AT A GLANCE
With this safari you will discover the western side of Namibia which includes the Namib Desert and the Skeleton Coast. We will start off with a visit to the famous sand dunes of Sossusvlei before making our way to Swakopmund. From here we will travel up along the Skeleton Coast to the scenic and dramatic landscapes of Damaraland. We will try and track down the desert adapted Elephants and Black Rhinos before spending a few nights at Epupa Falls and the Kunene River. We will finish of the safari in Etosha National Park which is one of the best game reserves in Africa.
DAY 1:Sossusvlei and the Namib Desert
After breakfast and meeting your guide for the safari you will depart for Sossusvlei. We will drive through the Khomas Hochland and down the escarpment via one of the scenic mountain passes into the Namib Desert. This journey will take about 4 hours depending on the number of stops for photographs. After lunch and settling in at the lodge we will depart for a late afternoon scenic nature drive or an excursion to Sesriem Canyon. Dinner and accommodation will be at one of the best lodges in the area perfectly situated to explore the surrounding desert and its attractions.
DAY 2: Sossusvlei and Swakopmund
After an early breakfast and coffee we will depart for a morning excursion to Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei. We will stop at the scenic Dune 45 along the way and spend a couple of hours at both Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei. Some of the dunes in the area are a few hundred meters high but the view from the top for those that dare is one you will never forget. After lunch we will depart for Swakopmund via the Namib Naukluft National Park. We will spend the night at a guesthouse and have dinner at one of the top restaurants in Swakopmund. Please note that dinner tonight is not included in the package price and is for your own account.
Swakopmund is a very popular holiday destination for many Namibians and will probably be the only place that you will visit on the Namibian safari that has a real town feel to it. Wedged between the Namib Desert and the cold Atlantic Ocean, Swakopmund which is known for its very relaxed atmosphere, has something for everybody. There are plenty of great restaurants and bars, good shopping opportunities and fascinating architecture. For the adventurous there’s quad biking, sand-boarding, skydiving, beach angling and scenic flights over the coastline and Sossusvlei to name a few. The nearby Walvis Bay, Namibia’s major harbour town is well known for the lagoon and its prolific birdlife.
DAY 3: Living Desert Adventure and exploring Swakopmund
After breakfast we will depart for a half day living desert adventure during which we will look for and learn more about the wildlife that had adapted to survive in harsh environment of the Namib Desert. We will hopefully see sidewinder snakes, geckos, scorpions, burrowing skinks as well as the fascinating plant life. We will be back in Swakopmund for lunch and have the afternoon to explore everything Swakopmund has to offer. There will be time for extra activities like Quad-biking and sand-boarding in the dunes or a scenic flight along the coastline.
We will again stay in the same guesthouse and dinner will again be for your own account. We will enjoy a sun-downer drink while watching the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean.
DAY 4: Dolphin & Seal cruise and the Skeleton Coast
We will start today with an early morning seal and dolphin cruise on a catamaran in the Walvis Bay lagoon. We will visit the oyster farm, the shipwreck and lighthouse at Pelican Point as well as the seal colony. Wildlife we might encounter includes Cape Fur Seal, Humpback and Southern-right Whales, Bottlenose and Heaviside Dolphins, Leatherback Turtles and Sun Fish to name a few. The birdlife on the lagoon is brilliant and there are always great photographic opportunities especially for pelicans, gulls and cormorants. There is a toilet on-board and refreshments include fresh oysters and champagne.
Then we continue our safari northwards along the Skeleton Coast. After visiting a shipwreck we will turn inland towards Damaraland. We will drive past the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain with the highest peak at 2573 meters.
DAY 5: Rock paintings and off to Kaokoland
After breakfast we will visit Twyfelfontein where you find thousands of rock engravings and is Namibia’s only world heritage site. We will spend about one hour on a guided walk amongst hundreds of engravings before we will continue northwards towards Kaokoland. Kaokoland is famous for the desert adapted Elephants and Black Rhinos as well as the Himba people, Namibia’s last true nomadic tribe.
