Experience Namibia’s wildlife-rich reserves, top attractions and activities with your family
Travel broadens children’s horizons and improves their appreciation and perception of the world. With our understanding of child contentment, your family will experience the most enjoyable moments, in a personalized and intimate way and depart educated through travel.
Our 9-day Namibia Family safari begins in Windhoek. From there, we’ll dive into the heart of Namibia’s wilderness with our first stop at Okonjima, a sanctuary dedicated to protecting big cats like Leopards. We will spend a night here and witness the incredible conservation efforts in action.
Next, we head to Etosha South, a wildlife haven. Two nights here offers ample time for thrilling encounters with Lions, Elephants, and other fauna and flora.
Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, awaits with its ancient rock engravings and desert landscapes, providing a cultural and historical dimension to our journey. From here we are heading to the coast at Swakopmund with exciting activities like quad biking, living desert tours, and sandboarding in this charming town.
And then of course, we have to visit Sossusvlei, known for its iconic sand dunes and surreal landscape, where sunrise paints the desert in breathtaking colours.
Concluding our adventure, we return to Windhoek for a final night of reflection. Your family will depart with cherished memories of an unforgettable 9-Day Namibia Family Safari, where nature, wildlife, and each other – were the stars of the show.
• Okonjima Plains Camp
Experience close encounters with big cats like Leopards and Cheetahs and incredible conservation efforts.
• Etosha National Park
Word-renowned National Park with abundant wildlife.
UNESCO World Heritage Site with its ancient rock engravings.
Coastal town with activities such as desert quad biking and living desert tours.
Iconic sand dunes
Day 1: Arrival and Okonjima (or Erindi)
Your guide will meet you and your family at the airport for the start of your adventure. We will set off northwards to our exciting first destination of this safari; Okonjima Nature Reserve (Erindi Old Traders if the child is under 3 years old)
Arrive in time for mid-afternoon coffee, tea and cakes and our first afternoon Game Drive.
• Leopard Tracking
• Endangered Species Nature Drive
• Game Drive
• AfriCat Carnivore Care & Information Centre
• AfriCat Day Centre Activity
Day 2: Okonjima to Etosha South
See the African rise on your first morning Game Drive around the Okonjima Nature Reserve.
The reserve has incredible fauna and flora diversity, and you could see Leopard, Spotted and Brown Hyaena, African Elephant, Black and White Rhinoceros, Common Eland, Giraffe, two species of zebra, Impala, Greater Kudu, Common and Black Wildebeest, Gemsbok, Waterbuck and more.
We will search for all the big mammals, but also look out for smaller creatures like Serval, Caracal, Bat-eared Fox, Black-backed Jackal, Yellow and Banded Mongoose, Meerkat, Common Warthog and many more. Erindi is also home to more than 300 species of birds, and some of the specials include Crimson-breasted Shrike, Ruppell’s Parrot, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Violet Woodhoopoe, Pygmy Falcon, Cape Vulture, Verreaux’s Eagle and many more.
Back to the lodge for a hearty Namibian breakfast.
In the afternoon we will continue our our way to the south to our next exciting destination; the Etosha National Park! We will reach our lodge just outside the park’s southern gate in time for dinner and then enjoy a good night’s sleep.
Etosha has become one of the main reasons visitors from all over the globe come to Namibia, and annual numbers are over 200,000. Although Etosha is best known today as a spectacular refuge for an abundance of animals, it is also a part of the world that is providing critical evidence for the existence and evolution of ancestral animals. The rocks in the hills near Halali camp have revealed fossil life as old as 650 million years!
Etosha is also a photographer’s dream, with the contrasts in light, colour and textures particularly dramatic. Many a guest’s “lifer shots” of African animal and bird species were taken in this park. The sunrises and sunsets are particularly spectacular, so better get those cameras and phones ready!
Day 3: Etosha South
We will explore the southernside of world famous Etosha park today, going for a morning drive after breakfast and returning for lunch and a break in the heat of the day.
The name Etosha actually means “great white place” referring to the massive (130km long and 50km wide) dry pan in the middle of the park, believed to have been formed over 100 million years ago.
Etosha is home to a staggering amount of wildlife, both common and rare, including several threatened and endangered species. The mammal list is at over 110 species, including four of Africa’s Big Five, Cheetah, Giraffe, Spotted Hyaena, Zebra (2 species), Greater Kudu, Springbok, Gemsbok (Namibia’s national animal), Common Warthog, Honey Badger and many more. It is also the best place in the world to see Black Rhinoceros.
