14 Days / 13 Nights Wonderful Namibia

Arrive/Windhoek – Kalahari Namibia – Fish River Canyon – Lüderitz – Namib Desert – Swakopmund – Twyfelfontein – Etosha South – Etosha East/Depart

ntroduction

Accommodation Destination Start End Basis Duration
Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel Windhoek Day 1 Day 2 B&B 1 Night
Kalahari Anib Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia Kalahari Namibia Day 2 Day 3 D,B&B 1 Night
Canyon Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia Fish River Canyon Day 3 Day 4 D,B&B 1 Night
Nest Hotel Lüderitz Day 4 Day 6 D,B&B 2 Nights
The Elegant Desert Lodge Namib Desert Day 6 Day 8 D,B&B 2 Nights
The Delight Swakopmund Gondwana Collection Namibia Swakopmund Day 8 Day 10 B&B 2 Nights
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge Twyfelfontein Day 10 Day 11 D,B&B 1 Night
Etosha Safari Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia Etosha South Day 11 Day 12 D,B&B 1 Night
Namutoni Camp Etosha East Day 12 Day 13 D,B&B 1 Night
Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel Windhoek Day 13 Day 14 B&B 1 Night

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

DAY 1:   WINDHOEK GARDENS BOUTIQUE HOTEL, WINDHOEK

Windhoek

Pulsing with life, opportunity and a sparkle of adventure, Windhoek is a multicultural city characterised by tranquil co-existence and enough living space for all its citizens, which number 350’000. Visitors can enjoy the better of two worlds between the European-style architecture and lifestyle, to the vivid beat of African culture and environs. The first recorded settlements were established because of the springs in the area. In about 1842, the Oorlam Kaptain, Jan Jonker Afrikaner, settled in at the strongest spring in the present Klein Windhoek. At the time, the place was called “/Ai-//Gams” (Fire Water) by the Namas, and “Otjomuise” (Place of Steam) by the Hereros, both names bearing references to the hot springs.

The German colony came into being with the determination of its borders in 1890. Germany sent a protective corps (the “Schutztruppe”) under Major Curt von Francois to maintain order; the garrison was stationed at Windhoek, where it was strategically situated as a buffer between the Namas and Hereros, while the twelve strong springs provided water for the cultivation of food.

The present Windhoek was founded on 18 October 1890 when Von Francois laid the foundation stone of the fort, which is known as the Alte Feste (Old Fortress). Windhoek has a rich cultural life where activities happily mix and match to produce some interesting combinations. The “township” of Katutura is an journey for discovering the sounds and smells of Africa. The highlight is a visit to the Tukondjeni Market, which offers services that satisfy many community needs. It’s a busy place, where one can purchase supplies and traditional Namibian food such as barbecued meat, dried fish, fried mopane worms (known as “omaungu”) and other traditional food such as “ombidi” and dehydrated wild spinach.

Day Itinerary

Upon arrival at the international airport you will meet with your guide. You then proceed via mountainous terrain to Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia. Time permitting you will go on a City Tour with your guide. Your accommodation is situated close to the city centre with its afro-European flair and peaceful atmosphere. In the evening enjoy typical Namibian cuisine in one of the numerous restaurants in the city.

Activities

Windhoek City Tour

Windhoek City Tour

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

Directions – Hosea Kutako International Airport [WDH] to Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel

Distance: 45km          Travel Time: 40 minutes

Overnight: Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel      

Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel is located 5 minutes away from the centre of Windhoek, making it a perfect mix of convenience and practicality. Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel boasts 28 uniquely Namibian themed rooms, each with high speed internet and an ample workstation.

All rooms are twin bedded and have en-suite bathrooms.

The gorgeously furnished modern fitted rooms combined with a restful and rustic setting offers you the perfect stopover in Windhoek. You can experience Etosha in the North to Solitaire in the South on premises.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 2: KALAHARI ANIB LODGE GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, KALAHARI NAMIBIA

Kalahari Namibia

The Kalahari is an exceptionally beautiful living desert a large semi-arid sandy savannah draped over a gently rolling inland sea of sand covering most of Botswana and large parts of Namibia and South Africa. It is also the last bastion of the San people with the modern world having enveloped all the other areas they once roamed. Here in Namibia it is typically red sands covered in thin, wispy, mostly golden grass and dotted with acacia trees and wide ranging wildlife including gemsbok, impala, jackals and cheetah.

