Namibia is surely one of the most diverse and fascination destination on earth with its extreme landscapes. From the tallest sand dunes in the word at Sossusvlei and one of the world most important conservations area at Etosha National Park. This country is magnificent, magical and mysterious and has recently been rated by various travel organizations as one of the most beautiful places in the world to visit. The giant salt pan is truly a sight to behold. Among the animals we’ll see are; the incredibly rare desert elephant (only found here and in Mali), desert-adapted black rhino, lions, giraffes, cheetah, jackal, hyena, zebra, blue wildebeest, red hartebeest & hyena.
Arrive in Windhoek, Namibia where our driver will pick up the group mid-day (from the Hosea Kutako International Airport or your hotel) and drive us to the Kalahari.
The Kalahari Basin covers most of Botswana and large parts of Namibia and South Africa. The name Kalahari means ‘the great thirst’ and describes the world’s largest continuous area of sand. It is an exceptionally beautiful semi-desert. In Namibia it is characterized by red dunes, acacia trees and wispy golden grasses. The wide variety of wildlife includes gemsbok, impala, jackal and cheetah as well as the famous Meerkat. In all three countries the Kalahari is the last bastion of the indigenous San people who lived as hunter-gatherers in the whole of southern Africa before the modern world took over.
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. Here we’ll enjoy the views of the open savannah and our swimming pool. After settling in, we’ll enjoy our first meal together.
Today we head on to Sossusvlei located in Namib-Naukluft National Park which is famous for its setting amidst the iconic red dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrasting with the towering dunes make this one of the most scenic natural wonders of Africa and a photographer’s dream. At up to 400 meters high, some of the ‘mountains of sand’ are among the highest in the world. In the morning and evening light the dunes come alive with amazing displays of color that draw photography enthusiasts from around the globe. Sossusvlei is home to a variety of desert wildlife including gemsbok, springbok, ostrich and various reptiles. This awe-inspiring destination is the second-most visited attraction in Namibia.
Activities: Climb ‘Big Daddy’, one of Sossusvlei’s tallest dunes; explore neighboring Deadvlei, a dazzling white clay pan dotted with ancient fossilized camel thorn trees.
This afternoon we’ll discover the fossilized dunes, the red dunes above the plateau and the many other wonders of the Namib Desert on our drive around the Gondwana Namib Park.
Graceful spaces and gracious hospitality imbue this modern lodge with its elegance of yesteryear, spirited character and refreshingly stylish interior. Sip on a pink gin while appreciating the expansive desert scenery from your own bungalow complete with its own plunge pool.
Tonight we’ll dine in style at the Desert Grace.
Today after a sumptuous breakfast we’ll enjoy a guided half-day excursion to highest dunes on Earth at Sossusvlei. They form part of the spectacular Namib Sand Sea, which was declared a World Heritage site in 2013.
The afternoon will be at rest before we join together again for dinner.
It’s time to head off to our next destination.
In 1892, eight years after South West Africa was declared a German Protectorate, Swakopmund was founded with the intention to build a harbor. By 1907 a little town pulsating with life had emerged from the desert! Swakopmund boasted the largest European population of all the German colonies in Africa. Decades on and much bigger now, the charming town is as alluring as ever. The mix of Namibian influences with picturesque buildings from the colonial era, palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, the laid-back holiday atmosphere plus the cool sea breeze make Swakopmund one of the most attractive places in the country.
Despite the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean on its doorstep and the Namib Desert as its backyard, Swakopmund is not a tropical sunbathing paradise, however. The moderate climate along the coast is due to the cold Benguela Current. The current also causes the nightly fogs for which the town is famous and which sustain the wealth of desert flora and fauna near the coast. Early mornings and the evenings can be chilly throughout the year – a welcome respite from the inland heat.
Swakopmund has become the country’s adventure mecca. The desert, the dunes and the ocean lend themselves to a host of thrilling activities: sand boarding, sand skiing, quad biking, dune carting, beach angling and deep sea fishing, to name but a few.
There is no shortage of diverse shops, bistros and restaurants. Small specialist shops sell hand-made leather work, art & crafts, hand-woven carpets and wall hangings, hand-embroidered bed and table linen and other items proudly made in Namibia. Superb jewelry, designed and crafted with local gemstones by master goldsmiths, are another special feature of Swakopmund.
