Namibia Camping adventure
Kalahari Desert - Fish River Canyon - Luderitz - Aus - Sossusvlei - Windhoek - Okonjima Nature Reserve - Etosha National Park - Damaraland - Swakopmund
14 days / 13 Nights
FROM USD 2515 per person
Please note price may change depending on exchange rate at time of booking
The tour will always run from a Friday to a Thursday almost on a weekly basis. Please enquire for details.
What makes this safari so special?
The South is nothing short of a magical experience. Here you will experience the true heart of Namibia and see unique landscapes that will colour the rest of your life. The Northern Adventure is your chance to view exquisite feline carnivores, the wild animals of Etosha in their personal Eden, unique mountainous vistas and the elaborate carvings of Africa's eldest human inhabitants. This safari can also be combined with Two of the world’s natural wonders, the Okavango Delta and the mighty Victoria Falls can also be included by combining this trip with our 10 day Delta and Falls Safari.
ITINERARY IN BRIEF
Friday : Kalahari
Saturday : Fish River area
Sunday : Lüderitz
Monday : Aus
Tuesday : Namib Naukluft Park
Wednesday : Namib Naukluft Park
Thursday : Back to Windhoek
Friday : Okonjima / AfriCat
Saturday : Etosha National Park
Sunday : Etosha National Park
Monday : Grootberg
Tuesday : Damaraland
Wednesday : Swakopmund
Thursday : Travel back to Windhoek
Windhoek - Kalahari
Bagatelle Kalahari Ranch Campsite
You will be collected at your Windhoek accommodation between 07:30 & 08:00.
We start our journey south on the main highway, travelling through the thin strip of Kalahari Desert that protrudes onto the eastern side of Namibia. Stopping at small towns along the way including Rehoboth, traditional home of the Baster people and on to Kalkrand where you bid the main road farewell and head off into the Kalahari. The Kalahari Desert often surprises people when they first see it. It is very different from the Namib. First of all, remember that the Kalahari is not a desert. It receives more rain than a true desert should. The Kalahari is a fossil desert. Don’t expect to find tall Sossusvlei-style dunes devoid of greenery here. The Kalahari’s dunes are very different. They are often equally beautiful, but usually greener and less stark – and with this vegetation comes its ability to support more flora and fauna than a true desert.
Late this afternoon we hop onto an open vehicle for a late afternoon sunset drive.
Overnight: Bagatelle Kalahari Ranch Campsite
Bagatelle - this French word refers to something small, of little consequence, not very important! 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-westerly to south-easterly direction.
Kalahari -Fish River Canyon
Canyon Roadhouse Campsite
An early morning departure to the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. Just outside the town you have the opportunity of visiting the Mesosaurus Fossil Site.
We travel via the town of Keetmanshoop for overnight camping on the Fish River area. Here you have the opportunity of seeing the Quivertree. Quiver trees are not in fact trees, they are a type of aloe, (Aloe Dichotoma), so called because the branches fork “dictomously”. These weird looking plants dot the landscape in this part of the world and are locally common, however they are one of the world’s rarest flora species.
The intermittent Fish River has created Africa’s largest and the world’s second largest canyon. Hot, dry and stony the 160 km long, at times 27 km wide and 550m deep canyon is awe inspiring. At the southern end are the renowned hot springs of Ai-Ais.
Fish River - Lüderitz
Luderitz Nest Hotel
The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is (allegedly) the 2nd largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. The immensity of this magnificent landscape is truly breath taking. The towering rock faces and deep ravines were formed
by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth's crust over 500 million years ago.
Today the canyon measures 160km long up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest. It is fair to say that when you arrive at the canyon though, its exact location is a bit of a mystery as the 500m vertical drop from the flat dry plateau is completely out of view.
Early morning we head to the main view point where we can see how impressive this canyon actually is. This is an ideal opportunity for photos and to spend some time experiencing this amazing sight. Viewing from the top we can see the river sparkling in the sunlight far below us, and can barely imagine how many millennia it took for the forces of erosion to carve such a magnificent vista.
Time to pack up camp and move on to our next destination, the coastal town of Lüderitz where its colonial-style buildings cling to the rocks overlooking the bay, on some days a deep iridescent blue, on others grey and stormy, the crisp fresh climate, fishing boats bobbing up and down on the Atlantic horizon, penguins and seals diving beneath the waves, give the town a curious other-worldly allure.
We aim to arrive at our guest house during the late afternoon. Dinner will be at client’s own expense tonight.
