bay to visit the lagoon, a protected RAMSAR wetland site, to see some of the many water birds including greater and lesser flamingos, pelicans, avocets, plovers, and the endemic Damara tern. From here, it is a short coastal drive to the historic and adventurous seaside town of Swakopmund, where there is the opportunity to join optional activities, perhaps take part in a marine cruise and experience the thrill of dolphins leaping out of the water along the boat and feed seals by hand; enjoy fresh oysters and sparkling wine on the cruise – a great activity to enjoy. Alternatively, join a highly recommended half/full day trip to Sandwich Harbour or a scenic flight taking you over the southern desert and coastline where you’ll see dunes falling into the ocean, a shipwreck 200m inland, and of course, the dunes of Sossusvlei region. For those seeking adrenaline-fuelled activities choose from quad biking, sand biking, kayaking, and sky diving as well as options of desert tours. In addition, there’s a safe beach for swimming, an interesting aquarium, and a museum or you may want to sit back and relax with a coffee and cake and watch the world go by. Overnight in a twin room on a bed and breakfast basis, all other meals and activities at client’s expense Approx 5.5hours
Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, colonial-era buildings, and the cool sea breeze make it very popular and has a wide range of accommodation establishments, banks, restaurants/cafes, and shops.
Along this stretch of coastline (Walvis Bay and Swakopmund) you can take part in a selection of activities sating the thirst of those seeking adrenaline adventures – sky diving, quad biking, and sandboarding; or for the more leisurely a range of marine activities including kayaking and cruises. The coastal desert can also be explored with trips to Sandwich Harbour, or informative desert tours… There is a long list so just ask us!
Walvis Bay is Namibia’s major harbour town and the lagoon has prolific bird life including flamingos, pelicans as well as the breeding area for the endemic Damara tern – any bird enthusiast should make a stop here.
Further north along this coastline – part of the Skeleton Coast, you’ll find shipwrecks and the famous Cape Cross seal colony – one of the largest fur seal colonies in the area.
Overnight: Swakopmund Sands Hotel (or similar)
The Swakopmund Sands is literary minutes walk away from the very popular Jetty and Tug restaurants as well as other tourist attractions and yet there is total privacy once on the premises. Each individually designed room is equipped with a flat-screen TV, safe, underfloor heating, fridge, as well as tea and coffee facilities. A laundry service is available for same-day delivery. Each bathroom has a hairdryer and shaving facilities and all international power points can be used. Free wifi available. Note there is a breakfast room but additional meals are not available.
Sandwich Harbour – Located roughly 50 kilometres from Walvis Bay, Sandwich Harbour is a natural lagoon framed by sand dunes on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. It is a prime angling and bird-watching site, with countless sea birds coming to feed on the rich fish population, including rare white pelican and vivid flocks of pink flamingos.
Walvis Bay Lagoon – Walvis Bay’s calm natural lagoon is a twitcher’s paradise, teeming with roughly 50 species of seabirds, including vivid flocks of flamingos, bulky-billed pelicans and glossy black cormorants. It’s also a popular spot for windsurfing, kitesurfing and kayaking, while the promenade stretching for three kilometres along the water’s edge is a great place for a scenic stroll.
Walvis Bay Dolphin & Seal Cruise
Several operators run boat cruises from Walvis Bay geared towards dolphin, seal and whale watching, but also offering visitors the chance to experience the region’s natural beauty and phenomenal bird life.
