The Land of Beauty
Sossusvlei - Swakopmund - Damaraland - Etosha -AfriCat
10 days / 9 nights
From USD 3,510 per person sharing
(Please note these prices may change depending on the exchange rate at the time of booking.)
Where will this safari take me?
Namibia is a vast country, even by African standards, covering an area approximately twice the size of California and four times the size of the United Kingdom, but with a population of a mere 2 million. This gives one of the lowest population densities in the world. It is also an 'ageless land’; visible through our heritage of rock art created by stone-age artists and geological attractions such as the petrified forest where fossilised tree trunks have lain for over 280 million years. When added to the space and silence, these factors all contribute to a feeling of antiquity, solitude and wilderness.
This safari affords you the chance to experience this magnificent and memorable country in a very personal way. You will have your own professional and experienced safari guide who will enhance your enjoyment of this unique country by making it a fascinating and stress-free journey of discovery amidst very dramatic scenery. The knowledge, experience, and character of our guides are critical to a successful safari which is why we ensure that they are both personable and very professional.
What makes this safari so special?
Travel with one of Namibia’s most reputable and well-known naturalist guides.
Stay in the only camp inside the world’s 4th largest National Park.
Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes.
Sea kayak with seals and dolphins on the Skeleton Coast (alternative option ski boat).
Track for desert-adapted elephants in ephemeral river systems.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein.
Visit an authentic and remote Himba settlement.
Memorable and exciting guided game drives within the renowned Etosha National Park, from the vantage point of a specially modified, air conditioned 4x4 with pop tops.
Explore 2 very different parts of Etosha by spending time on both the Etosha Heights and Onguma Private Game Reserves.
Sleep in the tree tops overlooking one of the most productive waterholes on the Onguma Private Game Reserve.
Visit the world renowned AfriCat Foundation and learn more about conservation initiatives involving Africa’s large cats.
Sossus Dune Lodge
This morning your guide will collect you from your various accommodation establishments or from the Windhoek International Airport (assuming you land before 08h00). You then depart Windhoek in your safari vehicle with your private guide and drive southwest through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below, stopping for a picnic lunch at a scenic location along the way. You arrive at Sossus Dune Lodge in the midafternoon and you will stay here for two nights whilst you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide. If there is still time today, your guide will take you to visit Sesriem Canyon, a nearby geological attraction, or explore Elim Dune. However, if you prefer, you can just relax and soak in the scenic and tranquil surroundings at Sossus Dune Lodge.
Sossus Dune Lodge
This morning you will need to rise early for a magical excursion with your guide in the Namib Naukluft National Park, normally setting off before sunrise to capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate the towering shapes and curves.
This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world and your guide will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs.
Once you have explored Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and surrounding dune fields to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxed picnic brunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree. You then return to Sossus Dune Lodge in the early afternoon in time for a late lunch, with the option to visit Sesriem Canyon afterwards if you haven’t already done so the day before. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure (from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes).
The Delight Swakopmund Gondwana Collection Namibia
The fascinating drive today takes you northwest through awesome and ever changing desert landscapes of the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. You will meet the coast at the port town of Walvis Bay and then continue north to Swakopmund where you can enjoy the pleasant seaside location and cooler coastal air for your next two nights. There will be time this afternoon to explore the town and wander along the waterfront on foot, before heading off for dinner at a popular restaurant which specializes in fresh seafood.
OPTIONAL EXTRA: A sunrise balloon flight or scenic light aircraft flight over the Namib Naukluft National Park before you depart for Swakopmund. Please book ahead.
As an alternative to the drive from Sossus Dune Lodge to Swakopmund you may like to take a scenic light aircraft flight over Sossusvlei and along the Diamond Coast (optional extra at additional cost), allowing you a bird’s eye view over the dune sea, abandoned mining camps, shipwrecks, Sandwich Harbour and salt pans before you land at Swakopmund Airport. Your guide will drive to meet up with you in Swakopmund later in the day. Please book ahead.
The Delight Swakopmund Gondwana Collection Namibia
After an early breakfast your guide will drive you along the scenic coastal road back south to Walvis Bay for a memorable kayaking adventure within the outer lagoon. After meeting your kayaking guide you will be taken on a short scenic drive to Pelican Point to see its lighthouse and windswept beauty, stopping briefly at the salt works to view the variety of birdlife on your way to the launch point. The kayaking is an ideal way of seeing Cape fur seals, Heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other sea birds. If you are lucky, there is also a chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish. During the course of the day the guide will stop and inform you about the environment and light refreshments will be served on the beach before heading back to Walvis Bay.
You also have the choice to partake in a memorable motorized boat seal and dolphin excursion within the outer lagoon and harbour should the kayaking not appeal. Here you should also see Cape fur seals, heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other sea birds. Again, if luck is on your side, there is also a chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish. During the course of the excursion snacks will be served along with local sparkling wine and fresh oysters, before you will return to the jetty at roughly midday.
You then have the opportunity to explore the waterfront area of Walvis Bay further before returning to Swakopmund for an afternoon at leisure at your guesthouse or out in town. Activities such as camel rides, scenic flights, sandboarding and more can all be booked at an extra cost.
