Located in southwestern Africa, Namibia boasts a well-developed infrastructure, some of the best tourist facilities in Africa, and an impressive list of breathtaking natural wonders. Visitors can explore the capital of Windhoek and discover the lovely coastal town of Swakopmund boasting remnants of the country’s German influence, reflected in the architecture, culture, cuisine and the annual Oktoberfest celebrations. To properly appreciate this extraordinary country, you will have to venture out of the cities to explore the remarkable natural landscapes Namibia has to offer. These include: the impressive Fish River Canyon; the vast Etosha National Park teeming with abundant wildlife, such as lions, desert-adapted elephants and the Hartmann's Mountain Zebra; the hauntingly beautiful Kalahari Desert; and of course the Namib Desert stretching for over 2000 km along the magnificent Atlantic Coast. Namibia is an ideal destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable African experience in a uniquely beautiful untamed wilderness.
Days 1 - 3
Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert rivals a visit to Etosha as the highlight of a Namibian safari. Surrounded by its distinctive dunes of red-orange sand, Sossusvlei is especially breath-taking in the early morning, when the dunes are transformed into explosions of colour by the first rays of the sun.
Typically you rise with the sun to see this exhilarating sight - some of the largest dunes in the world, rising more than 1000 feet above the desert. This is paradise for the photographer, as the shadows create a magnificent contrast of colours. Marvel at the gemsbok and other animals that manage to survive in these dry conditions. The energetic can climb one of the dunes such as Dune 45 or Big Daddy, for a panorama of the endless dune landscape and the changing play of light. Afterwards you may like to visit Sesriem Canyon. Unless you have your own 4x4 vehicle, you’ll need to join an organized excursion from your Sossusvlei lodge as the final approach is deep sand.
Days 3 - 5
Swakopmund has a distinctive continental atmosphere and many picturesque reminders of the German colonial era, somewhat incongruous in the midst of the Namib Desert! (Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for Namibia, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany.) Now this charming seaside town, with its palm-lined streets, provides a welcome resting place where you can stroll along the beach, enjoy superb seafood or marvel at the High German architecture. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, colonial-era buildings and the cool sea breeze contrast with the arid interior.
There's plenty to see in and around Swakopmund such as visiting the Seal Colony at Cape Cross, the flamingos at Walvis Bay and Sandwich Bay. Take a drive to the surreal landscape of the 'Moon Mountains', an area of deep chasms and interesting geological features, or perhaps try some sand-boarding, quad-biking or riding a camel into the desert. There are plenty of day excursions to choose from, even aerial flights over the Namib Desert.
Days 7 - 10
Located just south of the boundary of Etosha National Park in northwestern Namibia, Etosha South makes up the southern region of this wild paradise. Ongava Private Game Reserve shares the southern boundary with Etosha National Park and offers an array of luxury lodges overlooking picturesque landscapes dotted with abundant wildlife. The national park can be accessed via the southern entrance at Andersson’s Gate. Visitors can catch a glimpse of a variety of wildlife including: lion, giraffe, elephant, white and black rhino, and a multitude of plains game. Popular activities include: game drives, tracking rhinos on foot, guided nature walks, or watching the sunset over the magnificent African landscape.
Okonjima Nature Reserve
Days 10 - 11
The central highlands of Namibia are the backbone of mountains that divide the coastal desert and the higher, more temperate interior. These rolling hills are the home to many of Namibia’s sheep and cattle ranches. Some of these offer a ‘guest farm’ experience where you stay on the farm and experience what it is like to farm in such a vast terrain. Others such as Okonjima and Erongo have turned to wildlife conservation many years ago.
The distance between Windhoek and Etosha is a solid 5-6 hour drive so we often recommend breaking the journey for a night or two.
The Africat project on Okonjima is a pioneer in the world of wildlife research & conservation, focusing on rehabilitating cheetah and other predators into the wild. Okonjima is home to AFRICAT, a Carnivore Conservation centre, which gives the carnivores captured by local farmers a second chance to be released back into the wild. Also in the Reserve is a 2000 ha 'safe' zone around Plains Camp, Bush Camp, Bush Suite as well as the PAWS Environmental Education Centre.