Explore the stark yet stunningly beautiful desert sand dunes of Sossusvlei, the seaside and activity town of Swakopmund continue to the dramatic landscapes of Damaraland with a visit to the ancient rock etchings and local Damara village, then onto the nomadic Himba people in the north. Your final nights are spent in one of the most famous and prolific game parks of Southern Africa – Etosha National Park. This safari also includes a visit to the AfriCat Foundation so a real must for animal lovers, landscape lovers and those seeking some cultural interaction, an upgraded accommodation only option is also available.
Day 1: The Elegant Guesthouse, Windhoek
Upon arrival at the airport you will be collected and transferred to The Elegant Guesthouse in Windhoek. Depending on the time you may have the chance to wander the shops or city sights. Overnight in twin bedded room with en-suite facilities. Dinner, optional activities and additional transfers at own expense.
There is no evening restaurant facility at The Elegant and suggest dinner at the famous Joe’s Beerhouse that’s just a few minutes away – the guesthouse will assist with booking
Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues, and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe, and well-organized, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language – though English is the official language. The city has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look, including the Alte Feste (Old Fort), the 1896 Christuskirche (Christ Church), and the more contemporary Supreme Court. It’s not a city to linger though – generally, one or two nights is sufficient.
Overnight: The Elegant Guesthouse
Situated in the up-market residential area of Klein Windhoek, this modern guesthouse consists of 6 comfortable en-suite double rooms with ensuite facilities, tea/coffee facilities, safe and tv. There’s a comfy lounge area, honesty bar, dining and outdoor area to relax around the swimming pool. An informal destination and ideal for an overnight destination in the capital city. It’s just a few minutes away from shops and infamous Joe’s Beerhouse.
Day 2-3: Sesriem, Sossusvlei
You’ll be collected from your accommodation by your guide and depart from Windhoek at around 08h15-08h30am. Driving through the rugged Khomas Hochland mountain range we descend to the desert floor before we arrive at camp. Your guide will show you how to set up your tent! Later this afternoon walk to Elim’s Dune for sunset watching the colors change over the nearby mountains. It’s a predawn departure from Sesriem the following morning to drive into the heart of the dunes and explore Sossusvlei witnessing first light. The shadows on the sand dunes as the sun lifts over the apricot dunes in the heart of the famous dune sea of Namibia are nothing short of spectacular. We can climb a dune close to Sossusvlei then walk to Dead Vlei with its large expanse of bleached cracked clay and skeletal camel thorn trees, contrasting with a backdrop of huge orange-red dunes. We’ll enjoy a mid-morning brunch after exploring this dramatic and desolate landscape before returning to camp. Later, visit nearby Sesriem Canyon and enjoy another stunning sunset surrounded by this colorful desert and sleep under the bright stars of the southern hemisphere. Overnight camping with meals prepared by the guide with client assistance (BLD/BLD) Approx 5hours drive plus stops; day 3: approx 1hour to dunes
Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes within the Namib Naukluft National Park. 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. Perhaps the most iconic is the stunning Dead Vlei where the dazzling white clay pan is punctuated by skeletons of ancient camel-thorn trees, and set against the backdrop of the apricot dunes. Aside from the attractions at Sossusvlei – Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Elim’s Dune – other attractions in the area include the Sesriem Canyon and Namib-Naukluft National Park, where the mountains of the Namib meet its plains and a great hiking destination.
As there is no accommodation at Sossusvlei, visitors to this desert wilderness are likely to end up staying at Sesriem, 65 kilometres away, where camps and lodges serve as a base from which to explore the dunes. 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.)
Just five kilometres from the camp at Sesriem, Elim Dune is best viewed at sunset, when the colours deepen, intensifying the contrast between the red dunes and the purple-blue Naukluft Mountains on the opposite horizon. Elim Dune is roughly 100 metres in height and the climb to its zenith takes under an hour.
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, blue skies, a white-clay pan, they create a surreal spectacle that is a photographer’s dream.
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.
