Experience the wild natural beauty and desert-adapted wildlife on Namibia in style on this private 10-day itinerary. Photograph the immense dunes of Sossusvlei at sunrise and go kayaking through the wildlife-rich waters of Walvis Bay before marveling at the UNESCO-listed rock engravings of Twyfelfontein and wildlife-spotting at waterholes in Etosha National Park.
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Custom Trip Note: Below is our most popular "private" safari in Namibia, however, we can customize this trip at every turn to fit your availability, trip preference, activities, budget, lodging preferences or any other reason. Please call us at 800 214 0579 to customize any private Namibia trip.
Welcome to Namibia!
Windhoek to Sossusvlei area
This morning, you’ll be collected you from your accommodation in Windhoek or from the Windhoek International Airport (if you land before 08h00) before driving southwest through the scenic Khomas Hochland Highlands. Travel down the Great Escarpment into the Namib Desert below, stopping for a picnic lunch en route to the Sossus Dune Lodge. Built in an environmentally sensitive manner in an “afro–village” style, the lodge is situated within the Namib Naukluft Park and boasts sweeping views of the dunes to the west.
After arrival, you may opt to take an excursion to the Sesriem Canyon, which has been carved by the Tsauchab River over thousands of years or just relax and soak up the tranquil surrounds of the Sossus Dune Lodge.
Sossusvlei / Namib Desert
Rise early for an excursion into the Namib Naukluft National Park to watch the sunrise over some of the highest free-standing sand dunes in the world. Learn about the formation of the Namib Desert and the flora and fauna that have adapted to survive these harsh conditions as you explore the famous dunes of Sossusvlei and the gnarled camel thorn trees of Deadvlei before returning to the Sossus Dune Lodge in the early afternoon.
The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure or you may opt to visit Sesriem Canyon if you didn’t the day before.
Sossusvlei to Swakopmund
Today begins with a drive northwest through the ever-changing desert landscapes of the Namib Naukluft National Park and the impressive Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons. You’ll reach the coast at the port town of Walvis Bay before continuing north to Swakopmund where we’ll be staying at a centrally located guesthouse. In the afternoon, take time to explore this charming town that’s clustered with German colonial architecture, museums, galleries and cafes. In the evening, we’ll have dinner at a popular restaurant that specializes in locally-harvested seafood.
As an alternative to the drive from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund, you may opt for a scenic flight over Sossusvlei and along the Diamond Coast, offering a bird’s eye view of its desert landscapes and shipwrecks.
NOTE: You may also opt to include a sunrise balloon flight or scenic light aircraft flight over the Namib Naukluft National Park before you depart for Swakopmund (optional extra at additional cost).
After an early breakfast, depart Swakopmund as you drive south to Walvis Bay for a kayaking adventure along the outer lagoon. Enjoy a scenic drive to Pelican Point to admire its lighthouse and make a brief stop at the salt works to view the variety of birdlife before arriving at the kayak launch point.
Get up close Cape fur seals, bottlenose dolphins, pelicans, flamingos and a wide variety of other seabirds as you slowly paddle through the waters, as well as occasional sightings of whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish. If you prefer not to kayak, you may opt for a boat cruise to the outer lagoon and harbor accompanied by local sparkling wine and fresh oysters.
After returning to the harbor, you’ll have time to explore the waterfront area of Walvis Bay before driving back to Swakopmund for an afternoon spent at leisure or exploring the town. Alternatively, embark on a camel ride, scenic flight or go sandboarding in the nearby dunes.
Swakopmund to Damaraland
Today you’ll travel north through the spectacular landscapes of Damaraland, passing Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg. Encompassing magnificent tabletop mountains, striking rock formations and unique vegetation, Damaraland has been formed over thousands of years by the erosion of wind, water and geological forces, creating what is a stunning wilderness. In the mid-afternoon we’ll arrive at Camp Kipwe, which nestles amongst an outcrop of giant granite boulders near the Aba Huab riverbed. It features thatched bungalows and a large alfresco dining area, as well as an inviting fireplace and refreshing swimming pool.
If time allows, embark on a guided walk along one of two circular routes to admire the rock engravings at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Twyfelfontein. Set amongst flat-topped mountains of red sandstone, it’s home to around 2,500 prehistoric engravings depicting wildlife and abstract motifs that are considered among the finest collections of petroglyphs in Africa, with stone tools and other artifacts found at Twyfelfontein suggesting it was once occupied by hunter-gatherers.
This day is replete with unforgettable and exciting activities. The early morning should find you and your guide on a memorable 4x4 tour to see this extraordinary region and to look for game like the evasive elephant and lion which are adapted to the desert, in case they are within. There has been a marked increase in such species in recent days and to get a chance to see them is indeed a privilege. There are many animals which can be found in Damaraland plus also other concealed desert treasures.
You return for lunch at the camp. In the afternoon, your guide will ensure you visit Twyfelfontein’s rock engravings which are now officially a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is necessary for those who have not done so already. You may also visit the Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountains and go back to the camp to relax a bit.
Damaraland to Southern Etosha National Park
After an early breakfast, you’ll depart for Etosha National Park, traveling via the scenic Grootberg Pass and stopping to visit a local Himba settlement along the way. They are one of the last truly traditional peoples of Namibia and live in simple, cone-shaped houses of saplings that are bound together with palm leaves and plastered with mud and dung. The women enhance their beauty with intricate hairstyles and traditional adornments, including covering their body in red ochre and fat to protect their skins against the harsh desert climate.
Depending on the school semester, you may also visit the Grootberg Primary School before heading east through the small town of Kamanjab towards the Safarihoek Lodge, which is situated on the southwestern border of Etosha National Park. On arrival, you will have time at leisure to soak up the unique surroundings and wildlife spot around the camp’s floodlit waterhole.
Southern to Eastern Etosha National Park
Embark on a full day’s exploration of Etosha National Park, which encompasses grassland, woodland and savannah landscapes, with game-viewing centering around the numerous springs and waterholes where big game wildlife come to refuel. It’s home to more than 100 mammal species, including elephant, lion, blue wildebeest and endemic black-faced impala, as well as over 340 bird species.
We’ll travel from Andersson’s Gate to Halali and past a number of waterholes to Namutoni Camp in the east. Before sunset we’ll depart the park for the delightful Onguma Tree Top Camp, with enough time to relax and freshen up before dinner. Situated in the Onguma Game Reserve adjacent to Etosha National Park, this beautiful and intimate camp is built on wooden stilts amongst the treetops, with expansive views of a watering hole where you can watch game coming and going throughout the night.
Etosha National Park / Onguma Game Reserve
Spend another morning game driving through the eastern section of Etosha National Park, then return to the Onguma Tree Top Camp for lunch. In the afternoon, you’ll head out on a game drive through the private Onguma Game Reserve, which is home to kudu, giraffe, hartebeest, zebra and impala, as well as predators such as lion, cheetah and leopard. Onguma Game Reserve is also proudly home to a family of black rhinos and more than 300 bird species.
End the day with sundowners overlooking Fischer’s Pan before returning to camp for your final “safari dinner” at the camp’s floodlit waterhole.
NOTE: Instead of driving through spectacular landscapes to Swakopmund to Hoodia Desert Lodge, you can opt to fly over Sossusvlei and the Diamond Coast at an additional cost.
Onguma Game Reserve to Windhoek via the AfriCat Foundation
After breakfast at the Onguma Game Reserve, we’ll depart Etosha National Park and travel south through the small towns of Outjo and Otjiwarongo before arriving at the Okonjima Day Centre. Enjoy lunch here, then embark on an informative game drive and tour of the centre to learn about the vision of the AfriCat Foundation.
After the excursion, we’ll continue south to Windhoek where you’ll be transferred to your accommodation of choice or to the Windhoek International Airport.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no tracking of wild cats on this visit and should that be required, an overnight extension should be booked as per the below. Departure flights from Windhoek must be no earlier than 21h00 to allow sufficient time for the visit to the AfriCat Foundation.
Dates & Rates
Please contact our team of Adventure Consultants for current pricing.
Single Supplement - $750
- Accommodation as stated above.
- Transportation in a luxury air-conditioned safari vehicle.
- All meals.
- Services of a registered and experienced naturalist English-speaking safari guide.
- Entrance fees and excursions as described in above itinerary.
- Mineral water on board the safari vehicle.
- Welcome pack.
- International flights to Namibia and airport taxes.
- Return airport transfers from Windhoek International Airport – Windhoek – Windhoek International Airport.
- Pre and post safari accommodation in Windhoek.
- Any entrance fees and excursions not included in the above itinerary.
- All beverages with the exception of mineral water on board the safari vehicle.
- Laundry (laundry service available at lodges at extra cost).
- Items of personal nature (telephone expenses, curios, medicines etc).
- ENTRY VISA FEES.
FAQ & More
Vehicles used are normally comfortable minibuses, equipped with air-conditioning and cool boxes or fridges for drinks and snacks. A trailer for luggage is taken if required. We reserve the right to change the vehicles used to 4 x 4 safari vehicles if the road conditions at the time indicate that this is necessary for the success of the safari.
Luggage is normally restricted to 44 pounds (not including photographic equipment) per person in a soft, hold all type bag. Weight is generally less important than volume as everything is carried with you on safari. For your light aircraft transfers the luggage limit is 44 pounds in soft bags, including hand luggage. Roll-ons are acceptable. If required, any extra luggage can be stored at the hotel in Windhoek while you are away on safari.
While not mandatory, tipping 10% is standard when dining on an Namibia adventure. With the typical Namibian earning a modest wage, a small tip to porters, housemaids and other service workers is appreciated.
You may access the internet in the cyber cafes of Namibia's large cities, but limited to no access should be expected in regional and rural areas.
There is decent cell phone coverage in Namibia's large cities and towns, but less so in rural and mountainous areas. Ensure you have global roaming activated before leaving home if you wish to use your mobile phone. Better yet, turn your phone off and immerse yourself in the place.
While tap water is considered safe in Namibia's cities, drinking tap water isn't generally recommended in Namibia. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. In our safari vehicle we carry a container of filtered water you can use to refill your reusable water bottle or canteen.
Credit cards are usually accepted by large hotels and western-style restaurants, but not by smaller vendors. Ensure you have adequate cash to cover purchases not able to be made on credit.
No vaccinations are mandatory but please consult your doctor for medical advice. Parts of Namibia are considered to be malarial so you may want to use anti-malarial prophylactics, especially if visiting during the Namibian summer (December to April) – subject to advice from your own doctor.