Continuing on your safari today, the road takes you north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. You pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573 m above sea level, and take time to view game and absorb the vastness of the scenery along the way. Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendour which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word 'wilderness'.
If time allows this afternoon your guide will take you to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of the pre-historic Twyfelfontein rock engravings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) - if not there is plenty of time to see them tomorrow.
After an early breakfast you will be treated to an exciting 4x4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valleys to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants if they are in the area. Damaraland is home to a variety of desert adapted wildlife and hidden desert treasures. As the elephants are mostly active in the mornings you will normally have the best chance to see them then before returning to camp for lunch. However, if all the safari participants agree, you also have the option to take a picnic lunch and stop to enjoy that in the shade of a large Ana tree by the riverbed, ideally while watching a herd of elephant browsing nearby.
Your guide will arrange to fit in a visit to Twyfelfontein and other nearby attractions at a suitable time if you haven’t already done so the previous day. On return to camp there should be time to take a walk into the local area with your guide if desired, or simply relax and enjoy some well-deserved leisure time.
Etosha Heights Safarihoek Lodge
Today after a very early breakfast you set off on your journey to the Etosha National Park, travelling via the scenic Grootberg Pass. Along the way your guide will take you to visit a local Himba settlement – you may have to search for a while as the semi-nomadic Himba people sometimes move location with no notice. They are one of the last truly traditional peoples of Namibia and have little time for conventional practices. Here you will learn about the customs and traditions of this very proud nation, and will be given insight into their beliefs, way of life and everyday routine.
Depending on the school semester and school holidays, you may also visit the Grootberg Primary School, a rural school where Ultimate Safaris’ Conservation Travel Foundation is actively involved, assisting with improved education infrastructure and methods. After visiting the Himba and school you will head east through the small town of Kamanjab before heading on towards tonight’s destination at the new Safarihoek Lodge, which is situated on the south western border of the Etosha National Park. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed en-route and arrival will be in the very late afternoon or early evening (after a long but rewarding day).
After your arrival you will have some time at leisure, which can be spent appreciating the unique surroundings and enjoying the game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole and enjoy a different vantage point from the camps underground and elevated hides.
Onguma Tree Camp
Today is dedicated to a full day of exciting game viewing within the central section of Etosha National Park from your private safari vehicle as you make your way from the southern Andersson’s Gate to Halali (where you may stop for lunch) and then on across via selected waterholes such as Goas, which are normally particularly good for game viewing, to Namutoni Camp in the east. You will have to leave the Park before sunset and head out to stay at the delightful Onguma Tree Top Camp with enough time to relax and freshen up before for dinner. The rest of the evening can be spent game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole where game comes and goes throughout the day and night.
Onguma Tree Camp
Another morning dedicated to memorable game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park with your guide. You return to camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, spending your final afternoon on a game drive on the private Onguma Game Reserve, culminating in a sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. You then return after sunset with enough time to freshen up and enjoy your final ‘safari dinner’ overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole.
Your early departure will take you south from Onguma Tree Top via Tsumeb, Otavi and Otjiwarongo to reach Okonjima’s AfriCat Day Centre, a wonderful highlight with which to conclude your safari. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a wildlife sanctuary which focuses on the research and rehabilitation of Africa's big cats, especially injured or captured leopard and cheetah. You arrive in time for lunch before embarking on an exciting and informative game drive and tour of the centre. Here you will learn about the function and vision of the AfriCat Foundation and will also get to meet some of the Foundation’s special captive carnivore ambassadors.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no tracking of wild cats on this visit and should that be required an overnight extension should be booked as per the below.
After the excursion and freshening up, the journey continues further south to arrive back in Windhoek in the late afternoon, just as the sun is setting. Upon your arrival in Windhoek you will be transferred to your accommodation establishment of choice, or out to the Windhoek International Airport (transfer to be booked additionally) if flying out in the evening - departure flights must be no earlier than 21h00 to allow sufficient time for the visit to the AfriCat Foundation and the journey back to Windhoek, or a final night in Windhoek can be arranged at additional cost if required. A final night in Windhoek is highly recommended!
NOTE (OPTIONAL EXTENSION):
You have the option to extend your safari for an additional night or two at Okonjima, staying at their delightful Luxury Bush Camp. This affords you the opportunity to get a more in-depth insight into the work being done by the AfriCat Foundation as well as getting to see more of cheetah, leopard and other big cats in the wild. Enquire for more details.
- Accommodation as stated in itinerary
- Transportation in a luxury air-conditioned safari vehicle.
- All meals
- Services of a registered and experienced naturalist English-speaking safari guide.
- Entrance fees and excursions as described in itinerary.
- Mineral water on board the safari vehicle
- Option of either kayaking or catamaran boat cruise in Swakopmund
- International flights to Namibia and airport taxes
- Return airport transfers from Windhoek International Airport – Windhoek – Windhoek International Airport
- Pre and post safari accommodation in Windhoek
- Any entrance fees and excursions not included in the above itinerary
- All beverages with the exception of mineral water on board the safari vehicle
- Laundry (laundry service available at lodges at extra cost)
- Items of personal nature (telephone expenses, curios, medicines etc).
- ENTRY VISA FEES
- BANK CHARGES (as per bank or 3.5% commission for VISA/MASTER and 4.5% commission for AMEX).