10 Days / 9 Nights Wild Namibia

Arrive/Windhoek – Okonjima Nature Reserve – Etosha National Park – Damaraland – Swakopmund – Namib Desert – Sossusvlei – Windhoek/Depart

Introduction

Be amazed by the amount of wildlife in Etosha. Discover some of the last open wilderness areas in Damaraland and the landscape in the Namib Desert. This tour combines wildlife and landscapes, making Namibia the unforgettable African destination.

Accommodation preview Destinations Start End Basis  Duration
Overnight Travel Day 1 Day 2 1 Night
Okonjima Plains Camp Okonjima Nature Reserve Day 2 Day 3 D,B&B 1 Night
Epacha Game Lodge & Spa Etosha National Park Day 3 Day 4 D,B&B 1 Night
Brandberg White Lady Lodge Damaraland Day 4 Day 5 D,B&B 1 Night
Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment Centre Swakopmund Day 5 Day 7 D,B&B 2 Nights
The Desert Grace Gondwana Collection Namibia Namib Desert Day 7 Day 8 D,B&B 1 Night
The Elegant Desert Eco Camp Sossusvlei Day 8 Day 9 D,B&B 1 Night
Overnight Travel Transfer for Int’ departure Day 9 Day 10 1 Night
Not Included Transfer for International Day 10 Day 10 Breakfast Not Included

Key
B & B: Bed and Breakfast
D, B & B: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 1:

Day Itinerary

Check in at the Air Namibia Counter at your International Airport for your night flight to Windhoek.

DAY 2:  OKONJIMA PLAINS CAMP, OKONJIMA NATURE RESERVE

Okonjima Nature Reserve

The 96km fence surrounding the 22000ha Okonjima private, Nature Reserve was finally completed in 2010. This fence has created:- a 20,000ha reserve for Captive Carnivore rehabilitation (also home to Brown Hyenas and the resident Leopards);- a 2000ha ‘safe’ area around Main Camp, Bush Camp, Bush Suite, the Omboroko Campsite and the PAWS Environmental Education Centre.

Although hunting is instinctive in carnivores, many of the cheetahs at AFRICAT lack experience due to being orphaned or removed from the wild at an early age. This inexperience, as well as their conditioning to captivity, makes them unsuitable for release. The 200km (20 000ha) NATURE RESERVE | PARK, provides captive cheetahs and other carnivores with the opportunity to hone their hunting skills and become self-sustaining and thereby giving them a chance to return to the wild. The captive cheetahs are fitted with radio-collars prior to their release into the reserve, so that their welfare and progress can be closely monitored.

Rehabilitation gives a captive carnivore 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!

Day Itinerary

Arrival at Hosea Kutako Airport near Windhoek in the morning where you will meet your tourguide. Leaving the airport, we travel to Windhoek and pick up. Then we transfer to the Okonjima Nature Reserve, where we will have lunch, later we take part in an activity in the afternoon.

Overnight: Okonjima Plains Camp   

Not only is Okonjima a luxury lodge, but it is also home to The AfriCat Foundation, a non-profit organisation, committed to long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores, especially cheetahs and leopards. A visit to Okonjima will give you an opportunity to witness some of AfriCat’s work.

MAIN CAMP is the original Hanssen-family farmhouse, reconstructed as a lodge in 1992.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 3: EPACHA GAME LODGE & SPA, ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

Etosha National Park

Etosha National Park is the parade ground of the beasts, a kaleidoscope of creatures bewildering character and variety. It was proclaimed as Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907 by the then Governor of German South West Africa, von Lindequist. He demarkated an area of over 100’000km², creating the largest game reserve on earth and expelling thousands of indigenous people from their traditional and ancestoral dwellings to stay outside the park.

