Windhoek, Swakopmund, Etosha National Park, Victoria Falls, Damaraland, Caprivi Strip, Sossusvlei
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
This is a journey that will grab you from the moment you land in Windhoek, and will continue to surprise and delight you each day. From the charming hustle and bustle of the Namibian towns of Windhoek and Swakopmund, to the elegant beauty of the Namib Desert and the excitement of the bush in Etosha National Park, there are true gems to discover on this adventure. The people and history to encounter along the way are not to be overlooked: from the Himba community to the basket-weavers in Bwabwata...
Windhoek – Welcome to Namibia
The charismatic capital of Namibia is the springboard to your awaiting Namibia safari vacation adventure of the ethereal beauties of this country, and your first taste of the charming Namibian hospitality that lies ahead. You will be met at Windhoek Airport and taken to the Safari Court Hotel (or a similar establishment) where you may lie back and rest your well-traveled feet in preparation for the beginning of your adventure the following day. Windhoek has all that you may need, depending on your own wishes for relaxation and peace, or boisterous nightlife and delicious cuisine. If you care to venture away from the hotel, head to the very well known Joe’s Beer House, and catch up with other travelers over a local beer and Joe’s famous ‘eisbein.’ There is the National Botanical Garden of Namibia to visit, or perhaps you’d prefer a taste of history at the Owela Museum; there is even a bustling casino at the Kalahari hotel if you fancy an evening of blackjack or poker. For those in need of a good night’s sleep, recline in the comfort of your hotel and let the welcoming and efficient hotel staff help to lull you into pampered bliss before your journey begins again the next day.
Day 2 - 3
Sossusvlei – The Wonders of Sesriem and Sossusvlei
After your first taste of urban Namibia, prepare to be immersed in its wild heart. Today you will experience the astonishingly diverse landscape of the Namib Desert and you will be staying in a beautiful and secluded camp situated on its outskirts. After a walk over the dunes to acclimatize and get your bearings, turn in for the night and lie back under the twinkling expanse of the desert sky.
This intriguing area bordered by two rivers (the Kuiseb and the Koichab) is famed for those rolling orange dunes (the color is caused by the chemical reaction of the iron in the ground) and the greatest one, at just fewer than 400 meters, is known fondly as ‘Big Daddy.’ The following morning you will be exploring this extraordinary expanse of desert. Despite the apparent aridity of the landscape, there are pockets of luscious greenery to be found. Water beneath the ground seeps into seasonal pans or vleis and moisture is trapped in the area thanks to Atlantic fog that rolls in from the sea. As a result, during the wetter seasons there are shrubs and grasses that sweep across the otherwise dry landscape, providing interesting diversities in the topography of the area. Animals that can survive without a great deal of water thrive here, from reptiles to rodents and other smaller mammals such as jackals and brown hyenas. Antelope are dotted about the sands and there is of course the classic desert character, the oryx, to be seen marching regally across the sparse landscape.
The best way to enjoy this area is to walk in it. Walk in the footsteps of these remarkable creatures who can withstand the harsh environment, holding out for the oasis dotted in amongst the dunes. There are shorter walks across the dunes between some of the desert’s famed landmarks, as well as hikes through the canyons and gorges in the region. In the evening, catch up and share stories around the campfire before curling up under the stars once more for a night in this majestic paradise.
Day 4 - 5
Swakopmund – Flamingos at Walvis Bay
The next day you will experience a very different, but equally fascinating, prospect at Walvis Bay. You will be graced with the unique dining company of hundreds of flamingos. In their vibrant and flamboyant colors they make for unusual, but charming ,lunch companions. You will then head to Swakopmund, where there are several exciting activities on offer for those who wish to venture out into the surrounding areas. Climb the dunes to come flying down helter-skelter on a sand-board, or leap aboard a quad-bike to motor over the undulating expanse of rolling sands. If that doesn’t satisfy your quest for adrenaline, soar into the sky before leaping out of a plane to view the desert from an exhilarating skydive. There is the more peaceful option of swooping over the sands by hot-air balloon or a scenic chartered flight over the Namib Desert. In the evenings, indulge in ocean-fresh seafood or other Namibian fare back in Swakopmund and return to your cozy beds in bungalows or guests houses, according to your own choice.
Day 6 - 7
Spitzkoppe – Damaraland and Twyfelfontein
The next morning, marvel at the eponymous Moon Valley and the amazing ‘living fossil,’ endemic to the Namib Desert: the Welwitschia plant. This evening your campsite will be in yet another topographically unique area, in the shadow of the Spitzkoppe Mountains. Compared to the rolling dunes of previous days, this area is remarkably different but breath taking in its own way, and another example of Namibia’s diverse wilderness.
Rocky valleys and ephemeral watercourses make up the landscape of your next day’s travel, as you roam the Damaraland area, stopping to view both natural and human art: rock paintings daubed on the landscape by ancient man compare appropriately with the astonishing rock formation of sharp, square pillars caused by the rapid cooling of the dolerite in the molten rock and eroded over millions of years.
