Unique Namibia - African Encounters

Unique Namibia

(2 Reviews)
Departs Mondays
FromNZ$14,542
Departs Mondays
FromNZ$14,542

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    Windhoek, Namibia
    Windhoek, Namibia
    Max People : 7

    Welcome to the mesmerizing land of Namibia – other-worldly, eerily isolated, and infinitely vast… Covering an area approximately four times the size of the United Kingdom but with a population of a mere 2 million, Namibia is a land of wide open spaces, and unspoiled, dramatic landscapes.

    Imagine the thrill of tracking the world’s last free-roaming black rhinos on foot in remote Damaraland,  seeing desert-adapted elephants, sleeping under a canopy of stars in the Namib desert, or watching a stealthy leopard at the waterhole in front of your luxury tent… You’ll enjoy all of this and more on your Unique Namibia safari.

    From the soaring red dunes of Sossusvlei to the Etosha salt pans teeming with wildlife, and the heritage of rock art created by stone-age artists, your Unique Namibia safari is a fascinating journey through this ancient land. Your guide has an intimate knowledge of each area and camp or lodge that you visit, and they will share local insights and highlights during your safari.

    A qualified local guide will escort your Unique Namibia safari from Windhoek.

    • Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes at Sossusvlei
    • Track the endangered black rhino in conjunction with Save the Rhino Trust
    • Search for desert-adapted elephants in the ephemeral river systems of Damaraland.
    • Experience memorable game drives in Etosha where the saltpans are teeming with wildlife
    • Sleep under canvas on a raised platform overlooking one of the most active waterholes on Onguma Private Game Reserve.
    • Look for leopards and cheetahs on game drives in the private Onguma Reserve
    • Take a catamaran cruise to see bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, and flamingos at the  Skeleton Coast
    • Spend two nights at the world-renowned AfriCat Foundation and learn about conservation initiatives involving Africa’s large cats.

    Arrival & Departure

    Arrival: Windhoek, Namibia

    Departure: Windhoek, Namibia

    Price Includes

    • Quality accommodation
    • All meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 14 
    • Transportation in a luxury air-conditioned safari vehicle.
    • Return airport transfers
    • All Park and Private Concession fees
    • Entrance fees and excursions as described in the itinerary.
    • Two Onguma drives in open game viewer with lodge guide
    • Mineral water on board the safari vehicle.
    • A registered and experienced naturalist English-speaking safari guide.
    • Welcome pack.

    Price Excludes

    • International airfares, airport taxes and visa fees
    • Travel insurance (mandatory)
    • All beverages with the exception of mineral water on board the safari vehicle.
    • Hot air balloon flight over the Sossusvlei dunes (weather-dependent)
    • Laundry (laundry service available at lodges at extra cost)
    • Any Personal Expenses
    • Tips & gratuities
    • Any entrance fees and excursions not included in the above itinerary such as scenic flights.
    Itinerary at a glance

    Day 1Windhoek

    Independent arrival at Windhoek International Airport where you will be met and transferred to your accommodation in the city. Met your guide and fellow travellers over dinner tonight.

    Day 2Windhoek to Okonjima, the AfriCat Foundation

    After breakfast begin your journey north to Okonjima, home of the Africat Foundation located at the base of the Omboroko Mountains near Waterberg. Okonjima Bush Camp is situated at the edge of a wilderness area in the Omboroko Mountains, about three hours’ drive north from Windhoek. You arrive at Okonjima in time for lunch and stay for two nights. Here you can enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and fantastic activities, starting with a guided afternoon excursion.

     

    Day 3Okonjima

    Accommodation at Okonjima Bush Camp consists of nine charming thatched African Chalets. 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. All meals are taken at the cosy main Lapa area shaped like a camelthorn pod, which is also where all activities begin. Okonjima has an education and research centre, as well as wildlife rehabilitation facilities and it is home to a large number of rescued leopards, brown hyenas and other predators. You will have the opportunity to learn about what is being done by the AfriCat Foundation to ensure the survival of carnivores in Namibia. There are interesting guided walking trails on offer, and bird watching is also a popular activity as over 300 bird species have been identified here. Please note: because of the proximity of lion, leopard and cheetah, children under the age of 12 are not allowed at Okonjima Bush Camp.

    Day 4Onguma Tented Camp, Etosha

    Today you travel to the Onguma Game Reserve, on the eastern border of Etosha National Park. Afternoon game drive on the Onguma Game Reserve in an open game viewer with an Onguma ranger. 

    The Onguma Game Reserve is a private game reserve bordering Etosha National Park. The reserve is home to a wide variety of game including lion, leopard, giraffe, rhino, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, gemsbok (oryx), kudu, steenbok, and much more. 

    Day 5Etosha National Park

    Today you will enjoy morning and afternoon guided game drives in Etosha National Park, to see more of the wide variety of game and bird species that are to be found there. This evening watch game at the camp’s floodlit waterhole during and after dinner.

    Day 6Etosha National Park

    Today you’ll enjoy more game viewing as you travel through Etosha to your next accommodation on the southern border of Etosha National Park. 

    Day 7 Southern Etosha National Park to Damaraland

    This morning after breakfast you will continue your safari to the heart of Namibia, remote Damaraland. 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. It is the variety and loneliness of the area as well as the scenic splendour which will reward and astound you, giving one an authentic understanding of the word ‘wilderness’.

    This remarkable region is home to a variety of desert-adapted wildlife and hidden desert treasures. Camp Doros is deliberately small and intimate, and it is located in a core area for desert-adapted black rhino with activities largely focused on tracking black rhino with an experienced and qualified Rhino Ranger team.