Activities other than fun in the sand and the sea include visit art galleries, visit art galleries, visiting the museum to learn about Swakopmund’s history, watch the Karakulia Weavers spin their wool and weave into wall hangings and rugs, visit and admire Kristall Galerie.
Our hotel, the Delight Swakopmund will act as our home for the next two nights. Amongst the town’s captivating contrasts and old traditions, Gondwana’s Delight is a fresh breeze in the desert. A refreshing, relaxing, modern, light and airy establishment to uplift and inspire. Effortless and comfortable, with the distinctively warm and welcoming Gondwana service and charm, your stay will surely be a memorable experience.
Tonight we’ll dine at the hotel after checking in.
We’ll set sail around 9am with Catamaran Charters from the Jetty at the Walvis Bay Waterfront for an educational sailing excursion in the bay area on the hunt for the Marine Big 5: Whales, Dolphins, Mola, Leatherback turtle and seals. While serving hot coffee and tea, our initial route takes us past oyster farms as we approach Pelican Point with its landmark lighthouse and 60,000 resident Cape Fur Seals.
In season (July to November), larger mammals such as the Southern Right Whale and Humpback Whales are often spotted, while other whale species, such as the Gray whale and the Pygmy Right whale have made appearances. Bottlenose, Heaviside and Dusky dolphins are regularly seen, as are Sunfish and Leatherback Turtles. Accompanying our four sailing catamarans throughout are a variety of seabirds, such as the Kelp Gull, Hartlaub’s Gull, Pelicans, Skua and Cape Cormorant.
The sails of the catamaran will be hoisted (weather dependent) so we can switch off the engines so you can experience true sailing. You can even help in putting up the sails and rigging the ropes if you wish.
Our journey from Pelican Point takes us past some of the more interesting ships and oil rigs in the bay as we serve fresh oysters with sparkling wine, savory snacks and desserts together with cool drinks and water. We return to the Waterfront at about 12h30, where your Sandwich Harbour 4×4 guide will meet you for your afternoon excursion.
After a short break at the Walvis Bay Lagoon to see masses of flamingos, the drive initially takes us to the Kuiseb river delta, a dry riverbed where the odd springbok may still be seen. If weather and tides allow, we will drive right to the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon, one of Southern Africa’s richest and unique wetlands and one of five RAMSAR sites (wetland site designated to be of international importance) in Namibia.
When it becomes time to enjoy something to eat, your guide will find a suitable place to stop. It will likely be a somewhere that serves a selection of oysters and snacks with sparkling wine, beers and cool drinks.
The route homewards will take us past the area’s typical fauna and flora. Animals which have developed ways to adapt to the desert include the black-backed jackal, fog-basking beetle, golden mole, shovel-snouted lizard, palmato gecko, springbok, oryx, brown hyena and ostrich.
No less spectacular is the iconic fruit of the Namib desert, the Nara melon. This leafless plant with its long tap root has been an important part of the Aonin people’s diet.
We return to the Walvis Bay Waterfront at around 4:30pm. Dinner tonight is on your own in town.
It’s time to depart for our next encampment.
Twyfelfontein, in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia, is one of the largest concentrations of rock art in Africa and Namibia’s first World Heritage Site. 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. It consists of hundreds of sandstone slabs covered with rock engravings of animals, and there are a few paintings, too.
The enormous ‘open-air art gallery’ is found in the Huab Valley, flanked by flat-topped sandstone mountains. Twyfelfontein (spring of doubt) is the name that a despairing farmer gave to a perennial spring at the site in the late 1940s. The spring attracted Stone Age hunters over six thousand years ago. The petroglyphs had ritual significance and also served as maps, as well as for educational purposes and recording events.
Camp Kipwe is an intimate and remote bush lodge located in Namibia’s arid yet starkly beautiful Twyfelfontein region. The specially-designed rooms are unique and private, with an outdoor bathrooms, thatched roofs and spectacular views over the surrounding area. A luxury thatched suite awaits you with a lounge equipped with air-conditioning, a satellite television, a double room with en-suite bathroom, laundry service and a mini-bar.
Camp Kipwe offers guided nature walks around the Twyfelfontein Conservancy, as well as trips to see the Bushman etchings, the mysterious Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain. For a very special experience, an Elephant Nature Drive is a must-do; explore the terrain in search of these elusive desert-dwelling elephants who have adapted to the dry and sandy conditions of northern Namibia. After exploring the region and witnessing the engravings we’ll settle down to a nice meal and a must deserved rest.
