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Dunes and wildlife safari

Includes: Sossusvlei & Etosha - Namibia

An ideal trip for those clients a with limited time in Namibia, this 6 day safari visits the major highlights including the Etosha National Park (famous for excellent big game viewing), the coastal town of Swakopmund (the adventure capital of Namibia) and Sossusvlei in the Namib Desert (reputed to be the place with the highest sand dunes in the world)

One translation of Etosha is 'place of dry water' and is centred around a huge depression, or 'pan' some 5,000sq kms in size. This salt pan provides a vast, backdrop of shimmering mirages, set against semi-arid savannah grassland and scrub. Frequently described as the best game reserve in Africa, wildlife enthusiasts and ornithologists can marvel at over 114 species of mammal, including the white rhino and endangered black rhino, lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, giraffe and numerous species of antelope, as well as 340 species of birds.

From Etosha the tour heads south first to the coast and the town of Swakopmund and then further south into the Namib Desert eventually establishing a base at a lodge close to the entrance gate to the dunes at Sossusvlei.

The trip to the dunes and back, offers stunning mountains and desert views and this is an excellent way to experience the amazing sand dune sea of the Namib and Sossusvlei region. Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei are 2 side-by-side valleys in the Namib; 1 has living trees, and on rare occasions gets water, the other is completely cut off from all water sources, and the trees are dead stumps.

There's a lot more to see and explore here than one would think, and the Nara plants are worth searching out. They have no leaves and bear a round, spiky fruit once a year, that can grow the size of a grapefruit.

  • Dunes & Wildlife: Black Faced
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Dead Tree
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Roaring Dunes
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Sand Waves
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Sossusvlei
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Springbuck
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Dusty Elephant
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Elephant
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Gnu On Pan
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Got Any Nuts
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Jackel
  • Dunes & Wildlife: Little Zebra
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Day 1: Windhoek - Etosha Park
Guests will be collected from their accommodation in Windhoek at around 7.15. There is a brief stop at Otjiwarongo, before entering Etosha Park, you will game drive through the park to the rest camp at Halali, where you will spend the night. Halali has a spotlit waterhole for evening viewing allowing you to continue your game viewing experience late into the night. The evening meal is prepared by the guide, and after the long drive with an early morning wake-up call looming, a good night's sleep is on the cards.
Meals: snack lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Halali Camp in Etosha
Day 2: Etosha Park
There will be an early wake up call today to make the most if the early morning game viewing, (which is best in the early morning and late afternoon). The morning drive across the Etosha Park is great fun and will take in many waterholes. Apart from being in pursuit of the big 4, (there are no buffalo in Etosha, so you can work out what the others are on the way) identifying the huge variety of plains game is an interesting diversion. As the guide prepares a delicious lunch, it's time to get out the speedo's and bikini's and jump in the pool, or for those who can't get enough of the wildlife, then there's a great waterhole here. After something to eat, it's time to visit the mighty Etosha Pan and marvel at the sheer immenseness of the saltpan, not to mention it's inhabitants. Accommodation tonight is outside the park in twin share rooms or permanent tents, with en-suite bathroom facilities. The evening meal will be prepared by the guide, and with another early start the following day, the tour won't take much rocking to sleep tonight.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: lodge near Etosha preferably Etosha Village
Day 3: Etosha Park - Swakopmund
Early morning breakfast before departing at 08h00. Today's drive is via the communal lands of Damaraland (Kunene Region) a stop is planned at the Ugab River bridge to visit with the beautiful Herero ladies who sell their small art and craft items to support their families. Lunch in the shadow of the Brandberg Mountain and have a short visit with a Himba group who have moved into this area to sell their jewellery and other items.  After lunch we head directly through the Namib Desert and stop at the latest shipwreck on the Skeleton Coast before arriving late afternoon in Swakopmund.  The town can easily be explored on foot this afternoon and a highlight for many is a visit to the Swakopmund Jetty for sundowners overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  Your guide will be happy to recommend a  good  restaurant for your evening meal (own expense)
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
Accommodation: Swakopmund Accommodation
Day 4: Swakopmund - Sesriem
This morning after breakfast you may choose to visit the Museum or Aquarium (optional and unguided) while for the adrenalin junkies a 2hour quad bike experience in the dunes should get your pulse racing. Departure from Swakopmund at 12h00 noon (summer time) or 11h00 (winter time). Driving through the Namib Desert via the Kuiseb Pass and small settlement of Solitaire to arrive at the lodge in the late afternoon. There is a chance to relax and enjoy the views before taking a short walk for sunset looking over the Naukluft mountain range.  The swimming pool and bar are ideal sites to relax and unwind after a day's drive. An early night is sensible, and the twin share permanent tents, with en-suite facilities and private deck, provide suitable sleeping quarters.
Meals: Dinner
Accommodation: A lodge near Sesriem / Sossusvlei normally Desert Camp
Day 5: Sossusvlei
A short drive of only 3kms takes the group to the Sesriem park gate. The dawn departure from camp ensures the tour arrives in time to enjoy the early morning light on the dunes. Then it's down an ancient river bed, (for about 55kms) surrounded by those famous towering dunes, to the 2x4 parking area. The 4x4 shuttle goes straight into the Sossusvlei area and it's time to explore the dunes, before stopping of at Dead Vlei, with its large expanse of bleached cracked-clay and skeletal camel thorn trees. Return transport is either by foot or back on the shuttle, stopping (and climbing if desired) the famous Dune 45, before returning to Sesriem and a visit to the nearby Sesriem Canyon, one of the few permanent water sources in the area. The tour arrives back at the tented camp late afternoon, in time to watch the sunset over the desert.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Desert Camp
Day 6: Windhoek
After a leisurely breakfast, it's time to load up and return to Windhoek, on a slightly different route via Bullsport and Rehoboth. Arrival time is early afternoon at your Windhoek accommodation, with sufficient time to clean up and prepare for the next trip. Any onward travel arrangements, including airport transfers, should be arranged in advance.
Meals: Breakfast
Number Of Participants
Maximum of twelve
Tour in a small group with an English speaking driver / guide.
Accommodation and meals as listed on the itinerary
Items of a personal nature
Travel Insurance
Meals not listed in the itinerary
Any optional activities
Route & Accommodation
The itinerary above is a guideline only and whilst we try to adhere to it there may be circumstances when it may change - for example weather and/or road conditions, seasonal daylight hours etc. Overnight stops on occasion may be altered from those indicated.

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