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From ZAR 43'650
Namibia is a place of stark beauty. I am convinced this is the place where landscape photography took shape. If you are looking for solitude, beauty and geological wonders combined with the traditional friendly faces, teeming wildlife and safe travels, Namibia must be your next destination. It is still one of my favourite destinations, and it is no surprise why:
Day 1: Windhoek to Kalahari
Arrive at the Hosea Kutako International Airport in Windhoek and met by the Toerboer guide with a bottle of water.
After we have made sure everyone has exchanged money and has all their luggage with them, we depart from the airport to the beautiful and vast Kalahari semi-desert.
An afternoon game drive with a sundowner on a red sand dune is the highlight of the day and a fitting way to greet Namibia. Take off your shoes and poke your toes in the sand while listening to the silence around sunset.
Our accommodation for the night is at Kalahari Anib Lodge or similar. Dinner tonight is own expense at the lodge’s restaurant
Day 2: Namib-Nauklaft
After breakfast feel free to take a self-guided walk to stretch the legs before we leave the Kalahari behind and enter the magical land on the edge of the Namib Desert, driving past small hamlets like Maltahohe, where we will stop for lunch at the famous hotel (own expense).
We drive deeper and deeper into this forgotten land nestled between the mountains. We drive past the enigmatic Duwisib Castle where we stop and inspect this bizarre castle in the middle of the desert. Arrive on the Greenfire/Drifters Desert Farm in the early afternoon.
The lodge is situated within a 20 000 hectare private nature reserve within the Namibrand Nature Reserve and boasts a wide variety of wildlife. The Namib Desert, at 80 million years old, is the oldest desert in the world. The desert takes on many different forms. In the Namibrand, the beauty of the mountains and plains and the late afternoon light is beyond words.
After settling in, we depart on an afternoon drive on this vast property to enjoy the beautiful vistas and hopefully see some of the desert-adapted wildlife. This drive can also be done the following afternoon to allow you sufficient time to take in the beautiful surroundings in a relaxed manner.
Meals are freshly prepared in the premises and served on the terrace or inside the dining room.
Day 3: Namib-Nauklaft
After a cup of coffee and rusks, we leave on a morning walk. This is a great way to explore and experience this vast wilderness up close. We also climb the aptly named Music Mountain for some of the best views in the Namib.
After this amazing experience, we head back to the lodge for a scrumptious breakfast. After breakfast, relax around the pool until lunch is served. In the afternoon we will depart on an afternoon drive (if not done the previous day) on this vast property to enjoy the beautiful vistas and hopefully see some of the desert-adapted wildlife.
We arrive back at the lodge to enjoy another delicious dinner on the terrace. This is the perfect place to relax and take in the beautiful surroundings. Your life will change after experiencing this landscape.
Day 4: Sossusvlei
We have a really relaxed morning today. After breakfast, we embark on a short 120 km drive to the gate at Sesriem. As we drive deeper into the desert, the landscape gets even more gripping. Gemsbok and zebra come and go with the waving grassland interspersed with the odd red sand dune.
We reach the gate at Sesriem and the Sossusvlei section of the Namib-Naukluft Park. Our accommodation for the evening will be Sossusvlei Dune Lodge that is located right at the gate to the Namib-Naukluft Park.
Take a dip in the sparkling pool and grab a drink at the bar overlooking the stunning Namib. After relaxing, we head to the Sesriem Canyon, where the erosion of many centuries has incised a narrow gorge about 1km in length. The gorge is 30 – 40 metres deep and we take a short walk to look for some of the last water of the season hidden in the deep crevasses in the canyon. From here we drive to the nearest dunes to enjoy a sundowner drink.
Day 5: Swakopmund
Wake-up is really early today as we drive the 60 km to Sossusvlei in the dark with the aim to be there in time to catch the early morning sun on the red sand dunes. This early morning drive is spectacular as dusk gives way to dawn.
The phenomenal red sand dunes are a sight to behold - especially in the early morning sun and before it gets too hot. The sand originates in the Kalahari Desert and is transported to the Atlantic Ocean via the Orange River. From here the ocean currents drive it northward and it is deposited on the Namib coastline. The wind blows it deeper inland where it blocks the flow of the Tsauchab River to the ocean. These gigantic star-shaped mountains of sand (up to 325 metres from base to top) lie at the end of an erosional trough formed by the Tsauchab River. A real natural phenomenon.
We drive to the Dead Vlei parking area before setting off on foot to Sossusvlei where we climb the dune. The views from the top of Sossusvlei is as spectacular as the mysterious sight of the dead Camelthorn trees in Dead Vlei. The vlei (marsh) is dry and full of dead camel-thorn trees (500-600 years old), which makes it very photogenic.
After fulfilling all our photographic and visual memories on the red sand of Sossusvlei, we drive to the one-horse town of Solitaire - well-known for its Apfelstrudel and atmosphere. Here we enjoy lunch before heading through the Namib Desert towards the cooler climate of the Atlantic Ocean.
The change of scenery is clearly visible as we have the opportunity to appreciate the geological wonderland of the Namib Desert. We travel through the Kuiseb Canyon en- route to Walvis Bay where we encounter the flat, barren and seemingly lifeless landscape of the coastal belt.
On arriving in Swakopmund, we check into our apartment before heading over to the nearby Kucki’s Pub and Restaurant for dinner in this small seaside town (own expense).
Day 6: Swakopmund
After an early breakfast, we will depart on a Living Desert Tour. A Living Desert Tour with the enthusiastic Tommy Collard is educational, fun and an unforgettable experience. You will see the desert and dunes with new eyes. The photographic opportunities are endless too: make sure those batteries are charged before you leave!
