In 16 days, The Classic Namibia Guided Safari visits most of the highlights of Namibia: Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert, with its great sand sea, the charming town of Swakopmund and the Skeleton Coast; Damaraland, with its fascinating rock formations, Bushman rock art and desert-adapted wildlife; Kaokoland, the last frontier of true wilderness and the realm of the nomadic Himba people; Etosha National Park - one of Africa's great game parks; and the Waterberg Plateau, a scenic haven for Namibia's rare and endangered species.
Day 1: Windhoek ( 1 night )
You will be met by your guide on arrival in Windhoek and handed your tour package. Get to know each other and the wonder of Namibia's famed highlights over the next 16 days. This is just the beginning.
When you're there: Take a city tour of Windhoek on your way in from the airport. The remainder of the day can be spent relaxing at your own leisure. Let your guide make a recommendation and reservation for you for dinner. There are plenty of options for dining, from local cuisines to more fancy joints.
The Weinberg Windhoek
The Elegant Guesthouse
Day 2 & 3: Sossusvlei ( 2 nights )
From Windhoek head south to the Namib Desert and its Great Sand Sea. Arrive in time for a sundowner at your suitably poised lodge or atop the nearby Elim Dune. The drive takes about five to six hours, depending on the route you travel.
On the way: The drive reveals the transition from Kalahari thornveld to the true desert of the Namib. Take in the scenic views and enjoy a picnic lunch along the road. There are plenty of spots to stop that will take your breath away.
When you're there: Enter Sossusvlei at sunrise and remember to take plenty of film or memory, sun cream, a hat, walking shoes and water. Explore the world's highest dunes and Dead Vlei with its dry pan and petrified trees that are hundreds of years old; climb the dunes and look out over a sea of sand. Endless and vast. Go on a nature walk with your guide to explore the fauna and flora that survive in this arid desert.
Our tip: Book a hot air balloon safari. A truly magical experience.
Desert Quiver Camp
Day 4 & 5: Swakopmund ( 2 nights )
Today you make your way from the southern expanse of endless sand dunes of the Namib Desert to the cold Atlantic Ocean on the Skeleton Coast. Experience why this is the world's only coastal desert as the dunes disappear into the sea.
On the way: The desert gradually changes from giant dunes and mountains through the Gaub and Kuiseb Pass crossing the Tropic of Capricorn (stop for a photo op) to open plains as you near the ocean. Watch as mist starts to appear on the horizon. Then you know you are almost there. Detour inland if you wish to see the lunar landscape and the welwitschias or continue on to Walvis Bay to explore and have lunch. Alternatively take the back roads past the coastal dune belt. Stop at Dune 7 or make your way on to Swakopmund and check in before heading into town for the remainder of the day. Not sure which route to take? Don't worry your guide will explain the options based on what you'd most like to do and see on the coast for the next few days.
When you're there: There is loads to do and depending on what you'd like to do and when, you may even wish to add more nights in this unusual town with its German heritage. This is the activity centre of Namibia. Go quad biking or sand boarding in the dunes. Take a scenic flight. Cruise the seas on a dolphin boat cruise with champagne and oysters. Discover the Little Five on a living desert tour. Walk the desert at night, watch it come alive. Meander the remote coast of the Namib Naukluft Park to Sandwich Harbour. Spectacular.
Explore the activities in more detail.
Swakopmund Luxury Suites
Day 6: Damaraland ( 1 night )
Leaving the cool weather of the coast, today you head to Damaraland. The drive to get there is part of the activity for today. A scenic drive whichever route you take. Discover more of Namibia's untouched beauty. A longer day on the road, the drive will take roughly six hours, possibly longer if you wish to stop often on the way.
On the way: Head north to Henties Bay. Look out for the small settlement of Wlotskasbaken. Go see the Cape fur seal colony at Cape Cross. Then backtrack to Henties again and head inland via Uis, an old mining town. In the distance, the gigantic Brandberg Mountain. Even from afar it's size is impressive. If you want to go see it up close, you'll need to leave very early and possibly skip the seals. Continue on to your lodge in the Twyfelfontein area. Explore the highlights in the afternoon on arrival if time allows or if you arrive early enough let your guide take you on a drive in the river and look out for the desert-adapted elephants. Your other route option is to head further north from Cape Cross and meander along the coast all the way up to Torra Bay before heading inland. This will require an extra early start. A chance to spot some shipwrecks and grasp the magnitude of the desolate coast which goes on for miles.
When you're there: With only one night here, you should try taking in the highlights of the Twyfelfontein area, the rock engravings, Burnt Mountain and Organ Pipes on arrival. Enjoy your sundowner and dinner under Namibia's impressive sky.