Day Itinerary

The safari begins! We start south early in the morning, still cool. After a few mountain runs, the almost endless savannah comes and just when we think it will go on forever, when we see the first red sand dunes in front of us. The Kalahari! This special desert extends over seven countries, which the indigenous people in southern Africa, the San, also call the “soul of the world”. But if you think of emptiness in the desert, you will be amazed: sporadic rainfalls cover the dark red dunes and make them a real playground for plants and animals. Our lodge attracts like an oasis with a pool and loungers, but our tip is: don’t miss the – optional – nature tour through the dunes. With the first sundowner on the dune with a view of infinity you leave civilization behind for good. What a start to our trip! (The nature tour is included in the superior version)

Activities

Morning or Sunset Game Drive

 

Morning or Sunset Game Drive

These drives are the perfect way to getting acquainted with the Kalahari Desert. The approx. 3hour morning or sunset drive with panoramic views across the Kalahari dunes is something to remember forever.

Directions – Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel to Kalahari Anib Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia

Distance: 281km        Travel Time: 3hours

Overnight: Kalahari Anib Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia   

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 30 km northeast of Mariental the lodge makes for a perfect stopover on the way south.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 3:  CANYON LODGE GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, FISH RIVER CANYON

Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon is located in the northern part of the Nama Karoo. It is the second largest canyon on earth, featuring a gigantic ravine that measures in total about 100 miles (160km) long, up to 27km wide and in places almost 550metres deep. The Fish River is the longest interior river found in Namibia, but its flow at present is a trickle compared with the immense volume of water that poured down its length in ages past. It cuts deep into the plateau that is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought resistant plants such as succulents, euphorbias and lonely quiver trees. The river flows intermittently, usually coming down in flood in late summer, and when it ceases to flow it becomes a chain of long narrow pools on the sandy rock-strewn floor of the chasm. At the lower end of the Fish River Canyon, the hot springs resort of Ai-Ais provides an oasis in the desolate rocky wastes. Guided and unguided walks into the canyon are possible during April to September, it is however strictly forbidden to climb into the canyon as a day visitor. In the canyon you may encounter several species of mammals, such as wild horses, Mountain Zebra (Hartman Zebra), Kudu, Klipspringer, Leopard, Steenbok, Baboon and Springbok. The most common rodents include mice, rats, dassies, and dassie-rats. Bird life includes surprises like Pelicans, Black Eagles, Fish Eagles, Kingfishers, Lovebirds, Wild Ostrich and various species of waterfowl and wading birds, like Herons. In the natural pools of the Fish River are found an abundance of fish, such as barbled catfish and yellow fish.

Day Itinerary

On the way to Keetmanshoop we make a detour to the quiver tree forest with its approx. 300 giant tree aloes (aloe dichitoma) that are up to 3meters high. These plants have the ability to store water for a long time and are therefore able to cope with the harsh living conditions in the area. The quiver tree got its name because Bushmen hollowed out the branches and used them as quivers for their arrows. Here we can also see the Dolorites, stone formations which are also called the playground of the giants, in the afternoon we visit the Fish River Canyon.

Activities

Quiver Tree Forest

Excursion into the Fish River Canyon Area

 

Quiver Tree Forest

Some 14kms from Keetmanshoop is a striking natural phenomenon that is well worth a visit: a natural forest of roughly 200 quiver trees, set on a large outcrop of blackish dolerite rocks. Named for the pliable bark that was once used by Bushmen to craft quivers for their arrows, quiver trees are in fact not trees at all, but unusually large succulents with scaly bark and twisted branches topped with spiky, fleshy leaves. The most mature specimens here are between 200 and 300 years old, and some measure as high as nine metres. The forest, which was declared a national monument in 1955, is best viewed at sunrise or sunset, when the soft, warm light further enhances this already captivating sight.

Excursion into the Fish River Canyon Area

Experience the wild expanse of the Gondwana Canyon Park where the fences of ten farms were dismantled to recreate a Namibian Eden. Take a guided drive to the Fish River Canyon to be inspired by new perspectives. Join a 3-4 day Canyon Trail for an experience of a lifetime. Meander along the 4×4 Wildebeest Drive watching plains animals. Celebrate sunrise amidst the quiver trees and sunset from a hillock, overlooking spectacular scenery. The Canyon lodges are comfortable havens to take a break from the road. Explore and discover the ancient wonderland, or simply luxuriate in the peace, lounging at the poolside, snoozing in the coolness of your chalet or sitting on the terrace dipping into a book.