This morning we’ll depart for Etosha National Park in the central north which is world-famous for its abundance of wildlife and premiere game viewing opportunities. The park is home to 114 species of mammals, including elephants, black rhinos, lions and other big cats and predators, giraffes, various antelopes and zebras, as well as hundreds of species of birds and reptiles. The vegetation ranges from dense bush to open plains with semi-arid savannah grasslands. During the dry season and in times of drought, the animals flock to the perennial springs and artificial waterholes which are maintained all over the park.
Etosha Pan in the heart of the nature reserve is a vast shallow depression of 5000 kilometres that can even be seen from space. The huge salt pan is dry for most of the year and lies shimmering in the heat, but after good rains it fills up with water and attracts scores of birds, especially flamingos from as far away as the Walvis Bay Lagoon on the Atlantic coast.
Today we’ll explore the national park with guides who are familiar with the waterholes and the animals that visit them. Let them introduce you to African wildlife from the elevated seat of a game vehicle. Early mornings or late afternoons provide the best game viewing times. Upon return to the lodge why not dive into the cool waters of the lodge pool. Dine on the veranda under a dome of stars, sit next to a blazing fire and watch the ruby sun sink gracefully into the landscape. Be at peace.
Etosha Safari Lodge is located 10 km south of Andersson Gate on the C38 (Etosha National Park).
In most places in the park, the pans are devoid of vegetation with the exception of halophytic Sporobolus salsus, a protein-rich grass that is eaten by grazers like blue wildebeest and springbok. Most of the park is savanna woodlands except for areas close to the pan.
Explore the National Park and its amazing wildlife in a 9-seater game vehicle. Refreshments, snacks, and entrance fees to the National Park are included.
Etosha King Nehale has been designed and decorated to pay homage to the rich cultural heritage of the area and the majestic riches of the Etosha animal kingdom. Guests of this new lodge are immediately captivated by the fascinating atmosphere and warm cordiality that arises from the great attention to detail, whether in the interior design, the choice of food or the small detailed features that they encounter at every turn.
The lodge is situated on the Andoni Plains, just one kilometre from Etosha’s northern King Nehale Gate and only 48 kilometres north of Namutoni. At this welcoming lodge we’ll have private access to a remote waterhole in Etosha National Park, the Ontalelo Outpost. The name says it all: ontalelo meaning “view, sight”, “outpost” describes a remote part of a kingdom or empire. Guests can enjoy the fascinating experience of being really close to the wonders of Etosha’s animal kingdom.
After much game viewing we’ll enjoy a lovely meal at our stunning lodge en groupe.
Today we’ll have a full day of game viewing, as we explore the National Park and its amazing wildlife in a 9-seater game vehicle. Refreshments, snacks, and entrance fees to the National Park are included.
This afternoon we’ll have a much needed rest.
Then we’ll convene for some celebratory cocktails followed by a sumptuous final meal together reminiscing about all the incredible things we’ve seen and experienced during our extended week.
Sadly our Namibian Adventure has come to an end. After breakfast we’ll depart to head back to Windshoek for your return home.
Kalahari Anib Lodge lies like a lush green oasis in the midst of red Kalahari dunes
The Desert Grace Gondwana Collection is know for it's graceful spaces and gracious hospitality imbue this modern lodge with its elegance of yesteryear, spirited character and refreshingly stylish interior
The Delight Swakopmund is a refreshing, relaxing, modern, light and airy establishment to uplift and inspire.
Camp Kipwe is an intimate and remote bush lodge located in Namibia’s arid yet starkly beautiful Twyfelfontein region.
Etosha Safari Lodge is the place to open doors to the mystery and magic of Etosha, 'Place of Legends'.
Doni Belau is the creator and founder off Girls Guide to the World She is an inveterate traveler, She has been to nearly 70 countries (and counting). She comes alive when she travels, when she is exploring, and when she is seeing, tasting and feeling something new. She loves to help other women experience this sensation as she truly feels it helps us see a larger world of possibilities within ourselves.
Everything stated in itinerary above including most meals with one exception
2 glasses of wine or beer with your evening meal
Lodging at high standard tented camps or lodges
All guides, experts and entry fees
All in-country transport
Roundtrip airfare to Namibia
Additional wine, beer, or spirits beyond what is offered at meals
All personal souvenir purchases
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)