    The camp is perched on a high bank overlooking a (generally) dry riverbed and groves of Mopane trees in the heart of Damaraland. Protected from the prevailing winds, the camp carries arguably the lowest environmental footprint of any camp in Namibia. The essence of the camp is an immersive exploration of this incredible area.

    Day 8Damaraland

    Today you will spend an exciting and memorable morning out rhino tracking with the assistance of local trackers. It is worth noting that these black rhino form part of one of the only free-roaming black rhino populations in Africa and tracking animals in an unfenced and uninhibited environment is an absolute privilege. You will return to camp for a freshly prepared lunch and with time to relax at camp during the heat of the day. Later in the afternoon you head out again for a scenic nature drive or walk to explore this vast and astounding ecosystem. 

    Camp Doros works together with the Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) – an NGO that has been has been instrumental in the preservation of the rare, endangered, desert-adapted black rhino. Having barely survived the slaughter in many parts of Africa during the ’80s and ’90s, the black rhino population of Namibia has increased substantially since the formation of SRT. 

    Day 9Damaraland to Swakopmund

    After an early breakfast the drive today takes you south past the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain (2,573 m above sea level), and west to meet the coast at Henties Bay. You then continue south to the coastal town of Swakopmund where you can enjoy the pleasant seaside location and cooler coastal air for the night. Tonight you enjoy dinner with your guide out at a popular restaurant in town that specialises in locally harvested fresh seafood as well as other local and international dishes.

    Day 10Swakopmund

    This morning you’ll take a short drive along the Atlantic coast to Walvis Bay. A catamaran cruise within the outer lagoon is an ideal way of seeing Cape fur seals, Heaviside and bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, leatherback turtles, flamingos, and a wide variety of other sea birds. Return to Swakopmund for an afternoon at leisure or enjoy one of the many optional activities available.

    Swakopmund resembles a small, German coastal resort nestled between the desert and the sea. It boasts a charming combination of German colonial architecture blended with good hotels, shops, restaurants, museums, craft centres, galleries, and cafés. Swakopmund had its beginnings as a landing station in 1892 when the Imperial Navy erected beacons on the site. Settlers followed and attempts to create a harbour town by constructing a concrete Mole and then the iron jetty failed. The advent of World War 1 halted developments and the town sank into decline until half a century later when infrastructures improved and an asphalt road opened between Windhoek and Swakopmund. This made reaching the previously isolated town quicker and easier and it prospered once again to become Namibia’s premier resort town. Although the sea is normally too cold for swimming there are pleasant beaches and the cooler climate is refreshing after the time spent in the desert.

    Day 11Swakopmund to Sossusvlei

    After an early breakfast, you depart on a fascinating drive that takes you southeast through awesome and ever-changing desert landscapes via the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons to meet the dunes at the settlement of Solitaire. A picnic lunch will be had en route and you will continue onto the Namib Tsaris Conservancy, where you will spend two nights at the exclusive-use Camp Sossus. You will arrive mid to late afternoon with enough time to acquaint yourself with the camp and enjoy a hot bucket shower before dinner.

    Camp Sossus is located on the private 24,000ha Namib Tsaris Conservancy. Nestled between the Nubib and Zaris Mountains, this camp is a mere thirty minutes drive from the Sossusvlei gate, the gateway to the ‘Great Namib Sand Sea’ at Sossusvlei, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The camp has eight tents and offers a fantastic alternative to any traditional lodge in the Sossusvlei area. Activities include visits to Sossusvlei with your private guide and general exploration of the private Neuhof Nature Reserve, including nature walks, mountain biking, and star gazing. Camp Sossus provides a convenient base from which to go on hot air balloon or scenic helicopter flights over the local area. It is also a great venue for photographers, offering fantastic landscapes, iconic quiver trees, and the opportunity for nighttime photography which is often very difficult to arrange elsewhere.

    Day 12Sossusvlei / Namib Desert

    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 into the formation of the Namib Desert and its myriad of fascinating creatures and plants that have adapted to survive these harsh environs. After a picnic brunch return to your lodge. Afternoon at leisure (from experience, this is usually welcomed after an exhilarating morning in the dunes.)

    Day 13Sossusvlei to Windhoek

    After a leisurely breakfast this morning you will depart from Sossusvlei and return to Windhoek, driving northeast up the Great Escarpment and through the scenic Khomas Hochland highlands. A tasty picnic lunch will again be served en route. You will arrive back in Windhoek by mid-afternoon and you spend the last night of your safari at Galton House. Dinner can either be enjoyed at Galton’s in-house restaurant, or out at one of the popular restaurants in town together with your guide.  After dinner, you’ll bid your local guide farewell.

     

    Day 14Departure

    Your Unique Namibia safari ends after breakfast with a transfer to Windhoek International Airport to join your flight home.

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    2 Reviews
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    Karen de Willimoff & John McIndoe

    Couple Traveller

    “We would like to say a big thank you for a fabulous trip.  We both loved every minute.  I am now a huge “Africa Convert.” Look forward to hearing about options for next year.”

    18/02/2020

    Sue & Richard Lovett

    Couple Traveller

    We have arrived in Victoria Falls for our last two days of almost a month with Karen in Namibia and Botswana.
    Like many people, we came to Africa for the wildlife and I’m guessing that like many people we have been wowed by said wildlife. I’d also take a wild guess and say that like us, many have been wowed by the people. An incredibly warm welcome has been extended everywhere especially at the private camps and conservancies.
    A trip like this is not just about the seeing and doing. It’s very much about the feeling. The people have made us welcome and very aware that we have made a positive impact on their environments and communities. To be welcomed the way we have is both humbling and uplifting.

    15/11/2019