Highlights of Namibia Luxury Fly-In Safari

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Group of giraffes running across the Ethosa National Park plains | Nambia, Africa
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Total Trip:

10 Days
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Countries Visited:

Namibia
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Places Visited:

Windhoek, Sossusvlei, Damaraland, Ongava Game Reserve, Etosha National Park
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Dunes shimmer scarlet in the sunset light, elephants make dusty footprints in the desert, and a cheetah may watch you from the grass as the stars and silence dominate the evenings. Namibia offers a complete wilderness escape, and this ten-day safari connects its premier highlights. Fly between Sossusvlei, Damaraland, and Etosha, mixing rugged adventure with space and serenity. From sunsets on the sand to walking with rhinos, this is a vacation from another world.

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Day 1

Windhoek – Namibia’s Laid-Back Capital

Windhoek must be the world’s most peaceful capital. There is hardly any traffic lights and virtually no traffic. It is just a city that is scattered about the desert. Your lodge will be on the edge of Windhoek, and you will immediately feel the tranquility. You can relax around the pool, recover from the flight, and sense the remoteness of southwestern Africa. The day will be at your leisure, and there are a couple of attractions in the city, such as a local market and restaurants that specialize in eisbein along with game meats like zebra.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 2

Sossusvlei – Beautiful Aerial Safari and Sunset With the Dunes

Ridges twist like a serpent’s tail, extending endlessly beyond the horizon, and shadows dance through the troughs, leading your focus towards golden peaks. The sand never ends here, and the sheer scale of this landscape will always take the breath away. The Namib Desert will make you feel small from the air and on the ground. Checking into the lodge, you will realize that all of these countless dunes are massive. Once inside the dunes, there is nothing else except you and your own footprints, which will be swept away by the ever-changing sand.

Flying over the Namib Desert is one of Namibia’s premier highlights, and it will be a part of your journey. Sossusvlei is just one single clay pan in the desert that became famous, and it is not the only highlight here. Your lodge will be hidden from the world, and today, you will go on an afternoon desert adventure sweeping your feet through the sand as you rise upon the ridges of Namib-Naukluft National Park. Occasionally, a stunted tree may appear. Sometimes, you will be in a trough, and other times, you will be gazing out across the peaks. At all times, there will be a feeling of silence and serenity as the Namib Desert will prove to be the most peaceful of all Namibia’s destinations.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 3

Sossusvlei – The Kaleidoscopic Namib: Sunrise to Stars

One full day in the desert, and you experience the change that occurs when the sun retreats. Evenings and sunrise are dictated by the moon. The Full moon can light up the dunes through the night, and when there is no moon, the dunes are not even silhouettes. Dawn casts soft light across the horizon, and slowly, the dunes emerge from the shadows. One by one, they turn red then orange as the sun makes its journey across the sky. This will be a beautiful time to be exploring. You can choose to walk up one of the dunes or find a quiet ridge to admire the changes. Deadvlei will be a good place to be as you can climb a ridge for stunning views and then choose whether to keep climbing another 150 meters.

As the sun takes hold, you will walk across Deadvlei. Stunted and blackened trees will stand like phantoms, and cracks on the claypan will appear like artistic lines. Sossusvlei is just a few hundred meters away, and it is a small and famous for the odd day each year when it floods. With so many dunes and small pans, the highlight will be abundance rather than an iconic sight. By midday, it will be too hot to do anything. The landscape will be scorched and bleached a yellowish tone by the sun. Then, from late afternoon, the art will continue as dunes move through all the red tones before they sink into a scarlet hue at sunset. Then come the stars, and there will be nothing like the southern stars in the desert.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 4

Damaraland – Embracing Nature’s Space and Serenity

You will spend another morning embracing the desert colors or choose to relax. After breakfast, you will transfer to the airstrip and fly north, admiring the Namib Desert dunes once more. The landscape will change as sand is replaced by towering mountain peaks and strange rock formations. This is Damaraland, a place of solitude that has been mostly untouched by man. Desert elephants roam the valley floors, usually on their own and on a search for water. Giraffe may also walk here with a look of melancholy to their eye. It is a harsh environment, and you will not be able to imagine much surviving here. Mostly, these animals are passing through, making their great desert migrations.

