Your Namibia adventure starts on landing at Windhoek International Airport. Make your way to the Avis Car rental office. After completing the paperwork you're on your way. You can choose to explore the capital or catch up on a bit of R&R at your Windhoek hotel. You could relax by the pool and do a bit of reading up on where you will be going. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in Windhoek, chat with your hosts for some recommendations.
Namib-naukluft National Park
Today you leave Windhoek and head south to the Namib-Naukluft National Park, home of those iconic ochre dunes, just waiting to be climbed!. The drive will be about 4.5 hours, depending on how often you stop to take in the scenery, Namibia is stunning and you will travel through varied landscapes! Your home for the next two nights is close to the entrance of the National Park. The dunes are best negotiated early, the sand can get quite hot under foot later in the day so this afternoon you might want to unpack, take a refreshing dip in the pool and perhaps meet some fellow travellers in the lounge or bar. Enjoy the sunset.
Today is the perfect opportunity to head into the park early and if you wish, conquer one of the mighty dunes, Big Daddy and Dune 35 being perfect choices. These are some of the highest dunes in the world, going down is much easier than going up, but it's worth the climb for the views at the top. Head for Deadvlei for some more iconic scenery and perhaps see wildlife on the way, there are zebra, oryx, springbok and ostrich found in the park. Sesriem Canyon is a complete contrast to the dunes, in some places the walls are 30m high, the views from the top are rather stunning too. Return to your lodge for a siesta or a refreshing swim in the pool before freshening up for dinner.
Today, after breakfast, pack up your car and head north via the quirky little town of Solitaire. It started as a homestead, but now the main attraction is the bakery, worth stopping here for a snack and their cakes are excellent. Continue and cross the Tropic of Capricorn, a great photo opportunity. More stunning scenery follows and you will eventually reach the Skeleton Coast and Swakopmund. You can either approach Swakopmund via Walvis Bay, or if you have time we recommend a detour via Ganab. This takes you through the ancient Welwitschia Plains and the area appropriately named the Moon Landscape before arriving in the adventure capital of Namibia, Swakopmund. Depending on stops today's drive is about 5 hours.
If you were wondering how the Skeleton Coast gets its name, it is from the shipwrecks, barren landscape and in days gone by, whale skeletons left on the beach. It is on this vast stretch of coastline that will find Swakopmund. The town isn't known as the adventure capital of Namibia for nothing, and after a hearty breakfast you can start to explore the area. You could opt for a dolphin cruise, quadbiking in the dunes (ensure they provide a helmet), or dune boarding is always good fun. You could take a scenic flight and see how vast this area is from the sky. Ocean fishing is an option or even sea kayaking - there are plenty of choices, so there will be something to suit everyone - it's just a case of how you fit it all in! This evening you can explore the town and dine in one of the many excellent restaurants. If you enjoy fish dishes then this is the place to be, but don't worry, there are plenty of other options too.
It's time to leave the coast behind, but not before a visit to Cape Cross, the incredible seal colony where you will find hundreds of thousands of Cape fur seals, not to mention gulls and also the odd jackal. Backtrack a short distance to Henties Bay and turn inland for a change of scenery. You will drive through wide open plains to Uis, then north to the Twyfelfontein area to your next resting place. Depending on stops it should take you a little over 4 hours to reach here.
Here you will find a variety of sightseeing options. Namibia's Open Air Museum, the Twyfelfontein Rock Engravings as well as the fascinating rock formations known as the Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain, which takes its name from the orange glow it has as the setting sun hits its surface. It's also worth taking a drive west to the Huab River to look for desert-adapted elephants as well as other game such as oryx, springbok, ostrich and lots more. You could opt to do this as a guided trip from the lodge(added extra). This evening you can relax, wash off the dust from the drive, enjoy some Namibian hospitality and mingle with other guests over an ice-cold drink.
Today's drive to your next lodge will take about 4 hours. You will be staying at Etosha Safari Lodge, just 9km from Etosha. As you've driven quite a way today, you may want to relax at the camp this afternoon and see what animals come down to the waterhole, or you could opt to join a guided night drive or guided walk organised by the lodge. Don't forget to look up at night, there is so little light pollution that the Milky Way is clearly visible in a cloudless sky.
Today is what you have been waiting for, Etosha National Park, the jewel in Namibia's crown. This is excellent wildlife viewing without the crowds. The camp is only a 30 minute drive from the gate so it's a great opportunity to get there early and make the most of the cool temperatures. Your journey to your next destination is in the form of a game drive through the park to the eastern gate. Your route is your choice and there are plenty of waterholes to discover on the way, it's a peaceful way to watch the wildlife and learn the dynamics of the animals as they take turns to come to the water to drink. Mushara Bush Camp is only about 8km beyond the gates. Arrive in time to unpack and freshen up before dinner.
Today you can spend the full day in Etosha again if you wish, or explore part of it and return to camp for a siesta, the choice is yours. You could opt to take advantage of the professionals, and join one of the lodge's guided game drives (optional extra) and pick up some expert tips on animal behaviour. Etosha is known for the number of elephants that roam the land here and there is plenty of plains game too. Keep your eyes peeled for the predators that are often not far behind, following their next meal. Return to the lodge for a sundowner before dinner and spend some time chatting with fellow travellers around the camp fire.
You are nearing the end of your journey but it's not over yet. We recommend leaving early for the drive south via Otavi and Otjiwarongo to Okonjima Lodge. The drive is about 4.5 hours and if you arrive here by 2pm, then you can enjoy afternoon tea and cake before heading off on your afternoon excursion. There is lots to see and do here, and your hosts will be keen to share information on the work of the foundation. There's another opportunity to see more wildlife after dinner, then you can view some of the nocturnal inhabitants of the area. Finish off the day with some hearty Namibian hospitality and a night-cap before turning in for the final night of your trip.
Windhoek And Home
After a good night's sleep it's an early start to make the most of your last day. Head out on your morning activity which will be to visit the AfriCat Foundation or a game drive in the reserve. Afterwards, return to the lodge for a hearty Namibian breakfast before saying goodbye. The drive back to Windhoek is about 4 hours, giving you all time to reflect on the journey and remember your favourite bits. Then you drop off your trusty vehicle at the airport and your Namibian Family Safari comes to an end although we are sure you will be re-living the adventure for years to come, and perhaps already be planning your return.
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