The unique landscape of Etosha National Park makes it one of the best animal-viewing destinations in the world, and you’ll enjoy a full day of game drives here.. Explore ancient rock paintings and petrified forests in the harshly beautiful and sparsely populated Damaraland region – a land of spectacular contrasts.. Slow down and enjoy the relaxed German-Namibian atmosphere of Swakopmund, a beachside town amid the dramatic breakers of the Atlantic Ocean.. Climb the iconic Dune 45 where the sand dunes of the Sossusvlei can be seen in all their blazing beauty, then explore the equally picturesque and eerie Deadvlei Salt Pans and Sesriem Canyon.
Flanked by ocean and desert, Namibia boasts both landscapes and wildlife of world-class diversity. Experience the country at its best on a 10-day Premium round trip from Windhoek with a local leader by your side. Marvel at the desert landscapes of Swakopmund and Sossusvlei and uncover fascinating peaks, petrified forests and culture in Damaraland. Slow down in the laidback beachside town of Swakopmund and set out in search of animals in the vast Etosha National Park. From ethereal landscapes to remarkable wildlife, this is an adventure you won’t forget.
Breakfast Included: 9 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included: 7
Welcome to Namibia! Your adventure begins in the capital, Windhoek, known for colonial German architecture and a relaxed African atmosphere. On arrival, you will be picked up from the airport and transferred to your hotel, where you will meet your local leader and fellow travellers for a 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive early, perhaps head out for a stroll around town to admire the architecture of the Tintenpalast and Christuskirche buildings, or stop by a local market to peruse handmade crafts. After your meeting, head to your boutique hotel’s sky lounge for a tapas dinner made with the freshest local ingredients. From here you’ll enjoy sweeping views of the surrounding valley – a perfect spot to watch the sun go down.
This morning, drive south to Sesriem, your gateway to the Sossusvlei Dunes, Deadvlei, and Sesriem Canyon. Arrive at the Desert Hills Lodge in the Naukluft Mountains, your feature stay accommodation for the next two nights. Thatched roofed chalets are inspired by the Namib desert’s nomadic inhabitants, and feature modern amenities and spacious en suite bathrooms. Each chalet faces west, playing to the striking desert sunsets, and you’ll enjoy a private balcony to soak in your spectacular surroundings. Enjoy lunch at the lodge’s restaurant, with the otherworldly landscape stretching far in each direction, then spend the afternoon relaxing by the bar or next to the fantastic pool. Later on, head out on a guided four-wheel drive (4x4) nature drive to discover the unique flora and fauna of the desert. Stop for a drink to take it all in as the sun sets then return to the lodge for dinner.
Make an early-morning visit to Sossusvlei, which lies at the end of an ancient riverbed. This is a great opportunity for unsurpassed views of the surrounding area. Climbing to the top of Dune 45 will reward you with a spectacular perspective of the surreal desert landscape. After breakfast, travel to Deadvlei, a clay pan that lends itself to many iconic images. When you see the skeleton trees against a vibrant orange backdrop of dunes, you’ll soon understand what all the fuss is about. The pan is surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world, 'Big Daddy' or 'Crazy Dune' average about 350 metres in height. In the afternoon you will visit Sesriem Gorge, a tranquil natural corridor that you can walk through and explore. Return to the lodge for the evening.
Continue your journey to the beachside town of Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast. Stop by the small settlement of Solitaire. Scattered with abandoned trucks, cars, petrol pumps and cacti, it's the only place between Walvis Bay and Sossusvlei to feature a petrol station, post office, general dealer, and bakery. Enjoy a piece of the local apple pie which has earned itself quite a reputation. Continue on past moon valley, named for its eerie lunar-like appearance, and the Tropic of Capricorn. Walvis Bay is the hibernation area for thousands of migratory birds, most notably flamingos. If in season you may take quick detour to see these elegant birds. Upon arrival at Swakopmund take some time for lunch, then join your leader on an orientation walk to get a feel for this interesting township with a German-Namibian atmosphere.
The day is yours to enjoy this gorgeous coastal town. Your accommodation conveniently located within walking distance of the town, where you can enjoy a walk on the beach, open air markets or the local museum. You may wish to take an optional trip north to Cape Cross, a breeding site for Cape fur seals. There can be in excess of 100,000 seals there at any given time, making for quite the spectacle (quite a smell too, if the wind happens to change direction). Wander the coastline and attempt to document these beautiful creatures with a photo or two, and visit the large cross that lies nearby, left by Diego Cao, the first European to arrive on Namibian soil in 1485.
Leave the Atlantic Ocean coastline behind and drive towards the Namib Desert, along a portion of the Skeleton Coast. Take in the beautiful, diverse and colourful landscapes that stream past along the way; mountains, sand dunes, ocean waves and, shipwrecks. Continue to Damaraland. Home to Namibia's highest peak, ancient rock paintings and petrified forests, the harshly beautiful and sparsely populated Damaraland region is a land of extraordinary contrasts. Depending on the time of year, you might be lucky enough to see the desert elephants that roam the area. Your accommodation while here features a centrepiece swimming pool fringed by beautiful chalets, each with a private garden. End the day with a walk to a viewing platform to take in truly remarkable views of the surrounding Mopane woodland. The best spot to enjoy a drink as the sun goes down.
Spend the morning visiting the Twyfelfontein Heritage Site and the Petrified Forest with expert local guides to provide insight on these wonders. Twyfelfontein has one of the largest concentrations of ancient rock engraving in southern Africa and is a fascinating insight into the past. The Petrified Forest looks back into nature’s history, where 280 million-year-old fossilised tree trunks lie. Continue on to the Living Museum of the Damara, which aims to reconstruct and preserve the 'lost culture’ of the Damara. Your guide will tell you all about this fascinating traditional culture that is, along with the Bushmen, the oldest nation in Namibia. Their original culture was a mixture of an archaic hunter-gatherer culture and herders of cattle, goats and sheep. Due to their loose social structures, the Damara struggle to defend themselves against colonisation – one of the reasons that the culture faced extinction. Return to the lodge in the afternoon, with the rest of the day free to relax by the pool with a book.
Etosha National Park
Leave Damaraland behind and head towards Etosha National Park. On arrival, the afternoon will be free to relax at your lodge. Maybe cool off in the pool, read a book, or enjoy a sundowner by the bar. Be sure to charge your camera tonight as tomorrow will be a full day in the park. This is one of the world's premier game-viewing destinations; spotting animals in the park is relatively easy due to the man-made waterholes and the large, sparsely vegetated pans. The bushland surrounding the pans is difficult to see through, but there are enough clearings, pans and waterholes to allow for sightings. Namibia has protected its game reserves against poaching, so there are large herds of elephants, antelope and other herbivores.
Etosha National Park
Rise early for a morning 4x4 game drive in the Etosha National Park. Keep a close eye on the landscape for black rhino, Hartmann's mountain zebra, black-faced impala, roan antelope and the tiny Damara dik-dik. The park is also home to some 340 bird species. Retire to a rest camp within the park for lunch and a swim, a welcome break from the midday sun, then set out again for an afternoon game drive in search of any wildlife you may have missed on the morning outing. Return to the lodge and reflect on the day's adventures with your fellow travellers over dinner.
This morning after breakfast you will make your way back to Windhoek. Your adventure comes to an end on arrival. Please do not book any international flights departing from Windhoek before 8pm this evening to allow for any unexpected delays. If you would like to extend your stay, additional accommodation can be booked in advance (subject to availability).