15 days from £6135pp plus international flights.
If you're looking for the best accommodation, world class game viewing, stunning scenery, and varied activities this is the holiday for you. In 15 days you'll experience the many facets of Namibia, from the dunes and plains of NamibRand to the adrenalin sports of Swakopmund, the amazing rock formations of Damaraland to the big game of Etosha, not forgetting face to face encounters with big cats at the AfriCat Foundation.
From the moment you arrive to be whisked off to your all-suite guest house in a prestigious Windhoek suburb you'll know you're in for a special holiday. You'll be treated to the finest accommodation Namibia has to offer, including a dune-top lodge, the grand dame of Swakopmund hotels, and an exclusive wilderness camp. Service levels match the facilities, and you'll be truly spoilt.
The trip has been designed to make the best of your precious time, substituting the more usual road transfers with domestic flights for all lengthy journey, keeping travel times to a minimum.
Highlights include game drives and nature walks in private reserves, far away from crowds, where you can take time to learn about the flora and fauna from expert guides. The scenery is sure to impress, too, with enormous sand dunes glowing gold in the sunset, other-worldly rock formations, sweeping savannah and grasslands, sparkling salt pans and soaring mountains. Add the excitement of sand boarding, searching for rhinos on foot and participating in the radiio tracking of predators, and you have a holiday brim-full of unforgettable experiences.
A guide is waiting at the airport in Windhoek to meet you and welcome you to Namibia and drive you to your luxury hotel. The airport is about 45kms from the city, giving you time to sit back and enjoy the ride. The Olive Exclusive is an all-suite hotel in a quiet suburb. relax after your journey, maybe with a refreshing swim in the outdoor pool or chatting to fellow guests in the lounge. Your holiday has begun!
After a good night's sleep and reviving breakfast your driver arrives to take you back to the airport for your flight 400kms south to NamibRand Nature Reserve, which takes just over an hour. You're driven from the airstrip to Wolwedans Dunes Lodge where you spend the next 2 nights. With just 9 chalets this is a small and intimate camp. You arrive in time for lunch and this afternoon you have your first foray into the nature reserve, one of the largest private reserves in Africa. You return in time to freshen up for dinner, followed by some superb star gazing.
An exciting day! This morning you can board a 4x4 vehicle to witness the varied scenery of NamibRand which include plains and dunes against the backdrop of the imposing Numib Mountains. Drives usually cover 40-50kms and take 3-4 hours. Have lunch in camp, followed by a siesta or swim in the pool, and in the afternoon you can set out again to a different part of the reserve. This trip inludes sundowner drinks among the glowing sand dunes. Watch the changing colours as the light fades. You head back to camp, arriving in time for dinner.
This morning you leave camp for the airstrip and the 80 minute flight to Swakopmund. On arrival you are driven to The Strand Hotel, overlooking the ocean. The afternoon has been left free so you can choose how to spend your time. The hotel is within walking distance of museums and shops, or you might prefer to have an easy afternoon down on the beach. Tonight you have your pick of the many restaurants, unless you opt to stay put and dine at the hotel sampling some delicious local seafood or game.
Swakopmund is called 'the adventure sports capital of Namibia', and there are opportunities to go sand boarding or quad biking on the dunes, try a parachute jump or go kayaking to Pelican Point. If you prefer something a little more sedate you can go for a boat cruise, browse among craft markets visit the seal colony at Cape Cross, or take a stroll along the beach. A scenic flight is a great way to view this amazing coastline and dunescape and should provide some great photo opportunities.
After breakfast you are collected by a driver for the 10 minute drive to the airport and your flight north to Damaraland, which takes about an hour. A guide from Damaraland Camp is waiting to meet you and take you to the camp where you can enjoy a bite of lunch or afternoon tea, depending on the flight time. Later you can venture out on a game drive along the Huab River for your first sightings of the rare desert-adapted elephants for which the area is known. Arrive back for a yummy dinner.
Damaraland Camp is in the private 3,500sqkm Torra Conservancy, forged through the co-operation and dedication of a community partnership. As well as the desert-adapted elephants this area is home to black rhino, mountain zebra, oryx, springbok, giraffe and predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena, so there's plenty to see. 4x4 drives are complimented by nature walks into the Etendeka Mountains and visitis to local communities which can be arranged locally.
A second full day to enjoy the Torra Conservancy. Take a walk with one of the guides to find out about the geology and history of the region, pausing to examine plants, small creatures, birds and reptiles that are often overlooked from a vehicle. As well as learning a great deal about Damaraland this is a good way to get close to nature and feel part of the scene rather than just an observer. Relax back at camp enjoying swim in the pool and a light lunch, and in the mid-afternoon you can set off again on a scenic drive.