Present day Etosha National Park was pared down due to political considerations in the 1960’s by the Odendaal Plan and now covers a modest but still very impressive 22’270km². Despite the massive size of Etosha, only the southern edge of the pan is accessible to casual visitors. In the central and eastern region there are over 30 water holes – ideal places to sit and wait it out for an unbelievable 114 different game and over 340 different bird species.

The Etosha Pan dominates the park. The salt pan desert, which is nearly completely enclosed by the park and is lined by numerous watering holes, is roughly 130km long and as wide as 50km in places. During Etosha’s notorious dry spells the pan is a deathly place, lying parched and cracked under the molten African sun. At such times it is utterly barren, an austere playground for heat and wind which conjure up their characteristic atmospheric tricks. Glassy mirages dissolve the horizon and tremble over the blindingly flat surface while graceful dust devils carry out their swirling dances over the plains. When the waters do eventually come, the pan undergoes a miraculous transformation.

From a vacuous stillness it springs into living paradise awash with life. Out of the blue in their thousands come migrant flamingos, splashing the sky with plumage which eventually condenses on the horizon in undulating lines of crimson, pink and white. Guided by an uncanny faculty for navigation they come to the pan for a short breeding season from as far as Walvis Bay – how they know of the water 500 miles north stays a mystery.

Such thrills are part of the earthy encounters with nature which give Etosha and other Namibian wilderness areas a dimension which goes beyond the simpler interpretations of nature. These sanctuaries have become sources of human well-being, where man can shake off his metropolitan afflictions and can recharge the batteries of sanity and perspective which have run down in the course of powering the locomotive of progress.

Day Itinerary

From Okonjima we travel north to the Etosha National Park, famous for its vast amount of wildlife and unique landscape. We will have lunch at Okaukuejo Resort and do game drives in our Namibia representative vehicle. Once we have reached our lodge located on the outside of the National Park, we will take have dinner and take part in a night drive in an open vehicle.

Okaukuejo Resort

Okaukuejo Resort is ideally located 17km from the southern entrance of the park. Famous for its flood-lit waterhole, where visitors can observe at close quarters a spectacle of wildlife congregating and interacting. The comfortable guest chalets have views overlooking the waterhole. The bush chalets feature double rooms or family chalets. Other facilities include a restaurant, bar, shop, swimming pool, kiosk and camping facilities.

Overnight: Epacha Game Lodge & Spa  

Epacha Game Lodge & Spa is situated on the 21 000hectares Epacha Game Reserve. Each of the individually decorated en-suite chalets has its own private balcony, complete with a breathtaking view across the bush. All chalets are equipped with air-conditioning, mini bar, safe, ceiling fan and coffee and tea facilities. In keeping with the Victorian era in Africa, all chalets are furnished with antiques & decorated in subtle, relaxing colors. Guests can spend time relaxing in our lounge overlooking a waterhole. Also in the library, smoking room, billiard room or at our pool bar,be rejuvenated by stress relieving therapies in the Mystique Spa, which offers the following facilities: sauna, Jacuzzi, steam room, splash pool, thelaso therapy room, treatment rooms or outside treatment areas.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 4: BRANDBERG WHITE LADY LODGE, DAMARALAND

Damaraland

Huge, untamed and ruggedly beautiful Damaraland is an exceptionally scenic landscape of open plains and spectacular rock formations. The major attractions are Spitzkoppe, the Brandberg, Twyfelfontein, Vingerklip and the Petrified Forest. Damaraland, one of the least populated places on earth, shows no fences nor boundaries in the vast, stony desert landscape. It is marked by endless vistas across stark plains, ancient valleys and brooding, distant mountains which bring the traveller as close to nature as is comfortably possible.

In Damaraland, plants and animals have over millennia evolved side by side with the harsh environment, creating unusual geological features, which together with a wealth of rock paintings and engravings, a population of desert-adapted elephant and rhino, combine to form the unique attraction to this region. Damaraland was once an area occupied primarily by the Damara people, but over time became home to other tribes such as the Hereros and the displaced Riemvasmakers of South Africa.