In the drier months of the year, almost all the animals tend to congregate around the waterholes dotted around the massive park. They come to drink water and are inevitably followed by predators; this allows us to sit and wait at some of the waterholes and wait for the action to come to us. This is what sets Etosha apart from other parks in southern or east Africa; unique indeed!
We will return to the park for an afternoon game drive and then enjoy dinner back at the lodge again. Remember to look up before settling into your bed tonight – the African night sky, undisturbed by city lights out here in the bush, is truly amazing.
Day 4: Etosha to Damaraland
After breakfast this morning we head directly south. It is a long drive to our next destination, but the road trip will be worth it. We will traverse dry riverbeds and rocky plains and ruggedly beautiful terrain when we reach the edge of Damaraland.
This beautiful mountainous region is home to an assortment of scientifically important desert adapted wildlife such as African Elephant, Black Rhinoceros and Lion, which somehow survive and thrive in this near-barren landscape. We hope to see some of them; a special treat indeed!
After a picnic lunch en route we will stop and admire the “petrified forest” rock formation, believed to be more than 200 million years old! Here we will also look out for the Namib Desert’s weird-looking living fossil plant, the Welwitschia, the longest living plant on earth.
Before we check into our lodge this evening, we will visit two more fascinating geological formations, the “organ pipes” arrangement (a distinctive series of dolerite pillars that have been exposed by erosion) and the much-photographed “burnt mountain” (a flat-topped mountain that derives its name from the piles of blackened limestone at its base).
After sunset we will freshen up and gather for dinner in dramatic Damaraland.
Day 5: Swakopmund
We start the morning with breakfast after which we proceed southward to Twyfelfontein.
Meaning “uncertain spring” in Afrikaans, Twyfelfontein is a massive open-air art gallery that is of great interest to international rock art connoisseurs, and another of Namibia’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The 2,000-plus rock petroglyphs, estimated to be 6,000 years old, represent one of Africa’s largest and most noteworthy concentrations of rock art. Most of these well-preserved engravings represent rhinoceros. The site also includes depictions of elephant, ostrich and giraffe, as well as drawings of human and animal footprints, all done in red ochre.
We will follow our Twyfelfontein stop with an interesting stop at the abandoned mining town of Uis. We will take a short break here to take some photographs and learn about the history of mining in Namibia.
We will drive past the Brandberg (literally “fire mountain”), Namibia’s highest mountain, with the highest peak at 2,573 meters (8,441 feet) above sea level. In the distance we will also see the Spitzkoppe (sharp head), one of Namibia’s most recognizable landmarks. It’s shape has inspired its nickname, “The Matterhorn of Africa”. It was first climbed in 1946 and is now a popular climbing destination with local and foreign mountaineers alike, with plenty of technical climbs available.
We then continue to the Atlantic coast, crossing the desolate gravel plains of the Namib Desert before arriving at the Skeleton Coast and having a roadside lunch break. This bleak and evocatively named area is one of the most unusual coastal wildernesses on the planet, protecting about a third (500 km) of Namibia’s long coastline. It has a longstanding reputation of being a dangerous sea passage for sailors, and indeed the Portuguese sailors used to call this area the “Sand of Hell”, referring to the fact that even if one did survive a ship running aground, the harsh desert would almost certainly provide one’s final resting place.
We are here to see some of the many shipwrecks along the coast, but also to visit Cape Cross and its famous seal colony. It is the breeding place of over 200,000 South African Fur Seals Arctocephalus pusillus. It is a protected area owned by the government of Namibia with the official title of Cape Cross Seal Reserve, and is also a National Heritage Site. We will be able to view the seals from a 200m long walkway, constructed of recycled plastic.
Other facilities include information points, toilets, campsites and a picnic spot. Cape Cross has both historic and biological significance and is a popular tourist attraction. Apart from the seals, there are also other fauna to be seen here, including Brown Hyaena, Black-backed Jackal, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Grey Phalarope, Damara Tern, Cape Teal, Black-necked Grebe and African Black Oystercatcher.
After this very informative excursions we will continue south along the coast to Swakopmund, the first place that will feel like a town since we left Windhoek many days ago! After checking in at our hotel we will explore this charming holiday town on foot before sunset.
