WD07 tour: 12-Day Namibia Ideal

This safari has a fully accommodated itinerary using a selection of bungalows, guest-houses and lodges throughout Namibia. The accommodation is a combination of guest-houses, lodges and bungalows and there are guaranteed departure nearly every Monday of the year, there are no minimum numbers and we will operate the trip with only one booking if necessary. Collection time is between 08:30 & 09:00 from anywhere within the Windhoek city limits.

This itinerary can also be combined with our 8 day Delta and Falls Safari which will take you to visit two of the world’s natural wonders, the Okavango Delta and the mighty Victoria Falls.

Day one
Windhoek – Namib Desert (350 km) (lodge accommodation) (LD)

We leave Windhoek and straight away join the small desert roads that connect the whole of rural Namibia. Windhoek is in a mountain valley and we have to climb out, first over the Eros Mountains and then the Khomas Hochland Range. The mountain passes are spectacular, we pass by several desert homesteads and we often see wild game along the road. As we come through the mountains we drop down from the central plateau by way of the impressive Remhoogte Pass and emerge to find grassy desert savanna.

We stop at Solitaire, Namibia’s second smallest town, for afternoon tea before driving on to our accommodation near the sand dune sea.

Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the lodge.

Day two
Lodge – Sesriem – Sossusvlei – Lodge (250 km) (lodge accommodation) (BLD)

A pre dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. We drive the short distance to Sesriem, the entrance to the Namib Naukluft National Park and gateway to the world’s highest dunes.

From here we drive another 60 km to Sossusvlei itself, transferring to special desert vehicles for the last 5 km through the dunes. The drive is like nothing else, in the cool of the morning, with soft sunlight just beginning to play over the dunes creating a sharp light and shadow contrast across the whole desert. Ancient mineral pans, stunted camelthorn trees and the chance of seeing a gemsbok or maybe an ostrich make the photo opportunities perfect.
We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei, also visiting “dune 45”, and as the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch and to escape the heat of the afternoon. As the day cools off in the late afternoon we will take a short excursion to the Sesriem Canyon.

Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the lodge.

Day three
Sand dune desert – Swakopmund, Skeleton Coast (300 km) (Hotel accommodation) (BLD)

An early start today, we are heading north-west to the seaside town of Swakopmund located on the Skeleton Coast. Leaving the dune fields far behind us we are soon back into the mountain desert. We cross the Tropic of Capricorn and traverse both the Gaub and the Kuiseb pass, driving down to the dry river bed at the bottom of the canyon before climbing up the other side, watching the spectacular desert landscape unfold before us.

From the mountains we cross the desolate “Namib gravel plains” before reaching the coastal sand dunes at the port town of Walvis Bay. We will stop for a picnic lunch beside the ocean and there will be time to see the flamingos and other bird life in the Walvis Bay lagoon before continuing the now short drive into Swakopmund.

Day four
Swakopmund (hotel accommodation) (BL)

Today is a free day. The idea is to allow time for everybody to do their own thing. Swakopmund is a very pleasant seaside town with lots of shops, a good stretch of beach (although the Atlantic here is quite cold) and an open-air curio market. There is also a very good museum and the Namibian National Marine Aquarium is located in Swakopmund.

Alternatively, there are various optional activities that can be arranged. These include aeroplane and microlight flights over the desert, scenic drives, fishing trips (both from the beach or in a boat), four-wheel motorcycle (quad bike) trips into the desert and over the sand dunes around Swakopmund, sand boarding trips (also in the dunes), skydiving, surfing, bird-watching and many other activities are available. Your tour guide will discuss all the possible options with you before you reach Swakopmund and will offer to make bookings in advance of your arrival.

In addition to this, if you have decided not to join any of the optional afternoon activities, your guide will take you on an excursion into the Swakopmund River Valley. Traveling through the ancient, long dried up Swakopmund Delta, we first stop at the “Moon Landscape” an unusual example of water erosion in the desert.

From here we continue to the Swakopmund Valley itself to hunt the giant Welwitchia Mirabilis plants. This plant is in fact a species of tree and is one of the rarest fauna species in the world. We will see examples that are reported to be in excess of 1500 years old.

(N.B. All extra activities and excursions in Swakopmund are subject to availability and are made at the clients’ own risk and expense).

Dinner tonight is for the clients own account in a local restaurant.

Day five
Swakopmund – Damaraland (300 km) (lodge accommodation) (BLD)

A long drive today, leaving early and heading north along the coast, we will first visit the seal colony at Cape Cross where it is possible to see thousands of Cape Fur Seals in the water and on the surrounding rocks and beaches.
From here we will turn east, back into the desert and the beautiful area known as Damaraland and the next stop will be at the small town of Uis, located in the remote desert. Uis is an old mining town and one of the best places to buy semi-precious stones for which Namibia is famous. Here, rough Amethyst, Tourmaline etc can be found at bargain prices.

We will pass the Namibia’s highest mountain, The Brandberg, (2573 m) as we travel deeper into Damaraland and our accommodation will be at a desert lodge in the vicinity of Twyfelfontien.

Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the lodge.

