Check out our Low Season Special rates from 14 October 2019 till 30 June 2020. The Namibian Explorer offers all the main Namibian highlights in a two week holiday time frame. The tour starts with a visit to the Africat Foundation at Okonjima to meet and learn about Africa’s Big Cats. From here northwards to Etosha National Park for some concentrated game viewing, exiting the park we travel to Africat North and to a Himba village where you are brought into touch with some of Namibia’s ancient traditions before travelling to Twyfelfontein (UNESCO Heritage Site). From here we head towards Swakopmund on the Skeleton Coast which offers time for some adventure sport adrenaline. Our final destination is the Namib Desert where we spend two nights close to the awesome sand dunes at Sesriem and Sossusvlei, the world’s tallest dunes in the world’s oldest desert.
This tour departs on selected Fridays from Windhoek.
On a Sunday, late afternoon/early evening back to Windhoek
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, SC = Self-Categring, RO = Room Only
Daily tour description
Windhoek – Okonjima/Africat (300 km) (LD) (camping)
You will be collected between 08:00 & 08:30.
We travel north, stopping at small towns along the way including Okahandja, where we have time to visit Namibia’s largest wood carving market. The market is operated on a local co-operative basis and is one of the best places to shop for truly Namibian souvenirs. Continuing north, passing through farmland, we aim to arrive at Okonjima during the middle afternoon, giving us time to set up our camp and to relax in the shade for a while before heading out on to the property to take part in the afternoon’s activity.
Okonjima is the home of the Africat Foundation, a specialist conservation concern that centres its operations on the African Big Cats, particularly cheetah. This afternoon you will be taken on a tour during which you will view some of the cheetah that are part of the Africat rehabilitation programme. Most of the animals currently living at Okonjima have been rescued from various desperate situations, being orphaned or caught in a trap and the aim of the rehabilitation process is to re-introduce them into the wild.
After our educational tour we will return to camp and prepare for dinner under the African stars.
Okonjima – Namutoni / East Etosha region (300 km) (BLD) (camping)
Starting early and continuing north, we pass through some small towns making short stops for fresh supplies and fuel. Continuing on to East Etosha’s Namutoni camp we again aim to arrive in time for lunch, affording us leisure time before heading into the park during the cool of the late afternoon for our first game drive.
Impala at Waterhole
East Etosha region – Okaukuejo, Etosha National Park (BLD) (camping)
A full day’s game driving. We again leave early to enjoy the cool morning air as we game drive our way through Etosha to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park. Along the way we visit several waterholes and are afforded splendid views of the massive Etosha Pan. The game viewing is usually excellent and we have the chance to tick off a few new species that are not normally seen on the Namutoni side of the park.
We stop at Halali for a rest and a leisurely lunch. There is time to visit the Halali waterhole and to make use of the swimming pool and bar facilities before continuing on our way and game driving down to Okaukuejo.
Okaukuejo is famous for its waterhole, which has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa”. Situated on the doorstep of our campsite, black rhino, elephant, lion and numerous species of antelope are usually seen.
Elephant and Black Rhino
Etosha Black Rhino
Okaukuejo – Grootberg area (310km) (BLD) (camping)
Leaving Etosha we begin our journey south with a relatively short drive to the small town of Kamanjab.
Within this area we visit a Himba Village – the only traditionally functioning Himba community outside the far north Kaokoland region of Namibia These tribes-people have migrated here, lifestyle and customs intact, and are following their traditional way-of-life in their village on a farm, the exact location of the site varies as the Himba occasionally roam to a new location. We will learn about marriage customs, traditional food and the mysteries of the “Holy Fire” religion.
From here it is a short drive on to The Hoada Community Campsite which is located among beautiful granite hills and mopane trees. To add an eco-friendly touch, the hot water system works in combination with the barbecue area, therefore whilst your meal is being prepared, your water will be warmed up for your shower!
We overnight – camping under the stars.
Tree at Hoada Campsite
Grootberg area – Twyfelfontein (190 km) (BLD) (camping)
Today we head into one of the most beautiful desert regions in Namibia, Damaraland. We drive west via the Grootberg Pass and then take a detour to visit the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. At this location we will have a local guide to conduct us on a short guided tour before we set up camp for the night.
Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings
Twyfelfontein – Swakopmund, SkeletonCoast (420 km) (BL) (chalet)
From Tyfelfontein we head deeper into the desert and pass Namibia’s highest mountain, The Brandberg, (2573 m). Back on the road for more beautiful Damaraland scenery. We make a stop in the small town of Uis, an old mining town, and one of the best places to buy semi-precious stones, for which Namibia is famous. Here, rough Amethyst, Tourmaline etc can be found at bargain prices.
From here we turn directly west and cross the “gravel plains” on our way to the Atlantic Ocean and the SkeletonCoast. Meeting the ocean at HentiesBay, we first head north along the coast to visit the seal colony at CapeCross. At certain times of the year there can be as many as 100,000 congregating CapeFur seals. The next destination is Swakopmund, following the SkeletonCoast into Namibia’s premier seaside town.
The Swakopmund section of the trip is designed to allow people to relax either with the group, or on their own. Only breakfast is provided, this is to allow you to plan your time here with as much flexibility as possible and not to be tied to group meal times. It also gives you the chance to sample some of the excellent local cafes and restaurants. The seafood in Swakopmund is superb. Your guide will offer to organise a group meal in a local restaurant for this evening. Participation is recommended but by no means required.
Dinner this evening in not included in the price of the safari and will be for the client’s own account.
Cape Cross Seal Reserve
Cape Fur Seals
Swakopmund (B) (chalet)
Today is a free day. The idea is to allow time for everybody to do their own thing. Swakopmund is a very pleasant seaside town with lots of shops, a good stretch of beach (although the Atlantic here is quite cold) and an open-air curio market. There is also a very good museum and the Namibian National Marine Aquarium is located in Swakopmund.
Alternatively, there are various optional activities that can be arranged. These include aeroplane and microlight flights over the desert, scenic drives, fishing trips (both from the beach or in a boat), four-wheel motorcycle (quad bike) trips into the desert and over the sand dunes around Swakopmund, sand boarding trips (also in the dunes), skydiving, surfing, bird-watching and many other activities are available.
Your tour guide will discuss all the possible options with you before you reach Swakopmund and will offer to make bookings in advance of your arrival. (N.B. All extra activities and excursions in Swakopmund are subject to availability and are made at the clients’ own risk and expense).
Lunch and dinner today is not included in the price of the safari and will be for the client’s own account
Swakopmund – Sesriem (300 km) (BLD) (camping)
Our first stop is at Walvis Bay, situated about 40 km south of Swakopmund. South of the town there is a large marine lagoon which is home to a vast array of marine bird-life, in particular flamingos.
We will make a short visit to the lagoon to see the birds and a short visit to Walvis Bay to collect any last minute supplies before once again heading out into the desert. The second part of our journey today takes us across more of the seemingly endless Namib gravel plains. Then the landscape suddenly changes and we are into the mountain desert.
The tour continue as we traverse both the Kuiseb and Gaub passes, driving both times to the river beds at the bottom of the canyons and then climbing the long steep road to the top and the spectacular panoramas the mountains give us. Again the scenery changes as we make our way down to the dune fields . We cross some open grass savannah and farmlands before the terrain begins to give way to the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib and from here it is only a short distance to our next stop, the tiny town of Solitaire.
Our aim is to arrive at our camp during the late afternoon and watch the colours glow and change on distant mountains to the east.
Flamingoes at Walvisbay Lagoon
Tropic of Capricorn
Sossusvlei – Sesriem (camping) (BLD)
A pre dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes and driving into the heart of the dune field, we reach Sossusvlei itself by walking the last 5 km through the dunes. In the cool of the morning, with soft sunlight just beginning to play over the dunes creating a sharp light and shadow contrast across the whole desert, the walk is like nothing else. Ancient mineral pans, stunted camel thorn trees and the chance of seeing a gemsbok or maybe an ostrich make the photo opportunities perfect.
We spend the morning in and around Sossusvlei, also visiting Dune 45, and as the day wears on we return to Sesriem for lunch to escape the heat of the afternoon. As the day cools off in the late afternoon we will take a short excursion to the SesriemCanyon.
Dunes at Sossusvlei
Sesriem – Windhoek (450 km) (BL)
After breakfast we begin our journey over the mountains and along scenic roads, back to Windhoek. We stop at Solitaire to stretch our legs then proceed back to Windhoek via the Khomas Hochland Mountain range back to civilization.
We are due back into the city late afternoon / early evening and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on our return.