Directions – Kalahari Anib Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia to Canyon Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia

Distance: 416.15km   Travel Time: 4:20hours

Overnight: Canyon Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia

Canyon Lodge in Gondwana Canyon Park is just 20km away from the Fish River Canyon. 25 natural stone chalets with air conditioning, en suite bathroom and thatched roofs, nestle between massive granite boulders and convey a sense of living in the lap of nature. Enjoy delicious meals at the restaurant and be transported to the pioneering days of farming by the carefully arranged décor. Read a book at leisure on the terrace shaded by trees or relax at the swimming pool with vistas beyond the Fish River Canyon.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

Included

Quiver Tree Forest

Excursion into the Fish River Canyon Area

DAY 4:  NEST HOTEL, LÜDERITZ

Lüderitz

This seaside town is something of an anomaly – a piece of 19th century Bavaria bordering the pinkish sand dunes of the Namib Desert. Lutheran churches, German bakeries and colonial buildings are dotted about the settlement, while its windswept beaches are home to flamingos, ostriches, seals and penguins. The nearby ghost town of Kolmanskop is one of the most fascinating area attractions, located approximately 10kms from Luderitz central.

Day Itinerary

We leave the Fish River Canyon and continue to Luderitz,

Directions – Canyon Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia to Luderitz Nest Hotel

Distance: 496.6km     Travel Time: 5:55 hours

Overnight: Nest Hotel         

All 70 rooms and 3 luxurious suites are sea-facing with FREE Wi-Fi facilities. The hotel has 3 wheelchair friendly rooms; elevator and all public areas are accessible. The locally acclaimed Penguin Restaurant serves a fine and varied menu. The upper deck CRAYFISH BAR LOUNGE is the premier venue in town to sip on your favourite cocktail, enjoy a Cappuccino, good wines and beers. FREE Wi-Fi throughout.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 5:     NEST HOTEL, LÜDERITZ

Day Itinerary

Today you will visit the Kolmanskop, Kolmanskop is a ghost town in the Namib in southern Namibia, 10km inland from the port town of Lüderitz. It was named after a transport driver named Johnny Coleman who, during a sand storm, abandoned his ox wagon on a small incline opposite the settlement.

Activities

Kolmanskop

Kolmanskop

Amongst the sands of the Namib, the crumbling buildings of a small, once-luxurious town emerge from the drifting dunes. This ghost town is Kolmanskop, a reminder of the wealth of a time when diamonds could be picked by hand from the desert and a remarkable photographic opportunity with few equals anywhere on earth. To the imaginative but uninformed, the “Sperrgebiet” (forbidden diamond territory) conjures up images of watchtowers, electric fences, barbed wire and ferocious guard dogs protecting the restricted area. This may tickle the fancy but could hardly be further from reality. In fact, for most parts there is nothing – nothing but the limitless desert and the occasional forlorn notice board with its stern WARNING! WAARSKUWING! WARNUNG! ELONDWELO! And then you find Kolmanskop, a deserted Ghost Town in the Sperrgebiet – once a cosmopolitan centre where diamonds were lying around like “plums under a plum tree”, a town built to last…until the diamonds ran out. Today Kolmanskop stands as a haunting monument to the day’s boom and bust, where once opulent homes, shops, hospital and theatre surrender slowly to the relentless heat and encroaching desert sand.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 6:      THE ELEGANT DESERT LODGE, 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

Today there is a longer section through the Namib Desert in front of us: vast areas and endless skies, but also huge mountain ranges, foothills of red sand dunes and dignified oryx antelopes that endure in the flickering midday heat. Warning: desert addiction risk! There is a short lunch stop in the tranquil Helmeringhausen. That someone lives here, so far from everything? Well shaken by the gravel track, we reach our quarters near Sossusvlei in the afternoon. Time enough for a dip in the refreshing pool and for a hike or nature tour with the lodge. When the setting sun turns the surrounding mountains blue, we know again that we don’t want to be anywhere else in the world.

Directions – Luderitz Nest Hotel to Elegant Desert Lodge

Distance: 467km        Travel Time: 5:30hours

Overnight: The Elegant Desert Lodge         

The fusion of old and new at the Elegant Desert Lodge allows you to indulge in a refreshingly different experience. From the outside it has the typical old lodge look and feel. As for the inside the thoughtful touches and elegant interior give it a modern and stylish twist. “Elegant Desert Lodge” offers accommodation in tastefully furnished, stylish and modern rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 7:  THE ELEGANT DESERT LODGE, NAMIB DESERT

Day Itinerary

The morning demands an early start. A cup of coffee or tea before departure and our day’s adventure beckons, as we want to experience the day awakening offering grand views onto the dunes en-route to Sossusvlei. Even a morning grouch will be delighted by what is to follow. Entering the Namib Naukluft National Park shortly after sunrise, the first rays of sunlight paint the mountains of sand into a colour 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 captivated by the surreal Deadvlei surrounded by some of the highest dunes on earth and Sossusvlei, where the dry Tsauchab River ends abruptly amongst dunes. Take the opportunity to walk up one of these majestic dunes to admire the desert landscape beneath. The mostly dried white vleis compete in dramaturgy with the red dunes and deep blue skies, with gnarled and weathered camelthorn trees in Deadvlei providing the essential contrast.

