DAY 1 WINDHOEK – URBAN CAMP
Arrive at the Hosea Kutako Airport Windhoek. A transfer will collect you from the airport and take you to the 4×4 rental company. After the rental formalities, travel to Urban camp, where you will overnight in the camping area. The city of Windhoek is bordered by the Eros and Auas mountains and towards the west stretches the Khomas Hochland. Windhoek is very clean and has a cosmopolitan flair. The German influence in the language and culture is still very much present, although English is the official language. An interesting visit is “Tintenpalast” (Ink Palace) that houses Namibia’s parliament as well as the “Alte Feste” (Old Fort) that is Namibia’s National Museum.
Overnight at Urban Campsite.
Guide experience: “While waiting in anticipation for the client’s arrival, I experience the dry heat of Windhoek. I am re-thinking every detail of the coming safari. There are many questions regarding clients that I still have to meet. And all these questions are driven from my mind by the fact that I can take them on the exploration of this country that lies very close to my heart.”
DAY 2 ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK – OKAUKUEJO CAMP 435km
After breakfast, travel to Etosha National Park. One of the highlights in Namibia safari is a visit to Etosha. In 1907, Etosha was declared a game reserve by the German colonial administration. Etosha covers an area of more than 22,000sqkm and represents almost all African animal species. The very large herds of springbok are a beautiful picture to observe. The vast Etosha saltpan in the centre is surrounded by thorn and grass savannah and is always dry except in the southern parts where there are numerous waterholes that give life for a large number of wildlife. Okaukuejo is a well-maintained camp, which houses the Etosha Ecological Institute where research is done. A permanent waterhole that is floodlit at night, give you a wonderful opportunity to see regular visitors like elephants, lions and black rhinos as well as the shy, nocturnal wildlife.
The campsite at Okaukuejo will be your overnight home.
Guide experience: “A lot of good memories will always fill my mind, thinking of the Etosha National Park. First of all, the beautiful, very near sights of the numerous game at most of the waterholes, taking a lot of photos. Visiting Okaukuejo will always remind me of an incident years ago while sleeping in my tent during one of my numerous visits. During the night my wife woke me to tell me that the lions were roaring at the floodlit waterhole. I wasn’t fully awake and told her that it was the neighbour campers that were snoring, only to find out the next morning, that it wasn’t our neighbour snoring, but a lion that caught a kudu at the waterhole during the night.”
DAY 3 & 4 ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK – OLIFANTSRUS CAMP 130km
After breakfast, depart from Okaukuejo camp, enjoying wildlife viewing while driving to Olifantsrus camp which is about 130km from Okaukeujo camp. This is a new camp on the Western side of Etosha National Park. Here, you will spend two nights at the campsite.
One of the key attractions of Olifanstrus campsite is the state of the art hide which is probably the first of its kind in Sub-Saharan Africa or Southern Africa. This is a double story building (hut) with glass around it in front of a man-made waterhole engineered for peaceful game viewing.
DAY 5 RUACANA – HIPPO POOLS CAMP 240km
Departing after breakfast, with very good memories, leave the Etosha National Park and continue your 4×4 self-drive safari on to Ruacana where you will re-fuel and do some shopping before driving to your overnight camp, Hippo Pools, which is situated next to the Ruacana Falls. For bird lovers, this camp is a paradise, because of the large number of rare bird species in the area. Ruacana used to be the place where Himba people sacrificed their cattle out of deep respect for their ancestors. Ruacana Falls are waterfalls located near Ruacana on the Kunene River. The waterfall is 120m high and 700m wide in full flood. It is among the largest waterfalls in Africa. The Kunene River flows from the Angola highlands south to the border with Namibia. It then flows west along the border until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the few perennial rivers in this region, and it’s about 1,050km long.
DAY 6 & 7 EPUPA FALLS LODGE 220km
After breakfast, leave your campsite and travel to Epupa Falls Lodge where you will stay for two nights in their campsite. The Epupa Falls are created by the Kunene River on the border of Angola and Namibia. The river is 0,5km wide and drops in a series of waterfalls spread over 1,5km, with the greatest single drop being 37m. The name Epupa, means foam in the Herero language.