The Living Desert Tour is a unique 4x4 adventure drive through the dunes outside Swakopmund, Namibia. Just the drive in the dunes is an amazing experience, but Tommy will show you a lot more than sand. The tour takes you from the vegetated, life-rich eastern side of the dunes, right through the dunes to the Atlantic Ocean on the western side of the dune belt.
Tommy introduces us to some of the fascinating, hidden life in this apparently barren landscape that is part of the Namib Desert. Here you can find creatures endemic to the Namib: the sidewinder (Peringuey's Adder), the Palmato Gecko with its transparent skin and beautiful colours - we dig into the dune side to find this nocturnal desert- dweller. We track the large Namaqua Chameleon and watch it enjoy brunch. Then it's a dash to catch the swift sand-diving lizard.
We find out how the area's plants and small animals survive the harsh climate, and how they obtain water for life. We will also track a FitzSimon's Burrowing Skink across the dune face, in hopes of catching this legless lizard. Along the way, Tommy will explain the variety of dune colours. At the end of the tour, weather permitting; we will experience a 'roaring' dune.
We arrive back in Swakopmund around 13:00 and you have the afternoon free to explore this beautiful town. There are also numerous optional activities available in the area and we will gladly make suggestions at your request.
Dinner tonight will be own expense at one of the many restaurants in this beautiful town.
Day 7: Spitzkoppe Mountains
Today we head North from Swakopmund on the salt road.We drive up the Skeleton Coast, past Henties Bay and briefly stop over at Cape Cross and the Cape Fur Seal colony. Cape Cross also marks the place where Europeans (Portuguese) first set foot on land in Southern Africa in the fifteen-hundreds.
From here we drive to the impressive Spitzkoppe (Namibia’s own Matterhorn) for a lunch stop and exploration of the area. Spitzkoppe is such an impressive sight that we spend a couple of hours here walking around and photographing this special place.
Our destination is the beautiful Spitzkoppen Lodge, where we will spend the night.
Day 8: Damaraland
After an early breakfast, we drive further into the Damaraland area. We pass the Brandberg massif, the highest mountain in Namibia at 2574 m above sea level.
From Brandberg we drive in the direction of Twyfelfontein (“Uncertain spring”) - one of the largest concentrations of petroglyphs (rock engravings) in Africa. Most of these well-preserved engravings represent rhinoceros. The objects excavated from two sections, date from the Late Stone Age. The site forms a coherent, extensive and high-quality record of ritual practices relating to hunter-gatherer communities in this part of southern Africa over at least 2,000 years, and eloquently illustrates the links between the ritual and economic practices of hunter-gatherers. Twyfelfontein is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From Twyfelfontein we head to the Petrified Forest where we enjoy a picnic lunch before going on a guided tour of this old river channel and its fossilised tree trunks. Two of the trunks are fully exposed and measure 45 m. The trunks date to 200 000 years. Some fine examples of the Welwitschia Mirabilis plant (endemic to Northern Namibia and Southern Angola) are also to be found here.
From the Petrified forest, it is a short drive to the town of Khorixas and then on to our accommodation at the Damara Mopane Lodge. Our final act of the day is walking up the hill to enjoy the sunset from the viewing platform – drink in hand, of course. Dinner is served with vegetables from the garden on the premises.
Day 9 & 10: Etosha National Park
This morning we will take a short detour to the Finger Rock before heading towards Outjo. We enter the world famous Etosha National Park at Anderson Gate. From here it is a short drive to the main camp, Okaukuejo.
This park surrounding the Etosha Pan (a large salt pan that can be seen from space), is a natural wonderland where we hope to see most of the wildlife that roams this vast park. Etosha is one of the most easily accessible big game parks in Africa. Despite the pan which is dry for most of the year, the permanent waterholes sustain a great number of wildlife and birds.
Okaukuejo’s focal point is the waterhole. A host of animals and birds come to drink during both day and night. There is also an old watchtower to watch the beautiful sunset from, as well as a curio shop, restaurant, post office (for those much-needed postcards home) and a swimming pool.
After checking in and lunch (own expense), you have time to relax before we leave on an afternoon game drive. Dinner is own expense tonight at the restaurant.
Our second day in Etosha will be a relaxed day. We have the option of going on a morning game drive or just relaxing at the camp. We will make our decision depending on how everyone feels after breakfast.
Day 11: Okonjati Game Reserve
Mount Etjo Safari Lodge is located in the heart of the Okonjati Game Reserve, one of the first private Game Reserves established in Namibia and founded by world-renowned conservationist Jan Oelofse.
Home to over 8000 animals and an impressive variety of bird species the Okonjati Wildlife Sanctuary is a true Conservation Area, this historic lodge deservedly carries the name “Etjo”, meaning place of refuge. Mount Etjo Safari Lodge is where the most important Declaration towards Namibia's Independence was signed in 1989 (The Mount Etjo Declaration).
Experiencing Wildlife activities and Enjoying Nature on the Okonjati Game Reserve is memorable and everlasting while enjoying the excuisite cuisine and luxurious accommodation, Mount Etjo Safari Lodge is and remains one of the most favourite destinations to visitors from around the world.
Alternatively, you can take part in any of the optional activities with the Mt Etjo staff.
Day 12: Windhoek
After breakfast, we get all our things ready for the drive back to Windhoek. The drive from Mount Etjo to Windhoek is about 250 km.
Our accommodation for the last night is at Hotel Thule. The drive back to Windhoek gives us some time to reflect on our incredible journey through the incredible country that is Namibia.
We will have a special farewell dinner tonight in Windhoek.
Day 13: HOME
After breakfast, the guide will transport you to Hosea Kutako International Airport for your flight back home.