After it went upwards onto the dunes we decent down rocks into the Sesriem Canyon. Who is not aware of this canyon being here, would easily miss this at some places 30meter deep and 1km long canyon carved out by the Tsauchab River. Early settlers had to bind six (Ses) Leather straps (rieme) together to reach the water at the bottom of the canyon. Speaking of water – a welcoming keyword in this desert heat! A welcoming and refreshing pool or a cooling drink filled to the rim with ice cubes awaits us back at the lodge. Back at the lodge we unwind and recapture the day’s experiences.

Activities

Sossusvlei

Dead Vlei

 

Optional

Sesriem Canyon

 

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 camel thorn 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”.

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, they create a surreal spectacle that is a photographer’s dream.

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.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 8:  THE DELIGHT SWAKOPMUND GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, 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 continue our journey approaching the little settlement of Solitaire on the edge of the Namib Naukluft National Park,. Reaching the coastal harbour town of Walvis Bay, we visit the shallow lagoon, one of the most important wetland areas on the African continent and a RAMSAR World Heritage Site. Over 80% of the African flamingos feed in this lagoon and present a breath-taking picture when they appear in groups. Continuing along the scenic route amidst dune belt and the Atlantic Ocean we reach Swakopmund, where the rest of the day is spent at leisure. With palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, Swakopmund is a popular holiday destination in Namibia.

Its pleasant summer climate and long stretched beaches attract anglers and surfers from all over Southern Africa. For the international guest, Swakopmund is a bohemian mix of German architecture and African rhythms, a laid back attitude with adrenalin activities, misty mornings and desert heat. It is colourful, it is vibrant, but most of all, it is pure fun.

Solitaire

There’s not much to do or see in the small village of Solitaire, but it nevertheless an important stop on the way to Sossusvlei, providing the only petrol station, general store and post office between Sesriem and Walvis Bay. Solitaire also has a small bar and famous apple pie.

Kuiseb Pass

Kuiseb Pass takes you through the Kuiseb Canyon, the watercourse of which only flows occasionally but often enough to halt the advance of the red sands of the Namib.

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, kite surfing and kayaking, while the promenade stretching for three kilometres along the water’s edge is a great place for a scenic stroll. The Lagoon is one of the most important wetland areas on the African continent and a RAMSAR world heritage site. Over 80% of the African flamingos feed in this lagoon and present a breath taking picture when they appear in groups counting a few hundred thousand.

The Moon Landscape

This area is traversed by the Tropic of Capricorn and is mostly flat, although some scenic canyons and elevations are found in some areas, for example in the Moon Valley system.  While most of the soil is rocky, sand dunes are still occasionally found in this region; for example, sand dunes occupy much of the coastline between Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.

The location can be accessed via a picturesque drive through the Namib-Naukluft Park. An eerie mysterious landscape has been constructed through years of erosion of soft layers of earth that were deposited in this area over 450 million years ago.

Welwitschia Drive

Friedrich Martin Joseph Welwitsch (1806 – 1872) was the distinguished figure destined to bring to the attention of the world one of the most extraordinary curiosities of all living organisms. This plant would arouse more interest and produce more surprises than any of the other 375’000 species known to man. It seems to bear kinship only with a prehistoric flora known today as fossil remains. Yet somehow it still survives….an anachronism…. a relic of flora long past… a LIVING fossil!! No less unique is the phenomenon of the Welwitschia’s habitat. It occurs in isolated colonies confined to the Namib Desert, generally within a narrow 100 km-wide coastal belt and nowhere else in the world! An individual Welwitschia plant are estimated to be upwards of 2,500 years old, have crowns of more than 3 feet (1m) in diameter, and leaves that stretch up to 6 feet (2m) long. With leaves that curl into fantastic shapes along the ground, this plant is considered to be the longest-living member of the plant kingdom.