Bed & Breakfast
DAY 9-10: Twyfelfontein
Today, drive north along the Skeleton Coast stopping to view a shipwreck just south of Henties Bay and easily viewed by the shore; from here visit Cape Cross Seal Colony, where thousands of seals congregate on the beach before retracing your steps to Henties Bay and turning inland. You’ll drive past Brandberg, the highest point in Namibia and a huge massif towering over the surrounding plains, and onward to central Damaraland and Twyfelfontein where you can take a local guide to explore and view the etchings whilst learning a little of the history of this ancient region. Watch out for desert elephants sometimes found wandering around the dry riverbeds in the dry winter months! Overnight in a twin room on a dinner, bed, and breakfast basis, all other meals and activities will be at the client’s expense Approx 5hours (allow extra for Cape Cross – 45mins each way plus time at seals)
Twyfelfontein is a site of ancient rock engravings in Damaraland, and Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site (2007). It has one of the largest collections in Africa as well as one of the most note-worthy with around 2,000+, some thought to be around 6,000 years old! It is believed that the creators of the rock art were the medicine people or shamans who incised their engravings as a means of entering the supernatural world and recording the experiences, the process could prepare the shaman for a state of trance by the repetitive chipping and concentration of energy. Etched into the rock are thus stories within stories, eternalized as a legacy
Overnight: Twyfelfontein Country Lodge
The lodge is situated in the heart of the Twyfelfontein Uibasen Conservancy and offers 56 en-suite twin rooms, 4 double rooms, 1 luxury suite, and 6 family rooms; the main lodge has the reception, lounge, curio shop, an open dining room, bar, curio shop, FOREX desk, waterhole for game viewing and swimming pool. In construction utmost care was taken to reduce the visual impact on the environment and to blend into the mountainside with the use of thatch roofs, natural stone, and paint colours toning in with the surrounding rock formations. Credit cards are accepted and there is the internet, but note there is no cell phone reception.
Activities include afternoon nature drives with sundowners, star gazing, morning excursions to Twyfelfontein engravings, walking trails, and visits to Damara Living Museum.
Cape Cross Seal Colony – This colony of Cape Fur Seals is one of the largest in the world, home to approximately 80 000 to 100 000 of these so-called ‘seals’, which are in fact a species of sea lion. Day trips to the colony are offered and the seals can be viewed from a walkway at a distance of roughly 200 metres.
Twyfelfontein Rock Art – Twyfelfontein is a World Heritage Site boasting one of the richest rock art concentrations in Africa. Thousands of tourists come to this site each year to view some 2, 500 Stone Age rock engravings. The area is home to 17 rock art sites, which collectively encompass 212 engraved stone slabs. There are an additional 13 sites displaying rock paintings.
Damara Living Museum – Observe and experience the traditional Damara way of life right in the heart of their traditional homelands. A unique opportunity to see a way of life that is slowly dying out. Open daily.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast
DAY 10–11: DAMARLAND
Journey further to northern Damaraland, this is a community-based establishment, where plateaus reach high on skyline and strange plant life dominates the stunning and ancient landscapes; perched on the edge of the plateau this lodge sits in a fantastic location and offers superb optional activities such as rhino or elephant tracking, traditional village visits, game drives and nature walks. Your two nights are based in twin share chalet on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis; activities at own expense and we recommend pre-booking to avoid disappointment. Approx 3-4hours
Huge, untamed and ruggedly beautiful Damaraland is an exceptionally scenic landscape of open plains and spectacular rock formations. Some regard the highlight of the region as Twyfelfontein – Namibia’s first World Heritage Site and one of the largest collections of rock etchings in Africa. There are a number of sites worth exploring in the region and depending on how much time you have – Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, the Erongo Mountains with its granite formations and conservancy programmes, then Spitzkoppe offering incredible rock formations as well as rock paintings. Engage with local communities around the area including the Damara people and perhaps visit Damara Living Museum located close to Twyfelfontein. Ultimately, this area is also home to free-roaming desert elephant, black rhino, and desert-adapted lion (along with a number of other species including giraffe, mountain zebra etc), and some lodges offer superb activities enabling visitors to track these incredible animals
Overnight: Grootberg Lodge (or similar)
Thanks to funds donated by the European Union, the 16chalet Grootberg Lodge was built. It was the first lodge to be wholly owned by the community and this in turn has brought employment and a more sustainable income to the members, as well as revenue to aid and promoted social initiatives and resources. A reform in conservation efforts and education placed the community as custodian and beneficiaries to the area and the value of conservation became understood. With community members comprising of up to 98% of the employees, even former poachers became conservationists particularly for those with excellent bush and tracking skills, and superb knowledge of the area, these people became the best candidates for the job. An environmental award-winning lodge, increasing wildlife numbers in the conservancy, superb location and game such as black rhino, desert-adapted lion and elephant and sustainable tourism makes this a truly worthwhile lodge to visit and is one of our favourites as a 3* destination. The lodge itself perches on the edge of the plateau with incredible vistas, and has an infinity pool, thatched bar, lounge and dining area, along with a small curio shop and internet facilities. There are 16 en-suite chalets in total – 14 twin/double, plus 2 family chalets, each with its own deck and view, and have tea/coffee station, and mossie nets.