Etosha – Meet with Himba People
Prepare for an extraordinary encounter. The Himba tribe is a semi-nomadic tribe, living throughout the region known as the Kaokoveld. They are characterized by their statuesque appearance, and the women are noted for their elaborate hairstyles and intricate jewelry made from shells, metal and leather. The women in a Himba community form the backbone of the domestic, as well as agricultural lifestyle of the entire tribe, partaking and leading everything from the care of each other’s children to farming and the building of houses. The men in a Himba community are responsible for the herds of cattle and goats they measure their wealth by, as well as political and social relations. The women, in particular, have become famous for their appearance, which is very distinct: they use a type of ochre butter to coat their skin and protect it from the harsh Namibian sun, and coat the braids of their hair in the same mixture. Their elegance and beauty is breath taking, as well as the manner in which they survive in this environment. You will be able to spend a few hours learning more about these fascinating people, before proceeding to Etosha National Park for a game drive on your first evening.
Day 9 - 10
Etosha – Rugged Beauty
Etosha National Park is a vast reserve covering thousands of square kilometers, supporting a multitude of varied species ranging from leopard, lion, elephant and many different types of antelope from wildebeest and zebra to oryx and springbok. There are pans at Okaukuejo and Namutoni that are lit up at night enabling fantastic game-viewing right at your campsite in the evenings. Heading out on game drives at dawn and at dusk to search for wildlife, you enjoy the huge open spaces and incredible wildlife scenes before returning to camp each evening to look back on your daily adventures.
Day 11 - 12
Caprivi Strip – Okavango River
For the next two nights you will be based in the Caprivi Strip, an intriguing piece of Namibia that juts into neighboring Botswana, bringing you closer to the extraordinary wildlife areas of another of Africa’s beautiful countries. The lodge allows you uninhibited views of the Okavango River, the cool waters of which you may glide through on a mokoro (canoe) excursion, keeping your eyes peeled for the flitting wings of a pied kingfisher hovering over an unsuspecting fish, the flickering ears of a basking hippo or the beady eyes of an ever-watching crocodile.
Caprivi Strip – Kwando River
Today you will head through the BwaBwata National Park and, if you wish, purchase woven baskets and other items made locally. The skill of local craftspeople will amaze you, and if you have the chance to view one of these baskets being made, you will be astonished at the speed and intricacy of their construction! For the evening, you will set up camp on the banks of the Kwando River. From the deck, you may be able to see an elephant cooling off in the shallower waters, or a semi-submerged hippo grunting from the reeds. Head out onto the water on a boat to get a closer look, or choose to venture into the bush on a game drive. The BwaBwata National Park is home to a myriad of animals from stalking predators to beautiful antelope and of course, many elephants! This area is known to be a well-used ‘elephant highway.’ Great herds of these creatures use the area to traverse across from Botswana and Zimbabwe to the woodlands of southern Angola.
Day 14 - 15
Victoria Falls – The Magnificent Falls
For your final African adventure, end with a bang at one of the world’s most glorious natural spectacles: the ‘smoke that thunders’ at Victoria Falls. You will head across either of the Zambia or Zimbabwe borders to the falls, where there are countless activities to indulge in. Whether you’d like to take a leap of faith on one of the world’s highest bungee jumps, or launch yourself down the roaring rapids on a white-water raft, take a unique safari on the back of an elephant or simply stand in the misty embrace of the falls themselves, there is plenty to do here. You may even wish to take a closer look at the thundering wall of water on a microlight or helicopter charter that will afford you one last unforgettable look at an African geological marvel.
- Experience true Namibian hospitality in the charming towns of Windhoek and Swakopmund
- Camp in breathtakingly remote locations in the Namib Desert
- Meet Big Daddy, the world’s highest sand dune
- Dine in the company of flamingos
- Adventure across the dunes by sand board or quad bike
- See the desert from above, by sky-diving or hot-air-ballooning
- Witness the extraordinary topography of the Organ Pipes and Moon Valley
- Meet with and learn from the enigmatic Himba tribe
- Marvel at the majesty of Victoria Falls
This adventure takes you on a truly magical journey across the many wonders of Namibia, and ending with a flourish at one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. Camp under the stars in the Namib Desert, and be whisked away into the sandy paradise of Sossusvlei. For a change of scenery, sleep in amongst the boulders of the Spitzkoppe Mountains, and marvel at how the landscape is so incredibly diverse and varied, its character as changeable as the wind itself. Become bewitched by the bizarre and the beautiful in this land, from the lunar landscape of Moon Valley to the alien-like plant fossil of the Welwitschia.
Experience the historical charm of Windhoek: have a beer at Joe’s Beer House and try his famous Eisbein. At Swakopmund, head into the desert for a different kind of adventure, on the back of a quad-bike or perched on a sand board. Climb into a hot air balloon and soar over the undulating dunes or charter a light aircraft to take you further over this magical wilderness. Kayak across Walvis Bay and have lunch in the company of flamingos.
In Etosha, visit a Himba community and be humbled by their incredible resilience, pride, beauty and strength in one of the world’s harshest terrains. Seek out the famous four-legged rulers of the bush in Etosha National Park, from elephants to kudu, lions to gemsbok. Have a peek into another paradise: in the Caprivi Strip you can look over to Botswana, and take a mokoro (canoe) ride through the Okavango River. Finally, end in the great, roaring and majestic Victoria Falls, where the crashing water and gentle mist provide an excellent backdrop for your final few days in Africa.
$6,745 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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