Highlights of Namibia Safari

A 12 day trip to Namibia 
5
5 out of 5 stars
3 reviews

Journey across Namibia: this adventure takes in the best of the breathtaking and diverse landscapes of this beautiful country, from the urban to the rural, the historical to the anthropological. From the quirky towns of Windhoek and Swakopmund, to the fascinating historical landmarks such as Spreetshoogte Pass, to the natural wonders of the Moon landscape and the marble mountains, prepare for a truly mind-boggling experience. There is wildlife to be searched for on foot, by vehicle and by kayak, many a sunset to be enjoyed with a drink in hand, and many characters to meet along the way. Namibia and its hidden jewels lie in wait, with many a memory to be made. 

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General Information

Photos
A tower of giraffe in Etosha National Park.
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Windhoek, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Damaraland, Etosha National Park

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Welcome to Windhoek

This bustling capital of Namibia is your gateway to the wonders of this beautiful country, and your first taste of the fantastic hospitality that awaits you. You will be met at Windhoek Airport and taken to the Kalahari Sands Hotel, the ideal establishment for you to rest your weary traveler feet, and indulge in a little pampering before the start of your Namibian adventure in the morning. Head to the hotel’s famous casino to try your luck if your excitement prevents you from sleeping, or enjoy some spectacular fare at their fine dining restaurant. If you care to venture away from the hotel, seek out the famous atmosphere of Joe’s Beer House, where travelers and locals alike gather to share tales over a few beers and their much renowned ‘eisbein.’ If sleep is what you crave, curl up in the elegant luxury of your comfortable hotel room back at the Kalahari Sands, and dream of the adventures to come on this magical expedition.

Days 2-3: Namib Naukluft

You will depart Windhoek the following morning to head to your home for the next few days at the Namib Naukluft Lodge. Along the way you will traverse the Spreetshoogte Pass, whose Afrikaans name can be translated as ‘Spreeth’s Peak Pass.’ This intriguing pass reaches a peak that affords breath-taking views across to Namib, and its history adds to its character. Nicolaas Spreeth was a farmer who constructed the pass during the First World War in order to take delivery of items for his farm. Spreeth used quartzite to reinforce the treacherous pathways already in use by various animals making their way up the hill, so that the pass could be used safely.

After taking in the views of your journey, the Namib Naukluft Lodge will welcome you into its charming embrace. Nestled in the crook of the rolling sand dunes, this lodge is arranged into individual and private chalets each with a spectacular view of the desert for you to wake up to each morning. Upon arrival, you will be invited in for lunch and shown around your stunning new home. During the afternoon you have time to relax at the swimming pool and revel in your gorgeous surroundings, or perhaps you would like to venture out on a walk. This trail (lasting a couple of hours) can be accompanied by a guide, and will give you a close-up encounter with the stark beauty and character of this desert and mountain landscape from the safety of a well-trodden path.

Another, even more breath-taking view of this land is available to you if you would like to take a bird’s eye perspective! Your hosts are able to book a flight in a light aircraft over the Sossusvlei dunes, which will truly afford you a glimpse of the scale of this topographical paradise. Soar over the ochre dunes and witness their rolling majesty, as well as the variety of types of dunes that have been formed by the ever-changing winds in these parts.  

An early wake-up the following day will be worth it for the sight of the great, fiery African sun rising over the dunes. After your flight over this dynamic and living desert, feel the sand beneath your feet and appreciate the sprawling expanse of Sossusvlei from the ground. Enjoy a sumptuous breakfast out in the desert before heading to the Sesriem Canyon. This natural landmark is created by the curve of the Tsauchab River, and its gaping beauty ranges from wide-open gorges to narrow channels, snaking through the desert and attracting animals to some of its sheltered pools of water.

After a morning of drinking in the staggering sights of this area, you will return to Namib Naukluft for lunch, and either spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool with a book, or embarking on a relaxed drive to the mountains within the nature reserve. Enjoy a gin and tonic or a glass of champagne in the shadow of these magnificent creations of nature, before returning to the lodge for one more night under the Sossusvlei stars.

Days 4-5: Swakopmund

Today you will be heading to Swakopmund, a quirky city in the west of Namibia that gains its name from the German phrase meaning Mouth of the Swakop River. Replete with examples of colonial German architecture, this city will contrast the starkness of the desert from your previous few days and whisk you into an equally diverse and varied environment showcasing more Namibian gems. Along the way to this fascinating and historical city, you will journey through the scenic Namib Desert, and take in a few more of its remarkable landmarks. Behold the Kuiseb Canyon, where scientists Henno Martin and Hermann Korn sheltered to avoid imprisonment during the Second World War. Stop further on to take in the marvels of the landscape and be sure to photograph the Welwitschia Mirabillis, a plant prevalent in the Namib Desert. Upon reaching Swakopmund, you will be welcomed either to the Swakopmund Hotel and Entertainment Centre or the Hansa Hotel.

