May to Oct
Namibia is a soul-stirring destination. Burnt-orange dunes stand a thousand feet high against a cobalt sky here on Africa’s southwest coast. Diamonds have been nestled into the sand mountains by waves and wind. The unrelenting ocean washes the coastal desert, while the sun bakes the plains inland into a fractured jigsaw of dried mud, pocked with enough grass and thornbush to support desert rhinoceros and other endangered animals. Arid gorges slicing across broad plateaus are surveyed by raptors, and dry riverbeds flow like veins throughout the terrain. There’s water here, too, though it’s hardly noticeable. Life is sometimes maintained solely by fog that drifts in from the sea. Waterholes attract wildlife in the desolate Etosha salt pan.
Namibia has one of the world’s most diverse animal populations, despite its dry climate. Namibia is home to 676 bird species, 90 of which are Southern African (13 are Namibian). It also has 217 mammal species, with 26 of them being endemic. The «Big Five» (lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, and leopard) may be found across the nation.
The following itinerary is a complete Namibia experience and can be customized to fit your interests and requirements. Contact your NPE Expedition Advisor to plan your Namibia experience.
WHAT MAKES THIS TRIP EXTRAORDINARY
- Travel with one of Namibia’s most well-known naturalist guides.
- Embark on a marine cruise on the Atlantic Ocean and enjoy close encounters with seals, dolphins, marine birds, and possibly even whales.
- Track for desert-adapted elephants.
- Walk amongst pre-historic rock art at the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Twyfelfontein.
- Visit the iconic and scenic Erongo Mountain area.
- Climb some of the world’s highest free-standing sand dunes at Sossusvlei.
Namibia is a completely different Africa. Beauty, adaptation, wildlife, all in one. Will go back.
Laura D. – Douglas-CO
If you have any questions, please let us know. We are here to help you!
Itinerary in Brief
Arrive in Windhoek:
Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, is nestled among undulating hills, limited on the east by the Eros Mountains, on the south by the Auas Mountains, and on the west by the Khomas Hochland. It is a crossroads of Africa and Europe: the new and the ancient. Well-preserved German colonial buildings contrast dramatically with current architectural forms on the capital’s main boulevard.
After landing at Windhoek’s Airport, you will be welcomed by an NPErepresentative who will transfer you to the Olive Exclusive Boutique Hotel, where you will spend your first two nights. After you arrive at The Olive Exclusive, you will have time to settle into your room before dinner.
Overnight: The Olive Exclusive Boutique (B, D).
Windhoek to Sossusvlei
Your NPE guide will pick you up from The Olive Exclusive Boutique in the morning. After that, you and your guide will leave Kalahari in your safari vehicle and head southwest over the magnificent Khomas Hochland mountains before heading down the Great Escarpment into the Namibia Desert below. A picnic lunch will be served and ready for you along the way. You’ll arrive in the late afternoon at Desert Homestead Outpost, where you’ll spend two nights as your guide shows you around the Namibia Desert’s incredible sights. If there is enough time, you can choose between visiting the Sesriem Canyon, a local geological feature, or you can relax and soaking in the picturesque and serene surroundings at Desert Homestead Outpost.
Overnight at Desert Homestead Outpost (B, L, D).
You’ll get up early this morning for a spectacular expedition into the Namibia Naukluft National Park with your guide, entering the park gates at daybreak to capture the dunes while the light is soft and shadows enhance their towering shapes and curves. This region hosts some of the world’s tallest free-standing dunes. Your guide will explain how the Namibia Desert was formed and the remarkable wildlife and plants that have evolved to resist the harsh conditions of this area. After you’ve got your fill of exploring, sit back and relax with a picnic meal under the shade of a camel thorn tree. Return in the early afternoon for a late lunch, pausing to see Sesriem Canyon if you haven’t previously. After that, you’ll travel to the Desert Grace Lodge in Gondwana Namibia Park, where you’ll spend the night.
Sossusvlei to Swakopmund
The fascinating trip today takes you northwest through the Namibia Naukluft National Park’s spectacular and ever-changing desert vistas, including the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. You’ll meet the shore in Walvis Bay, then continue north to Swakopmund, where you’ll spend the following two nights enjoying the nice seaside location and cooler coastal air. Before heading off for supper at the famed Tug Restaurant by the jetty, there will be time this afternoon to stroll around town and along the waterfront on foot if it appeals.
Swakopmund is a little German coastal city desert and the sea. It features a wonderful blend of German colonial architecture, as well as excellent hotels, boutiques, restaurants, museums, craft centers, galleries, and cafés. The Imperial Navy installed beacons on location in 1892, and Swakopmund was born as a landing station.
Overnight at Strand Hotel (B, L, D).
In the morning, after an early breakfast, you will embark on an exhilarating dolphin cruise in the Walvis Bay Lagoon. Seals, dolphins, and, if you’re lucky, whales can all be seen here. After your expedition, you can relax at the Strand Hotel or explore the town for the rest of the afternoon.
Overnight at Strand Hotel (B, L, D).
Swakopmund to Damaraland
Continue your safari by driving north and east into Damaraland, a beautiful and diverse country. Along the route, you’ll cross Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg, which stands at 2,573 meters above sea level, and stop to admire and absorb the magnificence of the environment. Colorful displays, majestic table-topped mountains, rock formations, and strange-looking plants characterize Damaraland. Wind, water, and geological forces have eroded this environment, resulting in rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains, and ancient river terraces.
The area’s variety and solitude, as well as its scenic magnificence, will reward and astound you, giving you a true sense of the term «wilderness.» If time permits, your guide will take you to the adjacent sights and geological sites of Twyfelfontein rock engravings (recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), Burnt Mountain, and the Organ Pipes.
Overnight at Doro Nawas (B, L, D).
Following an early breakfast, you will be taken to an exhilarating 4×4 drive through the ephemeral Aba Huab River valley to explore this magnificent location and look for animals, including the elusive desert-adapted elephants if they are present. Usually, you’ll pack a picnic lunch and eat it in the shade of a large Ana tree, ideally while watching a herd of elephants browses nearby, but you can alternatively return to Camp for lunch if you choose. If you haven’t already done so the previous day, your guide will schedule a visit to Twyfelfontein and other surrounding sights at a convenient time. When you get back to Camp, you will have enough time to go for a walk around the neighborhood with your guide or simply rest and enjoy some well-deserved rest.
Overnight at Doro Nawas (B, L, D).
Day 8 & 9
Damaraland to South Etosha National Park Boundary
After an early breakfast, we will head 90 kilometers south to Etosha Mountain Lodge. In the late afternoon, you will arrive at Etosha Mountain Lodge and, if time permits, go on a thrilling sundowner drive on the Etosha Heights Private Reserve. The next two days will be spent participating in resort activities with your local guide.
South Etosha National Park Boundary to Central highlands
After breakfast, we will head to Erongo Mountains, where you will spend the next night at Epako Safari Lodge.
South Etosha National Park Boundary to Central highlands
You will leave for Windhoek after breakfast in the morning. If it appeals, we’ll stop at the Okahandja woodcarvers artisan market for some last-minute curio purchasing. Your guide will bring you back to Galton House for the final night of your safari when you arrive in Windhoek. This evening, you and your guide can dine at Galton House or at one of the town’s popular restaurants. And prepare for your departure back home on the next day.
Okahandja, a town of immense significance to the Herero people since it was formerly the seat of Chief Samuel Maharero, is located just north of Windhoek. Thousands of Hereros arrive in the town every year on Heroes’ Day, August 26th, to pay honor to the tombs of their great chiefs. Some of the women are dressed in traditional red and black, while others are dressed in green and black, while the males are dressed in full military regalia with medals.
The Olive Exclusive Boutique Hotel
Olive Exclusive is a charming new inviting boutique hotel in the calm neighborhood of Eros, near Windhoek’s city center. This new, elegant hotel is nestled within an olive tree plantation and offers unique suite accommodation with a beautiful view across the olive groves and the Windhoek highlands. Premier suites and junior suites are available. All guests have access to a stunning shared pool set within the olive grove, while premier suites include a large balcony and a plunge pool. All suites offer a private lounge and dining room, allowing guests to enjoy meals with their families or join the rest of the guests in the main restaurant.
Desert Homestead Outpost
Located deep within Desert Homestead Lodge’s 7000-acre nature reserve, the Outpost welcomes guests with casual hospitality in a natural setting. From the 11 houses, the family apartment, or the main house with a restaurant, lounge, and pool located at the foot of a mountain, you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view.
Th e Desert Grace
The Desert Grace is located 5.6 miles from Weltevrede 4WD-Trail in a Solitaire Region. At the resort, guests can enjoy a continental breakfast. In addition, the lodge has an outdoor pool. The Desert Grace’s guests can go cycling nearby or relax on the sun patio. Sunset Picnic Spot is 8.7 miles away, while Viewpoint is 8.7 miles away.
The Strand Hotel
The Strand Hotel is a social epicenter and destination in itself for all visitors to and residents of Swakopmund, with its extensive, unique, and creatively entertaining restaurants, bars, deli, lobby lounge, sea-facing terraces, beach kiosk, and Conference & Banqueting Center. The Strand Hotel is a short walk from the town center and features vast stretches of sandy beach just outside its door. There are 125 rooms in all, 90 percent of which have views of the beach or the sea, and 10% of which have views of the garden or the park. Each room is tastefully decorated and includes en-suite bathrooms, complimentary internet WiFi access, Air Conditioning, Electronic Door Locks, Hairdryers, Safes, Direct Dial Telephones, LCD Televisions with Satellite TV Channels, Tea/Coffee Stations, Stocked Mini-Bars, and Working Desks with 220v International Plug Points for Europe, the United Kingdom, and South Africa.
Doro Nawas, which means «the site where rhinoceros used to reside» in Damara, appears as a stronghold on a rocky citadel, with 16 wood, canvas, and thatch suites, including a family unit, around it. The camp mixes in with the surrounding ochres and rusts, opens to the desert, and has a refreshing pool area. A bedroom, bathroom, outdoor shower, and balcony for stargazing or sleeping beneath the stars are included in each guest room. Indoor and outdoor dining places, as well as a small curio shop, are available.
Etosha Mountain Lodge
Etosha Mountain Lodge is situated in the Kamanjab Region, bordering the South-Western boundary of the Etosha national park. Etosha Mountain Lodge consists of 1 suite with six luxury chalets, built with privacy in mind and with a breathtaking view. The main complex, also with a wonderful view, includes a reception area, lounge, dining room, bar, swimming pool with teak deck, and wine cellar (grotto) where you can taste the best wines. A large number of game species can be found here, including black Rhino and White Rhino, Giraffe, Eland, Mountain Zebra, Kudu, Oryx, Cheetah, Leopard, Springbuck, Blue Wildebeest, Warthog, Duiker, Black-faced Impala, and sable antelope.
Epako Game Lodge
Epako Game Lodge is nestled amongst scenic mountains, overlooking the ephemeral Epako River. The Lodge is surrounded by 11,000 hectares of the dense African bush, harboring a rich diversity of wildlife and bird species. A game that can be seen on the reserve includes giraffe, rhino, cheetah, leopard, wildebeest (blue and black), impala, springbok, waterbuck, eland, hartebeest, zebra, ostrich, klipspringer, dik-dik, steenbok, kudu, oryx, caracal, and black-backed jackal. Accommodation consists of luxury en-suite rooms, complete with telephone, air-conditioning, mini-bar, and terrace.
Galton House is named after Sir Francis Galton, a well-known explorer. It has a laid-back but efficient aesthetic that produces a warm and inviting atmosphere. Located just ten minutes drive from the city center and on the outskirts of Windhoek’s most affluent suburb, Eros, travelers vacationing here may expect peace and tranquility. A big parlor, dining room, swimming pool, and garden are among the community spaces. There’s also a lovely dining area beside the pool that serves delicious, freshly prepared meals. A multitude of shops, restaurants, and supermarkets are available within walking distance.
When to go
Namibia can be visited at any time of year because of its dry and warm weather. Between December and March, days with high humidity and a chance of rain, primarily in afternoon thunderstorms, are possible.
The best time to watch animals is during the dry season, from May to October. Wildlife gathers together around rivers and waterholes, making it easier to spot them. Also, weather-wise, clear skies are common during this dry season, making days sunnier and with excellent visibility.
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