The Namibia Explorer
A 10 Day Namibian Adventure
The Namibia Explorer Safari
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 safari is a "limited participation camping safari" because guests "participate" by setting up their own tent, carrying their luggage from the vehicle to the tent, and sleeping on a mattress pad (not a bed or cot). Many guests will also pitch in with the cooking, though this is not required. Each safari is accompanied by a professional guide and a camp assistant who will ensure your safari is safe, educational, and fun.
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Day 1 | Windhoek - Okonjima
We travel north, stopping at small towns along the way including Okahandja, where we have time to visit Namibia’s largest wood carving market. 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 group working with 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 program. 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. (Lunch, dinner)
Day 3 | Etosha National Park
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 camp for the night at Okaukuejo. Visit the famous 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 4 | Etosha - Grootberg Area
Leaving Etosha we begin our journey south. 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. We overnight here – camping under the stars. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 5 | Grootberg Area - Twyfelfontein
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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 6 | Twyfelfontein - Swakopmund
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. From here we turn directly west and cross the “gravel plains” on our way to the Atlantic Ocean and the Skeleton Coast. Meeting the ocean at Henties Bay, we first head north along the coast to visit the seal colony at Cape Cross, where there can be as many as 100,000 seals.
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. (Breakfast)
Day 7 | Swakopmund
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 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 airplane 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. (Breakfast, option activities not included)
Day 8 | Swakopmund - Sesriem
Our first stop is at Walvis Bay. 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. 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. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 | Sossusvlei
A pre-dawn start is essential this morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. 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. 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 Sesriem Canyon. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Day 9 | Return to Windhoek
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.
2018 Departure Dates
Camping tents are dome-shaped with built-in ground-sheets and screened windows and doors. They allow standing headroom and are simple to put up, though your guide will help with this. The mattresses you’ll find inside are approximately 5cm thick and covers are supplied, along with all other camping equipment, including chairs with backrests, tables, washstands, cutlery and crockery.
If you wish to sleep in a sleeping bag (which you will do during winter months!), you can hire them from us or bring your own.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, our tents are 100% bug proof, as long as they are securely closed. You will have the same tent for the duration of your trip, and it is up to you to make sure that you do not have any uninvited guests in the middle of the night!
Transport: Most of the safaris will use our Toyota Dyna 14 seater vehicles with pop-tops, like the one below. The vehicles have modified seating for more leg room and there are large windows for game viewing, while the pop-tops are great for photographing game. Smaller groups may travel in either a minibus or double cab or similar, again pictured below. These vehicles are great for game viewing and also have large windows and a pop-top roof.
GROUP SIZE: All safaris will depart with a minimum of 2 clients.
PAYMENT: A non-refundable, 20% deposit is required to confirm booking. Balance is due 7 weeks before departure.
Other terms & conditions apply.
- $1560.00 (Jan 1- Mar 31, 2018)
- $1710.00 (Apr 1, '18 - Mar 31,'19)
Rates are per person sharing and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. No single supplement.
Length: 9 nights/10 days
Route: Starts and ends in Windhoek
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