Your trip is literally a lasso shaped chunk of north west Namibia, encompassing vast sand dunes, a punishing desert and the desolate coastline of the Skeleton Coast. Taking to the skies you’ll have a sense of the vastness. Plus you’ll get a healthy dose of wildlife thrown in. You’ll wander through one of Earth's last remaining wilderness areas, perhaps running into a herd of desert-adapted elephant before finishing your trip in Etosha. This great park has floodlit waterholes and is home to 114 species.
Day 1 & 2: NamibRand Nature Reserve ( 2 nights )
It all begins in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city. We’ll meet you on arrival and give you your travel package as well as discuss your route and itinerary for the days that lie ahead. Exciting times! Next, you’ll meet your pilot and check in for your private charter flight to the NamibRand Nature Reserve. Take to the skies, your flight will take about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
On the way: It’s a stunning start to your holiday. Namibia from the sky is jaw-dropping and we don’t say that lightly. You will fly above the world’s oldest arid landscape. You will see its vastness and the endless horizons, get a sense of the sheer majesty of great piles of sand. Brilliant colours: think ochre, gold, sienna, red. An artist’s palette of hot, warm yellows in stark contrast to the ocean. This totally sets the scene for your next couple of days.
When you're there: When you land you will be driven to your lodge which is perched on top of a dune plateau. The lodge reflects the ambience of a tented camp, but provides the comfort and protection of a permanent building. Settle in and then you’ll either go on an afternoon drive across those very same dunes, exploring for 2-3 hours depending on when you arrived, or go for a sundowner drive later.
Day 2 will be a full day drive with a picnic lunch in the middle of nowhere. You’ll spend 6-8 hours seeing vast stretches of untouched sand. Here nature finds a way to survive and flourish. Wildlife too. It's magical.
And to round your days off, the NamibRand Nature Reserve has been proclaimed Africa's first International Dark Sky Reserve, which basically means it’s one of the best places on earth to star-gaze, so get comfy and look up.
*All scheduled camp activities included
Wolwedans Dunes Lodge
Day 3 & 4: Sossusvlei ( 2 nights )
Today you delve deeper into the desert. Leaving behind one reserve to explore another contender for most mind blowing part of Namibia. You’re heading to the mighty Sossusvlei. It’s a short charter flight - only about 20 minutes - and then you’ll be driven to Sossusvlei Desert Lodge.
On the way: A short hop over flight from Wolwedans to your lodge near Sossusvlei means there's not a whole lot to do on the way, but to enjoy the endless dunes and views from above. The Namib Desert is simply spectacular!
When you're there: There's lots included here - all meals, a nature drive, a guided nature walk, a quad bike trip, stargazing at a state of the art observatory (accompanied by a resident astronomer!) plus there are hiking trails, San rock paintings and the Petrified dunes to explore.
There’s a trip to Sossusvlei itself included, plus Sesriem Canyon and Dead Vlei. Dead Vlei is famous for its 900-year-old fossilised Acacia trees and huge white clay pan. Dune 45, Big Daddy and Elim Dune are all here too, choose which to climb. They’re best visited in the morning or late afternoon when the colours are more vibrant and the heat less oppressive.
Our tip: Extend your stay here with another night and you'll get a hot air balloon safari included or a helicopter flip over Sossusvlei. Why wouldn't you?
Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
Day 5 & 6: Skeleton Coast ( 2 nights )
And now for something entirely different. Even the weather changes. You’ll be driven to the airstrip to catch your private charter scenic flight to Swakopmund.
On the way: This flight takes about an hour and a half. You’ll fly over Sandwich Harbour - a place where the desert literally meets the sea and neither side relents. The huge sand dunes rise up right beside the crashing waves. It’s like the desert and the ocean have puffed up, both showcasing their might. Fly along the coast and over the old diamond mines.
Once at Swakopmund, you’ll refuel for 30 minutes before flying further along the Skeleton Coast. Now you will see how the sea takes no mercy. Shipwrecks, rusting hulls and ruined remains lie desolate. Finished by nature. You’ll land in Mowe Bay and be transferred to your lodge, appropriately named Shipwreck Lodge.
Again, all meals are included as well as scheduled daily excursions, park fees and local branded drinks.
When you're there: There’s a lot to do. You can go on game drives within the Skeleton Coast National Park, go for walks and sundowners on the beach or even go quad biking or sand boarding across the dunes. There’s a 4x4 trip to the Clay Castles, the Hoanib River Delta and the Mowe Bay seal colony, plus visits to the Suiderkus and Karimona shipwrecks. There’s even the opportunity to drive along the Hoarusib River to track wildlife. Look out for the elephants who have famously adapted themselves to survive here. They’re pretty impressive. Weather permitting, a beach lunch sounds fabulous!
Day 7 & 8: Kaokoland ( 2 nights )
Next stop, Hartmann Valley, Kaokoland. You’ll be driven back to the airstrip and board for your flight which takes about 50 minutes. You’ll then drive to your lodge, Serra Cafema.
On the way: This is a very remote location, very remote indeed. In fact it’s so remote you have to fly in to reach it. The only way to get there. Welcome to a land of contrasts too. There, in front of the lodge, flows the Kunene River. It’s a place where Nile crocodiles like to swim, and water birds wade, look out for the Burchell's courser and Benguela long-billed lark and because there is water, there’s vegetation. The backdrop is that now familiar, lunar landscape one. Dunes, plains and mountains of the Namib Desert.
While you're there: As well as having all meals and local branded drinks provided, you also have nature drives in the valley, a boat trip on the river, walks to the valleys and waterfalls, quad biking and a visit to an authentic Himba village included. If you’re on a full day trip you’ll be given a picnic lunch too.
Serra Cafema Camp
Day 9 & 10: Etosha National Park ( 2 nights )
The next couple of days will be spent positively indulging in wildlife. You’re off to Etosha, Namibia’s most famous national park. Here, you’ll find four of the Big Five mammals (everything but the buffalo) as well as zebra, the rare Black-faced impala, oryx, cheetah, giraffe, eland and hyena. During the rainy season, one million flamingoes use Etosha as a breeding ground. Falcons, harriers and the Egyptian vulture can also be found here.
On the way: You’ll be driven back to the airstrip for your onward flight, then you will take a private charter from Hartmanns Valley to Ondangwa to refuel before arriving at the private Ongava Reserve.
Etosha is one of Africa's great game parks. With 114 species of mammal and 340 species of birds there’s a huge variety to see.
When you're there: Once again, all meals and local branded drinks are included. Hooray! You will be taken on game drives into Etosha and on bush walks and safaris in the private reserve, which also has several hides and waterholes. And a chance to track rhino.
Little Ongava Lodge
Day 11: Windhoek ( Departure / End of Tour )
Your safari comes to an end here but you’ll still have your morning activity to enjoy before thinking about leaving.
Then it’s a private charter flight from Etosha to Windhoek International Airport. The flight time is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. And remember that you need to be at the airport 2 hours before your international departure flight time.
Finally, it’s been said before but is SO worth saying again, travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. Muse on that in the airport shop.