Today you leave Damaralland on a short flight to Etosha, Namibia's best known national park. Your ultimate destination is Ongava Lodge in the reserve of the same name which borders the southern side of Etosha. Settle in, this is your home for the next 3 nights. Later you have your first Ongava safari. This private reserve is blessed with plentiful game making for an exciting drive which is sure to whet your appetite for the next couple of days to come. Return to shower and change for dinner served either in the dining area or outside on the deck.
Widely regarded as one of the finest private game reserves in the country, Ongava is all yours today. A game drive is one of the best ways to experience this richness and variety, allowing you to cross large areas, and travel into the Okaukuejo area of Etoshs National Park. You can hope to see lion, elephant, giraffe, both black and white rhino and many types of antelope. Be certain to have your camera at the ready to capure the many memorable moments. In the middle of the day you can rest at the lodge, socialising, sipping a drink from the bar and cooling off the swimming pool.
A second day to enjoy the abundance of Ongava. Today you might like to vary your safari with a nature walk. Leaving the vehcile behind gives a real sense of being at one with nature and lets you pay attention to the small details you might otherwise miss, all with the help of your expert guide. Rhino trackig is another fascinatiing option, carried out on foot, and adds an extra dimension to your safari experience. Keen photographers are sure to make a beeline to the hide for some exceptional sightings and shots.
Enjoy breakfast as you watch wildlife at the waterhole, after which it's time to pack your bags for the drive to Okonjima. This will take around 4 hours, with your driver stopping en-route as you wish, and you should arrive at Okonjima Bush Camp by lunchtime. Okonjima is the home of the AfriCat Foundation, a non-priofit organisation that protects threatened cheetahs, leopards and other carnivores including wild dog, and this afternoon you can witness some of this work and see these creatures for yourself. Tonight enjoy dinner in camp followed by a nightcap by the camp fire.
Your visit to Okonjima includes the opportunity to take part in the radio tracking of large rehabiliitated carnivores on foot, not something you get to do every day! Hyenas, wild dog and cheetahs are among the most frequently spotted species. It's exciting and should give you a good stock of after dinner tales when you get home. You also have the chance to visit the cheetah project, to learn about the work of the AfriCat Foundation and observe some of these most elegant of big cats up close.
After a leisurely breakfast yor driver collects you for the journey back to Windhoek. This will take in the region of 3 hours, depending on stops en-route, and takes you back to The Olive Exclusive where your Namibian adventure began some 2 weeks ago. The remainder of the day is yours to do as you wish. You might want to take the opportunity to explore Winhoek or maybe stay put and relax, enjoying a swim in the pool or sitting among the flowers in the garden.
After breakfast in The Olive Restaurant, it's time to gather your belongings together, bid farewell to your hosts and be driven to the airport for your onward travel plans.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £6135 (ex. international flights)
Price notes: 2018 guide price pp sharing: Jan-June £6135. July-December £5595.
Domestic flights Windhoek to NamibRand Nature Reserve, NamibRand to Swakopmund, Swakopmund to Damaraland, Damaraland to Ongava
Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Windhoek.
Arguably the main attraction in the Namib Naukluft National Park is the towering orange dunes of the Sossusvlei, possibly some of the highest dunes in the world.
This is a region of gentle rolling hills, bushland and striking mountains that form the divide between the temperate interior and the coastal desert regions of Namibia.
An upmarket lodge, in a stunning location, perched on a rocky outcrop in Namibia's beautiful Damaraland.
This exclusive camp with just 9 rooms offers warmth and comfort in a private setting in Namibia's Central Highlands.
A high quality lodge in a private game reserve bordering Etosha, where you can unwind in comfort between safaris.
Located on the harbour's edge this resort-style hotel overlooks the ocean on three sides. The beach, the spa and Swakopmund's bustling centre are all waiting to be explored.
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Time: GMT +2 hours
Flight time: Flights from UK to Windhoek are usually via Johannesburg or Frankfurt and take about 12.5 hours. Windhoek International Airport is 60km from the city centre.
Language: Namibiaâ€™s official language is English. Afrikaans, Dama/Nama, German, Herero, Oshiwambo, Sukwangali, Setswana and Silozi are also recognised.
Visas: Visas are not required British citizens for stays of up to 90 days.
Health: Malaria is present in Namibia. Certain areas are more high risk. A yellow fever vaccination is required for travellers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission; this includes transiting through a yellow fever risk country; make sure you have a valid yellow fever certificate with you.