Depart the UK on an overnight flight via Johannesburg
- On arrival at Windhoek we meet our tour leader at the airport and travel to our guesthouse in city. There is time to visit Windhoek Botanical Gardens in the afternoon.
- Accommodation: Windhoek, guesthouse, 1-night dinner only basis.
- After a leisurely breakfast we will leave Windhoek and head north towards the bushveld area of the Waterberg Plateau. These woodlands are a magnet for a variety of bird species otherwise not found in the drier parts of the country.
- The Waterberg is the only breeding site of the Cape vulture in Namibia and is also the centre for the country’s breeding program for rare and endangered large mammals in Namibia. There are sizeable numbers of black and white rhino within the park, as well as roan and sable antelope and buffalo.
- Accommodation, Waterberg National Park Camp, 1-night on full board basis.
- After breakfast we go for a morning walk amongst the fig forests and reed beds around the main accommodation. These are usually excellent for most of the bird specialities, especially Ruppell's parrot and Bradfield's hornbill. After an early lunch we will head to Etosha National Park. There we game drive and continue on to Namutoni Camp.
- Accommodation: Namutoni Camp, Etosha National Park, 2-nights on full board basis.
- We start with an early morning game / bird drive with brunch back at Namutoni Camp. We will be doing a few circular drives up towards the Andoni region of the Park looking out for Caspian plover, blue crane and crimson-breasted shrike. If the northern area is very hot & dry we will spend more time exploring the Mopani woodland area, returning to Namutoni on some of the lesser used roads. We will be looking out for some of the smaller mammals of the park; the endemic Damara dikdik, black-faced impala and the confiding banded mongoose are three mammals to look out for.
- We will be heading west to Halali Camp for lunch, following the edge of the pan. The huge Etosha Pan is dry for most of the year, but in exceptional years when wet, it is spectacular and abounds with birds. Halali Camp is the best place in Etosha for bare-cheeked babbler and violet wood-hoopoe. After lunch we continue on to Okaukuejo Camp.
- Accommodation: Okaukuejo Camp, Etosha National Park, 2-nights on full board basis.
- We start the day with a two hour local drive at sunrise. Birds here could include secretary bird, red-necked falcon, Ludwig's bustard, yellow-throated sandgrouse and Bennett's woodpecker,
- After breakfast we will go for a game drive around the local area. We tap into local information to find which local roads have been the most productive this morning. Mammals might include both species of rhino, elephant, African wild cat, Burchell’s zebra and many antelope species,
- After an early morning game drive we will exit Etosha National Park and head for the dry region of Damaraland. This area boasts a multitude of rock engravings and paintings. These are a silent testimony to the first hunter-gatherer and subsequent Khoikhoi inhabitants of 6000 years ago. To preserve this unique region, Twyfelfontein was declared Namibia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007.
- Accommodation: Damaraland, lodge, 1-night on full board basis.
- We have a full morning to explore Twyfelfontein. Plant lovers will find many Namibian species found here, such as the unique welwitschia. The region’s animal species have had to adapt to harsh and arid climate of the Namibian desert in order to survive, and include elephant, rhinoceros and giraffe. Later, we drive past Brandberg Mountain across the flat coastal plains to the Atlantic Ocean and our overnight stop, Cape Cross.
- Accommodation: Cape Cross, lodge, 1-night on full board basis.
- Today we drive south hugging the shoreline of the famous Skeleton Coast. We will see century old lichen fields on the gravel plains, flamingos and pelicans on the salt pans, shipwrecks and Namibia's most northerly coastal town of Henties Bay.
- Accommodation: Lagoon Lodge, Walvis Bay, 2-nights on full board basis.
- We will spend the morning birdwatching around the Walvis Bay Lagoon, which is regarded as one of the most important wetlands for birds along the west coast of Southern Africa.
- We then head for the town of Swakopmund, an historic harbour town founded by Germans in 1884. After lunch here we venture into the desert and the massive Namib-Naukluft National Park via the Swakop River valley and the Moon Landscape, formed over 460 million years ago. Plants include the ancient welwitschia, a bizarre desert plant that may live for over 2000 years, while lithops (‘living stones’) hoodias and mist-gathering lichens are unforgettably strange.
- We drive the 320 kilometres, on gravel roads via a few mountain passes, to the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The drive will focus on a variety of classic desert formations, affording magnificent views and perfect opportunities for photographers. It is also a fascinating insight into a world of reptiles, birds and insects living among the sand dunes – all uniquely adapted to desert survival.
- Accommodation: Sossus Dune Lodge, 2-nights on full board basis.
- Sossusvlei are one of the world’s most stunning (and most photographed!) desert areas. We need to take a 4x4 vehicle into the vlei through the sand, and we will try to be there as early as possible to make the most of the cool of the morning. We will have a leisurely drive out of the Park looking out for any wildlife. After a late breakfast / brunch we will have the rest of the afternoon to relax at the Lodge. Sesriem Canyon, which is close to the lodge, is an optional excursion for those that would like a little bit more adventure.
- We drive the 365km through the Namib-Naukluft Mountains to Windhoek for our return flight to London via Johannesburg.
Day 15 Arrive UK
All prices are per person and include:
- Services of the naturalist leader
- All meals
- Guided activities
On this tour we stay at a mixture of guest houses and park lodges. In Namib-Naukluft Park we stay at the Sossus Dune Lodge, a desert camp with tented cottages. Our accommodation at Etosha is new four-star chalets, while at Waterberg the chalets are simpler but adequate.
All rooms are en suite.
All meals are included.
We will be looking out for Namibia’s endemic birds and specialities, as we travel through the country – rosy-faced lovebird and rock runner, amongst others.
- Pale chanting goshawk
- African black oystercatcher
- Gray’s larks
- Blue crane
On our game drive into Etosha, we will look out for the white, and black rhinoceros, the park has the largest population of the western sub-species of the latter.
- Red hartebeest
- Desert adapted elephant
Namibia has spectacular desert scenery and some of the most dramatic dunes in the world, rocky central uplands and coastal wetlands, and Etosha National Park – one of Africa’s finest wildlife reserves.
The dunes at Sossusviel are one of the world’s most stunning – and most photographed – desert areas. The drive to Swakopmund focuses on a variety of classic desert formations, offering perfect photographic opportunities.
Cost includes return flights: London – Windhoek.
Ground transportation is by minibus, with driver.