The following morning you may head to Walvis Bay. Glide through the clear waters of the lagoon on a kayak, or take a less smooth and more adrenalin-fueled ride by quad-bike along the dunes. From the Walvis Bay yacht harbor, take a boat trip, or if you prefer a more peaceful activity, meander aside the water’s edge on foot and soak up the abundant birdlife. In the late afternoon there is the opportunity to swoop above the coastline by light aircraft before returning to the ground for a drink at sunset. Venture into the town for some excellent culinary fare featuring fresh seafood for dinner, or enjoy the delicious meals at the hotel.

Days 6-7: Damaraland

Taking in the beautiful scenery of the coast along the way, you will head into the sprawling landscape of Damaraland. You may wish to head straight to your lodge for the evening, but there is an opportunity to stop at the Twyfelfontein to view the stunning rock art on the way. This extraordinary location is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to some of the world’s most ancient rock paintings. Trace the painted remnants of an ancient civilization, (hunter-gatherers over 6,000 years ago, and Khoikhoi people since), and see how older animal engravings have been over-laid with more recent symbols. It is a fascinating site and a stunning visual record of the people who have lived in this area for thousands of years.

Your home for the next two nights will be Huab Lodge, a unique and charismatic lodge that was set up with a specific conservation ethic in mind. In this area you will find a little-known population of desert elephants.  The lodge was initially conceived as an initiative to raise both money and awareness for the dwindling numbers of these majestic creatures. The design of the lodge has been carefully incorporated into its beautiful, natural surroundings, and the thatch roofs and wooden decks echo the peaceful and elegant forest and mountain landscape in which the lodge is set. Your hosts are renowned for their love and respect for the wilds of Namibia, and their passion, will make your stay a truly memorable experience. Over the next two days, enjoy walking trails to find rare bird species, and game-drives to seek the gentle grey giants for whom this lodge was originally opened. There is also a spa for those in need of a luxurious pampering, and your hosts will be only too happy to organize treatments for you.

Days 8-11: Etosha National Park

After breakfast you will head for Namibia’s great Etosha National Park. You will be staying tonight at either the Hobatere Lodge, the Kavita Lion Lodge or the Rustig Toko Lodge. During the first afternoon you are encouraged to venture out on a game-drive, where you keep your eyes peeled for the rare and graceful mountain zebra and the majestic eland, largest of the antelope species. There is also an opportunity to soar above Etosha and witness its beauty from the sky on a day trip by light aircraft. On this trip you may also explore the intriguingly sparse coastal desert of the Kaokoveld and visit a group of Himba people, a nomadic community (one of the few remaining groups on the continent). These extraordinary people will welcome you to see a little of their very modest existence and you will be struck by their exquisite beauty, resilience and strength in an environment that appears uninhabitable.

After this stunning introduction to the wonders of Etosha, you will spend the next day in the western area of the park. The gate affords you the luxury of a more private experience in this beautiful area, as it is not open to general visitors. Take in the ‘Haunted Forest,’ on the way to either Okaukueko or Halali Rest Camp. An exciting feature of both of these lodges is the view over a pan that enables you to view animals as they come to drink after dark. It is difficult to beat the sense of privilege and awe watching animals go about their nighttime rituals, unaware of your presence in the shadows.  

The following day, your safari in Namibia continues in the National Park. With a variety of pans and small pools in the area, you will have plenty of photography opportunities as zebra, antelope, elephants and even the elusive predators such as lion make their way to the water to drink. Tonight your cozy bed will be at Mokuti Lodge, where animals such as giraffe or bontebok are known to wander through the peaceful gardens of the lodge, so look each way before you walk! There is a spa and swimming pool as well as wonderful restaurants at Mokuti for you to truly kick back and relax.

For your final day in Etosha, you will head once again into the park to explore the Fishers Pan area and the Andoni region. After a morning of adventure searching for animals and marveling at yet more diverse scenery, you will be able to visit a typical Ovambo village nearby. Here you will be welcomed by some of the locals who will delight in giving you a taste of their unique lifestyle. Learn how to prepare and make traditional food and local arts/crafts. You will also learn about basket weaving and take a tour of a typical ‘kraal’- an enclosure usually made from thorn bushes to ward off predators. Enjoy a final Etosha safari before returning to Mokuti Lodge for your last night in Namibian splendor.

Day 12: Windhoek

After breakfast you will depart to Tsumeb, a rustic and idiosyncratic mining town. You may visit the fascinating museum before heading to Okahandja. Here you may wish to stop at the craft market for some curio shopping before ending your wonderful adventure in Windhoek, where you will begin your journey home.

Price

Price 

Zicasso recommends the following guidelines for customized Namibia safari tour packages, excluding international flights:

  • 5-star: USD $600 - $1,000+ per person per day
  • 4-star: Minimum USD $500 per person per day
  • 3-star: Minimum USD $400 per person per day

The customized package will include hotels, airport transfers and other transportation within Namibia, guided tours or activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip.

Please inquire for a custom quote. The price is customized based on final hotel choices, travel dates, and other custom preferences.

You may want to read reviews of some of the Namibia safari company reviews on Zicasso to learn about travelers' experiences on a customized tour.