Lüderitz - AUs
Klein-Aus Vista - Desert Horse Campsite
There is time to join an optional extra excursion, a marine trip, take a cruise around Luderitz bay and, weather permitting, to Halifax Island to see the Jackass Penguins. N.B: The boat cruise is subject to availability and, if undertaken, will be for the clients own risk and expense.
Time to explore Luderitz Town with its traditional German architecture and later we will take a drive out to Diaz Point to see the bird life, hopefully a few seals and the stone cross replica, originally erected by the Portuguese mariner Bartholomew Diaz.
Straight after the marine trip we drive out to Kolmanskop, a desert ghost town about 20 km out of Luderitz. It was built in the 1920's during the diamond rush and was abandoned when bigger and better diamonds were found further along the coast. The area is still abandoned and the desert has encroached over the entire town, giving an eerie feeling and real meaning to the word “ghost”.
We sleep tonight at Klein Aus Vista, a private reserve, beautifully located in the Aus Mountain Range, (Huib-Hoch- Plateau region). The road takes us through the “forbidden Zone” so named because in years gone by, the alluvial diamonds found in Namibia were simply scattered across the desert and we again have time to enjoy sunset over the mountains.
Aus - SEsriem
Turning north, we once again head deep into the ancient southern Namib, travelling on small gravel roads and passing some tiny rural communities along the way. The scenery is harsh, and sometimes forbidding. The process of erosion in these areas is well advanced and we pass time rounded “koppies” arid terrain and outcrops of tortured rock.
Traversing this bleak yet beautiful landscape, the terrain begins to change and we cross some open grass savannah and farmlands before the terrain begins to give way to the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib. We aim to arrive at our camp during the late afternoon and watch the colours glow and change on distant mountains to the east.
A pre-dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes and driving into the heart of the dune field, we reach Sossusvlei itself by walking the last 5 km through the dunes.
The walk is like nothing else, in the cool of the morning, with soft sunlight just beginning to play over the dunes creating a sharp light and shadow contrast across the whole desert. Ancient mineral pans, stunted camel thorn trees and the chance of seeing a gemsbok or maybe an ostrich make the photo opportunities perfect.
We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei, also visiting dune 45, and as the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch to escape the heat of the afternoon. As the day cools off in the late afternoon we will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.
Sesriem - Sossusvlei
Sesriem - Windhoek
After breakfast we begin our journey, over the mountains and along scenic roads, back to Windhoek. We will travel over the Naukluft Mountains and also the Khomas Hochland Range, through beautiful mountain passes on our way back to civilization.
We are due back into the city in the late afternoon / early evening and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on our return.
You will be collected between 08:30 & 09:00.
We will travel north, stopping at small towns along the way including Okahandja, where we have time to visit Namibia’s largest wood carving market. The market is operated on a local co-operative basis and is one of the best places to shop for truly Namibian souvenirs. Continuing north, passing through farmland, we aim to arrive at Okonjima during the middle afternoon, giving us time to set up our camp and to relax in the shade for a while before heading out on to the property to take part in the afternoon’s activity.
Okonjima is the home of the Africat Foundation, a specialist conservation concern that centres its operations on the African Big Cats, particularly cheetah. This afternoon you will be taken on a tour during which you will be able to meet, close-up-and-personal, some of the cheetah that are going through the Africat rehabilitation programme. Most of the animals currently living at Okonjima have been rescued from various desperate situations, being orphaned or caught in a trap, and the aim of the rehabilitation process is to attempt to re-introduce them into the wild.
After our educational tour we will return to our camp and prepare for dinner under the African stars.
An early start and continuing north we pass through some small towns, making short stops for fresh supplies and fuel.
Continuing on to our East Etosha, Namutoni region camp we again aim to arrive in time for lunch, giving us time to relax before heading into the park during the cool of the late afternoon for our first game drive.
africat – East Etosha region
East Etosha Region – Etosha National park
A full day’s game driving. We again leave early to enjoy the cool morning air as we game drive our way through Etosha to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park. Along the way we visit several waterholes and are afforded splendid views of the massive Etosha Pan. The game viewing is usually excellent and we have the chance to tick off a few new species that are not normally seen on the Namutoni side of the park.
We stop at Halali for a rest and a leisurely lunch. There is time to visit the Halali waterhole and to make use of the swimming pool and bar facilities before continuing on our way and game driving down to Okaukuejo, Etosha main rest camp and resort where we will check in and set up camp. Originally the site of a German fort built in 1901, Okaukuejo now houses the Etosha Ecological Institute, founded in 1974; the round watchtower is a remnant of the fort.
