Namibian Small Group Wildlife Safari
JOIN 'THE URBAN BIRDER' David Lindo IN ANTARCTICA!
JOIN 'THE URBAN BIRDER' David Lindo IN ANTARCTICA!
12 Day Guided Wildlife Safari
A condensed tour with a highly experienced naturalist guide, who will show you in depth the highlights of this massive and diverse country, including the iconic sand dunes of Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast, the World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein, the AfriCat foundation and national parks teeming with wildlife and birds. This is the ultimate samll group safari (max 7).
- Travel in a small group (max 7 people) of like-minded individuals
- Amazing wildlife encounters
- Spectacular dune and desert scenery
- Sea kayak with seals and dolphins on the Skeleton Coast
- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site at Twyfelfontein and a remote Himba settlement.
- Visit AfriCat Foundation
- 11 nights’ accommodation
- All meals
- All transfers and transportation
- Services of an experienced English speaking naturalist guide
- Entrance fees and excursions as per the itinerary
- Mineral water on board the safari vehicle
- Welcome pack
ITINERARY11 Nights 12 Days
- Day 1 | Arrive Windhoek
- Day 2 | Khomas Hochland & Namib Desert
- Day 3 | Namib Naukluft National Park
- Days 4-5 | Walvis Bay
- Days 6-7 | Damaraland
- Days 8-10 | Etosha National Park
- Day 11 | AfriCat Foundation
- Day 12 | Windhoek
Arrive and transfer to Olive Grove Guesthouse on bed and breakfast basis. Enjoy your first meal at one of the many excellent restaurants in the area
Windhoek to Sossus Dune Lodge
Depart Windhoek in your safari vehicle with your private guide and drive southwest through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below, stopping for a picnic lunch at a scenic location along the way. You arrive at Sossus Dune Lodge in the midafternoon and you will stay here for two nights whilst you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide. If there is still time today, your guide will take you to visit Sesriem Canyon, a nearby geological attraction, or explore Elim Dune. However, if you prefer, you can just relax and soak in the scenic and tranquil surroundings at Sossus Dune Lodge.
Namib Naukluft National Park
This morning you will need to rise early for a magical excursion with your guide in the Namib Naukluft National Park, normally setting off before sunrise to capture the dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate the towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world and your guide will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs.
Once you have explored Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and surrounding dune fields to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxed picnic brunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree. You then return to Sossus Dune Lodge in the early afternoon in time for a late lunch, with the option to visit Sesriem Canyon afterwards if you haven’t already done so the day before. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure (from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes).
Take an optional balloon or light-aircraft flight over the national park before departing to Swakopmund. Travel via the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons to the Atlantic coast at Walvis Bay or take an optional flight over the Diamond Coast directly to Swakopmund. (Flights must be booked and paid for in advance).
Your stay for the next 2 nights will be in a central guesthouse in this delightful resort town with its German colonial architecture (full board).
After an early breakfast your guide will drive you along the scenic coastal road back south to Walvis Bay for a memorable kayaking adventure within the outer lagoon. After meeting your kayaking guide you will be taken on a short scenic drive to Pelican Point to see its lighthouse and windswept beauty, stopping briefly at the salt works to view the variety of birdlife on your way to the launch point. The kayaking is an ideal way of seeing Cape fur seals, Heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other sea birds. If you are lucky, there is also a chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish. During the course of the day the guide will stop and inform you about the environment and light refreshments will be served on the beach before heading back to Walvis Bay.
You also have the choice to partake in a memorable motorized boat seal and dolphin excursion within the outer lagoon and harbour should the kayaking not appeal. Here you should also see Cape fur seals, heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other sea birds. Again, if luck is on your side, there is also a chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish. During the course of the excursion snacks will be served along with local sparkling wine and fresh oysters, before you will return to the jetty at roughly midday.
You then have the opportunity to explore the waterfront area of Walvis Bay further before returning to Swakopmund for an afternoon at leisure at your guesthouse or out in town. Activities such as camel rides, scenic flights, sandboarding and more can all be booked at an extra cost.