Enjoy optional activities such as guided rhino tracking in the Klip River which is mixture of 4×4 game drive and tracking on foot, with the possibility of between 1-3 hour walk, and at lunch time there will be a stop near the springs. It can be almost a full day activity travelling on bumpy roads and walking in rocky terrain and note that sightings are not guaranteed.
Alternatively, you may choose to enjoy searching for the famous desert elephant – a morning activity venturing to local communities and tracing the giants from here as they vend their way through the region and a real chance to see them in incredible habitats along with learning about the lifestyle of local people.
Other options include visiting a local Damara community, game drives, guided nature walks, and sunset drives or simply relax by the infinity pool
Elephant tracking – This is one of our most popular activities. A guide with a tracker will take you out into the surrounding conservancy in search of the elusive desert elephants, giving you also the opportunity to appreciate the life style of the local Damara-Nama people. Lunch takes place in the shade of a tree in the remote wilderness of Damaraland. Damaraland is one of the few last places where the wildlife roams freely, sightings cannot be guaranteed.
Rhino Tracking – Your guide, along with the game trackers will take you in an open 4×4 game vehicle down to the Klip River Valley. 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. Sightings are not guaranteed.
Scenic drives on Top of the Plateau – AM or PM
The lodge offers scenic drives on top of the Etendeka Plateau with the possibility of seeing a variety of wildlife population of zebras, antelope, jackal and occasionally leopard and lion. Springbok, Kudu and Oryx are a permanent fixture and even the nervous and shy klipspringers are sometimes seen leaping from ledge to ledge on the steep cliffs of the mountain.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast
DAY 12-13: Etosha South
Onward to Etosha National Park, one of the best game reserves in Southern Africa and home to abundant game. You may see lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, hyena, giraffe, and many types of antelope including the endemic black-faced impala and the smallest of all – the Damara dik-dik. Two nights are spent in the national park where you can enjoy self-guided game drives or sit around at the floodlit waterhole and watch the animals come to drink. 3-4hours to Etosha; game drives vary
The national park can be accessed via the southern entrance at Andersson’s Gate and the central point is Okaukuejo Resort. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife including lion, giraffe, elephant, white and black rhino, and a multitude of plains game. Popular activities include game drives, tracking rhinos on foot, guided nature walks, or watching the sunset over this magnificent landscape. Just outside the national park is the upmarket Ongava Private Reserve, as well as a number of mid-level accommodations and campsites.
Overnight: Okaukuejo Resort (or similar)
Okaukuejo is located 17 km from the southern entrance of the park, and is famous for its flood-lit waterhole, where visitors can observe at close quarters a spectacle of wildlife congregating and interacting – this is an incredible sight during the dry winter months and one of best places to see herds of elephant, black rhino and large herds of plains game. The spectacle starts at dawn, with animals coming in large numbers to quench their thirst and continues throughout the day until late at night. In the early evenings, it is not uncommon to have black rhino, elephant and lion all drinking at the same time.
Alternate: Halali Resort (or similar)
Strategically located halfway between Okaukuejo and Namutoni inside Etosha National Park, Halali is situated at the base of a dolomite hill, amongst shady mopane trees and a Government run rest camp. A flood-lit waterhole is viewed from an elevated vantage point and during dry winter months provides exceptional wildlife viewing throughout the day and into the night and it’s not unusual for elephant, rhino, hyena and various species of game to be seen. Accommodation is provided in family chalets, two and four bed bush chalets and standard rooms – all with en-suite facilities and overlook the natural surroundings of dry, pan like areas. Facilities include a restaurant, bar, small shop, swimming pool, kiosk and camping facilities. Watch out for honey badgers around the rooms and campsite – it’s a great location for them.