This desolate and forbidding valley of conical and dome shaped hills near Swakopmund is reminiscent of an actual lunar landscape, resembling the lifeless surface of mars itself. The Moon landscape represents the leftover of an ancient, enormous mountain range. During more severe weather patterns, the valleys of the mountain range as well as the mountain range itself has been chafed, chiselled and gouged by wind and the waters of the nowadays known Swakop River. Known as “bad land topography”, the crumbling granite surface hardly supports any plant life and is best viewed in the late afternoon to enjoy terrific light and shadow contrasts and cooler temperatures.

Historic Swakopmund

In the late nineteenth century, a small group of hardy settlers arrived on the Atlantic shore of the Namib Desert. They brought a piece of Germany with them. Today, this facet of history survives in the town’s colonial architecture, while details of its social and natural history are captured in exhibits at the Swakopmund Museum.

Kuiseb Canyon

Mysterious and remote, the Kuiseb Canyon was carved aeons ago by the Kuiseb River, which runs mainly underground. This deep fissure is flanked by steep folds of rock on one side and the copper-coloured sand dunes of the Namib Desert on the other, and shelters several wildlife species that are acclimatised to the region’s harsh environment, including hyena, buck and even leopard.

Swakopmund Jetty

A favourite viewpoint with tourists and locals alike, the Swakopmund jetty stretches out into the ocean, offering beautiful panoramas of the town and excellent angling. At the end of the jetty you will find a small and popular seafood restaurant.

Swakopmund Mole

The Mole is a concrete pier that was constructed at the turn of the 20th century to serve the burgeoning number of ships and tugs arriving there, but proved to be a white elephant. Ocean currents created sandbanks that made the harbour difficult to access and it was abandoned in favour of a new wooden jetty just a couple of years after being built. Today, the Mole is a local landmark and popular leisure spot, with a protected beach, swimming pool, leafy surrounds and an array of shops, hotels and restaurants.

Overnight: The Delight Swakopmund Gondwana Collection Namibia      

The Delight boasts 54 rooms, of which 10 of these are loft family rooms. There is a breakfast dining room, a cosy bar, a garden and secure parking. The hotel is centrally located and easy walking distance from central town.

Directions – Elegant Desert Lodge to The Delight Swakopmund Gondwana Collection Namibia

Distance: 365.12km   Travel Time: 4:34 hours

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 9:  THE DELIGHT SWAKOPMUND GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, SWAKOPMUND

Day Itinerary

Swakopmund is often fondly referred to as the “playground of Namibia”, it has numerous activities ranging from, adventure to exploring the fascinating features of the Namib Desert and the animals and plants that occur and survive here.

Today, Enjoy the Morning boat cruise on the Atlantic Ocean followed by an excursion at Sandwich Harbour with 4×4 vehicles with picnic lunch on the dunes. Lunch and Dinner are at your pleasure.

Recommended

Catamaran Cruise

 

Catamaran Cruise

The Catamaran Charters Team invites you aboard the 45ft Royal Cape Sailing Catamaran Silver wind, or the 60ft Simon Sailing Catamaran Silver sand, or the 40ft Admiral Motorised Catamaran Silver moon, to enjoy an adventure packed tour to Pelican Point and Walvis Bay’s beautiful bay area.

The chances of encountering dolphins, whales, turtles, seals and Mola Mola (sunfish) make the search for the marine big 5 and adventurous tour by enjoying sparkling wine, fresh oysters and other mouth-watering snacks aboard the spacious and comfortable catamarans.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 10: TWYFELFONTEIN COUNTRY LODGE, TWYFELFONTEIN

Twyfelfontein

This National Heritage site confers yet another distinction to Namibia: that of one of the foremost centers of artwork in the world. It counts as the largest open-air art gallery in Southern Africa, its name reflecting a farmer’s incredulity that the unreliable spring (Afrikaans: Twyfelfontein) could have supported the Stone Age hunter and its prey for thousands of years. The reddish sandstone boulders seem to glow in the fierce heat, yet ancient man sheltered from enemy and spied on game from these surreal rock formations. Here he assiduously carved away at the intractable rock surfaces to imprint his indelible creations. Today, you can browse amongst these selfsame boulders and slabs of sandstone and marvel at the grandest spectacle of rock engravings in Africa. The area is also home to the geological phenomenon of Burnt Mountain and the Organ Pipes.

Day Itinerary

Heading further north, we travel via the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain (2.579m), into the Damaraland, one of the least populated and geologically diverse areas in Africa. This harsh, rocky environment is home to the rare desert elephant, the black rhino and free-roaming antelope species.