Today, many residents of Damaraland are thus of mixed heritage, but most consider themselves Damara. The Damaraland community comprises a unique group of people who recognized the value of the wildlife on their land and formed a Community Wildlife Conservancy to protect it.

Until 1981, Damaraland was unprotected and open to poachers, mostly from outside of the of the Damaraland area. In the interests of the Damaraland wildlife a game guard system was eventually formed with people from the community and the welfare of the wildlife increased. Today it is one of the last places in southern Africa where game still roams freely like it did thousands of years ago – a true wilderness..

Day Itinerary

After breakfast we do a site inspection. Then we travel towards Damaraland. En route we stop at Damara Mopane Lodge for a light lunch. Then we travel further to the Brandberg and walk to the white lady painting. In the late afternoon we arrive at our lodge.

Activities

Damara Mopane Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia

Brandberg White Lady Painting

Damara Mopane Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia

Built in the wattle and daub style under Mopane trees and connected by a labyrinth of paths, the main building and chalets of the lodge look like an African village. The walls are adorned by copies of the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. Each of the 60 double-room chalets (with air conditioning) sits in a vegetable and herb garden surrounded by a low wall. The gardens supply fresh ingredients for supper, which consists of a starter followed by a delicious buffet. There is a swimming pool for chilling out and a viewing point for relishing sunsets. The lodge at the gates of Damaraland is ideally suited for excursions to Twyfelfontein (130 km), the Petrified Forest (70 km) and the Vingerklip rock pillar (50 km).

Brandberg White Lady Painting

The White Lady is a rock painting, located on a panel, also depicting other art work, on a small rock overhang, deep within Brandberg Mountain. The giant granite monolith located in Damaraland and called ‘The Brandberg’ is Namibia’s highest mountain. Its German name is Weiße Dame. The painting has long been an archaeological dilemma, and several different hypotheses have been put forth on its origins, authorship and dating.

It is now usually accepted to be a Bushmen painting, dating back at least 2000 years ago. The “White Lady” archaeological site is located close to the road from Khorixas to Hentie’s Bay, in the area of Uis, on the Brandberg Massif. The Brandberg itself hosts over 1.000 Bushmen paintings, scattered around in rock shelters and caves. The “White Lady Group” is found in a cave known as “Maack Shelter” and portrays several human figures as well as oryxes, on a rock panel measuring about 5.5 m x 1.5 m.

The “White Lady” is the most detailed human figure in the group, and measures about 39.5 cm x 29 cm. To reach The White Lady it is necessary to hike for about 45-60 minutes over rough terrain, along the gorge of the – normally – dry Tsisab river. It is usually assumed that the painting shows some sort of ritual dance, and that the “White Lady” is actually a shamanism.

She has white legs and arms, which may suggest that his body was painted or that he was wearing some sort of decorative attachments on his legs and arms. He holds a bow in one hand and perhaps a goblet in the other. Because of the bow and the oryxes, the painting has also been interpreted as a hunting scene. Apart from the shaman/lady, the other human figures have less detail, and are mostly completely black or completely white.

One of the oryxes has human legs. The painting was probably made of ochre, charcoal, manganese, hematite, with blood serum, egg white and casein used as binding agents. The painting has undergone severe damage since it was first “discovered” in the early 20th century. For a few decades, tourists used to pour water on the painting to make the colours more clearly visible in their pictures, thus causing the painting to fade quickly.

