16 Days / 15 Nights Namibian Dunes To Waterfalls

Arrive/Windhoek – Namib Desert – Swakopmund – Etosha South – Etosha National Park – Rundu – Kwando River – Kasane – Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)/Depart

Introduction

Accommodation preview

Destinations

Start

End

Basis

Duration

Palmquell Hotel Pension Windhoek Day 1 Day 2 B&B 1 Night
Namib Desert Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia Namib Desert Day 2 Day 4 D,B&B 2 Nights
Swakopmund Sands Hotel Swakopmund Day 4 Day 6 B&B 2 Nights
Etosha Safari Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia Etosha South Day 6 Day 7 D,B&B 1 Night
Onkoshi Camp Etosha National Park Day 7 Day 9 D,B&B 2 Nights
Kaisosi River Lodge Rundu Day 9 Day 10 D,B&B 1 Night
Namushasha River Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia Kwando River Day 10 Day 12 D,B&B 2 Nights
aha Chobe Marina Lodge Kasane Day 12 Day 14 D,B&B 2 Nights
The Kingdom Hotel Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) Day 14 Day 16 B&B 2 Nights
Not Included Transfer for International departure Day 16 Day 16 B&B  Not Included

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

DAY 1: PALMQUELL HOTEL PENSION, 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.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
8 Aug Hosea Kutako International Airport [WDH] Palmquell Hotel Pension   Transfer

Overnight: Palmquell Hotel Pension

Welcome to Hotel Pension Palmquell, your oasis of tranquillity in the vibrating city of Windhoek. Our 16 spacious and immaculate rooms in an up-market ambience are suited for holidaymakers and businessmen alike. Families also feel at home. The informal atmosphere and Austrian hospitality are particularly appreciated by our guests. Hotel Pension Palmquell consists of 16 spacious en suite rooms. Our extra-long double beds guarantee a good night’s sleep. We are totally suited for families of three or four as well – at rates that favour families. Each room has an atmosphere of its own. Original works by famous Namibian artists like John Muafangejo add an African touch. For business people there is a worktop with a direct telephone line and internet connection.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 2:  NAMIB DESERT LODGE 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.

Optional

Sundowner Drive

Sundowner Drive

Disvocer the fossilized dunes, the red dunes above the plateau and the many wonders of the Namib Desert on this guides drive around Gondwana Namib Park.

Overnight: 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.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 3: NAMIB DESERT LODGE GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, NAMIB DESERT

Activities

Morning Sossusvlei

Morning Dead Vlei

Morning 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 4: SWAKOPMUND SANDS HOTEL, 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.

Activities

Namib Sky Balloon Safaris

Namib Sky Balloon Safaris

Unforgettable and most beautiful experience, a Balloon Safari over the Sossusvlei area is the ultimate treat to you. Take off and drift across this magic landscape at Sunrise towards an unknown destination… After an unforgettable one hour flight, an Out of Africa Champagne Breakfast awaits. But before you get back to your original destination, one more surprise awaits you. Depending on where you land, a lovely nature drive takes you back to the take-off point

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
Day 4 Namib Desert Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia Swakopmund Sands Hotel   Transfer

Overnight: Swakopmund Sands Hotel        

The Swakopmund Sands is literary minutes’ walk away from the very popular Jetty and TUG restaurants as well as other tourist attractions and yet you have total privacy once on the premises of the Hotel. Each room is equipped with a flat screen TV, safe, under floor heating, fridge, as well as tea and coffee facilities for your convenience. A laundry service is available for same day delivery. Each bathroom has a hairdryer and shaving facilities and all international power points can be used. In the morning you will be able to enjoy a sumptuous buffet breakfast in a very relaxing and tranquil dining area.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 5: SWAKOPMUND SANDS HOTEL, SWAKOPMUND

Optional

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 6: 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.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
Day 6 Swakopmund Sands Hotel Etosha Safari Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia   Transfer

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 7: ONKOSHI CAMP, 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.

Activities

Etosha Game Drive

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
Day 7 Etosha Safari Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia Onkoshi Camp   Transfer

Overnight: Onkoshi Camp   

Onkoshi Camp, Etosha National Park, is the latest addition to Namibia Wildlife Resorts portfolio. Nestled on the rim of the pan on a secluded peninsula, Onkoshi Camp is a low impact, environmentally friendly establishment with only 15 units (30 beds), which guarantees a truly personal and exclusive experience.

The location is entirely out of view of current tourist routes, and all other developments in the area, and thus offers a pristine, tranquil and unique experience. Onkoshi Camp offers superb vistas over the Etosha pan, with its shimmering mirages during the hot days; dramatic sunset and sunrise textures and colours; sense of isolation and space; clear night skies; and the sights, smells and sounds of untamed and unadulterated Africa.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 8: ONKOSHI CAMP, ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 9: KAISOSI RIVER LODGE, RUNDU

Rundu

Bordering Angola, on the banks of the Okavango River in northern Namibia, the town of Rundu serves as the capital of the eastern Kavango region. Rundu is renowned for its local woodcarvers market as well as the numerous woodcarvers’ huts dotting the side of the road. The town provides a great stopover to refuel for visitors heading to Katima Mulilo as well as an excellent base from which to explore the magnificent surrounding areas.

