Welcome to Namibia. Clear customs, collect your luggage and make your way to the car hire desk to pick up your vehicle. Then your Namibia adventure begins. The drive to the city is 45kms, you'll get your first glimpse of the magnificent scenery that will be a constant throughout your holiday. Check-in at your guest house, close enough to be able to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city but also the peace and tranquility of a residential suburb. Choose to relax and recover from your flight, or head out to explore the city.
Start the day with a delectable breakfast and then set off for the Namib desert. You have time so it's worth driving via the beautiful Spreetshoogte Pass where the view from the top of the escarpment is stunning. Being in your own car means you have the flexibility to stop and stretch your legs or take a photo wherever and whenever you wish. Your accommodation is perfectly placed for exploring the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The camp is located in a secluded, scenic spot with sweeping views across the landscape. It seems a million miles from anywhere, surrounded by the untouched beauty of nature.
An early start is recommended. The Sossuvlei dunes are at their best in the morning light, just after sunrise. It's a photographer's paradise, the rich orange Sossusvlei sand dunes, rising up towards the blue skies. Close to Sossusvlei is Deadvlei, a clay pan where dark dead camelthorn trees stretch up from the white pan floor with red sand dunes in the background, another great photo opportunity. It's worth the 1km hike from the carpark - just make sure you take water. Sesriem Canyon is a popular attraction just outside the entrance gate to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. So named by early Afrikaans explorers as they had to use six (ses) leather straps (riem) tied together to fetch water from the canyon below. Return to Desert Hills Glamping Camp for dinner and a good night's rest.
Continue the drive and make for Swakopmund on the coast where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Namib dunes. On the way you enter the small town of Solitaire. It started out as a single cottage but has since developed into a very small town with a petrol pump (the only place to get fuel between here and Walvis Bay), small garage, post office, general dealer and a bakery renowned for apple pie. Still heading north you pass through the Tropic of Capricorn, through the Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons via the Namib Gravel Plains to the Skeleton Coast. You can continue on the C14 to Walvis Bay and Swakopmund or detour via Ganab to the Welwitschia Plains and Moon Landscape. Check-in at Meerkat Guesthouse and start to explore this quaint coastal town.
Swakopmund has plenty to offer in terms of adventure, experiences and excitement, all you have to do is decide what you want to do. One popular suggestion is a dolphin cruise departing from Walvis Bay. Curious seals usually follow the boat in search of a snack and pelicans are not ones to miss an opportunity either. Quad biking in the sand dunes (helmets provided) and various other activities are on offer for the more adventurous. You may just want to explore the town and take in the wonderful restaurants, bars, boutiques and shops. Swakopmund is yours for the taking.
Day 6 & 7
Damaraland awaits, make your way there via the Cape Cross seal colony. You have two nights here, so why not spend the second day exploring the attractions of the area. There are ancient rock art sites, well worth discovering, over 2000 petroglyphs have been counted. Geology enthusiasts will be enchanted by the Organ Pipes, and if you're around early morning or late evening, cast a glance towards the Burnt Mountain and see why it's been given that name. Closer to home you could chat to your lodge about joining an elephant tracking excursion (optional extra).
Day 8 & 9
The highlight for many visitors to Namibia is Etosha National Park and it seldom disappoints. The vast salt pan, easily visible from space, dominates the landscape. Your accommodation is just outside the south entrance to the park, so if you arrive in good time, you could venture in for an afternoon game drive. On the second day make sure you take a picnic lunch and then you can explore the various areas of the park for the whole day. It's a good idea to park up at a waterhole for a while and see what comes to the water's edge. Etosha's elephants are fascinating and have a ghost like white appearance due to dust bathing.
After breakfast, head back into Etosha once more, this time you are travelling east to a new location. Take a slow drive in the morning and stop for a picnic lunch, or for a change enjoy lunch at the Halali Resort restaurant which is half way between Okaukuejo and the eastern exit gate (optional). On the way to Halali, stop at some of the many waterholes in search of the Big 5, Later, why not park up by Klein Namutoni waterhole which can be great in the late afternoon. Arrive at your accommodation in time to enjoy a sundowner and freshen up before dinner.
Enjoy breakfast and then it's time to begin the drive back down to Windhoek, taking time to enjoy the vast Namibian landscapes for one last time. You drive from Mushara to Tsumeb and then via Otavi and Otjiwarongo back to Windhoek International Airport. After handing back your hire car, check-in for your flight and then relax and ponder the wonderful experiences you've enjoyed over the last few days in Namibia before you head home.
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