After your evening meal there are still more chances to see Etosha big game at a floodlit waterhole, situated on the boundary of our camp and easily reachable within a minute or two on foot. The waterhole has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa” and the ideal venue to witness peculiar animal politics.
Black rhino, Africa’s tallest elephants, lion and numerous species of antelope are regular visitors during the cool, dry season.
Okaukuejo –Damaraland, Grootberg Area
Hoada Camp Site
Leaving Etosha we begin our journey south with a relatively short drive to the small town of Kamanjab.
Within this area you have the opportunity of visiting a Himba Village – the only traditionally functioning Himba community outside the far north Kaokoland region of Namibia These tribes-people have migrated here, lifestyle and customs intact, and are following their traditional way-of-life in their village on a farm, the exact location of the site varies as the Himba occasionally roam to a new location. We will learn about marriage customs, traditional food and the mysteries of the “Holy Fire” religion.
From here it is a short drive on to The Hoada Community Campsite which is located among beautiful granite hills and mopane trees. To add an eco-friendly touch, the hot water system works in combination with the barbecue area, therefore whilst your meal is being prepared, your water will be warmed up for your shower!
We overnight – camping under the stars.
Today we head into one of the most beautiful desert regions in Namibia, Damaraland. We drive west via the Grootberg Pass and then take a detour to visit the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. At this location we will have a local guide to conduct us on a short guided tour before we set up camp for the night.
Grootberg Area – Twyfelfontein
Twyfelfontein – Swakopmund, Skeleton Coast
Prost Hotel Swakopmund
From here we head deeper into the desert and pass Namibia’s highest mountain, The Brandberg, (2573 m) and more beautiful Damaraland scenery. We make a stop in the small town of Uis, an old mining town, and one of the best places to buy semi-precious stones, for which Namibia is famous. Here, rough Amethyst, Tourmaline etc. can be found at bargain prices.
From here we turn directly west and cross the gravel plains on our way to the Atlantic Ocean and the Skeleton Coast.
Meeting the ocean at Henties Bay, we first head north along the coast to visit the seal colony at Cape Cross. At certain times of the year as many as 100,000 Cape Fur seals congregate.
The next destination is Swakopmund, following the Skeleton Coast into Namibia’s premier seaside town. We aim to arrive in the late afternoon giving us time to explore the town on foot before sunset.
Tonight we take the chance to sample one of the excellent restaurants. The seafood in Swakopmund is superb. Your guide will offer to organise a group meal in a local restaurant for this evening. Participation is recommended but by no means required.
Dinner is for the client’s own account.
The drive back to Windhoek today will take about 4 and a half hours. We will depart around lunch-time, giving us time to spend the morning relaxing in Swakopmund. It has many superb shops, a good stretch of beach (although the Atlantic here is quite cold) and an open-air curio market. There is also a very good museum and the Namibian National Marine Aquarium is located in Swakopmund.
Alternatively, there are various optional activities that can be arranged. These include aeroplane and microlight flights over the desert, scenic drives, fishing trips (both from the beach or in a boat), four-wheel motorcycle (quad bike) trips into the desert and over the sand dunes around Swakopmund, sand boarding trips (also in the dunes), skydiving, surfing, bird-watching and many other activities are available.
Your tour guide will discuss all the possible options with you before you reach Swakopmund and will offer to make bookings in advance of your arrival. (N.B. All extra activities and excursions in Swakopmund are subject to availability and are made at the client’s own risk and expense).
This is the last day of our trip and after lunch we will transfer you back to the capital city where you will be dropped off at your accommodation in the late afternoon / early evening.
- Living Desert Tours
- Swakopmund City Tour
- Scenic Desert Flights
- Catamaran Charters
1. All Transport
2. Three meals a day (unless differently specified)
3. Tea & coffee in camp
4. All camping equipment
5. Park entrance fees
6. Camping fees
7. Professional guide
8. Camp Assistant (unless differently specified)
9. Pick up & drop off from accommodation in Windhoek
1. Sleeping bag and pillow (can be hired)
2. Alcoholic beverages
3. Soft drinks & bottled water
4. Personal travel insurance
Maximum group size is 14 people, with a minimum of 1 participant. Transport for up to 5 people will be in a minibus
and for 6 people and more in a specialised vehicle.
Clients are limited to one soft, barrel type bag per person with maximum weight of 15kg, one medium sized hand luggage bag, one medium sized camera bag and a sleeping bag.
