An adventure of a lifetime, camping wild at exclusive campsites in the most compelling and breathtaking wilderness areas throughout Namibia. We journey through the lush Waterberg bushveld and game-rich Etosha. We track rhino in Damaraland and explore the ancient geological features around Twyfelfontein. At Swakopmund where desert meets ocean, there is time to enjoy an array of dune adventure sports. Finally, we explore the worlds highest dunes of Sossusvlei and take on the challenge of a gorge hike in the Naukluft Mountains.
DAY 1: WATERBERG PLATEAU
Our Safari starts this morning when we meet our guide at 08.00 in the foyer of the Windhoek Country Club. Once we have met our fellow travellers and had a briefing from our guide, we travel off the beaten track towards the Waterberg Plateau. Our route takes us through Kalahari Bush Savannah, with the chance to see several antelope species. The Waterberg Plateau itself extends over 48 km from the southwest to the northeast. Surrounded by a wall of steep, reddish-yellow cliffs which seem to glow at sunrise and sunset, the massif rises at it highest peak in the south-west, some 1 800m above sea level, whereas the north-east slope is very gradual. Our exclusive campsite is in one of the gorges, which forms a natural horseshoe, and looks down a valley towards the Northern Kalahari. After lunch we enjoy an afternoon walk along the top of the plateau, which affords some magnificent views, and where we might be lucky enough to encounter black or white rhino and buffalo. This evening we enjoy dinner under the canopy of leadwood and acacia trees, which surround our campsite.
DAY 2: ETOSHA
After breakfast this morning, we leave the Waterberg, and continue our journey to our exclusive campsite, on the private Fischer's Pan Game Reserve adjacent to the eastern edge of Etosha National Park. En route we will have the opportunity to visit the San (Bushman) community at Ombili. This was started as a self-help scheme, and visitors are invited to visit the local school, and craft centre. This afternoon we enjoy our first exploratory game drive in Etosha National Park. Etosha is one of the world's great conservation areas, and is some 22 270 square kilometres. We drive along the gravel road network that crosses the Park, visiting the permanent waterholes and viewing points. There is something enigmatic in the vast silent grey-white Pan that covers 4 590 square kilometres of the Park.
DAY 3: ETOSHA
We have an early start today, with a game drive into Etosha, to further explore the eastern side of the park. Numerous waterholes and subterranean springs attract large herds of animals including springbok, zebra, gnu, giraffe, kudu and elephant. Great game viewing can occur when prides of lion dominate the precious water resources. Our day is dictated by wildlife movements and sightings: we expect to spend the entire day in the Park, enjoying a picnic lunch at one of the Rest Camps.
DAY 4: OKAUKUEJO
We leave our private campsite and travel westwards into the Park, stopping en route for lunch at one of Park's Rest Camps. Today is a full day's game drive, affording us the opportunity to visit several permanent waterholes. We arrive at Okaukuejo in time for a sundowner drink at the waterhole. Dinner this evening is a traditional barbecue, after which we will be able to spend time at the floodlit waterhole, watching a variety of species, quenching their thirst. Our accommodation tonight is in the Rest Camp's chalets.
DAY 5 & 6: NORTHERN DAMARALAND
Today's journey begins after an early breakfast, as we head into Damaraland, an area whose attractions are spread over a large area. Our interests lie in the area bordering Kaokoland. Northern Damaraland still has a significant population of lion, elephant, leopard, large antelope, giraffe, mountain zebra (Hartmann's), and the last free-ranging black rhino population in the world. We enjoy this truly unique area for the next two days, camping in its wild and untouched landscapes. Our discovery of this fascinating area continues, as we search for hidden waterholes. This also affords us the opportunity to explore the ancient volcanic landscape on foot.
DAY 7 & 8: SOUTHERN DAMARALAND
Our Safari continues to the area between the Huab and the Ugab, where we will again be camping wild. We will visit the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein - ancient works of Art attributed to the San (Bushmen). It is in this area where we will be able to explore the seasonal river beds, with the possibility of encountering several species of game, including the elusive desert-adapted elephant. This area marks the southern limit of Damaraland.
DAY 9 & 10: SWAKOPMUND
No safari in Namibia is complete without a visit to the quaint coastal town of Swakopmund. Our route takes us from the unique landscape of Damaraland to the coast, and a visit to the Cape Cross seal colony. It is in this area that the Portuguese explorer, Diego Cao first set foot on Namibian soil, in 1486. We continue southwards on the coastal road, to Swakopmund itself. We spend two nights at the Strand Hotel, conveniently situated near the beach and within walking distance of the museum and shops. There is time to enjoy some of the town's exciting optional activities, such as quad biking, camel riding, and dune boarding. Another interesting excursion is the morning dolphin cruise leaving from Walvis Bay and travelling around Pelican Point with its seal and sea-bird colonies.
DAY 11: NAMIB-NAUKLUFT
The Namib-Naukluft is Namibia's largest National Park, and offers a surprising variety of landscapes and ecosystems - ranging from the massive sand-dunes of Sossusvlei to the vast quartzite gravel plains, and the rugged Naukluft Mountains along the eastern edge of the desert. The highlight of the Namib-Naukluft is a visit to the awe inspiring dunes of Sossusvlei, many of which are in excess of 300m high, arguably making them the highest in the world. The tints and hues of these fascinating dunes are best appreciated in the late afternoon, as colours can range from apricot to orange. The afternoon is spent climbing and exploring the dunes and pans. We leave this fascinating area for our exclusive campsite in the Naukluft Mountains.
DAY 12: NAMIB NAUKLUFT
The Naukluft Mountains offer a surprising contrast to the surrounding area. We enjoy a 4x4 excursion, and hiking trail today, to the quiver-tree gorge. It takes us up to the plateau, followed by a hike through the biggest fountain gorge in the Naukluft Mountains with its many rock-pools (which we can cool off in). Our hike ends back at our campsite. An optional late afternoon activity is horse riding at a nearby guest farm.
DAY 13: End of tour
We leave the Naukluft after breakfast this morning, for our drive back to Windhoek, where we will arrive by mid-to late afternoon.