Sossusvlei excursion and surrounds with guide/vehicle
Day 4-5: Post Hotel, Swakopmund
Early morning departure from Sesriem, stopping at the quaint town of Solitaire before continuing through the desert with its endless views across the pastel-colored gravel plains to the port town of Walvis Bay. We visit the lagoon, a protected RAMSAR wetland site where we may see the many species of birds including greater and lesser flamingos, pelicans, avocets, plovers, and the endemic Damara tern before a short stop at the salt farm. From here continue onto Swakopmund, full of historic colonial-style buildings and where your guide will assist those wishing to book optional adventure activities such as sandboarding, quad biking, scenic flights, kayaking, marine cruise, Sandwich Harbour tour, to name but a few, which you have time for this afternoon and tomorrow. Alternatively, visit the museum or aquarium, enjoy coffee and cake at one of the many cafes or wander along the beach listening to the roar of the waves of the mighty Atlantic Ocean – the choice is yours. Overnight is in a twin room with en-suite facilities. Lunch and dinner at own expense with optional activities and additional meals at own expense. (B/B) Approx 5hours
Restaurants include: The Tug – a must but needs to be pre-booked, situated on the beach and partly built of a tug boat; The Jetty – a great place for fish/seafood and sundowners; Erichs; The Strand Hotel also has a couple of recommended options to try out (a 5* hotel by the ocean/The Mole area). This is just a small selection of many, there are also a number of cafes and bars
Founded in 1892 as the main harbor for German Southwest Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, colonial-era buildings and the cool sea breeze make it very popular and has a wide range of accommodation establishments, banks, restaurants/cafes and shops.
Along this stretch of coastline (Walvis Bay and Swakopmund) you can take part in a selection of activities sating the thirst of those seeking adrenaline adventures – sky diving, quad biking and sandboarding; or for the more leisurely a range of marine activities including kayaking and cruises. The coastal desert can also be explored with trips to Sandwich Harbour, or informative desert tours… There is a long list so just ask us!
Walvis Bay is Namibia’s major harbor town and the lagoon has prolific birdlife including flamingos, and pelicans as well as the breeding area for the endemic Damara tern – any bird enthusiast should make a stop here.
Further north along this coastline – part of the Skeleton Coast, you’ll find shipwrecks and the famous Cape Cross seal colony – one of the largest fur seal colonies in the area.
Overnight: Prost Hotel
Prost Hotel is situated in the heart of Swakopmund, giving access to the town’s various and excellent restaurants. Our accommodation consist of 28 en-suite rooms, ranging from luxury, and family to standard rooms. All rooms are equipped with 43” flat-screen TV, own DSTV decoder, electronic laptop safe, tea/coffee station, telephone, and hairdryer.
Air conditioner in all luxury and family rooms
Complimentary Wi-Fi in all the rooms and all areas of the hotel
Rate includes a sumptuous buffet breakfast on our first floor
Same-day laundry service
Walvis Bay Lagoon
Walvis Bay Lagoon
Walvis Bay’s calm natural lagoon is a twitcher’s paradise, teeming with roughly 50 species of seabirds, including vivid flocks of flamingos, bulk-billed pelicans and glossy black cormorants. It’s also a popular spot for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and kayaking, while the promenade stretching for three kilometers along the water’s edge is a great place for a scenic stroll.
Day 6: Madisa Campsite, Twyfelfontein
We leave after breakfast and head north along the Skeleton Coast past the gravel plains and desert opening up around us with the ocean crashing down onto the shore stopping south of Henties Bay to view a shipwreck close to shore before continuing onto Cape Cross. This is home of thousands of Cape fur seals and during breeding season over 100,000 are crammed onto the beach fighting for space. We retrace our steps to Henties Bay and turn inland driving past Brandberg, the highest point in Namibia, and a huge massif rising up over the plains to Twyfelfontein. Later this afternoon visit to the rock etchings with a local guide who will explain the history and importance of these etchings is included and also a visit to the Damara Living Museum where will enjoy a tour of a traditional village (if there is not enough time we can visit the following day). Overnight camping with meals prepared by the guide with client assistance (BLD) Approx 5-6hours plus stops
Twyfelfontein is a site of ancient rock engravings in Damaraland, and Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site (2007). It has one of the largest collections in Africa as well as one of the most note-worthy with around 2,000+, some thought to be around 6,000 years old! It is believed that the creators of the rock art were the medicine people or shamans who incised their engravings as a means of entering the supernatural world and recording the experiences, the process could prepare the shaman for a state of trance by the repetitive chipping and concentration of energy. Etched into the rock are thus stories within stories, eternalized as a legacy
Overnight: Madisa Campsite
Madisa is centrally located close to Twyfelfontein, Petrified Forest and Brandberg, between the Ugab and Huab Rivers. The campsite offers exclusive camping facilities, for individuals, groups and consists 10 private shaded sites each with running water, wash up facility and braai area along with a view of the river bed and rock formations. Ablutions are set on stilts and include donkey powered hot water system. There is also a swimming pool and bar an from this base you can explore Twyfelfontein
Cape Cross Seal Colony
Twyfelfontein Rock Art
Damara Living Museum
Cape Cross Seal Colony
This colony of Cape Fur Seals is one of the largest in the world, home to approximately 80 000 to 100 000 of these so-called ‘seals’, which are in fact a species of sea lion. Day trips to the colony are offered and the seals can be viewed from a walkway at a distance of roughly 200 metres.