Visitors to Rundu can enjoy the beautiful surrounds including the magnificent Popa Falls and Mahangu Game Reserve. Other popular activities include: great game viewing, excellent bird watching as well as kayaking on the spectacular Kavango River.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
Day 9 Onkoshi Camp Kaisosi River Lodge   Transfer

Overnight: Kaisosi River Lodge       

Kaisosi River Lodge is situated 7km’s East of Rundu, in the North East of Namibia on the banks of the perennial Okavango River. We offer you complete relaxation and a true African experience. This peaceful oasis, which can be reached in a normal sedan vehicle, is an ideal place for nature lovers and bird watchers.

Spectacular sunsets, friendly people, comfortable accommodation and fine cuisine make the Kaisosi River Lodge a must for all travellers. Great spots for fishing and birds watching are available along the river. Magnificent river cruises on the river border between Namibia and Angola can be arranged.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 10: NAMUSHASHA RIVER LODGE GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, KWANDO RIVER

Kwando River

Kwando is an excellent game viewing area with the perenial waters of the river attracting plentiful wildlife to the area. The Kwando River is the life blood of the region and the Linyanti Swamps to the south and is renowned for its large herds of elephants.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
Day 10 Kaisosi River Lodge Namushasha River Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia   Transfer

Overnight: Namushasha River Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia       

As the evening sky turns into a red glow you sit back, high above the river, enjoying a chilled drink while listening to the deep grunt of hippos – this experience awaits you on the sundowner deck of Namushasha River Lodge on the Kwando River in eastern Caprivi. Situated 24km south of Kongola on the C 49 (former D 3501), it is the perfect stop-over en route to the Victoria Falls. Apart from 24 rooms in chalets the lodge consists of a restaurant, a bar and a swimming pool. Watch elephant, hippo, buffalo or sable antelope on our excursions by boat and off-road vehicle or take time to observe the colourful birdlife (more than 400 species).

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 11:  NAMUSHASHA RIVER LODGE GONDWANA COLLECTION NAMIBIA, KWANDO RIVER

Optional

Optional Activities with the Lodge

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 12: aha CHOBE MARINA LODGE, KASANE

Kasane

Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Botswana, on the banks of the famous Chobe River, the scenic little town of Kasane rests on the doorstep of the spectacular Chobe National Park. There are no boundary fences separating the village from the park and game such as elephant and hippo are often spotted roaming around the town.

If on the lookout for elusive game, pay a visit to the Sedudu Valley Road, where large dead trees provide temporary homes for leopards. Within Kasane, an ancient baobab tree stands on display, once serving as a local prison. Visitors can look forward to a multitude of activities including: enjoying a game drive through the park, taking a sunset cruise down the Chobe River, visiting a local village or jumping on a day trip to the breathtaking Victoria Falls.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
Day 12 Namushasha River Lodge Gondwana Collection Namibia aha Chobe Marina Lodge   Transfer

Overnight: aha Chobe Marina Lodge         

Chobe Marina Lodge offers warm, personal service and a choice of accommodation in studios, chalets or suites. The charming thatched accommodation has every modern amenity to provide guests with a relaxed and comfortable stay. Dining at Chobe Marina Lodge is all about good food and service to match.

The Commissioners restaurant is an elegant and attractive eatery that allows for intimate and comfortable dining as well as offering diners beautiful views across the river. An à la carte and Table d’ Hote menu is available and beautifully presented by our experienced and creative chef and his team. Chobe Marina Lodge has a state-of-the-art conference venue, and is the perfect choice for a conference, product launch or team-building event. Our professional banqueting team will not only provide valuable advice but handle your conference with style and flair.

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 13:  AHA CHOBE MARINA LODGE, KASANE

Basis

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 14:  THE KINGDOM HOTEL, VICTORIA FALLS (ZIMBABWE)

Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

One of the original natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls is a World Heritage Site and an extremely popular tourism attraction. Known locally as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ this spectacle is accessible from both Zambia and Zimbabwe and it is an ideal place to combine a game viewing and water sports. There is excellent fishing, a terrifying bungee jump and arguably the best commercial white water rafting in the world.

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
Day 14 aha Chobe Marina Lodge The Kingdom Hotel   Transfer

Overnight: The Kingdom Hotel       

The Kingdom at Victoria Falls is a magical destination for individual travellers, families and groups. Built on the edges of a man-made lake, The Kingdom has 290 spacious rooms and 4 suites. Outward facing rooms have views of the national park where wildlife roams freely, whilst the rest of the rooms have stunning views of the lake. Complete with its own food court offering a wide selection of meals, the hotel offers 3 swimming pools a children’s play area and a casino. The hotel also has conferencing facilities, break-away rooms and boardroom.The stunning architecture was inspired by the ancient kingdom of Munhumutapa, with great domes, pillars, and bridges over the many water features. The Victoria Falls is just a 10 minute walk away from the resort. There are over 50 on land, water and air activities to experience in the Victoria Falls area.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 15: THE KINGDOM HOTEL, VICTORIA FALLS (ZIMBABWE)

Optional

Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe)

One of the original natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls is a World Heritage Site and an extremely popular tourism attraction. Known locally as ‘The Smoke that Thunders’ this spectacle is accessible from both Zambia and Zimbabwe and it is an ideal place to combine a game viewing and water sports. There is excellent fishing, a terrifying bungee jump and arguably the best commercial white water rafting in the world.

Basis

Bed and Breakfast

DAY 16: END OF ITINERARY

Transfers

Date Pick Up Drop Off Time Vehicle
Day 16 The Kingdom Hotel Victoria Falls International Airport [VFA]   Transfer

Basis

Breakfast

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