We visit to Twyfelfontein, a heritage site where Bushman communities engraved and painted over 2500 pictures some 6000 years ago! After a visit to a nearby Living Museum of the Damara we proceed on to the Petrified Forest – a geological phenomenon depicting the creation and evolution of some of the oldest landmasses on Earth. Here we also visit the Welwitschia mirabilis plant – the oldest living desert plant on Earth.

Activities

Brandberg

Twyfelfontein Rock Art

Damara Living Museum

 

Brandberg

The Brandberg (‘Fire Mountain’) Massif is Namibia’s highest peak, with its zenith, the Königstein (‘King’s Stone’), standing at a whopping 2573 metres above sea level. Named for the vivid shade of orange it sometimes turns at sunset, the Brandberg has been sacred to the San people for centuries, and the Tsisab Ravine at its base is permeated with over 45 000 ancient San rock paintings, including the famous ‘White Lady’.

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.

Directions – The Delight Swakopmund Gondwana Collection Namibia to Twyfelfontein Country Lodge

Distance: 331km        Travel Time: 4:19 hours

Overnight: Twyfelfontein Country Lodge    

The Lodge is situated in the heart of the Twyfelfontein Uibasen Conservancy and boast 56 en-suite twin rooms, reception, lounge, curio shop, open dining room, bar 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 colors toning in with the surrounding rock formations.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 11:  ETOSHA SAFARI LODGE GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, ETOSHA SOUTH

Etosha South

Located just south of the boundary of Etosha National Park in northwestern Namibia, Etosha South makes up the southern region of this wild paradise. The national park can be accessed via the southern entrance at Andersson’s Gate. Visitors can catch a glimpse of a variety of wildlife including: lion, giraffe, elephant, white and black rhino, and a multitude of plains game.

Day Itinerary

Today the journey continues to Etosha National Park. You drive through the Andersson Gate and on the way to the Okaukuejo Camp, where the entrance fees are paid, you see the first animals. The rest of the day can be spent on game drives.

Directions – Twyfelfontein Country Lodge to Etosha Safari Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia

Distance: 314km        Travel Time: 3:37hours

Overnight: Etosha Safari Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia     

Guests rave about the view: the restaurant and chalets, situated on a hillock, offer magnificent views of the African bush savannah. All of the 65 double room chalets have air conditioners and mosquito nets, and a choice of three swimming pools between them. Apart from the restaurant and bar there is a wooden platform for sundowners high above the Mopani bush. The Andersson Gate into Etosha National Park is a mere 9 km away. Those who do not want to drive themselves can join one of the lodge’s daily safari trips into the park. A shuttle service operates between Windhoek and Etosha Safari Lodge and Camp (on request).

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 12:  NAMUTONI CAMP, ETOSHA EAST

Etosha East

In the vast arid space of Northern Namibia lies one of Southern Africa’s best loved wildlife sanctuaries. The Etosha National Park offers excellent game viewing in one of Africa’s most accessible venues. Zebra and springbok are scattered across the endless horizon, while the many waterholes attract endangered black rhinoceros, lion, elephant and large numbers of antelope. Etosha, meaning ‘place of dry water’, is encloses a huge, flat calcrete depression (or pan) of about 5 000km². The ‘Pan’ provides a great, parched, silver-white backdrop of shimmering mirages to an area of semi-arid savannah grassland and thorn scrub. The pan itself contains water only after very good rains and sometimes for only a few days each year, but is enough to stimulate the growth of blue – green algae which lures thousands of flamingos.

Day Itinerary

Are all camera batteries loaded? Good! As today we will experience the Etosha National Park and its abundant wildlife up-close and to its fullest ….. Spotted, striped, dotted, with long neck or short legs… behind each bush and corner there is something new to be revealed. For more than 100 years Zebra, Elephant, Giraffe, Oryx, Blue Wildebeest, Springbok, Kudu or a selection of other rare animals have been roaming the park in tranquillity. The tourist vehicles that meander across the dusty gravel roads are hardly taken notice of. The animal kingdom is overwhelming! With some luck you are able to spot the more night active predator’s lion, leopard, hyena or jackal strolling through the bush savannah. But also birders are fully rewarded with hundreds of documented species. The Etosha Pan itself is a gigantic Saltpan that, depending on the season, flickers dry and dusty during the heat of the midday or after heavy rainfalls it lures thousands of migrating birds. As soon as the sun sets peace succumbs over the park and we depart to our lodge to relax and reminisce our day’s adventure.