Bed & Breakfast
DAY 14: Okonjima Nature Reserve
After a leisurely breakfast and a final game drive, leave Etosha behind and head south to Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation, to overnight at Plains Camp, in twin share a standard room on dinner, bed, and breakfast basis, with one activity per person included. Here you will have the chance to witness one of the best conservation programmes in Namibia. When you are at Okonjima the choice of activity will be discussed with you and you can choose one that best suits your interests – we do not pre-book specific activities in advance, it is a great opportunity to see predators such as leopard or cheetah close up. Approx 4hours
Halfway between Windhoek and Etosha lies the well-known Okonjima Nature Reserve. The 22 000 ha Nature Reserve is surrounded by 96 km of fence and was finally completed in 2010. Okonjima is home to AFRICAT, a Carnivore Conservation, which gives the captive carnivores a second chance to be released back into the wild and to take the time it needs, to become a completely independent hunter – in a protected area right in the middle of commercial farmland! Also in the Reserve is a 2000 ha ‘safe’ zone around Plains Camp, Bush Camp, Bush Suite, the Omboroko Campsite as well as the PAWS Environmental Education Centre.
Overnight: Okonjima Plains Camp (or similar)
Not only is Okonjima a luxury lodge but is also home to The AfriCat Foundation, a non-profit organization, committed to long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores, especially cheetahs and leopards and a visit will give you an opportunity to witness some of AfriCat’s work. Plains Camp design honours the Okonjima cattle-farming history – in the early 1920’s, Okonjima became a cattle farm and was bought by Val (VJ) & Rose Hanssen in 1970. They were well-established Brahman breeders and continued to farm cattle until the need for solutions to increasing livestock losses became pertinent and post-independence interest in Namibia as a tourist destination, escalated. In 1993, the herds of Brahman and Jersey cattle were sold, changing the face of Okonjima as well as that of Carnivore Conservation! Nowadays, clients enjoy a selection of activities that include tracking rehabilitated carnivores on foot; visiting the AfriCat Carnivore Care & Information Centre; and/or tracking leopards from a game–viewing vehicle.
A guided Bushman Trail and birding/walking trails are also available. A superb first/last night destination and recommended. Facilities include a swimming pool, curio shop, waterhole, and free wifi. There is a choice of view rooms, standard rooms, and the nearby garden rooms (these are a little further away from the lodge and part of old lodge – they are more traditional stone built). Note there is no air-conditioning.
Okonjima – Large Carnivore tracking on foot – Guests staying at any of Okonjima’s camps can partake in a tracking, on-foot safari, alongside guides in search of AfriCat’s rehabilitated carnivores within our 22 000ha private nature reserve.
Okonjima – Leopard Viewing – Our guests travel continents and countries with the hopes of sighting the elusive leopard in its natural habitat. Leopards are the most adaptable of all the wild cats. These solitary, intelligent predators cover large distances across open plains, mountainous terrain and acacia thickets, which is why sightings are never guaranteed.
Okonjima – The AfriCat Foundation – Okonjima Nature Reserve in central Namibia is home to The AfriCat Foundation. It has grown significantly since it was established as a welfare organisation in the early 1990s and registered as a non-profit organisation in 1993. Today, AfriCat’s mission is the long-term conservation of some of Namibia’s large carnivores – such as brown hyena, leopard, and cheetah, all of which can be seen during an environmental education visit to Okonjima.
Okonjima – The Cheetah Project – Our Rescue and Release Programme at AfriCat’s Carnivore Care Centre has been developed over twenty years, thanks to our mutual relationship with the nearby farming community. Some of the carnivores in our care are young, fit and wild enough to be part of our rehabilitation project. They are awaiting their turn to get a second chance in the wild as they will be released within the Okonjima Nature Reserve.
