Namibia: Desert, Dunes & Wildlife - African Encounters

Namibia: Desert, Dunes & Wildlife

(1 Review)
4 - 17 September 2023
4 - 17 September 2023
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Why Book With Us?

  • Small group safaris with the personal touch
  • You'll be supporting conservation & community projects
  • We are your independent Africa specialists with 35 years experience
  • 24/7 emergency contact & support

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(+64) 06 9761118

14 days
Availability : 4 - 17 September 2023
Windhoek, Namibia
Windhoek, Namibia
Max People : 6

The landscape is Namibia’s defining natural asset – blue skies, endless space, and kaleidoscopic colours. People use all sorts of words to describe it: vast, endless, magnificent, unimaginable, among others. But nothing comes close to seeing the sunrise on the magnificent sand dunes at Sossusvlei or the shimmering salt pan of Etosha National Park.

With its vast, open terrain, spectacular landscapes, and captivating wildlife, Namibia is one of the world’s ‘great escape’ destinations. It is crammed full of natural wonders, including the world’s highest sand dunes, and its oldest desert.  And you’ll definitely be hooked by some of the very best wildlife viewing in Africa. Etosha National Park is home to a vast array of species – elephant, giraffe, zebra, lion, leopard, rhino, kudu, black-faced impala … the list goes on.

Your Namibia: Desert, Dunes & Wildlife safari is a Signature Safari and will be personally escorted from Windhoek by company founder and director Karen Platzer for a group of 4 or more participants. For a group smaller than 4 people the tour will be guided by qualified local guides.

Combination: Your Namibia safari can be combined with our unique Zambia Silent Safari which uses solar energy to power its vehicles, boats, and camps.

  • Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes.
  • Catamaran excursion on Walvis Bay to see seals, dolphins, pelicans, and more. 
  • Track desert-adapted elephants in ephemeral river systems.
  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein.
  • Exciting game drives in Etosha National Park
  • Stay in a luxury tent overlooking one of the most productive waterholes on the Onguma Private Game Reserve.
  • Spend two nights at Okonjima Lodge and learn about conservation initiatives involving Africa’s large cats at the AfriCat Foundation.

Arrival & Departure

Arrival: Windhoek, Namibia

Departure: Windhoek, Namibia

Price Includes

  • Quality accommodation in luxury tented camps.
  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 14 
  • All transport as per itinerary
  • Return airport transfers
  • All Park and Private Concession fees
  • Transportation in a luxury air-conditioned safari vehicle 
  • Local drinks with meals (this includes water, soft drinks, beers and table wine)
  • A licensed English-speaking safari guide 

Price Excludes

  • International airfares
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • All premium and imported wines, champagnes and spirits
  • Hot air balloon flight over the Sossusvlei dunes (weather-dependent)
  • Laundry (laundry service available at lodges at extra cost)
  • Any Personal Expenses
  • Tips & gratuities
Itinerary at a glance

4 SeptemberIndependent arrival in Windhoek

After landing at Windhoek’s International Hosea Kutako Airport, about 40km outside the city, you will be welcomed by your guide who will transfer you to town and your hotel for the evening, Galton House, where you will stay overnight in their beautifully designed rooms. The rest of the day is at leisure to relax and recuperate from your flight. This evening your guide will brief you on your Namibia safari and answer any questions you may have.

5 SeptemberWindhoek to Sossusvlei

This morning your guide will collect you after breakfast from Galton House. You then depart Windhoek and drive southwest through the scenic Khomas Highlands before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert, stopping for a picnic lunch at a scenic location along the way. You arrive at Camp Sossus in the mid-afternoon where you will stay for three nights while you explore the remarkable sights of the Namib Desert with your guide. This afternoon you have the option to discover the surrounding area with your guide, perhaps on foot or by bicycle, ending with sundowners overlooking the vast desert plains.

6 SeptemberSossusvlei / Namib Desert

This morning you will need to rise early for a magical excursion in the Namib Naukluft National Park. You will set off before sunrise to capture the spectacular dunes whilst the light is soft and shadows accentuate the towering shapes and curves. This area boasts some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world and your guide will give you an insight on the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs. Once you have explored Sossusvlei, Deadvlei and surrounding dune fields to your heart’s content you can enjoy a relaxed picnic brunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree. You then return to Sossus Dune Lodge in the early afternoon in time for a late lunch, with the option to visit Sesriem Canyon afterwards if you haven’t already done so the day before. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure (from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes.)

7 SeptemberSossusvlei to Swakopmund

NOTE: Option to include a sunrise balloon flight or scenic light aircraft flight over the Namib Naukluft National Park before you depart for Swakopmund (optional extra at additional cost). Please note that if making use of this offer, it will need to be booked in advance in order to fit in with other timings for this day.

The fascinating drive today takes you northwest through the awesome and ever-changing desert landscapes of the Namib Naukluft National Park, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. You will meet the coast at the port town of Walvis Bay and then continue north to Swakopmund where you can enjoy the pleasant seaside location and cooler coastal air for your next two nights. There will be time this afternoon to explore this quaint town with its German heritage and wander along the waterfront on foot, before heading off for dinner at a popular restaurant that specializes in locally harvested seafood.