Twyfelfontein Rock Art
Twyfelfontein is a World Heritage Site boasting one of the richest rock art concentrations in Africa. 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.
Damara Living Museum
Observe and experience the traditional Damara way of life right in the heart of their traditional homelands. A unique opportunity to see a way of life that is slowly dying out. Open daily.
Cape Cross; Twyfelfontein rock etchings; Living Damara Museum
Day 7: Grootberg Lodge, Damaraland
This morning we depart from southern Damaraland and drive north to our base tonight situated at the top of the Grootberg Pass where the chalets are set on the edge of the plateau with jaw-dropping views over the valley. Overnight in a twin share en-suite room on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis and a sundowner activity included this afternoon – soak up the atmosphere (BD) Approx 3-4hours
Note that currently there is just 1night at Grootberg – should you wish to join optional activities such as rhino tracking or elephant tracking a further night will need to be added – please ask to extend
Huge, untamed and ruggedly beautiful Damaraland is an exceptionally scenic landscape of open plains and spectacular rock formations. Some regard the highlight of the region as Twyfelfontein – Namibia’s first World Heritage Site and one of the largest collections of rock etchings in Africa. There are a number of sites worth exploring in the region and depending on how much time you have – Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, the Erongo Mountains with its granite formations and conservancy programmes, then Spitzkoppe offering incredible rock formations as well as rock paintings.
Engage with local communities around the area including the Damara people and perhaps visit Damara Living Museum located close to Twyfelfontein
Ultimately, this area is also home to free-roaming desert elephant, black rhino and desert-adapted lion (along with a number of other species including giraffe, mountain zebra etc), and some lodges offer superb activities enabling visitors to track these incredible animals
Overnight: Grootberg Lodge
Thanks to funds donated by the European Union, Grootberg Lodge was built. It was the first lodge to be wholly owned by the community and this in turn has brought employment and a more sustainable income to the members, as well as revenue to aide and promoted social initiatives and resources. With community members comprising of up to 98% of the employees, even former poachers became conservationists particularly for those with excellent bush and tracking skills, superb knowledge of the area, these people became the best candidates for the job. An environmental award-winning lodge, increasing wildlife numbers in the conservancy, superb location and game such as black rhino, desert-adapted lion and elephant and sustainable tourism makes this a truly worthwhile lodge to visit and is one of our favourites as a 3* destination. The lodge itself perches on the edge of the plateau with incredible vistas, and has an infinity pool, thatched bar, lounge and dining area, along with a small curio shop and internet facilities. There are 16 en-suite chalets in total – 14 twin/double, plus 2 family chalets, each with its own deck and view, and have tea/coffee station, and mossie nets.
Enjoy optional activities such as guided rhino tracking in the Klip River and is mixture of 4×4 game drive and tracking on foot, with the possibility of between 1-3 hours walk and at lunch time there will be a stop near the springs. It can be almost a full day activity travelling on bumpy roads and walking in rocky terrain and note that sightings are not guaranteed.
Alternatively, you may choose to enjoy searching for the famous desert elephant – a morning activity venturing to local communities and tracing the giants from here as they vend their way through the region and a real chance to see them in incredible habitats along with learning about the lifestyle of local people.
Other options include visiting a local Damara community, game drives, guided nature walks and sunset drives or simply relax by the infinity pool
Scenic drives on Top of the Plateau – AM or PM
Scenic drives on Top of the Plateau – AM or PM
The lodge offers scenic drives on top of the Etendeka Plateau with the possibility of seeing a variety of wildlife population of zebras, antelope, jackal and occasionally leopard and lion. Springbok, Kudu and Oryx are a permanent fixture and even the nervous and shy klipspringers are sometimes seen leaping from ledge to ledge on the steep cliffs of the mountain.
Your guide, along with the game trackers will take you in an open 4×4 game vehicle down to the Klip River Valley. Part of the tracking will take place on foot, with the possibility of between 1 to 3 hours walk at the most. At lunchtime, there will be a stop near the springs where you can enjoy some refreshments. It’s almost a full day activity going along bumpy roads and walking in rocky terrain, so not advisable for the faint-hearted. Sightings are not guaranteed.
