|Safari Name||10-Day Africa Big Cats, Culture & Desert Dunes|
Day 1 Okonjima, Africat Foundation:
You will be collected between 08:30 & 09:00. We will travel north, stopping at small towns along the way including Okahandja, where we have time to visit Namibia’s largest wood carving market. The market is operated on a local co-operative basis and is one of the best places to shop for truly Namibian souvenirs. Continuing north, passing through farmland, we aim to arrive at Okonjima during the middle afternoon, giving us time to set up our camp and to relax in the shade for a while before heading out on to the property to take part in the afternoon’s activities.
Okonjima is the home of the Africat Foundation, a specialist conservation concern that centres its operations on the African Big Cats, particularly cheetah. This afternoon you will be taken on a tour during which you will be able to meet, close-up-and-personal, some of the cheetah that are going through the Africat rehabilitation programme. Most of the animals currently living at Okonjima have been rescued from various desperate situations, being orphaned or caught in a trap, and the aim of the rehabilitation process is to attempt to re-introduce them into the wild. After our educational tour we will return to our camp and prepare for dinner under the African stars. Approx 300km (LD)
Day 2 Namutoni, Etosha National Park:
An early start and continuing north we pass through some small towns, making short stops for fresh supplies and fuel. Continuing on to our East Etosha, Namutoni region camp we again aim to arrive in time for lunch, giving us time to relax before heading into the park during the cool of the late afternoon for our first game drive. Approx: 300km (BLD)
Day 3 Okaukuejo, Etosha National Park:
Today is a full day’s game drive. We again leave early to enjoy the cool morning air as 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 not normally seen on the Namutoni side of the park. We stop at Halali for a rest and a leisurely lunch. There is 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 Okaukuejo, Etosha’s main rest camp and resort where we will check in and set up camp. Originally the site of a German fort built in 1901, Okaukuejo now houses the Etosha Ecological Institute, founded in 1974; the round watchtower is a remnant of the fort. After your evening meal there are still more chances to see Etosha’s big game at a floodlit waterhole, situated on the boundary of our camp and easily reachable within a minute or two on foot. The waterhole has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa” and the ideal venue to witness peculiar animal politics. Black rhino, Africa’s tallest elephants, lion and numerous species of antelope are regular visitors during the cool, dry season. (BLD)
Day 4 Hoodia Community Camp:
Leaving Etosha we begin our journey south with a relatively short drive to the small town of Kamanjab. Within this area we visit a Himba Village – 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, the exact location of the site varies as the Himba occasionally roam to a new location. We will learn about marriage customs, traditional food and the mysteries of the “Holy Fire” religion. From here it is a short drive on to The Hoada Community Campsite, which is located among beautiful granite hills and mopane trees. To add an eco-friendly touch, the hot water system works in combination with the barbecue area, therefore whilst your meal is being prepared, your water will be warmed up for your shower. Approx 310km (BLD)
Day 5 Twyfelfontein:
Today we head into one of the most beautiful desert regions in Namibia, Damaraland. We drive south to the capital of this region, the small town of Khorixas, and then take a detour to the west to visit the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. At this location we will have a local guide to conduct us on a short tour before we set up camp for the night. Distance: 190km. (BLD)
Day 6 Swakopmund:
From here we head deeper into the desert and pass Namibia’s highest mountain; The Brandberg (2573 m) and more of Damaraland’s beautiful scenery. We make a stop at the small town of Uis, 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. From here we turn directly west and cross the gravel plains on our way to the Atlantic Ocean and the Skeleton Coast. Meeting the ocean at Henties Bay, we first head north along the coast to visit the seal colony at Cape Cross. At certain times of the year as many as 100,000 Cape Fur seals congregate. The next destination is Swakopmund, following the Skeleton Coast into Namibia’s premier seaside town. We aim to arrive in the late afternoon giving us time to explore the town on foot before sunset. Tonight we take the chance to sample one of the excellent restaurants. The seafood in Swakopmund is superb. Your guide will offer to organise a group meal in a local restaurant for this evening. Participation is recommended but by no means required. Dinner is for the client’s own account. Approx 420km (BL)
Day 7 Swakopmund:
We will have the whole day to relax in Swakopmund. Swakopmund is a very pleasant seaside town with lots of shops, a good stretch of beach (although the Atlantic here is quite cold), an open-air curio market, a very good museum and the national aquarium. Alternatively, there are various optional activities that can be arranged. These include quad bike, trips into the desert and over the sand dunes around Swakopmund, sand boarding, skydiving, surfing, bird-watching and many other activities are available. Our tour guide will discuss all the possible options with us before we reach Swakopmund and will offer to make bookings in advance of our arrival. (N.B. All extra activities and excursions in Swakopmund are subject to availability and are made at the clients’ own risk and expense). Overnight in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms, with lunch and dinner at own expense. (B)