A visit to a Himba Village is one of the highlights on this safari. The Otjikandero Himba Orphan Village Project was started in 1999 when Jaco Burger moved to Kaokoland to work and live with the local Himba tribe. He had met Mukajo there previously. As a result of leukaemia, she could never have children, but as the last queen in her bloodline of the Ovahimba’s and considering her great love for children she was desperate. Jaco and Mukajo came together for the Himba Orphan project and had a traditional Himba marriage. Women are not allowed to have children in the Ovahimba tradition unless they’re married. Jaco decided to live with the Ovahimba’s in Kaokoland and he was adopted by the Ovahimba’s as well as the Chiefs. He also has a Himba mother with whom he lived for a couple of years, which enabled him to learn their language.
DAY 8 SESFONTEIN – KHOWARIB LODGE 326km
Leave this special part of Namibia and continue your self-drive safari in a southerly direction to Sesfontein. Drive through Opuwo which is the capital of the Kunene Region in north-western Namibia. After re-fuelling and shopping, drive to your overnight camp at Khowarib lodge.
DAY 9 TWYFELFONTEIN – AABADI LODGE 295km
After breakfast, leave camp at Khowarib Lodge and travel on the C43 road, through Palmwag to the Petrified Forest with its 300 million-year-old tree trunks, as well as the desert plant called Welwitschia. From Petrified Forest, drive to Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings, which are an extensive gallery of rock engravings consisting of about 2,000 petroglyphs. Overnight at their campsite.
DAY 10 SWAKOPMUND – AMANPURI LODGE 320km
After breakfast, leave from camp and travel via Brandberg and Uis to Henties Bay where you will enjoy lunch. The town of Henties Bay is named after Major Hentie v/d Merwe who started recreational fishing here. Thereafter, travel about 80km, along the coastal road to Swakopmund, passing places with very interesting names like Jakkalzputz, Wlotskasbaken and Mile 4. Staying at a lodge in Swakopmund for two nights.
Swakopmund is named after the Swakop River. In 1892, Captain Curt von Francois built a military post on the site where the present town is today. Swakopmund offers a lot of excursions in and around the town. Sandboarding, horse riding, parasailing, ballooning, kayaking, camel rides, scenic flights, quad biking and fishing are only some of the large number of activities on offer. The Living Desert Tour is an exceptional excursion that is highly recommended.
Guide experience: “Just outside of Henties Bay, at Jakkalzputz is a very nice fishing spot and the place where I had my first saltwater fishing experience. During one fishing expedition, I caught a nice Kabeljou, and as the custom is, dug a shallow hole to bury the fish, and mark the place, so that it will stay fresh till the time of going back to the campsite at Henties Bay. I asked my four-year-old son to do it, and you can imagine what happened. He did not mark it well and we didn’t find it either. That night we had a canned meat dinner, which was also very good. Luckily, the next day we caught another kabeljou and had a very nice meal. Swakopmund will always remind me of all the wonderful sea holidays that we had as a family. Besides the wonderful fishing excursions, we also enjoyed sand and dune explorations in our blue 4×4 vehicle. On one of these explorations, everything went smoothly during the drive until reaching a huge dune that I had to cross. Not quickly enough, I changed to 4×4 Low, but it was too late. We were stuck for about an hour and decide to go fishing before the big dig-out. This calmed our spirit and soon we were ready for the dig-out excursion. Luckily the tyre pressure was already reduced to a minimum, and it did not take us long to get out and going to the next sand dune.”
DAY 11 SWAKOPMUND – AMANPURI LODGE
Enjoy a full day of adventurous excursions, or enjoy a bit of relaxing in Swakopmund. A visit to the town centre is also a wonderful experience. The German influence is very remarkable. Aside from the language and architecture, the best place to experience it is to have lunch at a German Backerei und Café. There are numerous little shops where you can buy presents and mementoes for family or friends.
Guide experience: “Swakopmund always reminds me of all the adventurous times that we spend on the dunes: Sandboarding, quad biking, dune driving (for which not all has the courage), and surfing and fishing. In the evening after the day’s exploration, when the mist roll in from the sea, and you are sitting in one of the Brauhaus’s enjoying an excellent meal and German beer, you have the feeling that you could just as well be somewhere in Europe.”