Activities

Etosha Pan

Okaukuejo Water Hole

 

 

 

Etosha Pan

Aeons ago, Etosha Pan was the bed of a vast lake; today what remains is a glittering, silvery-green salt pan that stretches across roughly 5000km². Etosha is protected by the Etosha Pan National Park surrounded by savannah plains and woodlands supporting large herds of elephants. When dry, the pan sustains little life except for the algae that gives it its distinctive colour, and migratory birds that use it as a pit stop, but with heavy rain it becomes a shallow lake where flamingos breed, pelicans wade and feed, and a variety of mammal species come to quench their thirst, including leopards, lions, white rhinos, hunting dogs and antelopes.

Okaukuejo Water Hole

Etosha National Park boasts numerous waterholes, including both natural springs and fountains and others fed by man-made bore holes. Some of the camps in the park offer the unique experience of floodlit waterholes for night-time viewing. Overall, these various waterholes tend to offer the park’s best opportunities for both big and small game sightings, especially during the dry winter months, when more animals are drawn out of hiding to drink at the water’s edge. However, each waterhole has its own unique personality and the animals that can be spotted at certain waterholes may vary from, even from season to season. Okaukuejo Waterhole is right next to the Okaukeujo rest camp. It is floodlit and draws black rhino almost every night as well as numerous elephants, especially between June and December. This is considered by many to be the best place in Africa to see the endangered and solitary-natured black rhino.

Directions – Etosha Safari Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia to Namutoni Camp

Distance: 162.21km   Travel Time: 2:46 hours

 

Overnight: Namutoni Camp

Located in the eastern part of Etosha National Park, Namutoni Camp is built into an old German fort and features an elevated view of the King Nehale Waterhole. The camp is in close proximity to Fisher’s Pan, making it a hotspot for birders. Fort Namutoni was declared a national monument in 1950 and was opened to tourism in 1957.

The camp features spacious and comfortable chalets with en-suite bathrooms. There are 2 restaurants at the camp, African Fusion and The Steakhouse. Other camp facilities include a bar, a shop, a petrol station, and a swimming pool.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 13:  WINDHOEK GARDENS BOUTIQUE HOTEL, WINDHOEK

Windhoek

As previously described

Day Itinerary

After breakfast we say goodbye with a heavy heart. Via the towns of Otjiwarongo and Okahandja, you can relax on the asphalt road back to the central plateau. The endless sky and the thorn bush savannah show themselves again from their best side and also some antelopes or warthogs can be seen before we arrive in the bustling capital Windhoek again. Depending on whether the journey continues for you or whether calls at home, our guide will take you to the hotel.

Activities

Kavango Woodcarvers Market

Kavango Woodcarvers Market

While most towns will have a local market with various crafts on offer this market is renowned for its hand carved wooden curios. Open daily.

Directions – Namutoni Camp to Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel

Distance: 539.82km   Travel Time: 5:10 hours

Overnight: Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel      

Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel is located 5 minutes away from the centre of Windhoek, making it a perfect mix of convenience and practicality. Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel boasts 28 uniquely Namibian themed rooms, each with high speed internet and an ample workstation.

All rooms are twin bedded and have en-suite bathrooms.

The gorgeously furnished modern fitted rooms combined with a restful and rustic setting offers you the perfect stopover in Windhoek. You can experience Etosha in the North to Solitaire in the South on premises.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 14:    END OF ITINERARY

Day Itinerary

Last day of your tour. Your guide transfers you to Hosea Kutako Airport for your international departure.

End of our services

Directions – Windhoek Gardens Boutique Hotel to Hosea Kutako International Airport [WDH]

Distance: 45.23km     Travel Time: 36 minutes

Basis

Breakfast

Travel Information

Namibia, a timeless Adventure

“A land of contrast & dramatic beauty – exuding a timeless appeal. From awe-inspiring landscapes combined with untamed wildlife, it’s a boutique bucket list destination.”

In south western Africa lies a land of compelling fascination. A land for those who worship at the shrine of Africa at its most resplendent, but also at its most unconventional. This is Namibia.

Described by the bushman as the “Soul of the World”, Namibia is rugged, natural, soulful and liberating. While the forces of nature have been fierce and unforgiving, they have also been bountiful. In this cauldron of heat and relentless force, God has created landscapes that are paralleled in their beauty only by the most exquisite diamonds found here. Imagine huge canvasses, uninhibited by man’s limitations, splashing swathes of colour of the monumental, star shaped dunes of the Namib Desert and the surreal Salvador Dali’esque Deadvlei, with its white clay pans, red dunes and blue skies. The awe-inspiring mountain ranges of some of the last true wilderness areas in Damaraland and the forlorn, windswept skeleton coastline. As all Africa, Namibia has abundant wildlife in our National Parks as well as the large tracts of land which lie unfenced and unfettered for wildlife to traverse. Much of this land has been made available to the local communities, and both these, as well as private land of many farmers who have banded together, have been declared as local conservancies. Namibia also has the richest succulent flora in the world, harbouring about one-third of the world’s approximately 10,000 succulent species. Namibia is a melting pot of sights, sounds, aromas, tastes and emotions in abundance, just waiting to be experienced.