Day 8 Desert Camp, Near Sesriem:
This morning your new guide and vehicle will collect you from your accommodation at 10h30 (winter time) or 11h30 (summer time) and depart Swakopmund. Driving through the Namib Desert via the Kuiseb Canyon and stopping at the quaint desert town of Solitaire before we arrive at our camp late afternoon. We then have a chance to relax and enjoy the views before taking a short walk for sunset overlooking the Naukluft Mountain range. Overnight is based in twin rooms or permanent tents with en-suite bathroom facilities. Dinner prepared by our guide (BLD)
Day 9 Desert Camp, Near Sesriem:
An early departure from camp this morning to arrive at the park gate for sunrise. We drive down an ancient river bed surrounded by towering dunes to the 2×4 parking (around 55kms) and take a 4×4 shuttle into the Sossusvlei area to appreciate the beauty of this place in early morning light and enjoy the peace and tranquility of the region. We can explore this unique area on foot before heading into Dead Vlei with its large expanse of bleached cracked clay and skeletal camel thorn trees, contrasting with a backdrop of huge dunes with their ever-changing colours. We can then either walk or take the 4×4 shuttle back to the safari vehicle. As we drive back to the lodge we will stop at the famous Dune 45 and climb this dune if we wish or just wander around the base. We’ll return to Sesriem and visit the nearby Sesriem Canyon, one of the few permanent water sources before arriving back at the lodge late afternoon to watch the sunset over this spectacular desert. Overnight in twin share rooms or permanent tents with en-suite bathrooms. Dinner prepared by our guide. (BLD)
Day 10 Windhoek:
We leave our lodge early after breakfast and we arrive at the N/a’ankuse Namib Conservation Centre for a 1 hour cheetah tracking excursion with the resident biologist. We then return to Windhoek via Bullsport and Rehoboth. We arrive midafternoon where you will be dropped at your accommodation and end of services. For those wishing to travel on today we do NOT recommend booking flights prior to 17h00 in case there are any delays on the return to Windhoek. (B)
Activities/services included in the cost:
• Arrival and departure airport transfer. • Accommodation as per the itinerary.
• Accommodation in the National Parks is based on Full Board
• Road transportation in custom made safari vehicles.
• Exclusive private vehicle and driver-guide throughout the safari
• Game dives as per the itinerary
• Park and game reserve entrance fees
• English Driver guides available for the safari
• Our 24hours support throughout the safari
Activities/services excluded in the cost:
• All International Flights/local Flights + Taxes
• Visa fees, Travel & Personal accident insurance
• Excursions, services and activities not mentioned in this program
• Flying option available for certain safaris at an extra cost
• Personal expenses e.g. laundry, telephone calls, Drinks, Tips etc
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With its wide-open spaces of the Namib desert, the huge sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the desert elephant and rhino that may be seen in the Damaraland area, Namibia possesses some of the most stunning landscapes in Africa and is home to greatest road adventures in Africa. Natural wonders such as that mighty gash in the earth at Fish River Canyon and the wildlife utopia of Etosha National Park enthrall, but it’s the lonely desert roads where mighty slabs of granite rise out of swirling desert sands that will sear themselves in your mind. It’s like a coffee-table book come to life as sand dunes in the world’s oldest desert meet the crashing rollers along the wild Atlantic coast. Among all this is a German legacy evident in the cuisine and art nouveau architecture, and in festivals such as Windhoek’s legendary Oktoberfest.
Namibia boasts remarkable natural attractions such as the Namib desert, the Fish River Canyon Park, Etosha National Park and the Kalahari desert. Its people speak nine different languages, including some of the Khoisan languages which include the ‘clicks’ that present an enigma to most native English-speakers. Namibia produces some of the world’s highest quality diamonds.
Previously known as South West Africa, Namibia is bordered by South Africa in the south, Angola and Zambia in the north and Botswana and Zimbabwe in the east. The country is demarcated into 14 regions, namely the Zambezi, Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene, Omusati, Ohangwena, Oshana and Oshikoto regions in the north, the Omaheke. As Namibia is such a vast country, it makes sense to travel via scheduled air charters if possible.
Namibia’s Tourist Attractions
Namibia boasts remarkable natural attractions such as the Namib desert, the Fish River Canyon Park, Etosha National Park, the Kalahari desert, the huge sand dunes at Sossusvlei, the desert elephant and rhino that may be seen in the Damaraland area. Natural wonders such as that mighty gash in the earth at Fish River Canyon and the wildlife utopia of Etosha National Park enthrall, but it’s the lonely desert roads where mighty slabs of granite rise out of swirling desert sands that will sear themselves in your mind.