The site is now a protected heritage site of Namibia, and visiting is only permitted with official guides. Bags and bottles are NOT allowed at the far end of the trail, for a better protection of the paintings. Thanks to many tourists’ protests, the metal wire netting has been replaced by only 2 metal bars, for a much better view.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
22 Nov Epacha Game Lodge & Spa Brandberg White Lady Painting   Transfer
22 Nov Brandberg White Lady Painting Brandberg White Lady Lodge   Transfer

Overnight: Brandberg White Lady Lodge    

Brandberg White Lady Lodge is named after the San paintings for which the Brandberg became famous. It is a place where you will feel at home and enjoy a true warm-hearted hospitality, “tranquility” is name of the game. At the Lodge you find a fully licensed restaurant, a well stocked bar, comfortable lounge and a large pool area. And if you are lucky you might bump into a dessert adapted elephant.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 5: SWAKOPMUND HOTEL & ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, SWAKOPMUND

Swakopmund

With palm-lined streets, seaside promenades and fine accommodation for all budgets, Swakopmund is Namibia’s most popular holiday destination, and its pleasant summer climate and decent beaches attract surfers, anglers and beach lovers from all over Southern Africa. Thanks to its mild temperatures and negligible rainfall, Swakopmund generally enjoys grit in the oyster. When an easterly wind blows, the town gets a good sand-blasting, and almost perpetual drizzle.

The fog rolls up to 30km inland and provides moisture for desert-dwelling plants and animals, including 80 species of lichen. For better or worse, Swakopmund feels overwhelmingly Teutonic – indeed, it has Germany – but for visitors, it’s a Namibia’s adrenalin capital, and offers a wide range of gut-curdling activities from sand boarding and quad-biking to skydiving and camel riding. Note, however, that it gets especially busy around Namibian school holidays in December and January, when temperatures average around 25ºC.

Day Itinerary

After breakfast we travel via the Skeleton Coast to Swakopmund. We will stop at Cape Cross Lodge for a site sightseeing and light lunch. Then we travel along the coast to Swkaopmund. With palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, Swakopmund is a very popular holiday destination in Namibia.

Evening Program:

18h10: Meet at Swakopmund Hotel reception for your evening entertainment. As of 21h00: Shuttle Services will be available for transfers back to your Hotel.

Dress Code: Smart Casual, comfortable shoes and please bring a warm jersey or jacket with.

Activities

Cape Cross Lodge

Literally meters from the fertile Atlantic Ocean, Cape Cross Lodge presents a unique and serene stop for travelers along this vast untamed, seldom explored wilderness on the Skeleton Coast. Situated alongside the biggest breeding Cape Fur Seal colony in the world, but well out of the “smell” zone, 60km north of Henties Bay and 120km north of Swakopmund. The curious mix of Cape Dutch and West Coast fishing village architecture with colossal windows happily embrace the natural light and affords endless contemplated vistas.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Vehicle
23 Nov Brandberg White Lady Lodge Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment Centre Transfer

Overnight: Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment Centre    

From the rugged, desolate beauty of the Namib Desert, to the historical grace of its buildings, a visit to the Skeleton Coast is a unique experience. The Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment Centre is no exception. Built in and around the old German Station Building, this charming hotel strikes the perfect balance between architectural beauty and first – world class.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 6: SWAKOPMUND HOTEL & ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, SWAKOPMUND

Swakopmund

As previously described

Day Itinerary

Spend Full day at the Swakopmund

Overnight: Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment Centre    

From the rugged, desolate beauty of the Namib Desert, to the historical grace of its buildings, a visit to the Skeleton Coast is a unique experience. The Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment Centre is no exception. Built in and around the old German Station Building, this charming hotel strikes the perfect balance between architectural beauty and first-world class.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 7: THE DESERT GRACE GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, NAMIB DESERT

Namib Desert

The Namib is the world’s oldest desert, and although it stretches along the entire length of Namibia’s coastline, the Namib commonly refers to the vast sea of sand from Luderitz to Swakopmund.

For a big sandy desert the scenery is remarkably varied, with the giant red dunes of Sossusvlei being the most famous part. Because of how old it is the Namib is home to numerous species that don’t occur elsewhere and although no humans live in the desert an amazing array of flora and fauna manages to survive here.

Famous species include the Welwitschia – a living fossil plant, endemic chameleons, fur seals along the coast, brown hyenas, jackals and remarkably one of Africa’s largest antelope the Gemsbok. The name Namib is of Nama origin and means “vast place” and vast it certainly is.