Namibia is home to the infamous Skeleton Coast, that forlorn and rugged coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It is here where we find the Namib Desert, the World’s oldest desert and a World Heritage site, from which the country gets its name. The eastern expanses are dominated by the Kalahari Desert; the central highlands are renowned for its free-roaming wildlife and the Etosha National Park. Kaokoland and Damaraland are where we find some of the most dramatic landscapes, the uniquely adapted desert animals and the proud Ovahimba people. And to top it off – the contrast of the lush forest vegetation of the Zambezi region, part of the KAZA Transfrontier National Park. Like the diamonds mined here, Namibia is a true gemstone waiting to be discovered.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS

Namibia’s appeal lies in its dramatic mix of spectacular landscapes, iconic cultures and African wildlife. The Namib Desert is home to the world’s highest dunes and oldest desert plant known to man. The Fish River Canyon is surpassed in size only by the Grand Canyon, while the 60 ton Hoba Meteorite is globally the largest of its kind. Namibia’s wildlife is exemplary and home to the Big 5, albeit, unlike a zoo, not found in one area. A great portion of Namibia falls under communal land, where the tourist can interact with age-old cultures such as the Himba, Damara and the Bushmen. Swakopmund, wedged between the Atlantic Ocean and the desert dunes and fondly known as Namibia’s playground, is a must for adventure and leisure tourists.

SEASONAL HIGHLIGHTS

Namibia is an all-year destination with over 300 days of sunshine. The dry winter months are generally better for game viewing and with clear cold skies, one of the world’s most sought after stargazing destinations. In wetter months, our green season, calving season commences and birding as well as botanical safaris are spectacular. The wide range of national parks ensures an unforgettable wildlife experience throughout the year.

ADVENTURE

Join expert rangers in Damaraland tracking desert elephant or black rhino, or experience the allure of the Namib Desert from a hot-air balloon. Hike the second largest canyon on earth, or learn first-hand survival practices from real Bushman while following them into the Kalahari. Watch dolphins and other aquatic animals on a catamaran cruise on the Atlantic Ocean or enjoy a roller coaster quad bike experience in the Namib Desert dunes. Enjoy your own self-drive adventure in national parks and untouched wilderness areas, meeting the cultures and relishing the freedom of endless space.

SHOPPING

All larger cities and towns offer high quality shopping and culinary experiences equal to European standards. While Windhoek’s high-end shopping malls are ideally suited to cater to all shopping needs, the centre of the city still offers streets where some smaller boutique style or owner managed outlets exist. Swakopmund has not yet acceded to the commercialism of malls and the town is still built around a small centre of busy shops. These more laid-back small arcades and cafeterias, all reachable on foot, promote a relaxed holiday atmosphere. Throughout Namibia guests can stop at informal markets en-route to their next destination to shop for wooden souvenirs, minerals, clothing or even traditional food.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Namibia has the highest concentration of Cheetahs on earth
  • Namibia is the second least populated country
  • 46% of Namibia’s surface area is under conservation management
  • The entire coastline of Namibia is protected by national parks
  • Etosha national park boasts 114 different animal species

Included

  • All transfers and transport as indicated in the above tour summary.
  • A sturdy, air-conditioned tour vehicle suitable for the Namibian environment and road conditions
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated above
  • Portages at Hotels / Lodges
  • Entrance Fees to all sightseeing attractions and National Parks as indicated
  • Bottled and unbolted water on the tour vehicle with a re-usable bottle
  • One English Speaking Driver/Guide including his costs for accommodation and meals
  • Passenger Liability and Evacuation Insurance
  • Emergency medical evacuation covers evacuation to the nearest hospital but does not cover medical costs incurred. Guests accordingly are advised to take out adequate insurance cover for medical treatments and any further emergency transportation costs in their home country.
  • Travel Planner or Information Pack – 1 per room
  • Value Added Tax

Excluded

  • All expenses of a personal nature
  • All optional excursions and activities
  • Tips for the Tour Guide and/or Driver
  • International Flights and Airport Taxes
  • Travel Insurance

Book Your Tour

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