We suggest a sleeping bag range of “3 – 4 season”. Sleeping bags can be hired by prior arrangement for a cost of N$325.00 per 14-day trip. When selecting your clothing please be aware that Namibian summer temperatures (December - March) can reach 45*C and winter temperatures (June - September) can be as low as -5*C. The rainy season is between December and April.
All evening meals on camping safaris (unless stipulated) are cooked on an open fire. Salads and fresh vegetables will be served daily where readily available. Fresh fruit will also be supplied when possible. We cater for vegetarians, but please notify us prior to departure.
Namibia offers a wide variety of local and international dishes and you can be assured that your taste-buds will be well looked after on a Wild Dog safari! While travelling with us on our scheduled tours, typical dishes include tasty stews, spaghetti bolognaise, steak, the traditional ‘braai’ (bbq), fresh salads, sandwiches and hotdogs. Vegetarians will also be catered for with dishes such as Lentil and Couscous Salad, Inca-style stuffed squash, Basmati and wild rice with chickpeas, Vegetable Kebabs with sweet chilli sauce and more … You’ll be able to visit some of our country’s fantastic restaurants before and/or after joining a tour, and some of our trips include an evening meal in Swakopmund, where you will find a great variety of delicious, local seafood such as lobster, cob and Walvis Bay oysters. Elsewhere, most restaurants offer a good variety on their a la carte menus, ranging from everyday favourites such as hamburgers and pizza, to some of the best steaks in the world. A popular choice for game steak is oryx, kudu or springbok, and all are highly recommended, especially when washed down with a local beer or some of the fantastic wine that’s imported from South Africa!
What animals will I see in Namibia? The amount and type of animals you are likely to see will greatly depend on the region you visit. Etosha National Park is home to 4 of the Big 5 which include the Lion, Leopard, Rhino and Elephant. Buffalo is the only one of the Big 5 that is not present in the Etosha National Park, but can be seen in the Caprivi and Okavango areas of Namibia. Etosha is further home to 144 Mammal species and these include Zebra, Springbok, Oryx, Kudu, Eland, Impalas, White and Black Rhino, Giraffes, Damara Dik Dik, Steenbok, Brown Hyenas, Cheetah, Leopard and Jackals to name just a few. Birdlife in Etosha is also very prolific with a wide variety of endemic and migratory birds. The rest of Namibia you are likely to spot some Oryx, Ostriches, Kudus, some baboons as well as warthogs. And in the Caprivi and Okavango Regions you will be able to spot some crocodiles and hippos as well. Along the coast of Namibia spot some heavy-side dolphins and the cape fur seals as well as a rich marine birdlife.
Electrical plugs are 220 V and are 3 pin (round-pin as opposed to square pin, the same as in South Africa). Adaptors can be purchased in Windhoek and Wild Dog Safaris also sells these at their offices. It is possible to re-charge batteries at most campsites.
What will my tent be like? While our safaris are typically camping trips, glamping might be a more appropriate description! Our tents are dome-shaped with built-in ground-sheets and screened windows and doors. They allow standing headroom and are simple to put up, though your guide will help with this. The mattresses you’ll find inside are approximately 5cm thick and covers are supplied, along with all other camping equipment, including chairs with backrests, tables, washstands, cutlery and crockery. If you wish to sleep in a sleeping bag (which you will do during winter months!), you can hire them from us or bring your own. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, our tents are 100% bug proof, as long as they are securely closed. You will have the same tent for the duration of your trip, and it is up to you to make sure that you do not have any uninvited guests in the middle of the night!.
It is customary in Namibia to tip 10% at restaurants. Your guide and assistant can be tipped at your own discretion, but we ask that the guide be tipped separately from your assistant.
Do I need malaria tablets in Namibia? Namibia is a low-risk malarial destination but we recommend that you seek professional medical advice to enable you to make decisions on personal malaria protection. Generally Northern Namibia, including Etosha National Park is considered to be higher Malaria risk than the Southern Parts of Namibia. Malaria risk is also higher during the rainy months from December till May. P a g e | 27 You should use an effective insect repellent on clothing and any exposed skin. Diethyltoluamide (DEET) is safe and the most effective insect repellent and can be sprayed on to clothes. Local Names in Namibia include Peaceful Sleep and Bug Off. If you sleep outdoors or in an unscreened room, you should use mosquito nets impregnated with an insecticide (such as pyrethroid). The net should be long enough to fall to the floor all round your bed and be tucked under the mattress. If practical, you should try to cover up bare areas with long-sleeved, loose-fitting clothing, long trousers and socks – if you are outside after sunset – to reduce the risk of mosquitoes biting. And some local advice would be to drink a Gin and Tonic at Sunset :)