General

Namibian Explorer – 9 Day Self Drive Adventure

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

  • Big Game viewing in Etosha National Park
  • Ancient rock paintings by Bushman in Damaraland
  • Amazing activities in Swakopmund
  • Towering red dunes in Sossusvlei

ITINERARY

DAY 1 Johannesburg – Windhoek – Etosha

Departure from Johannesburg on Air Nambia to Windhoek.

On arrival at Windhoek Airport, collect your hire car and embark on your 9 day Namibia adventure.

Make your way from Windhoek to the Etosha National Park, and Taleni Etosha Village – where you will be spending the following two nights.

Etosha National Park, considered one of southern Africa’s finest wildlife parks, is Namibia’s prime wilderness conservation area. Spanning a vast 22 300 km² (8 610 square miles), the Park consists of a mosaic of vegetation types that surround a huge salt pan, which becomes a lovely lake after heavy rains. Etosha, meaning “Great White Place”, hosts a vast array of wildlife, including four of the Big Five, as well as giraffes and rare species such as the black-faced impala, Hartmann’s Mountain zebra or the dimunutive Damara dik-dik.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Temporary water in the Etosha pan attracts huge flocks of flamingos
  • Annual migration of wildebeest, zebra, springbok and oryx
  • Frequent sightings of leopard
  • Floodlit waterholes
  • Excellent game viewing

Spend the following day self drive in Etosha National Park – to view the Big Five. Nothing beats the excitement of suddenly coming across a lion – remember do not get out of your vehicle.

OVERNIGHT: TALENI ETOSHA VILLAGE – Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 3 Etosha to Damaraland

You make your way from Etosha to the Damaraland area of Namibia today – where you will be spending two nights at Doro Nawas.

Situated to the east of the Skeleton Coast National Park and southwest of Etosha National Park is the breathtaking mountainous region of Damaraland.

Here, an assortment of unique desert-adapted animals, such as elephant, zebra and lion, seek out an existence in this near-barren landscape.

Not to be missed is the beautiful Brandberg, Namibia’s highest mountain, which is home to thousands of ancient rock paintings – most notably, the White Lady. Nearby, the rocky outcrops of Twyfelfontein feature exceptional Bushmen etchings, which are considered to be some of the best preserved etchings on the continent.

One of the region’s more unusual habitats is the Petrified Forest, which dates back millions of years and offers a haunting landscape of gigantic fossilised trees, some up to 30 metres (100 ft) in length.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Ancient rock painting of the White Lady at Brandberg
  • The Petrified Forest, where ancient fossilised tree trunks can be seen
  • Exceptional Bushman etchings at Twyfelfontein
  • Remarkable assortment of desert-adapted fauna and flora

African savannah with shrubs and acacias, sandy dry riverbeds, massive granite mountain tops and table mountains are characteristic of the wildly romantic scenery of Damaraland. Springbok and oryx antelope graze in the savannah; the famous desert-adapted elephants move through the dry riverbeds.

OVERNIGHT: DORO NAWAS – Dinner, Bed and Breakfast

DAY 5 Damaraland to Swakopmund

Today you depart Damaraland and head off to Swakopmund, where you will be spending two nights.

Swakopmund has a variety of exciting and interesting excursions and points of interest. We would recommend the Quad Biking, the tour of the Namib Desert, and a Dolphin Cruise.

Things to see and do in Swakopmund, Namibia

Swakopmund is high on the list of everyone’s Namibia itinerary and with good reason. The list of things to do in Swakopmund is astonishing and would take days to work through. Some of the activities are natural and others are manufactured by hair-brained adrenalin junkies.

Whatever your preference, Swakopmund has enough activities to keep you busy.

Some of our most recommended activities in and around Swakopmund include:

Marine cruise in Walvis Bay Lagoon (Walvis Bay) On a large catamaran or motorboat, the bay is calm and the waters full of life. This half day trip gives you close contact with seals, dolphins, birds and, if you’re very lucky, sightings of whales and a strange creature called a mola mola. The cruises finish with a champagne finger brunch and fresh Walvis Bay oysters on board.

Living Desert Tour (Swakopmund) A fascinating guided excursion into the world’s oldest desert is a must for any nature lover. Discover the minutiae of life in the seemingly barren wilderness including the odd Welwitschia plant and other bizarre desert-adapted lifeforms; eerie Marsian landscapes and sensuous dunescapes offer a fitting backdrop

Sandwich Harbour Excursion (Walvis Bay) A wetlands birding heritage site, this guided tour takes you to the almost inaccessible Sandwich Harbour south of Walvis Bay.

Birdwatching (Walvis Bay) Take your binos and your checklist, the Walvis Bay Lagoon, along with Sandwich Harbour, is a RAMSAR wetlands site crammed with flamingoes, plovers, grebes, terns, oystercatchers, gulls and many other migrants and residents.

Kayaking Tours (Walvis Bay) A gentle and peaceful way to explore the lagoon. Seals and dolphins always come and visit and you get much closer than the marine cruises (no oysters or champagne though!).

Scenic Flights and Ballooning (Swakopmund or Walvis Bay) Spectacular scenery as you fly over the dunes, wrecks and shoreline of the Skeleton Coast.

Adventure Sports (Swakopmund) – sky-diving, land yachting, karting, paragliding, sand-boarding, deep sea and shore fishing, surfing, kiting…

Tourist Attractions (Swakopmund) – Galleries, museums, aquarium, craft markets, curio shops, antiques, jewellers and souvenirs

Dining and Entertainment – Swakopmund has a large selection of coffee shops and restaurants specialising in seafood, game and meat, German fare and international standards. The town also sees a regular parade of music shows and stage productions and the German carnival is an annual extravaganza that transforms the town every June into a Bavarian film set.

OVERNIGHT: BRIGADOON COTTAGES, ATLANTIC VILLAS or SWAKOPMUND GUESTHOUSE – Bed and Breakfast

DAY 7 Swakopmund to Sossusvlei

We depart Swakopmund for Sossusvlei – a definite highlight of Namibia. Spend 2 Nights at either Desert Homestead or Desert Camp

Sossusvlei – One of the most spectacular sights in Namibia!

The Namib Naukluft Park is one of Africa’s oldest and certainly one of the most spectacular National Parks on the continent. A combination of the rocky Naukluft Mountains and wide open plains that gives rise the huge towering red dunes that reach more than 1000 feet, astound the visitor with the stark beauty and makes Sossusvlei one of Africa’s most photographed destinations.

The “vlei” itself is a clay pan surrounded by these dunes and on rare occasions following heavy rainfall, the floodwaters find their way to the pan to create a large body of water surrounded by extreme desolation. Most of the time the pan remains dry and is riddled with maze-like cracks caused by the baking sun. Most of the lodges in this area are set on the plains between the Naukluft Mountains and the dunes. When selecting your lodge please take into consideration that none of them are actually right among the dunes.

OVERNIGHT: DESERT HOMESTEAD or DESERT CAMP – Bed, Breakfast and Dinner

DAY 9 Sossusvlei – Windhoek – Departure

All good things must come to an end!

Depart Sossusvlei and drive back to Windhoek. Drop off your hire car, and return to Johannesburg on the services of Air Namibia