You will check into your lodge, and the views will be stupendous. It will seem like the world is at your feet. If you look around, you will be able to witness some bizarre rock formations. Some are being hollowed out from underneath, appearing a little like mushrooms while others have holes inside them and cavernous spaces through which it is sometimes possible to glimpse a small herd of zebra down below. The two days here will be very flexible, and the experience will be all about these strange works of nature, whether on a drive, a hike, or both. You will set off exploring this afternoon, and you will be shocked if another vehicle or person comes into view. Like Sossusvlei, this is an immensely quiet and private place, especially when the stars start to shine.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 5

Damaraland – Rock Art and Desert Adapted Elephants

Stories are sketched into rock across Damaraland. There are tales made by the San people, which are just rock paintings that communicated information. They may warn of a leopard and indicate a hiding place while another may paint a foreigner who is arriving with guns. Stories tell of wildlife, births, and deaths. Twyfelfontein has the greatest abundance and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are less at the Brandberg Massif, but the setting is a little more magical. This rock art is one part of the experience on your day of Damaraland exploration.

There are hiking trails galore here from short 30-minute trails to full-day journeys along mountain ridges. The mountain biking is superb, especially when you drop down to the valley floor. Drives will be an adventure, bumping around in a four-wheel drive vehicle and kicking up dust with nobody else in sight. This itinerary can be tailored to your interests, and you can try all of them. Evenings are also special in Namibia. Such solitude will provide a wonderful break from the every day, and it will enhance your state of mind long after returning home.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 6

Ongava Game Reserve – Intimacy With the Predators

Today, you will have a short flight south where you glimpse the Kalahari, which is a vast desert that stretches across most of Southern Africa. Unlike the Namib, the Kalahari is dusty with open plains that are devoid of sand. It is a harsh and unforgiving landscape, but wildlife can thrive thanks to the water. Permanent waterholes proliferate, attracting wildlife from hundreds of miles around. During the green season of November to April, the animals can spread across northern Namibia. As waterholes shrivel, they must return to Etosha even when the Etosha Pan has turned to crusty salt. For today and tomorrow, you will stay in Ongava, which is a private game reserve in the south of the Etosha ecosystem.

There is vegetation here along with places for animals to hide. In a private reserve, you can go off the trails, so it is easier to get closer to wildlife. For example, through the grass, you may spot the piercing blue eyes of a leopard. Sometimes, you can sit and stare at each other without moving for up to ten minutes. The cat will eventually bound off not to be seen again. Going off trail will also great for seeing lions, cheetahs, and other animals that are remarkably abundant in the reserve. These are far from being all the highlights of this reserve.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 7

Ongava Game Reserve – Walking in the Wild and Nighttime Game Drive

Today, you will go walking at dawn. At first, you will move tentatively as you will be aware of what may be lurking nearby. Trackers will have gone ahead of you, and an armed ranger will be with you. San will be your guides, and it is their intimate understanding of the animal behavior that keeps you safe. With a single glance, they can know which way the rhino ran. With a single look, they can predict the mood and behavior of an elephant or buffalo, and with a walking safari in Ongava, it is possible to come remarkably close to rhinos as well as gaining a great impression of antelope and smaller creatures.

After an afternoon game drive, you will continue your exploration in the dark. Many animals are most active at night. The night is the best time for cats to hunt, and there will be continual drama around watering holes. With a nighttime drive, you do not have travel far. It will be more about the guide picking a few places, so you can watch how the rhythm of life unfolds in the dark. Walks and nighttime drives are not possible in Etosha National Park. These two days in Ongava will provide more intimacy before you really feast on the scale that Etosha brings.

What's Included:

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

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Day 8 - 9

Etosha National Park – Secrets of the Safari Wilderness

Now you will witness the open plains. Arid and dusty, they stretch seemingly forever, much like the dunes of Sossusvlei. Such a flat and open landscape makes it very easy to spot wildlife. With a single glance, you can spot herds that are many miles away. Of course, they can see you as well, so it is not always possible to come as close as you desire. Mostly in Etosha, you will do as the animals do and follow water. You may track rhinos as they make the march to drink, admire a playful elephant herd, and follow rival, male giraffes as they swing their necks and compete for females.

