Day 1 Wednesday: Windhoek - Namib Desert
Departing Windhoek, we travel to our lodge in the Namib Desert. This is the gateway to Sesriem Canyon and Sossusvlei, where some of the highest sand dunes on Earth stand towering over the white desert plains. The afternoon can be spent relaxing at the pool, or taking part in optional activities offered at our lodge.
Day 2 Thursday: Namib Desert
The morning demands an early start. Entering the Namib Naukluft National Park with sunrise, the first rays of sunlight paint the mountains of sand into a variety of apricot, red and orange, contrasted against a crisp blue skyline, enrapturing our senses, and providing an opportunity to capture this awesome landscape on film. You will be captivated by the surreal Deadvlei surrounded by some of the highest dunes on earth and Sossusvlei, where the dry Tsauchab River ends abruptly amongst dunes. Take the opportunity to walk up one of these majestic dunes to admire the desert landscape beneath. Thereafter we visit the Sesriem Canyon, a life sustaining natural phenomenon in the heart of the Namib Desert.
Day 3 Friday: Namib Desert - Swakopmund
After breakfast we continue our journey approaching the little settlement of Solitaire on the edge of the Namib Naukluft National Park, feeling like you have arrived in the middle of nowhere. Here it is worthwhile to enjoy a cup of coffee with the delightful apple-pie written about in so many travel books before travelling via the desolate, rolling hills of the Kuiseb Valley towards the Atlantic Ocean. Reaching the coastal harbour town of Walvis Bay, we visit the shallow lagoon, one of the most important wetland areas on the African continent and a RAMSAR World Heritage Site. Over 80% of the African flamingos feed in this lagoon and present a breath-taking picture when they appear in groups. Continuing along the scenic route between the dune belt and the Atlantic Ocean we reach Swakopmund, where the rest of the day is spent at leisure. With palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, Swakopmund is a popular holiday destination in Namibia.
Day 4 Saturday: Swakopmund
Swakopmund is often referred to as the “playground of Namibia” and it has numerous activities ranging from, adventure to exploring the fascinating features of the Namib Desert and the animals and plants that occur and survive here. Embrace the relaxed pace of this idyllic coastal town whilst enjoying coffee and freshly baked pastries in one of the many café’s. Alternatively explore the rugged, sweltering desert on a day tour, or view this awesome, environment from the air on a scenic flight. Find your inner child and push adrenaline to its limits with extreme adventures such as skydiving over the desert or quad biking and sand boarding on the dunes. Take time to get the feel of this quaint town with its historic buildings, museums, shopping arcades and beach bar that has transformed into its own personality by the vibrant use of colour and the bohemian lifestyle.
Day 5 Sunday: Swakopmund - Damaraland
Leaving the foggy coast behind this morning, we make our way towards Damaraland. The journey takes us through the mining village of Uis and past the Brandberg, Namibia's highest mountain, just shy of 2 600m. We then continue further into Damaraland, one of the least populated and most geologically diverse areas in Africa. This harsh, rocky environment is home to the elusive desert elephant, the black rhino and free-roaming antelope species. Arrival at the lodge will be in the afternoon, with the remainder of the day at leisure to soak up the atmosphere of the lodge.
Day 6 Monday: Damaraland
Enjoy an early morning scenic nature drive through the wilderness area of the Otjimboyo Concession as we make our way towards the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain. This is the best time to capture the perfect light of sunrise and catch the last mist engulfing the mountain. We then continue down into the dry Ugab riverbed, which we follow back towards the camp. Stopping under one of the majestic camelthorn trees we enjoy a light picnic lunch. On our drive along the meandering river we might encounter the elusive desert elephant that roam the dry riverbeds of the Damaraland, feeding on the nutritious pods of the trees lining the riverbanks. Arriving back at the camp we have enough
time left to enjoy the scenery or follow one of the walking trails.
Day 7 Tuesday: Damaraland - Etosha National Park
During the cooler hours of the morning, we start our adventure filled day in the company of a local Damara guide, who takes us to Twyfelfontein, a UNESCO heritage site where Bushman communities engraved and painted over 2.500 pictures some 6.000 years ago! After a visit to the nearby Living Museum of the Damara, we proceed to the Petrified Forest - a geological phenomenon depicting the creation and metamorphosis of wood into stone amongst some of the oldest landmasses on Earth. Here we also see the Welwitschia mirabilis plant – the oldest living desert plant on Earth. Our onward journey takes us to the wildlife heaven of Namibia - the Etosha National Park. We check into our lodge located on the border of the Etosha National Park and can unwind after the adventure filled day alongside the pool.
Day 8 Wednesday: Etosha
The day is devoted purely to the abundant wildlife found in the Etosha National Park, which surrounds a parched salt desert known as the Etosha Pan. The park is home to 4 of the Big Five - elephant, lion, leopard and rhino. The Park was proclaimed as Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907 by the then Governor, von Lindequist. Despite the size of the Etosha National Park, only the southern edge of the pan is accessible to visitors. Game viewing in the park is largely focussed around the waterholes, some of which are spring fed and some supplied from a borehole, ideal places to sit and watch over 114 different game species, or for an avid birder, in excess of 340 bird species. Popular game species such as giraffe, blue wildebeest, plains and mountain zebra, hyena, lion, leopard, antelopes such as kudu, oryx, eland, as well as some of the endangered species such as Black rhino, cheetah and the black-faced impala are all found here. An extensive network of roads link the over 30 water holes allowing visitors the opportunity of an extensive game viewing safari over the stretch of the park as each different area will provide different encounters.
Day 9 Thursday: Etosha National Park
Today your guide again takes you on a game drive in the Etosha National Park, or optionally you can book an open game drive park drive with the lodge. We may encounter animal species we have not seen the previous day and look forward to any new surprises at the different waterholes visited. The Etosha Pan dominates the park. This salt pan desert, which is nearly completely enclosed by the park and is lined by numerous watering holes, is roughly 130 km long and as wide as 50 km in places. During Etosha’s notorious dry spells the pan is a deathly place, lying parched and cracked under the molten African sun. It is claimed that game viewing is best during the dry spells as animals will then congregate closer to water. But even in the rainy season the park remains an abundant wildlife haven. You then have the pleasure of experiencing the rebirth of life as the young foals, cubs and chicks are seen frolicking with their parents and the sprouting new green shrubs and grasses create a pleasing green oasis. In the afternoon we travel back to our lodge, where we enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
Day 10 - Friday: Etosha National Park - Windhoek
After breakfast we travel back through the centre of the country exposing bushland savannah to the capital in the centre of the country. Time permitting, en-route we may stop at the famous wood carvers market in Okahandja or the craft market in the main street in Windhoek to pick up a last few souvenirs. Windhoek is a cosmopolitan melting pot of European architecture with African culture, with a variety of good restaurants to choose from. You will be dropped off at your accommodation of choice, or transferred to the airport for your outward flight.