Twyfelfontein and Damaraland
Continuing on your safari today, the road takes you north and east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. You pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573 m above sea level, and take time to view 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. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendour which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word 'wilderness'.
If time allows this afternoon your guide will take you to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of the pre-historic Twyfelfontein rock engravings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) - if not there is plenty of time to see them tomorrow.
2 nights full-board at Camp Kipwe.
After an early breakfast you will be treated to an exciting 4x4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valleys to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants if they are in the area. Damaraland is home to a variety of desert adapted wildlife and hidden desert treasures. As the elephants are mostly active in the mornings you will normally have the best chance to see them then before returning to camp for lunch. However, if all the safari participants agree, you also have the option to take a picnic lunch and stop to enjoy that in the shade of a large Ana tree by the riverbed, ideally while watching a herd of elephant browsing nearby.
Your guide will arrange to fit in a visit to Twyfelfontein and other nearby attractions at a suitable time if you haven’t already done so the previous day. On return to camp there should be time to take a walk into the local area with your guide if desired, or simply relax and enjoy some well-deserved leisure time.
Enjoy the amazing views from the sunset lookout at Camp Kipwe before enjoying dinner in the large, alfresco dining area.
Himba Settlement and Etosha NP
Today after a very early breakfast you set off on your journey to the Etosha National Park, travelling via the scenic Grootberg Pass. Along the way your guide will take you to visit a local Himba settlement – you may have to search for a while as the semi-nomadic Himba people sometimes move location with no notice. They are one of the last truly traditional peoples of Namibia and have little time for conventional practices. Here you will learn about the customs and traditions of this very proud nation, and will be given insight into their beliefs, way of life and everyday routine.
Depending on the school semester and school holidays, you may also visit the Grootberg Primary School, a rural school where Ultimate Safaris’ Conservation Travel Foundation is actively involved, assisting with improved education infrastructure and methods. After visiting the Himba and school you will head east through the small town of Kamanjab before heading on towards tonight’s destination at the new Safarihoek Lodge, which is situated on the south western border of the Etosha National Park. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed en-route and arrival will be in the very late afternoon or early evening (after a long but rewarding day). After your arrival you will have some time at leisure, which can be spent appreciating the unique surroundings and enjoying the game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole and enjoy a different vantage point from the camps underground and elevated hides.
1 night full-board accommodation at Safarihoek Lodge.
Etosha NP Game Viewing
Today is dedicated to a full day of exciting game viewing within the central section of Etosha National Park from your private safari vehicle as you make your way from the southern Andersson’s Gate to Halali (where you may stop for lunch) and then on across via selected waterholes such as Goas, which are normally particularly good for game viewing, to Namutoni Camp in the east. 114 species of mammal have been recorded here, including elephant, lion cheetah, leopard, giraffe, warthog and different antelope – look out for the endemic black-faced impala. There are also over 340 species of birds.
You will have to leave the Park before sunset and head out to stay at the delightful Onguma Tree Top Camp with enough time to relax and freshen up before dinner. The rest of the evening can be spent game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole where game comes and goes throughout the day and night.
2 nights full-board accommodation at Onguma Tree Top Camp.
Etosha NP Game Drives
Another morning dedicated to memorable game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park with your guide. You return to camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, spending your final afternoon on a game drive on the private Onguma Game Reserve, culminating in a sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. You then return after sunset with enough time to freshen up and enjoy your final ‘safari dinner’ overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole.
Your early departure will take you south from Onguma Tree Top via Tsumeb, Otavi and Otjiwarongo to reach Okonjima’s AfriCat Day Centre, a wonderful highlight with which to conclude your safari. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a wildlife sanctuary which focuses on the research and rehabilitation of Africa's big cats, especially injured or captured leopard and cheetah. You arrive in time for lunch before embarking on an exciting and informative game drive and tour of the centre. Here you will learn about the function and vision of the AfriCat Foundation and will also get to meet some of the Foundation’s special captive carnivore ambassadors.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no tracking of wild cats on this visit and should that be required an overnight extension should be booked.