Swakopmund has made a name for itself as the activity and sport capital of Namibia, but this town offers so much more. Sandwiched between the hot, arid desert and the cold waters of the Atlantic, Swakop (as the locals call it) is one of the most fascinating colonial towns in all of Africa. It is a heady mix of South African, Namibian and German cultures, architecture, languages and cuisine. For the adventurous there is quad biking, sandboarding, kitesurfing, skydiving, angling, mountain biking, scenic flights over the coastline and much more. It is the most popular holiday destination in the country, with both locals and foreigners loving the laid-back atmosphere, good restaurants, top coffee shops, many activities and the temperate climate.
Nearby Walvis Bay, Namibia’s major harbour town, is well known for the lagoon and its prolific bird life. The Walvis Bay lagoon and salt pans are regarded as the most important coastal wetland in southern Africa, as over 150,000 migrant birds spend the summer months there. Over 150 different bird species have been recorded in this region, along with 11 types of chameleons, lizards and geckos, and 13 species of mammal (including Pygmy Rock Mouse, Littledale’s Whistling Rat and Setzer’s Hairy-footed Gerbil) that also reside in the area.
Day 6: Swakopmund
The historic coastal town of Swakopmund is rich in culture and history as well as being the adventure hub of Namibia. It offers great opportunities for outdoor sport enthusiasts, naturalists and birders. The neighboring harbour town of Walvis Bay is located approximately 40 kilometres from Swakopmund and is home to diverse fauna and flora. The Walvis Bay Lagoon and salt pans are regarded as the most important coastal wetland in southern Africa, as over 150,000 migrant birds spend the summer months in here, with non-breeding Palearctic and intra-African species dominating.
Various land and sea-based activities are on offer at the two coastal towns. Due to prevailing weather conditions many activities are only available in the mornings. Following please find a list of some of the activities on offer in the coastal towns.
• Living desert tours
• Scenic flights (various routes)
• Quad biking
• Horse riding
• City tours
• Township tours
• Tandem skydiving
• Fat bike tours
Walvis Bay Activities:
• Catamaran Charters
• Kayaking with the seals
• Sandwich Harbour 4×4 excursion
• Marine dune day (combination seal/dolphin cruise & Sandwich Harbour)
• Wetland birding
Day 7: Swakopmund to Sossusvlei
Today we make our way to our last destination, Sossusvlei. Our entire drive today takes place in the Namib Sand Sea, one of Namibia’s two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is the only coastal desert in the world that includes extensive dune fields influenced by fog. Covering an area of over three million hectares, the site features gravel plains, coastal flats and rocky hills within the sand sea, a coastal lagoon and ephemeral rivers, resulting in a landscape of exceptional beauty. Fog is the primary source of water in the site, accounting for a unique environment in which endemic invertebrates, reptiles and mammals adapt to an ever-changing variety of microhabitats and ecological niches.
It is a beautiful drive of about 4 hours, and we will stop for the famous Apple Pie in the small desert oasis town of Solitaire, a true Namibian tradition that should not be missed.
We will reach our accommodation as the sun is disappearing behind the horizon, painting the surrounding sand dunes flaming red. A hearty Namibian dinner and an early bedtime will ensure that we have enough energy for an early start tomorrow.
Day 8: Sossusvlei to Windhoek
We will be up before the sun this morning, and we hope to be close to the world’s highest sand dunes by the time the first rays appear. It is a magical place to be as the sun rises, with incredible photographic opportunities.
Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographer’s heaven. It is one of the top tourist destinations in all of southern Africa and a must-see attraction when visiting Namibia. Sossusvlei itself is actually the pan or valley floor that we will park our vehicle on, and is surrounded by massive dunes on almost all sides.
From our lodge we drive in the ancient dry bed of the Tsauchab river, stopping regularly at all the famous spots, climbing a few dunes, all the while making our way slowly to the world famous Dead Vlei. Dead Vlei is a paradise for photographers, as it is punctuated by blackened, long-dead trees, in vivid contrast to the shiny white of the salty floor of the pan and the intense orange of the dunes.
Our last excursion will be at Sesriem Canyon. It is a narrow gorge of 1km long and up to 30m deep slashed into the earth by the Tsauchab river millions of years ago, and is located near the entrance to Sossusvlei. The name derives from the Afrikaans for the 6 lengths of ropes that were needed to haul water out of the gorge to the top with containers in days gone by. It is an interesting place to walk and appreciate the many geological features.
After a wonderful relaxed lunch we make our way back to Windhoek where we will spend our last night.
Day 9: Windhoek and Departure
This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.
For more information contact the Nature Travel Namibia team at firstname.lastname@example.org