DAY 12 SESRIEM – NWR CAMPSITE 347km
Leave early to visit Walvis Bay, on way to the Namib Naukluft Park. Walvis Bay is the only deep harbour of Namibia. Due to the richness of the fishing in this area, there’s a lot of fisheries in town. On the lagoon in Walvis Bay, you will have the opportunity to take beautiful pictures of the rich birdlife that lives here, like pelicans and flamingos. Continue on to Naukluft Park which is Namibia’s largest nature reserve of about 50,000sqkm (The size of the Netherlands) consisting of gravel plains, mountain and dune areas.
Most parts of this very large area are not accessible to man. One can only visit a small part north of the Kuiseb River, the Naukluft Mountains and Sossusvlei in the central dune fields. The road from Walvis Bay through the Namib Naukluft Park has spectacular landscapes, and the scenery is absolutely beautiful. At Solitaire campsite have lunch, and then continue to Sesriem. Overnight at Sesriem campsite for one night. Sesriem Canyon is situated about 5km from the campsite and is in the upper Tsauchab River. The name Sesriem comes from the time when early settlers and pioneers travelling in the region with ox wagons had to join six lengths of rawhide ropes called ‘riems’, to reach the water below in the canyon.
Guide experience: “I can still not believe that the earlier Pioneers could travel by ox wagons through this vast area where surface water is not available except in good rainy years. One always has this notion that around the next bend, you could stumble on a camel-train with their Arabian masters. Till today it is unbelievable to me that wildlife can adapt to this vast and rough terrain and seeing the oryx gazelle running up the side of the red sand dune in a healthy condition, leave me in absolute amazement of the adaptability of the plant and wildlife of this country of contrast.”
DAY 13 SOLITAIRE CAMPSITE 220km
Leave camp very early to travel a short distance to view the spectacular sunrise at Sossusvlei. These magnificent red-coloured sand dunes are absolutely a photographer’s dream.
The Sossusvlei is a huge clay pan surrounded by these majestic mountains of sand. Some of these dunes are 300m high (the highest in the world). The dunes have developed over a period of many millions of years. Climbing one of these dunes will give you a panoramic view of Sossusvlei, Deadvlei, Narravlei and Cessna Pan. Deadvlei is a true and typical portrayal of the history of the cluster of pans collectively known as Sossusvlei.
After lunch, travel back to Solitaire, where you will overnight.
Guide experience: “What astounds me, of this Sossusvlei area, is that every time you arrive in the vicinity of the majestic red sand dunes, you feel the smallness of man. Standing on the ridge of the dune, looking onto the white clay pan with the dead camel thorn trees, one can only marvel at the breathtaking view of the contrast of the different colours of the landscape.”
DAY 14 WINDHOEK – SAFARI HOTEL 270km
Leaving the Namib Desert and the coastline behind, travel in a North-westerly direction, through the picturesque semi-desert countryside of the Khomas Hochland, with its rolling hills, that was once an extensive mountain land. Now a mere stump of the original, it nevertheless is the highest part of the highlands, with altitudes that range between 1,700 and 2,000m above sea level. Overnight in a hotel in Windhoek.
Guide experience: “Having experienced all the different sides of Namibia, we are now entering one of the parts that is quite unique from the others. Where it was flat plains, dune landscapes, we are now entering the uneven hill landscape, with the Remhoogte and Kupferberg Passes to arrive at Windhoek. This also brings us to the end of this Unique Namibian Safari.”
DAY 15 WINDHOEK / BACK HOME
At the appropriate time a transfer will take you to the airport for your flight back home.
Guide experience: “This last day, my mind is now filled with a lot of new images of the past safari, and it is sad to say goodbye to clients that over the past days became friends. This is normally a very emotional part of this safari, but is also the conclusion of an excellent experience.”
Accommodation is subject to change due to availability
Total Distance: Approximately 3100km
DETAILS of THE TOUR:
Lodge/Hotel & Camping:
Excursions: Himba Village visit, Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings, Sesriem Canyon, Petrified Forest, Sossusvlei
Should your driver’s license not be issued in ENGLISH, the NATIONAL and the INTERNATIONAL drivers licenses have to be presented. The INTERNATIONAL driver’s license is ONLY valid in conjunction with the NATIONAL driver’s license. Kindly make sure to abide to the above, in order to ensure that the insurance takes effect in terms of the rental agreement.