Day Itinerary

After breakfast we travel via the desolate, rolling hills of the Kuiseb Valley towards our lodge in the Namib Desert. We first stop at Namib Desert Lodge for a light lunch and site sightseeing and then we drive a very short distance to the brand new Desert Grace. Here we are located at the gateway to Sossusvlei and Sesriem Canyon, with some of the highest sand dunes on earth towering over the white desert plains.

Activities

Namib Desert Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia

The main building and the chalets of Namib Desert Lodge are spread out along the foot of the fossilised dunes of the ancient Namib. A comfortable sojourn is guaranteed by 65 en suite rooms with air conditioning. A restaurant and bar, an inviting terrace with views of the fossilised dunes and two swimming pools beckon you to linger and relax. Oryx antelope and springbok make frequent appearances at our illuminated watering place.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Vehicle
25 Nov Swakopmund Hotel & Entertainment Centre The Desert Grace Gondwana Collection Namibia Transfer

Overnight: The Desert Grace Gondwana Collection Namibia

Graceful spaces and gracious hospitality imbue this modern lodge with its elegance of yesteryear, spirited character and refreshingly stylish interior. Sip on a pink gin while appreciating the expansive desert scenery from one of the 24 bungalows, each with its own plunge pool.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 8:  THE ELEGANT DESERT ECO CAMP, SOSSUSVLEI

Sossusvlei

Sossusvlei’s rich ochre sand dunes offer one of the most mind-blowing sights you will ever experience. Their oscillating crests rise to an astonishing 320m and, with their air of timelessness, create an unforgettable wilderness in the heart of the world’s oldest desert. Dwarfed by the sheer size of the highest dunes on earth, your ascending footprints look like insect trails leading into infinity.

The solitude is immeasurable and your place in the great scheme of life takes on a curious insignificance. The white vleis (clay pans) contrast sharply against the red sand and vast blue sky, while fog-dependent animals and plants seek shelter from the sweltering heat underneath the sand and age-old camelthorn trees.

One of these pans, referred to as Dead Pan, is a large ghostly expanse of dried white clay, punctuated by skeletons of ancient camel-thorn trees, carbon-dated as being between 500 and 600 years old. During this time the flow of the Tsauchab River into the pan was stopped by the formation of a dune belt – hence the trees died, now forming part of Namibia’s own Salvador Dali “painting”.

Day Itinerary

The morning demands an early start. The first rays of sunrise paint the mountains of sand into a variety of apricot, red and orange, contrasted against a crisp blue skyline, enrapturing our senses, and providing an opportunity to capture this awesome landscape on film.

You will be mesmerized by the highest dunes at Sossusvlei, where the mostly dry Tsauchab River ends abruptly amongst majestic dunes. Take the opportunity to walk up one of these dunes to admire the desert landscape beneath. Thereafter we visit the Sesriem Canyon, a life sustaining natural phenomenon in the heart of the Namib Desert.

For Lunch we visit Le Mirage Desert Lodge and will also inspect the lodge. In the afternoon we arrive at our Lodge and take part in a sundowners’ drive.

Activities

Sossusvlei – The Vlei

Sesriem Canyon

Le Mirage Resort & Spa

Sossusvlei – The Vlei

The Namib Desert is the oldest desert in the world and the millions of years gone by have created a fascinating and brilliantly unique landscape. The salt pan of Sossusvlei was created when the the 150 km Tsauchab river silted over time. It is believed that the Tsauchab once flowed from the Naukluft Mountains to around 50 km off the Atlantic Ocean.

Eventually, the giant dunes blocked the flow of the river and ended Tsauchab river. It formed a cracked and dry surface of salt and clay. Sossusvlei originates from the Nam word “sossos” meaning dead-end and the Afrikaans word “vlei” meaning marsh.