Dinner, Bed and Breakfast
1 x activity
DAY 15: DEPARTURE
Today you’ll bid farewell to this incredible country. Depending on the time of your flight, there may be an opportunity to join a further activity this morning (own expense), from here drive back to Windhoek to drop off your vehicle and connect with your onward flight back home. No flights prior to mid-afternoon (if you want to join an activity we would suggest a later flight). End of services Approx 2.45hours to city, plus additional 45mins to airport
B&B – 1 Night
B&B – 1 Night
Fish River Lodge – Fish River Canyon
Desert Homestead – Sossusvlei
Swakopmund Sands Hotel– Swakopmund & Coastal Strip
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge – Twyfelfontein
Grootberg Lodge – Damaraland
Okaukuejo Resort – Etosha South
Okonjima Plains Camp – Okonjima Nature Reserve
We are happy to help you extend your stay in Africa. Why not extend to South Africa, Botswana, or exotic Zanzibar?! Contact us for more information.
PRICE from $3695 USD per participant Double / Twin based on a minimum of 2 travellers
Low Season (01/11/20- 31/05/21) TBD
High Season (01/06/21 – 31/10/21) TBD
Prices to change with additional people.
A 25% non-refundable deposit is required at the time of booking to reserve your place. Please contact email@example.com for more booking information.
Full payment is due 60 prior to departure.
PLEASE NOTE: This itinerary is subject to change. Although we always do our best to stick to the itinerary, due to the ever-changing nature of Mother Earth, activities, hotels, and visits are subject to change due to forces beyond our control.
PRICES: The cost of the trip is subject to change and will vary throughout seasons. Price is based on 2 people in twin/double accommodation and will change if number of travellers changes.
FLIGHTS: Please do not purchase your flights until this tour is confirmed.
PASSPORTS: Must be valid for at least 6 months upon return date to your home country. Proper documentation is the responsibility of each traveller.
VISAS: Responsibility of the traveller.
Cancellation, Travel, Flight, and Health insurance are required and are the responsibility of the participant to research and secure the appropriate coverage. Click HERE for a Travel Insurance Quote or please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a quote.
Check with your local travel agent /insurance provider/health plan for advice about traveling overseas.
Namibia is an incredible country to visit but please remember that we are in Africa and that not all standards are the same as you would get in Canada or other first world countries. To the majority of our clients, that is part of the appeal of travelling to destinations such as ours. If you are not comfortable with new challenges then you may wish to consider other companies or destinations. Please also note that due to the location of destinations, some long days are inevitable – you’ll travel on gravel roads which can vary in quality depending on the season and maintenance work carried out – we follow only well-defined roads. Note that for safety we do not travel after sunset – please do not expect your guide to do so
Car Rental – As with all car hire companies if you have an accident and they prove you were negligent– for example – speeding then the zero excess becomes void and you are liable. You will complete the contract and discuss any extras with the car rental company upon collection of the vehicle – please check the vehicle carefully as you are responsible for it thereafter. If you have any problems with the car whilst you are on the road please contact them directly. With all car rentals you will need to provide your passport, driving license (written in English or an international license), as well as supply credit card for refundable deposit. A GPS is often available by the car rental companies (at clients’ own expense), however, we do find that due to our road network system (and small population), it is not normally required, we realize this is a personal preference and are happy to pre-book for you. Note that the prices quoted on vehicle extras are a guideline only and subject to change. Please do not drive around/after sunset
Please note that this quote is based on the availability of both accommodation/ vehicle and on the understanding no bookings have been made. Should we need to use alternative options the price and itinerary is subject to change
Money: The Namibian dollar is tied permanently against the South African rand on a 1/1 basis so you are able to check the current exchange rate against your local currency but please note that Namibian dollars are not regarded as an international currency and cannot be purchased outside of the country, therefore if bringing money into the country then you’ll receive SA rand. Both Namibian dollars and South African rand are legal currencies in Namibia. Generally, credit card facilities are accepted in the lodges and ATM’s are available in towns, however, we recommend you carry some cash with you in case a machine is out of order. Travellers’ cheques can only be exchanged in major towns and it is often a time consuming and costly process so we do not recommend carrying them with you. We recommend you bring South African rand with you or exchange at the airports prior to landing in Windhoek to avoid any unnecessary delays upon arrival or needing to carry large sums of money and passports around the city. It is customary to tip in Namibia, usually, around 10% at restaurants. Your guide can be tipped at your discretion if you feel he/she has done a superb job – we recommend N$40-50/person/day
Safety: As with every destination safety tips needs to be adhered to; we strongly recommend you use a safe in a hotel/lodge or lock up your valuables when you are not in the room; when in a vehicle do not leave valuables on display but tucked away and out of sight. It is also better to have copies of passports, money; cards etc split between travellers so if anything unexpected happens and a bag is lost or stolen then other funds/cards are available, you may also wish to consider using a money belt/neck wallet. We suggest you leave valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. A padlock for your luggage is also recommended
Dietary: We can assist with booking of various dietary requirements or food allergies but we appreciate your details when you book with us and we will advise the appropriate lodges. Please be aware that the choice and options may not be as great as your home country.
Weather: Please note that in winter evenings and nights in particular can be very cold we recommend layered clothing – day time temps can be 25°C so t-shirts and shorts is great for then but thermals are very useful for evenings/night. Summer temperatures can exceed 40°C but also bring our rainy season so a lightweight rain jacket is handy, as with most places layering is the most recommended way of clothing – please ensure you pack your clothes in plastic bags and ensure cameras/electrical equipment is suitably protected
Climate: The African sun is very strong. Please use a factor 30 sunscreen and wear a hat. You should drink at least 3 litres of water per day to avoid dehydration. It can also get very cold during winter months on this route
Electrical: plugs are 220V and are 3 pin (round pin as opposed to square pin). Adaptors can be purchased in Windhoek and most international airports; they are the same as in South Africa if you are shopping in your home country or at the airport. Some lodges will also offer 2pin sockets or adaptors but please do not rely on this, it is much better to bring your own. It is possible to re-charge batteries at most lodges but clients must be responsible for security of their possessions.
Insurance: It is essential that you purchase comprehensive personal travel insurance before you embark on your holiday, medical insurance is insufficient. Travel insurance is for your own protection and should include evacuation; we also recommend full cover for baggage loss etc and consider it to be an essential part of modern international travel. Contact email@example.com for insurance.
If you have credit card insurance – please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. If you are uncertain whether this is enough please contact us when you book to ensure you have adequate cover
Health: Namibia is a low-risk malarial destination but we recommend that seek professional medical advice to enable you to make decisions on personal malaria protection. Note that Etosha is an official malarial area (low risk) so please discuss with your doctor and obtain any necessary protection before departing your home country. No vaccinations are required by law for the countries being visited on this tour though we recommend clients are up to date with vaccinations of TB, hepatitis, polio etc
Water: All tap water in Namibia has been purified or comes directly from boreholes and is safe to drink. Tap drinking water is generally safe to drink but bottled mineral water is easily available at shops and rest camps should you prefer to drink this, at some lodges it is provided though may be at an additional cost
Visas: The onus is on the client to organize all visas required for clients prior to departure. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your scheduled departure date country of travel and has sufficient empty pages. If this is not the case, there is a danger of being turned away by the Immigration Service on arrival at the airport – assuming your airline has agreed to bring you and risk a fine in the first place. The Company cannot be held liable for any necessary visas or other travel documents not held by the clients. Please also note that if your passport requires a visa for the countries you visit and multiple entries if necessary, you will need to carry your passport with you during the trip
Responsible Tourism: When we put together an itinerary for you, our aim is to try to ensure you have the experience of a lifetime, we strongly believe in low impact or positive impact tourism. Furthermore, our responsibility to the country/ies you visit and the environment is to try our best to ensure that all benefit – whether that is a small, local operator, local community or conservation programme. Your itinerary may include visits a “local community/village” which will enable you to directly assist and barter for a piece of jewellery; perhaps overnight at a locally-owned campsite or lodge; maybe a local guide takes you to a place of interest or site; or visit an organization set up to protect endangered animals and species that occur naturally in the country. We will give you an insight into these initiatives but if you want more information please ask. Note that these initiatives vary according to the region travelled and what is available), remember your safety and enjoyment is also of paramount importance so we will not, for example, use a campsite located in a place we consider unsuitable. Please also follow some of the notes we issue in our pre-departure information to minimize the effects of negative tourism on local cultures (respect for others and their beliefs etc). Generally, we prefer not to use large, international hotel chains as much of the revenue leaves the country but again, should you prefer this option we are happy to oblige.
Pre and Post Tour Accommodation: If you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you
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