8 SeptemberSwakopmund

After an early breakfast, you’ll return to Walvis Bay for a seal and dolphin excursion within the outer lagoon and harbour. Here you should also see Cape fur seals, heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos, and a wide variety of other sea birds. If luck is on your side, there is also a chance of seeing whales, leatherback turtles, and sunfish. During the cruise snacks will be served along with local sparkling wine and fresh oysters before you will return to the jetty at around midday.

You then have the opportunity to explore the waterfront area of Walvis Bay further before returning to Swakopmund for an afternoon at leisure at your guesthouse or out in town. Activities such as a scenic flight, sandboarding and more can all be booked at an extra cost.

9 SeptemberSwakopmund to Damaraland

Continuing on your safari today you’ll travel north-east into the wonderful and diverse region of Damaraland. You pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg which peaks at 2,573 m above sea level. Damaraland is typified by displays of colour, magnificent table topped mountains, rock formations and bizarre-looking vegetation. The present day landscape has been formed by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces which have formed rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. The remoteness and the scenic splendour are astounding.

If time allows this afternoon your guide will take you to visit the nearby attractions and geological sites of the pre-historic Twyfelfontein rock engravings (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) – if not there is plenty of time to see them tomorrow.

10 SeptemberDamaraland

After an early breakfast you will take an exciting 4×4 excursion along the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valleys to explore this remarkable region and to search for game, including the elusive desert adapted elephants if they are in the area. Damaraland is home to a variety of desert adapted wildlife and hidden desert treasures. The elephants are most active in the mornings when you will have the best chance to see them then before returning to camp for lunch. You also have the option to take a picnic lunch to enjoy in the shade of a large Ana tree by the riverbed, ideally while watching a herd of elephant browsing nearby.

Your guide will take you to Twyfelfontein this afternoon if you haven’t already done so the previous day..

11 SeptemberDamaraland to Southern Etosha National Park

Today after a very early breakfast you set off on your journey to the Etosha National Park, travelling via the scenic Grootberg Pass to Etosha Oberland Lodge, which is situated on the southern border of Etosha National Park. You arrive at Etosha Oberland in the mid-afternoon and if time allows, your guide can take you on a short game drive into the Etosha National Park. You return to the comforts of Etosha Oberland with time to freshen up before dinner.

12 SeptemberEtosha National Park

Today is dedicated to a full day in the Etosha National Park as you make your way to the central and then eastern parts of the park to exit through the Von Lindequist Gate before sunset. Travel along the many winding roads throughout the park with lunch to be enjoyed at any of the camps in the park. After exiting the park, you continue to Onguma Tented Camp where you will stay for the next two nights. The evening can be spent game viewing at the camp’s floodlit waterhole where game comes and goes throughout the day and night.

13 SeptemberEtosha National Park

Another morning of memorable game drives within the eastern section of Etosha National Park with your guide. You return to camp for lunch and an early afternoon rest, spending your final afternoon on a game drive on the private Onguma Game Reserve, culminating in a sundowner overlooking Fischer’s Pan. Return to camp after sunset with enough time to freshen up before enjoying your dinner overlooking the camp’s floodlit waterhole.

14 SeptemberEtosha National Park to Okonjima

Your early departure will take you south from Onguma Tree Top via the bustling towns of Tsumeb, Otavi, and Otjiwarongo to Okonjima. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a wildlife sanctuary that focuses on the research and rehabilitation of Africa’s big cats, especially injured or captured leopards. You arrive in time for lunch before embarking on an exciting and informative game drive and tour of the centre. Here you will learn about the function and vision of the AfriCat Foundation and will also get to meet some of the Foundation’s special captive carnivore ambassadors. Tonight you’ll stay at Okonjima Luxury Bush Camp within the sanctuary. Each exclusive chalet enjoys complete privacy and is a unique combination of earthy ochre walls, glass windows, and khaki-green canvas, under a thatched roof.

15 SeptemberOkonjima

Rise early this morning for a memorable visit to the AfriCat Foundation to learn all about how it started, the projects they run and so see some of the ambassador cats in their large enclosures before returning to Bush Camp for a sumptuous brunch. Thereafter you will have some time free to relax at the lodge or spend some time lounging by the pool amidst your idyllic bush surroundings before embarking on another exciting afternoon activity with your local lodge-based guide. 

16 SeptemberOkonjima to Windhoek

You will rise early this morning for another memorable guided activity before you return to the Bush Camp for a scrumptious breakfast. After freshening up you will depart for Windhoek in the late morning, stopping off at the local wood carvers craft market in Okahandja en-route, if appeals. You arrive in Windhoek in the late afternoon to spend the last night of your safari at the Galton House. This evening your guide will take you out to dinner at one of the popular restaurants in town to reminisce about trip highlights and good memories.

17 SeptemberDeparture

This morning can be spent relaxing at your hotel, exploring Windhoek, visiting NamCrafts and the Craft Centre, or doing some last-minute souvenir shopping if time allows, before your transfer out to the Windhoek International Airport, getting you there in time to check-in for your ongoing flight. On arrival at the airport, our representative will assist you with checking in for your flight back home.    

1 Review
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Sue & Richard Lovett

Couple Traveller

We did back to back Namibia with Mozambique extension and Botswana, with Karen. Each awesome in their own way but the standout impression is that it is definitely worth spending some extra and going off the beaten tourist track into the private conservancies. There is more game, less people, the camp staff are genuinely happy to host us, they are also happy to share what tourism is giving back to their local communities.