Remarkably, only once every ten years the dry cracked earth transforms into a luscious flowing river which attracts countless animals. As soon as the spectacle is over, the bottom of the Sossusvlei is left behind as cracking clay soil that looks like broken dry clay. When heavy rainfalls brings the Tsauchab to a lush flowing river, the salt pan in the middle of the desert fills with the refreshing cool water.

The water is flushed from the nearby Naukluft mountains through the Sesriem Canyon up into the vlei. The hard and cracked clay soil prevents the water from seeping into the soil so it quickly forms a lake that continues for a while.

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 riemsix thongs) tied together to lower buckets into the water at the base of canyon.

Le Mirage Resort & Spa

Le Mirage Desert Lodge & Spa, probably the most unique construction in the Namib desert is situated at 21 km from the Sesriem gate to Sossusvlei. This makes it one of the lodge’s closets to the Sossusvlei and the ideal place to stay when you want to visit the highest dunes in the world! Guests are accommodated in 25 luxury rooms with en-suite facilities, air-conditioning, safe, mini bar and coffee & tea facilities.

The lodge is accommodated in a large castle sheltering guests against the harsh desert climate. Our spacious restaurant serves a fusion cuisine of European and Namibian dishes. A highlight at the lodge is our Mystique Spa, wellness centre which is specialized in massages, pedicures, manicures, aroma massages and de-stress treatments.

In the large courtyard guests can retreat at the swimming pool sheltered from the desert in an oasis of palm trees. We offer quad bike tours, nature drives on our private domain and nature drives to Sossusvlei, scenic flights and hot air ballooning. The lodge offers guests a luxury home after a day in the desert.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Vehicle
Day The Desert Grace Gondwana Collection Namibia Sossusvlei – The Vlei Transfer
Day Sossusvlei – The Vlei The Elegant Desert Eco Camp Transfer

Overnight: The Elegant Desert Eco Camp    

The Elegant Desert Eco Camp (Part of the Elegant Collection)

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 9: OVERNIGHT TRAVEL

Day Itinerary

After breakfast we travel back to Windhoek. We will enjoy a light lunch at Heinitzburg Hotel, followed by a site sightseeing.  In the afternoon we will do a city tour and a fare well drink. In time for your flight home, your tour guide will bring you to the International Airport where you board the Air Namibia flight back to Home country

Activities

  • Windhoek City Tour
  • Hotel Heinitzburg

 

Windhoek City Tour

City Tour of Windhoek’s historical buildings & monuments as well as the suburbs of Khomasdal, Katutura & Ludwigsdorf.

Hotel Heinitzburg

The Heinitzburg offers 16 spacious generously appointed en-suite rooms, each individually decorated, leaving no two rooms looking the same. Each room has individual air-conditioning / heating unit, direct telephone, and electronic safe and mini bar, flat screen TV with satellite channels. The superior deluxe rooms have a bath with integrated showers, whilst the deluxe rooms all have a walk in shower.

At the hotel’s serene garden, guests are welcome to relax in a private atmosphere whilst enjoying the refreshing swimming pool (heated in winter).

Hotel Heinitzburg has a variety of dining outlets. There’s the gourmet restaurant overlooking the skyline of the city while serving varied cuisine ranging from local to international dishes. The Garden Terrace provides superb view over the city and the surrounding mountains. At the Garden Terrace, meals, coffee and cakes from the patisserie are served throughout the day while snacks and sundowners’ cocktails are served at the viewpoint with marvelous vistas of spectacular sunsets. There’s also the Wine Cellar which houses a large collection of carefully selected South African vintages. The cellar is built into the mountain rock and is an ideal meeting place.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Vehicle
Day The Elegant Desert Eco Camp Hosea Kutako International Airport [WDH] Transfer

DAY 10: END OF ITINERARY

Day Itinerary

Arrival in home country in the morning.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

Book Your Tour

0 + 7 = ?

error: