Day 1: Windhoek
You're met on arrival in Windhoek by the car rental company representative and transferred to their offices to complete all rental procedures. Drive to Olive Grove Guesthouse, a small upmarket establishment situated close to the city centre in a quiet, peaceful area. The Olive Exclusive guesthouse takes homely atmosphere to a different level. Recently completely refurbished, each room has been decorated and painted with new colour schemes allowing a different feel, but with the same elegant and simplistic emphasis on décor.
Windhoek in Central Namibia, the cosmopolitan city is home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look, including the Alte Feste an old fort, the 1896 Christuskirche Christ Church, and the more contemporary Supreme Court.
Days 2-3: Sossusvlei
Drive south from Windhoek to Desert Homestead Horse Trails, Sossusvlei where you'll spend two nights. The Desert Homestead Lodge is well-known for its guided trail rides in the Namib Desert. Morning and evening trail rides may spontaneously be booked in the lodge.
Located in the scenic Namib-Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei is home to the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red dunes make this one of the most scenic natural wonders of Africa and a photographer's heaven. This awe-inspiring destination is one of Namibia's premier attractions, with its unique dunes rising to almost 400 metres - some of the highest in the world. These iconic dunes come alive in morning and evening light and draw photography enthusiasts from around the globe.
Sossusvlei is home to a variety desert wildlife including oryx, springbok, ostrich and a variety of reptiles. Visitors can climb 'Big Daddy', one of Sossusvlei’s tallest dunes; explore Deadvlei, a white, salt, claypan dotted with ancient trees; or for the more extravagant, scenic flights and hot air ballooning are on offer, followed by a once-in-a-lifetime champagne breakfast amidst these majestic dunes.
Days 4-5: Swakopmund
Swakopmund Guesthouse is situated in Swakopmund town centre and only a 5 min walk from the beach and main shopping area, owned and run by the Borg family. Previously used as a holiday home it has been completely revamped, in a very elegant and modern style. A bed and breakfast for the upmarket traveller who demands high comfort levels, personalized service and a short distance to the beach.
Swakopmund is on Namibia's spectacularly scenic coast, a seaside town known for its wide-open avenues, colonial architecture, and its surrounding otherworldly desert terrain. Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany! Now a seaside resort town, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, adventure options, laid-back atmosphere and cool sea breeze make it a very popular Namibian destination. Visitors can look forward to a number of exciting activities including: quad biking, horse riding, paragliding, fishing, sightseeing and fascinating desert tours.
Days 6-7: Twyfelfontein
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Twyfelfontein in Damaraland is home to one of the largest collections of rock-art engravings found in Southern Africa. Not only did the Khoi-San and tribes of ancient years leave us with a true cultural heritage, but the whole area is characterised by natural wonders such as Doros Crater, Burnt Mountain, Organ Pipes, Petrified Forest and desert adapted animals – of which the desert adapted elephant is probably the most well-known species.
Twyfelfontein Country Lodge is a true landmark in the heart of one of the world’s most magnificent wilderness regions. Nestled along the mountainside, the lodge beautifully blends in with its surrounding environment. Using natural stone, carefully selected paint colours and thatched roofs, its design compliments the sandstone rock formations with minimum visual impact on this picturesque landscape. Magnificent views from the deck over the Huab Valley, desert plains and distant mountains provides for hours of relaxed comfort, peace and tranquillity. Twyfelfontein is much more than just accommodation; it is a destination in itself.
Set in the Kunene Region of north-western Namibia, Twyfelfontein is a spectacularly scenic area, featuring one of the largest and most important concentrations of rock art in Africa. The name ‘Twyfelfontein’ translates to ‘Fountain of Doubt’, which refers to the perennial spring situated in the impressive Huab valley flanked by the slopes of a sandstone table mountain. It was this spring that attracted Stone Age hunters over six thousand years ago, and it was during this time that the extensive group of rock engravings and paintings were produced.
Day 8: Ongava Private Game Reserve
Stay at Andersson's At Ongava, an interactive hub for guests to be a part of conservation science, where cutting edge technology meets hands-on, field-based research. Guests at Andersson’s at Ongava have the option of being immersed in and can contribute to developing creative, knowledge driven solutions with resident scientists, visiting researchers, conservationists and rhino security personnel, or simply relaxing and enjoying the luxurious guest suites, waterhole, photographic hide, and pool where they will find their own personal place for reflection.
Ensuring a light footprint and an exceptional experience, Andersson’s at Ongava has seven contemporary designed luxury guest units and one family unit, accommodating a maximum of 18 guests. Sharing the southern boundary with Etosha National Park, the prolific 30 000-hectare private Ongava Game Reserve is considered one of the top private game reserves in the region, enjoying global recognition for exceptional conservation, ground-breaking research and exciting safari experiences.
- A landscape of vast open plains dotted with salt plans and abundant wildlife
- Visitors can easily access Etosha through Andersson’s Gate in the south
- Ongava is a popular destination for those looking to immerse themselves in nature
- The reserve offers visitors the perfect combination of wildlife safari experiences within and around the Etosha National Park
- One of Ongava’s top attractions is its rhino population and guests can experience the thrill of getting close to these majestic creatures
- Popular activities include: night game drives, guided nature walks, bird watching and 4x4 guided game drives
Days 9-10: Etosha East
Mushara Bush Camp is great for families visiting the Etosha National Park, it' the first totally child friendly lodge in the area with complimentary child-minders, kiddies pool and kiddies corner. The main Bush Camp area is thatched with a true bush camp feel to it. Your days can be spent absorbing the peaceful bush surroundings or exploring Etosha National Park, while the early evenings see a camp fire lit where you can exchange stories of the day's wildlife sighting. Dinner, lunch and breakfast are served on the thatched veranda with the bush being a mere step away.
The 16 custom made en-suite tents are built from a combination of canvas, wood and local limestone. With their own 8 square metre private veranda and roof to floor windows, these rooms are spacious and airy. Each large bathroom has an oversized window and shower looking into the surrounding bush. The brushed cement floors and lime stone walls keep the rooms cool from the afternoon sun. Four of these tents are ideally suited for families with small children as they have a
sleeper couch for two children.
Located in northwestern Namibia, Etosha East is a protected sanctuary in the eastern part of the world-renowned Etosha National Park, known as one of the most accessible game reserves in Southern Africa.
- Etosha East boasts vast open plains scattered with semi-arid savannah grasslands dotted with watering holes and secluded bush camps
- An impressive 5000-square-kilometre Etosha salt pan makes up a large area of the eastern side of the park and can even be seen from space
- Abundant wildlife such as lions, elephants, black rhinos and giraffes, as well as a variety of birdlife featuring flamingos, ostriches, eagles, hornbills, and owls.
Day 11: Okonjima Nature Reserve
Okonjima Nature Reserve is midway between the spectacular Etosha National Park and the capital city of Windhoek. The 22 000 ha nature reserve is home to AfriCAT, a carnivore sanctuary, which gives captive cats a second chance to be released back into the wild and become completely independent hunters in a protected area right in the middle of commercial cattle farmland. Visitors can enjoy a stay at a variety of excellent accommodation options including everything from luxury villas to secluded camping. Enjoy thrilling cat tracking guided safaris, leopard-spotting, off-road night drives and learn about local San culture along the Bushmen trail.
Okonjima Plains Camp has 10 spacious View Rooms, 14 spacious Standard Rooms and six affordable Garden Rooms.
- Family-friendly and wheelchair accessible
- 700m from the airstrip within the secluded wilderness area of Okonjima Nature Reserve and has majestic sunset views
- Primary focus on carnivore conservation through The AfriCat Foundation
- Excellent for wildlife photography, famed for its cheetah, brown hyena and leopard sightings.
Day 12: End of safari
Early morning rise for a quick snack before joining the morning activity which will be to visit the AfriCat Foundation or for a drive in the animal enclosure. Return to the lodge for a hearty Namibian breakfast before departure. Head back to Windhoek today (about 4 hours) where the vehicle is dropped off and this safari ends. Bear in mind that if you are flying out today, the airport is about 1 hour beyond Windhoek, and you need to add 2 hours pre departures so outbound flight must be late afternoon or evening.