Whirlwind Wanderlust

ITINERARY SUMMARY

Set out on a 10-day self-drive safari that encapsulates the spirit of Namibia, a land of stark contrasts and natural wonders. Begin your adventure in the expansive Kalahari Desert, with its rolling dunes and resilient desert flora and fauna. As you travel west, the landscape morphs into the crimson sands of Sossusvlei, home to some of the tallest dunes on earth, and the surreal Deadvlei, offering a tableau of ancient, petrified acacias against a backdrop of towering sand dunes.

From the solitude of the desert, your journey takes a turn towards the cool Atlantic haven of Swakopmund, where the desert’s edge meets the sea. This quaint town offers a blend of Namibian and German colonial influences, with a wealth of shops, restaurants, and activities that showcase its unique cultural fusion. Moving into the heartland of Namibia, the rugged beauty of Damaraland awaits with its rich tapestry of ancient rock art and geological formations. The adventure reaches its zenith at the wildlife haven of Etosha National Park, a vast saline desert where each waterhole presents a chance to witness the raw theatre of the wild. Your safari concludes with a reflective pause at Okonjima, home to the AfriCat Foundation, providing an intimate glimpse into the lives of Africa’s big cats. This journey, diverse in experiences and rich in natural beauty, draws to a close as you return to the bustling life of Windhoek, carrying with you the profound tranquility of the Namibian landscape.

AT A GLANCE

10 Days
From: N$32000 per person
Mid-Range Accommodation

Highlights

  • Damarland
  • Etosha Park
  • Swakopmund
  • Sossusvlei

Route

Windhoek – Windhoek

Includes

Advice to customise the itinerary
Meet & Greet on arrival
24 hour emergency back up
Welcome Pack

Day by Day Itinerary

- Day 1 - Kalahari Desert

Our whirlwind safari starts with the long linear dunes of the Kalahari Desert. Undulating inter-dune valleys are dotted with camelthorn trees, golden grasses and hardy desert game. Fiery sunsets are a prelude to a star-studded display of the southern skies.

On arrival, you will be met by the car rental company representative and transferred to their offices in Windhoek to complete the rental procedures. Once done, we’ll arrange for you to meet with our representative to hand over your travel documents and travel package, including your map.

We will start your Namibian adventure with an easy 300-kilometre drive, the majority of which is on a good tarred road to Kalahari Anib Lodge.

Accommodation: Camelthorn Kalahari Lodge
Meals: Dinner, B&B
+ Day 2 - Namib Desert

West of the Kalahari, the towering red dunes of the Namib Desert invoke awe. Ancient dead trees stand blackened on shimmering white pans. The views from the top of one of the highest dunes in the world will take your breath away, in more ways than one.

Arrive in time for a sundowner and enjoy dinner under the dark night sky. The drive takes about 5 to 6 hours with stops along the way.

Accommodation: Desert Hills Lodge
Meals: Dinner, B&B
+ Day 3 - Sossusvlei

Wake up early and leave your lodge, heading for the Sesriem entrance gate to the Namib Naukluft Park. This gate only opens at sunrise, so there is no point arriving earlier. Driving the 60 kilometres from Sesriem through the dunes toward Sossusvlei while the sun rises is a real pleasure. The first major dune you will encounter goes by the imaginative name of Dune 45. Many people choose to stop and climb this dune but we suggest you continue onwards towards Sossusvlei.

Park at the 2×4 car park (unless you have a 4×4 vehicle, this is as far as you can drive). Sossusvlei is a further 4km from here but you are already amongst fairly large dunes. The walk along the dry riverbed into Sossusvlei is lovely, but for the very unfit or terminally lazy, there are 4×4 shuttles from the car park to Sossusvlei. Deadvlei, so named because it is a large pan with sculptural dead trees, is close by and definitely worth a visit.

Accommodation: Desert Hills Lodge
Meals: Dinner, B&B
+ Day 4 - Swakopmund

The fascinating drive takes you northwest through the awesome and ever-changing desert landscapes of the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. Stop in Solitaire to refuel (where the bakery is pretty good too).

Skirting around the edge of the Namib Dune Sea (a World Heritage Site) to reach the Atlantic Ocean, you witness the many faces of the Namib; petrified dunes, deep canyons, wind-sculptured outcrops and desert plains that stretch into infinity. The cool mists of the coastal desert offer a respite from the inland heat while the dunes and calm waters of the bay offer a superb variety of sand and water-based activities.

Accommodation: Swakopmund Guesthouse
Meals: B&B
+ Day 5 - Swakopmund

There are plenty of shops and attractions in Swakopmund, as well as curios and good food on every corner. Here, you can also enjoy the beach. There are loads of activities on offer as this is Namibia’s activity centre. Visit the Walvis Bay Lagoon where you can see flamingoes, pelicans and numerous waders.

We can advise you on some excellent excursions to pre-book.

Accommodation: Swakopmund Guesthouse
Meals: B&B
+ Day 6 - Twfelfontein

History and art combine to offer an incredible outdoor museum at Twyfelfontein (another World Heritage Site). Continuing on your safari, today the road takes you north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. You’ll pass Namibia‚Äôs highest mountain, the Brandberg, which peaks at 2,573m above sea level. Take time to view the game and absorb the vastness of the scenery along the way. Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table-topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation.

Book an activity with the lodge to search for the elephants. They know the area well and when and where the elephants were spotted last.

Accommodation: Twyfelfontein Adventure Camp
Meals: Dinner, B&B
+ Day 7 - Etosha National Park

The game-rich plains of Etosha offer some of the best game viewing available. By day, visit the waterholes and artesian springs scattered along the edge of a pan so large it is visible from space. By night, sit quietly at the floodlit waterhole and witness the interactions between different game species, mere metres away.

Accommodation: Okaukuejo
Meals: Dinner, B&B
+ Day 8 - Etosha National Park

It is really worth waking up early and heading out on your game drive as soon as the gates open at sunrise. Animals are most active in the cool of the day (early morning and late afternoon). In order to maximise your chances of good viewings, it is worth imitating their behaviour. The roads in Etosha have unsealed gravel but are in reasonable condition, and the general tourist behaviour is to drive between various waterholes searching for animals. As the day gets hotter, head for the shade and lunch at one of the park’s 3 camps; Okaukuejo, Namutoni or Halali. When things start to cool down again, head out for another game drive.

Accommodation: Okaukuejo
Meals: Dinner, B&B
+ Day 9 - Africat Foundation

Our last night offers a chance to wind down and meet some of our shyer, seldom-seen game species before winging your way back home.

Your destination is Okonjima and the AfriCat Foundation. Apart from the beautiful location, stunning accommodations and wonderful meals, the main reason for visiting Okonjima is to view cats. Activities here centre around viewing leopards and cheetahs, visiting a night hide and generally learning about what the AfriCat Foundation is doing to preserve these wonderful animals. Activities are not included in the package.

Accommodation: Okonjima Plains Camp
Meals: Dinner, B&B
+ Day 10 - Windhoek

Depart from Okonjima and drive via Okahandja to Windhoek. In Okahandja, you can stop at the Kavango Woodcarvers Market, have a look around or buy some last souvenirs. You will arrive in Windhoek at around noon.

Head back to the car rental agency for the vehicle drop-off. One of our drivers will take you to the airport in time for your flight home.


Meals: No meals
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