Day six
Damaraland – Oase Himba Village, Kamanjab (450 km) (BLD) (guest-house accommodation)

We leave early to visit the ancient site of Twyfelfontein. Here is an impressive collection of rock engravings created by the talented artisans of ancient peoples. Twyfelfontien is one of the most important archeological sites in southern Africa and we will have a local guide to take us around and introduce us to the petroglyphs.

From here we drive to the small town of Kamanjab where we will make a short stop here before continuing on to find the Himba Tribesmen at Oase.

Oase is the only traditionally functioning Himba community outside the far north Kaokoland region of Namibia These tribes-people have migrated here, lifestyle and customs intact, and are following their traditional way-of-life in their village on a farm. Oase Village is located about 15 to 20 km outside Kamanjab, the exact location of the site varies as the Himba occasionally roam to a new location.

During the afternoon we will be invited into Oase Village and will meet with the locals. We will have a specialist guide for the time we are there, who will be able to translate for us and will introduce us to this “alternative lifestyle”. We will learn about marriage customs, traditional food and the mysteries of the local religion, “Holy Fire”.

Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the guest-house.

Day seven
Kamanjab – northern Damaraland (200 km) (BLD) (lodge accommodation)

Heading further north, the Damaraland scenery stays with us today. We follow the western border of Etosha National Park for some way, heading into the far northern regions of Namibia, turning off to our destination on a small game reserve.

We aim to arrive in the early afternoon. There are some self guided bush walks available for those who are feeling energetic, but otherwise the rest of the day is designed to allow you to relax by the pool and re-charge you energy.

Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the lodge.

Day eight
Northern Damaraland – Okaukuejo, Etosha National Park (200 km) (BLD) (bungalow accommodation)

Traveling with special permission through the western side of Etosha National Park, we transit through this restricted area that is set aside for research and breeding. We have the chance to see some species not normally seen in the main tourist areas of the park.

As we drive into the Okaukuejo region of Etosha where our main game drive really begins, and we travel slowly down to Etosha’s main camp, Okaukuejo where we aim to arrive in time for a late lunch.

Time to relax in the afternoon and then sundowners at Okaukuejo’s floodlit waterhole. Situated on the boundary of the camp and easily reachable on foot from your bungalow, the Okaukuejo waterhole is famous One of the "best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa". Perfectly placed for sunset, black rhino, elephant, lion and numerous species of antelope are often seen.

Dinner tonight is prepared by your guide over an open fire.

Day nine
Okaukuejo, Etosha (BLD) (bungalow accommodation)

We go straight out on an early morning game drive. We visit some of the numerous waterholes in the area hoping to catch some of Etosha's big game out for an early morning drink. The game drives around the Okaukuejo area are some of the best in the park. We cover several different terrains this morning, from wooded areas to open savannah and in the rainy season, wetland. Back to Okaukuejo in the late morning and after lunch there is time once again to relax during the heat of the day. The pool area here is great, shaded by palm trees and close to the waterhole.

We take a shorter game drive in the late afternoon, often driving out to one of the waterholes popular with game and waiting for the animals to come to us.

Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the Okaukuejo.

Day ten
Okaukuejo camp – Namutoni Etosha (BLD) (lodge accommodation)

A full day's game driving and we leave early to enjoy the cool morning air. We game drive our way through Etosha to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park. Along the way we visit several waterholes and are afforded splendid views of the massive Etosha Pan. The game viewing is usually excellent and we have the chance to tick off a few new species that are usually only seen on the eastern side of the park.

We stop at Halali for a rest and a leisurely lunch and there is also time to visit the Halali waterhole and to make use of the swimming pool and bar facilities before continuing on our way and game driving down to Namutoni. A short stop here to check the camp waterhole for game and then we leave the park, checking into a lodge located on the eastern boundary of Etosha.

Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the lodge.

Day eleven
Etosha – Otavi Mountains (300 km) (BLD) (lodge accommodation)

First stop this morning will be to visit a local community of Bushman or San people. Before Namibian independence in 1990, the Namibian people were engaged in a liberation struggle with South Africa.

During this time Namibia had a large South African military presence and the South African army incorporated local Bushmen into their ranks because of their natural talent for tracking.

The Ombili village is located on the site of an old South African military base where, during the war years, many Bushmen had been in uniform. When the South African army withdrew, the local Bushmen trackers remained behind and were in danger of becoming displaced people, being so long away from their own villages. The local farming community in the Ombili area invited the Bushmen to stay and make their homes. Over the last 15 years or so a thriving bushman community has developed.
The Bushmen at Ombili are not living the traditional hunter gatherer lifestyle, that harsh but romanticized way of life has disappeared for ever, but the language and many of the customs remain alive. We make a stop at Ombili and we have the chance to meet the local inhabitants and learn something of their ancient and modern culture.

From Ombili, we are heading predominantly south. We pass through the Otavi mountains and our accommodation for the night is in the foothills of this small but picturesque range.

Dinner tonight will be in the restaurant at the lodge.

Day twelve
Otavi – Windhoek (350km) (BL)

Our last day on the road, the drive down to Windhoek is on a good road and we have time to stop in Okahandja, home to Namibia’s largest woodcarving market. The stalls are operated on a co-operative basis by the local community and the market is a perfect place to do last minute shopping for truly Namibian souvenirs.

We aim to arrive back in the Capital in the middle afternoon and you will be dropped off at your accommodation.

Rates and dates: on request

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