Lions are conspicuous. You can stop beside a pride, and they may find your shade inviting. Within moments, they may come and lay down next to the vehicle just a few meters from your quivering camera. Out toward Etosha Pan, you may see animals emerge from the mirage. With two days in Etosha, you will follow animal movement and explore a grand diversity of species. The evenings will be relaxed, and you will lounge at the camp, sit around the fire, and glance down upon the Etosha Pan to see the odd animals that walk past.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Activity

included

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

expand/close

Day 10

Etosha to Windhoek – Departure

You will be gifted with one, final treat as you fly back to Windhoek, which will be the last of your aerial safari journeys. Upon reaching the capital, there will be time for lunch before your outbound flight.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

expand/close
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Trip Highlights

  • Explore Namibia from the air and from hypnotic sand dunes, evocative mountains, and open plains
  • Admire how the sun brings change to the desert with two days around Sossusvlei
  • Walk with Africa’s giants and feel the intimacy of a private reserve safari
  • Embrace the endless space of Damaraland as you watch desert-adapted elephants on a distant valley floor
  • Connect the Etosha waterholes to discover how wildlife drama unfolds
  • Marvel at the southern stars every single night, which are best enjoyed while relaxing around an outdoor fire
  • Lose track of the rhinos, find black-maned Kalahari lions, and discover an unexpected abundance of wildlife
  • Uncover some of Africa’s best rock art in Damaraland
  • Bask in Namibia’s escapism with four destinations that are completely cut off from the world
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Detailed Description

Namibia is nature’s art gallery, and it is a surreal concoction of wilderness images that do not seem real even when you are standing in them. Dunes stretch on for thousands of square miles that change color with the rising sun, and evocative rocks climb above open valleys where desert-adapted elephants wander in search of water. Rhinos and zebra may appear from the Etosha mirage as if they are phantoms rising from a salt pan. Every night, the stars shine bright, and another world unfolds as the campfire crackles. There is nowhere as beautiful in Africa as Namibia and nowhere with such a sense of space and escapism. This ten-day fly-in safari celebrates the key highlights.

After a night in Windhoek, you fly to Sossusvlei to spend 48 hours amid the dunes. Sossusvlei and Deadvlei are the iconic highlights, but mostly the experience is about freedom and space. In such an endless desert, it is easy to feel the splendor of silence. Damaraland comes next with its surreal rock formations, making it a perfect landscape for hikes, cycles, drives, and other adventures. Rock art offers another highlight, and once more, the tranquility takes over. End with four days on safaris. First you will travel to Ongava, which is a private reserve where the encounters are intimate and expressive. Then, you will transfer to Etosha National Park where you will loop around the waterholes to see the wildlife drama unfold.

Flying is essential. Namibia is a big country, and the destinations are far from each other. Going overland can be arduous and time-consuming, especially once you are not on the asphalt. Aerial safaris celebrate the country’s beauty and scale. Soar above the Namib Desert, gazing upon dunes and ridges. You will fly into Damaraland, and the plane will soon be surrounded by dramatic rocks and peaks. If you gaze down on the Kalahari Desert, you may find the Etosha salt pan twinkling down below. These flights are an experiential highlight, and you touch down deep in the wilderness in places that few people get to see.

On most days, the program is flexible. You have a private guide, and there is no need for a prescribed itinerary. This is the wilderness, and you will quickly learn that the days are guided by the sun and not the clock. Each lodge and camp complete the sense of getaway. Most provide a digital detox, and the focus is on maximizing your connection with nature. The next morning, your guide follows animal tracks as you track the movement of life in the desert. There is usually always options for hikes and drives even when the landscape is filled with big game.

While Damaraland has some wildlife, it is not specifically a place for safaris. Etosha is one of Africa’s ultimate safari destinations, and you will spend four days in the desert ecosystem. Ongava is a private and unfenced reserve to the south of Etosha. Here, you will walk with rhinos, go on nighttime drives, and experience the pure intimacy of a wildlife safari. In Etosha National Park, you must stick to daytime game drives. Here, you cover large distances, visiting waterholes and finding scenes of great drama. There are more animals, but with a vehicle, you cannot get quite as close, so Ongava and Etosha make an excellent combination as you end with four days of wildlife encounters. Don’t take just our word for it - consider reading some of our travelers’ reviews of Africa, and see how you can customize your own dream vacation.

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Starting Price

$4495 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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