Namibia Highlights – Code NH
9 Days Travel package of Dunes, Central & Coastal Namibia
Discover the main highlights in Namibia, from the awe-inspiring seas of sand of the Namib desert, the cultures and awesome landscapes of Damaraland and the variety and amounts of wildlife. This tour showcases the major highlights of the country. This safari is ideal as an introduction or as a once only visit.
Departs Wednesday from Windhoek returns to Windhoek on following Thursday
Day 1 / Wednesday Namib Desert
Departing Windhoek, we travel to our lodge in the Namib Desert. This is the gateway to Sesriem Canyon and Sossusvlei, where some of the highest sand dunes on Earth stand towering over the white desert plains. The afternoon can be spent relaxing at the pool, or taking part in optional activities offered at our lodge.
Day 2 / Thursday Sossusvlei / Namib Desert
This morning demands an early start. The first rays of sunrise paint the mountains of sand into a variety of apricot, red and orange, contrasted against a crisp blue skyline, enrapturing our senses, and providing an opportunity to capture this awesome landscape on film. You will be mesmerized by the surreal Deadvlei, surrounded by the highest dunes and Sossusvlei, where the mostly dry Tsauchab River ends abruptly amongst majestic dunes. Take the opportunity to walk up one of these dunes to admire the desert landscape beneath. Thereafter we visit the Sesriem Canyon, a life sustaining natural phenomenon in the heart of the Namib Desert.
Day 3 / Friday Swakopmund
After breakfast we travel via the desolate, rolling hills of the Kuiseb Moon Valley towards the Atlantic Ocean. In Walvis Bay we visit the shallow lagoon, one of the most important wetland areas on the African continent and a RAMSAR World Heritage Site. Over 80% of the African flamingos feed in this lagoon and present a breathtaking picture when they appear in groups.
Having arrived in Swakopmund, the rest of the day is spent at leisure. With palm-lined streets and seaside promenades, Swakopmund is a very popular holiday destination in Namibia. Its pleasant summer climate and long stretched beaches attract anglers and surfers from all over Southern Africa. For the international guest, Swakopmund is a bohemian mix of German architecture and African time, a laid back attitude with adrenalin activities, misty mornings and desert heat. It is colorful, it is vibrant, but most of all, it is fun.
Day 4 / Saturday Swakopmund
Swakopmund is often fondly referred to as the “playground of Namibia”, it has numerous activities ranging from, adventure to exploring the fascinating features of the Namib Desert and the animals and plants that occur and survive here. Embrace the relaxed pace of this idyllic coastal town whilst enjoying coffee and freshly baked pastries in one of the many café’s. Alternatively explore the rugged, sweltering desert on a day tour, or view this awesome, environment from the air on a scenic flight. Find your inner child and push adrenaline to its limits with extreme adventures such as skydiving over the desert or quad biking and sandboarding on the dunes. Take time to get the feel of this quaint town with its historic buildings, museums, shopping arcades and beach bar that has transformed into its own personality by the vibrant use of color and the bohemian lifestyle.
Day 5 / Sunday Damaraland
Heading further north, we travel via the Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain (2.579m), into the Damaraland, one of the least populated and geologically diverse areas in Africa. This harsh, rocky environment is home to the rare desert elephant, the black rhino and free-roaming antelope species. We visit to Twyfelfontein, a heritage site where Bushman communities engraved and painted over 2500 pictures some 6000 years ago! After a visit to a nearby Living Museum of the Damara we proceed on to the Petrified Forest – a geological phenomenon depicting the creation and evolution of some of the oldest landmasses on Earth. Here we also visit the Welwitschia mirabilis plant – the oldest living desert plant on Earth.
Day 6 / Monday Etosha National Park
After a relaxed breakfast, we travel towards the Etosha National Park, famous for its vast amount of wildlife and unique landscape. Once we have reached our camp located on the outside of the National Park, we have the rest of the day at leisure, but can optionally also book an afternoon guided game drive in open vehicles with the lodge.
Day 7 / Tuesday Etosha National Park
The day is devoted purely to the abundant wildlife found in the Etosha National Park, which surrounds a parched salt desert known as the Etosha Pan. The park is home to 4 of the Big Five – elephant, lion, leopard and rhino. The Park was proclaimed as Namibia’s first conservation area in 1907 by the then Governor, von Lindequist. Despite the size of the Etosha National Park, only the southern edge of the pan is accessible to visitors.
Game viewing in the park is largely focussed around the waterholes, some of which are spring fed and some supplied from a borehole, ideal places to sit and watch over 114 different game species, or for an avid birder, in excess of 340 bird species. Popular game species such as giraffe, blue wildebeest, plains and mountain zebra, hyena, lion, leopard, antelopes such as kudu, oryx, eland, as well as some of the endangered species such as Black rhino, cheetah and the black-faced impala are all found here. An extensive network of roads link the over 30 water holes allowing the visitor an opportunity to do a real game viewing safari over the stretch of the park as each different area will provide different encounters.
Day 8 / Wednesday Etosha National Park
Today your guide again takes you on a game drive in the Etosha National Park. We may encounter animal species we have not seen the previous day and look forward to any new surprises at the different waterholes visited. The Etosha Pan dominates the park. This salt pan desert, which is nearly completely enclosed by the park and is lined by numerous watering holes, is roughly 130 km long and as wide as 50 km in places.
During Etosha’s notorious dry spells the pan is a deathly place, lying parched and cracked under the molten African sun. It is claimed that game viewing is best during the dry spells as animals will then congregate closer to water. But even in the rainy season the park remains an abundant wildlife haven. You then have the pleasure of experiencing the rebirth of life as the young foals, cubs and chicks are seen frolicking with their parents and the sprouting new green shrubs and grasses create a pleasing green oasis. In the afternoon we travel back to our lodge, where we enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure.
Day 9 / Thursday Departure
After breakfast we continue southwards to Windhoek. We will visit the craft markets in the main street of the capital city, where after we are dropped off at our hotel or at the international airport for our return flight.