Mowani Mountain Camp
Twyfelfontein Adventure Camp
Day 7 & 8: Damaraland - remote areas ( 2 nights )
This morning you head north through open plains and mountain ranges to Palmwag. The drive today is not as long and depending on your pick-up time you could still explore the dry riverbeds of Damaraland to search for the elephants before you head off. The lodge guide will collect you from the pick–up point (if staying at Desert Rhino Camp) with his safari vehicle and take you to the lodge from here.
On the way: It is not that far to the lodge (Desert Rhino Camp), but the road is quite rough and therefore the afternoon will be spent on a nature drive to get there. A great way to see the beautiful scenery, not to mention all the wildlife. If you're staying at Palmwag Lodge, head into the Palmwag Concession as you wish.
While you're there: A full day is set aside in this incredible area with activities such as a nature hike or game drive to enjoy this remote and harsh, but beautiful landscape. Maybe a chance to spot rhino or elephants.
*At Desert Rhino Camp your stay is booked on a fully inclusive basis and includes scheduled camp activities
Desert Rhino Camp
Day 9: Kaokoland ( 1 night )
Today you head to the most northern spot you'll reach in Namibia on this itinerary. Head back to your vehicle (from Desert Rhino Camp) and continue your guided safari. Today you are going to Opuwo.
On the way: The road winds through rocky outcrops and grassy plains typical of Damaraland as you head north to the remote areas of Kaokoland. The drive is not that long and that means you can spend some time relaxing when you arrive or go explore some of the local Himba tribes this afternoon with your guide or a lodge guide.
When you're there: Meet Himba villagers and discover their fascinating ways. Go in the morning to see the morning routines when the villagers are at their busiest. Go in the afternoon to discover more and see what the activities of a typical afternoon hold for these interesting people.
Luxury & Standard Accommodation
Opuwo Country Hotel
Day 10: Etosha National Park - West ( 1 night )
Head south back toward Damaraland then west towards Etosha National Park. The drive backtracks the same route for most of the way.
On the way: Look out for wildlife on both sides of the road, whether in Etosha on the western side of the park or on the private Hobatere Reserve.
When you're there: Enjoy an afternoon or evening game drive; birdwatching; scenic and photographic drives.
Day 11 & 12: Etosha National Park - South ( 2 nights )
After breakfast head south towards your next lodge. Look out for Etosha's wildlife, though the animals are far more wary of vehicles in the western regions. It's scenic and the bush is different in these parts. Stop at the hide at Olifantsrus.
When you're there: One full day on this side of the park means game drives, game drives and more game drives. Spectacular since both the wildlife and birdlife is phenomenal. Your guide knows the best waterholes and routes. Let him show you his favourite spots.
Day 13 & 14: Etosha National Park - East ( 2 nights )
Game drive eastwards to your next lodge.
On the way: You can stop as often as you like for as long as you like. There are many waterholes en route as you travel through the park to your lodge on the eastern side of Etosha Park. Keep your eyes peeled.
When you're there: Another full day to explore the park on the eastern side. The landscape is different yet equally as impressive. Go spend time at the waterholes. Watch and wait. Let the wildlife come to you as they search for water or go in search of them taking any of the many routes that take you deeper into the bush. Your guide will know where to go and he'll also check in with the rangers in the area for any intel on recent sightings.
Onguma Bush Camp
Day 15: Waterberg ( 1 night )
The drive to the Waterberg area will take about four hours.
On the way: Visit the world's largest meteorite: Hobe Metorite; have picnic lunch at Lake Otjikoto or Lake Guinas. Depart early and go hike in the Waterberg area if time allows. The aim however is to be at your lodge by lunch time so that you can make the most of your one night stay on the Okonjima Reserve or on Namibia's oldest game farm.
When you're there: The Waterberg Plateau Park has several excellent hiking trails, the wildlife and birdlife and scenery make for a good hike. Enjoy the activities on the private reserve or game farm with a lodge guide. Go on a nature drive or trek the game. It's a special experience.
*At Okonjima - 2 Scheduled camp activities are included in your stay. Discuss your activity schedule with the lodge on arrival
Okonjima Luxury Bush Camp
Otjiwa Safari Lodge
Day 16: Windhoek ( Departure / End of Tour )
The drive to Windhoek Airport for your return flight is short and comfortable on paved roads. The journey should take about three to four hours, so you've got time for an early wildlife activity and a leisurely breakfast.
On the way: Stop in Okahandja to buy any wooden crafts from the market.
You need to be at the airport 2 hours before your departure flight which will mean an afternoon or late evening departure flight is best. Bid your guide farewell. What an amazing adventure the past 16 days have been.