After lunch we will depart for an afternoon game drive looking for Elephant, Oryx, Springbok, Chacma Baboon, Giraffe, Steenbok, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra and Lion. This area is also great for seeing many of Namibia’s near-endemic birds like Monteiro’s and Damara Hornbills, Ruppell’s Parrot, Benguela Long-billed Lark and Ruppell’s Korhaan.
Our lodge for tonight is situated within one of Namibia’s best run conservancies and we will enjoy a great dinner while going over the plan for tomorrow’s rhino tracking.
DAY 6: Rhino Tracking
After an early breakfast we will depart and dedicate most of the day in tracking down one of Kaokoland’s Black Rhinos that call this beautiful but harsh habitat home. This area holds the only population of Black Rhinos outside a protected area. They do cover huge distances in search of food and water and have big territories so it might take a great tracking effort to find them. During the tracking we will encounter various other species of game including Oryx, Springbok, Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra and hopefully Elephant.
Depending on what time we get back to the lodge there might be time for an additional activity like a sun-downer nature drive or a horseback trail. Since we cannot be sure what time we will return none of the extra activities are included and can be arranged at the lodge.
We will again stay at the same lodge and enjoy a well-deserved dinner and night’s rest after a full day in the Kaokoland bush.
DAY 7: Epupa Falls
After an early breakfast we will continue our safari northwards towards the Kunene River which forms Namibia’s north-western border with Angola. The drive today will take a fairly long time depending on the number of stops for wildlife and scenic areas like a group of Baobab trees together a very long way away from areas where they are known to occur. We will cross Hoanib River valley before driving via the Frans Joubert pass. We will stop at Opuwo, the capital of Kaokoland, for fuel and lunch before driving the last 130km to our lodge on the banks of the Kunene River. After settling in and a refreshing swim we will visit the falls and enjoy dinner on a deck overlooking the river. The sounds of falls remain with us throughout the night. The Epupa Falls (which means foam in Herero) is a series of waterfalls that stretch over 1.5km with the longest drop 37m. The river is about 500m wide at this point.
DAY 8: Himba people and the Kunene River
After a relaxing breakfast we will depart for a Himba village visit. Known as the last true nomadic tribe of Namibia, the Himba has a unique and wonderful culture. We will spend a couple of hours learning about their history, culture and get an insight into the daily life and rituals of the Himba people. After the visit we will depart for our next destination about 2h30 from Epupa. We will stay in a lodge with a overlooking the Kunene River.
After lunch and couple of hours to relax we will depart for an afternoon and sun-downer cruise on the Kunene River before enjoying dinner on the deck overlooking the river.
DAY 9: The Otjovasandu section of Etosha National Park
After breakfast we will slowly make our way eastwards along the Kunene River until we reach the Ruacana Falls. We will spend some time here depending on the water level. From here we will make our way south until we reach the Galton gate of Etosha National Park. We will stay in Dolomite Camp, a new camp in the western section of Etosha. Until a few years back this section was closed to the public and with the rolling dolomite hills offers a unique and completely different habitat to the rest of Etosha. After enjoying lunch at our lodge which is situated on top of a hill with wonderful views over the surrounding plains, we will do an afternoon game drive.
Because of the different habitat we will encounter species like Hartmann’s mountain zebra and roan antelope together with the general Etosha species. Elephant, Lion, Oryx, Kudu, Red Hartebeest and Burchell’s Zebra are present in good number.
DAY 10: Etosha National Park
After breakfast we will slowly make our way towards Okakuejo in the western side of the Etosha park. This is one of the most popular resorts and the surrounding plains and waterholes are brilliant for game viewing. The flood-lit waterhole on the edge of the resort allows for game viewing long after the sun has set.
DAY 11: Departure
After breakfast we will do a quick game drive before making our way back to Windhoek or continuing for an additional couple of nights in Etosha. Alternatively we can spend a night at the Waterberg Plateau National Park close to Otjiwarongo. Please contact us for suggestions on possible extensions.
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