This is one of our most popular activities. A guide with a tracker will take you out into the surrounding conservancy in search of the elusive desert elephants, giving one also the opportunity to appreciate the lifestyle of the local Damara-Nama people. Lunch takes place in the shade of a tree in the remote wilderness of Damaraland. Damaraland is one of the few last places where the wildlife roams freely, sightings cannot be guaranteed.
Day 8-9: Okaukuejo , Etosha South
This morning, depart from Grootberg and from here we visit a local Himba community, these statuesque and semi-nomadic people pride themselves on their unique appearance – covering themselves in ochre and butterfat, not only considered beautiful but to also protect them from the sun. Hairstyles vary according to age and marital status, and they adorn jewelry. The villages are normally set in a circle with the main focus on the central fire, the women take care of much of the village and children whilst the men and older boys tend to cattle and goats. A visit to a community will enable you to get an insight into their life and a translator will be on hand for questions you may wish to ask.. After our Himba excursion drives directly to Etosha entering at the Anderson Gate in the south and game drive through to Okaukuejo arriving later in the afternoon. Relax by the floodlit waterhole at sunset and watch the game wander in to drink. The following day enjoy the game drives early morning and late afternoon. After dinner perhaps sit by the floodlit waterhole that attracts various species of game such as black rhino, elephant and leopard. Etosha is recognized as one of the best game parks in Southern Africa for the numbers and various species of game as well as the interesting geology. We will spend 2 nights camping with meals prepared by your guide with client assistance (BLD/BLD/) Approx 3-4hours; game drives vary
The national park can be accessed via the southern entrance at Andersson’s Gate and the central point is Okaukuejo Resort. Visitors can catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife including lions, giraffes, elephants, white and black rhino, and a multitude of plains game. Popular activities include: game drives, tracking rhinos on foot, guided nature walks, or watch the sunset over this magnificent landscape. Just outside the national park is the upmarket Ongava Private Reserve, as well as a number of mid-level accommodation and campsites.
Okaukuejo is located 17 km from the southern entrance of the park Anderson Gate, is the oldest tourist camp in Etosha and functions as the administrative centre of the park and home to the Etosha Ecological Institute. It is situated at the western end of the Etosha Pan in the south section, facilities include a restaurant, bar, shop, swimming pool, and kiosk. Wifi available (extra charge).The main attraction of this camp is the floodlit permanent waterhole where a wide diversity of wildlife congregate and interact from lion to rhino to elephant and antelope. The spectacle starts at dawn, with animals coming in large numbers to quench their thirst and continues throughout the day until late at night. In the early evenings, it is not uncommon to have black rhino, elephant and lion all drinking at the same time. The campsites are located near to the waterhole and along the boundary fence. Some smaller sites are set on a concrete base near the shared ablution and washing/kitchen facilities, with others a little further away. There is an electric point on most.
Day 10: Okaukuejo Resort, Etosha South
Enjoy further game drives today and explore more of this wonderful park. Your final night is spent in accommodation (B)
Overnight: Okaukuejo Resort
Okaukuejo is located 17 km from the southern entrance of the park, and famous for its flood-lit waterhole, where visitors can observe at close quarters a spectacle of wildlife congregating and interacting – this is an incredible sight during the dry winter months and one of best places to see herds of elephant, black rhino and large herds of plains game. The spectacle starts at dawn, with animals coming in large numbers to quench their thirst and continues throughout the day until late at night. In the early evenings, it is not uncommon to have black rhino, elephant and lion all drinking at the same time. Wifi available (extra charge)
Day 11: End of Itinerary
A final game drive takes us out of the park and from here we drive south stopping at the AfriCat Foundation and having a chance to discover and see cheetah up close and personal and learn a little about the conservation of these great predators in Namibia. From here we return to Windhoek where your safari ends – no flights prior to late afternoon – or ideally, add an extra night accommodation in/around Windhoek – approx 6+hours plus game drive/Africat so we end up back in the city approx 17h00 (B)
The AfriCat Foundation
The AfriCat Foundation
The AfriCat Foundation was founded in the early ’90s and formally registered as a non-profit organization in August 1993. The Foundation has since grown significantly and what started out primarily as a welfare organization, has over the years, identified the need to focus on education and research, as being essential to accomplishing our mission – the long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores. The Foundation has since grown significantly and what started out primarily as a welfare organization, has over the years, identified the need to focus on education and research, as being essential to accomplishing our mission – the long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores.
+264 81 476 6129
24 Penguine Street ,Hochland Park