After the excursion and freshening up, the journey continues further south to arrive back in Windhoek in the late afternoon, just as the sun is setting. You will be transferred to Olive Grove Guesthouse for overnight stay on bed and breakfast basis.
After breakfast, transfer to airport for onward or return flights
Your Itinerary Accommodation
Olive Grove Guest House, Windhoek
This beautiful and fashionable guest house close to Windhoek city centre has been recently completely refurbished and offers stylish accommodation in a quiet and peaceful location.
The emphasis here is on simplicity and elegance in a tranquil setting to allow guests to enjoy a hint of luxury before or after their Namibian safari.
Each of the 10 rooms and 1 suite at Olive Grove Guest House have been decorated and furnished to the very highest of standards and feature large comfortable beds, air-conditioning, satellite TV, mini bar & snack bar, beautiful bathrooms built using natural stone cement and Moroccan lights which create a romantic and relaxing ambience for guests.
There are 5 standard en-suite rooms, 5 luxury en-suite rooms and 1 executive suite which has its own lounge and dining area, separate bedroom and luxurious bathroom.
The main area of the guest house features a tranquil garden and luxurious plunge pool along with a wellness room where guests can indulge in a number of wellness treatments including massages, facials and manicures.
Dining at Olive Grove Guest House is a wonderful experience in itself and a great deal of emphasis is placed on providing an unforgettable dining experience for all guests. A newly renovated open plan kitchen allows guests to see how meals are prepared as they enjoy drinks in the lounge and the menu has recently been reinvented to a fully a la carte menu which is quite unique for a guest house. Beautiful presentation rounds off delicious home-style food and there is even a new upper deck area where guests can choose to dine in private with beautiful views and luxurious surroundings.
Sossus Dune Lodge
Being the first and only lodge inside the Namib-Naukluft National Park, this upmarket base offers guests the exclusive experience of being able to witness the famous dunes at Sossusvlei before sunrise and after sunset.
Being set within the park this beautiful lodge offers the very best chance to witness the tranquillity and splendour of the Namibian Desert and coupled with comfortable and stylish accommodation provides a unique opportunity for a true desert experience.
The lodge has been designed and built in an environmentally sensitive manner and features 25 eco-friendly Afro-style chalets which all have en-suite bathrooms, lovely furnishings and fittings, mosquito nets and large comfortable beds.
All chalets also have a large verandah overlooking the stunning desert landscape, with 13 chalets offering views of the dunes and 12 chalets having a view of the mountains and the Sesriem Canyon.
The large main area of the lodge features a luxurious swimming pool, large restaurant and a welcoming lounge and bar area.
Unsurprisingly activities here are focused around trips to the Sossusvlei Dunes and Sesriem Canyon and guests can enjoy the unique opportunity to visit these areas before the crowds arrive. Sossusvlei sunset drives and guided after dinner strolls and stargazing trips are very popular with guests at the Sossus Dune Lodge and of course there are exceptional photography and wildlife opportunities.
Onguma Tree Top Camp, Etosha
On the eastern border of Etosha National Park lies this delightful small and intimate camp. Onguma Tree Top Camp consists of just four thatched rooms built on wooden stilts in the trees with views over the watering hole across the Onguma Game reserve and this camp is one of the few that is suitable for exclusive use by small groups.
Offering great game experiences with chances to witness giraffe, zebra and lion in their natural habitat this unique camp offers guests the chance of a truly authentic bush experience.
With fantastic birding opportunities, spacious and comfortable rooms and a delightful restaurant overlooking the waterhole this is a perfect base for small groups to explore the national park from.
The accommodation rooms offer comfortable and spacious accommodation and all have canvas walls, large beds, open-air showers and private bathrooms. Public areas consist of the kitchen, dining room and lounge with a deck overlooking the waterhole. Free wifi is available.
Activities include Etosha game drives, Onguma sunset and night drive and guided bush walks.
Camp Kipwe, Twyfelfontein
Set within the Twyfelfontein Conservancy in Damaraland, Camp Kipwe is an excellent eco-friendly safari camp that offers exciting activities, beautiful accommodations and sweeping views across the Aba Huab valley.
Huddled amongst the rocks and almost completely hidden from view this delightful camp offers endless space for guests to explore. Enjoy an early morning game drive in search of elusive desert dwelling elephants, hike in the ancient surroundings of the Aba Huab River or travel back in time at Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site, before returning to camp for delicious home-cooked meals, a dip in the luxurious plunge pool and a great night's sleep in your private bungalow in the wilderness.
Camp Kipwe has 9 beautiful igloo-shaped bungalows that provide spacious and comfortable accommodation for guests. Built among the plentiful boulders each bungalow has been constructed with local stone and has been designed to keep temperature levels optimal in order to cope with the extremes of Namibia's climate. Beautiful outdoor showers and en-suite facilities are complemented by large comfortable beds, elegant furnishings and a simplistic yet stylish design that blends perfectly into the surrounding environment. Shaded verandahs with outdoor furniture allow guests the opportunity to sit back, relax and soak up the views. Each bungalow also has air-conditioning and there is also a splendid thatched honeymoon suite which offers the ultimate in safari luxury.
The beautiful newly-renovated main area of the camp features a large open-fronted dining room with a balcony, a comfortable and welcoming lounge area with plush sofas and stunning views, and a small curio shop.
There is also a luxurious plunge pool set between 2 giant boulders and plentiful sundowner spots where guests are invited to walk to and enjoy a tasty drink from the bar as the sun sets on another day of adventure.
Safarihoek Lodge, Etosha
.Nestled on a hillside amongst Mopani trees overlooking a large waterhole and the vast expanse of Etosha, Safarihoek is a spacious and elegant lodge located perfectly for exploring the wonders of Etosha National Park.
The main building of Safarihoek is set on an elevated deck so as to catch the breeze and is positioned under vaulted thatch, allowing for infinite 180º views over the plains below. Safarihoek is part of numerous conservation efforts and projects, and during your stay here you can expect to witness a number of intriguing wildlife species including antelope, predators and an abundance of birdlife.
.Whether you prefer your own company or that of new-found friends, there are a number of spots from which to soak up the view of the vast horizon – pool lounger, grassy patch or air conditioned wine lounge. Or simply get cosy at the fireplace with a good read, or watch the game visiting the camp’s waterhole. Below the lounge area, bar and dining room, is a wine cellar and lounge with large glass windows allowing you to feel truly connected to nature.
From the impressive vantage point of the dining, lounge and boma areas, this magnificent setting lends itself to relaxed, stylish dining under the African skies.
Each well appointed guest room offers panoramic vistas of the African savannah. Rooms are privately situated and are furnished with minibar, coffee station, mosquito nets, air-conditioning, two 3/4 beds that are convertible to king beds, en-suite bathroom and a small desk work area.
What Our Customers
• The lodges were excellent and very welcoming, I particularly remember the Kulala Desert Lodge for its wonderful location, however I think Damaraland Lodge has to take top spot, for the amazing bush lunch and dinner under the stars that they organised. I will also never forget the giant eagle owl that we saw hunting at dawn, a truly magical moment.
• We can’t thank you enough for recommending Namibia, it’s simply amazing! The people are so friendly, the landscapes are awe inspiring, the night skies unforgettable and the wildlife so diverse, we loved every minute. Doing a self drive was definitely the right option for us, it gave us just the flexibility we crave and felt completely safe, we would do it again without a doubt.
Really glad I went. Had a brilliant time. Guides were great. What an experience , saw everything I wanted and more. Village visit and project visits (despite my slightly negative expectation) were really enjoyable, in fact taught me a lesson or two.
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