Namibia 2021 - Itinerary
17 day escorted tour from £4,845pp
Day 1 - Outbound Flight
Our escorted departure is from London Heathrow on an early evening flight. Flights are not in airline system range at the time of launching the tour but we'll likely fly British Airways, which offers World Traveller economy class, World Traveller Plus enhanced economy, and Club business class. The tour includes economy round-trip, but subject to availability and applicable supplement, you may upgrade. Independent unescorted flight itineraries from other airports or at other times may also be available, subject to extra cost, please enquire. On overnight flights from Heathrow to Johannesburg, airlines normally include a dinner service shortly after take-off from London, and a breakfast snack prior to landing in South Africa. A typical overnight flight between Heathrow and Johannesburg takes approximately 11 hrs.
Day 2 - Arrive Namibia
We land in Johannesburg this morning and transit to our Namibia flight. Our main luggage is checked through at Johannesburg so all we need to do is take our hand luggage and proceed through a passport control to connect to our onward flight. If we do fly British Airways from Heathrow, it is likely we'll connect with a scheduled flight onward to Windhoek in Namibia operated by Comair, South African Airways or Air Namibia. This connecting flight is typically 3 hrs in duration. On landing at Windhoek Airport in Namibia we are met by our local guide and we transfer by private coach to the Windhoek Country Club Resort. This full service hotel is located on the outskirts of town and provides well-appointed bedrooms, a restaurant, bar, gardens and swimming pool. An extensive buffet Welcome Dinner is included this evening in the hotel's Kokerboom Restaurant.
Accommodation: Windhoek Country Club Resort
Day 3 – Windhoek / Sossusvlei
After an excellent buffet breakfast at the Windhoek Country Club Resort, we set-off to the southwest and drive through an upland region of rolling hills dissected by deep river valleys. Passing the table-top Gamsberg Mountains we traverse from the interior to the Namib Desert. On route we’ll spot for wildebeest, kudu, oryx and impala. It’s a great drive and a perfect introduction to Namibia’s stunning scenery. Our luxury accommodation for our 2-night stay is the recently refurbished Soussusvlei Lodge, which is ideally located just a 1-minute drive from the main entrance to the Namib Naukluft Park. Accommodations at Sossusvlei Lodge are wonderful and the food in the restaurant is renowned!
Accommodation: Sossusvlei Lodge
Day 4 – Deadvlei / Sesriem Canyon
After an early breakfast, we take advantage of our prime location and begin exploring the Namib-Naukluft Park as soon as the gates open. The colours on the sand dunes in the early morning are breathtaking. Following the park road for approximately 60 kms, we'll make occasional photo stops before arriving at the Sossusvlei meeting point. Here we transfer to 4WD vehicles for an exciting drive over sandy tracks to a dropping off point near Deadvlei, a vast dry pan characterised by dark, dead camel thorn trees contrasted against the white pan floor and often a brilliant blue sky. The trees are estimated to be around 900 years old, however they have not decomposed due to the dry climate. Deadvlei is approximately 1km walk across the sand from the parking area, but it is well worth the effort. It is certainly a photographers' paradise. After our Deadvlei visit we retrace our steps and rejoin our private coach to head back along the park road to visit Sesriem, a 30-metre deep canyon carved by the Tsauchab River. This afternoon enjoy some free time at Sossusvlei Lodge. Relax on your patio! Take a dip in the inviting swimming pool! Watch the comings and goings at the waterhole! This evening, we enjoy another excellent buffet BBQ dinner at Sossusvlei Lodge.
Day 5 – Namib Naukluft Park
Today we follow the Namib Desert north, reaching the Atlantic Coast at Walvis Bay. It's a long drive, but we'll stop on route at the famous Solitaire Settlement for provisions, and then continue through the dramatic scenery of the Erongo Region, including the Gaub Canyon and Kuiseb Pass. From Walvis Bay it's about 30 minutes to reach Swakopmund, a town characterised by a wealth of well-preserved German colonial buildings. German is still widely spoken here and typical German cakes and confectionery can be enjoyed in the town’s cafés! Well-known historic buildings include the old railway station and magistrate’s court. We stay at the Hansa Hotel for two nights. You'll experience a warm welcome from the staff at the Hansa, and enjoy your first dinner in the award-winning hotel restaurant.
Accommodation: Hansa Hotel
Day 6 - Walvis Bay / Swakopmund
Walvis Bay is the centre of Namibia’s fishing industry and its major port. The nearby wetlands are internationally renowned for large concentrations of waders, flamingos and shore birds, and the large natural harbour welcomes dolphins, seals, pelicans, turtles and, occasionally, whales and sun fish. Included this morning is a guided harbour wildlife cruise aboard a privately chartered catamaran. The late-morning on-board refreshments have always been great, and no one has had space for lunch on previous visits! This afternoon enjoy free time in Swakopmund. Perhaps time to shop!? This evening, another wonderful dinner at the Hansa Hotel, but a meal with a difference. We'll disclose more details on the day!
Day 7 – Swakopmund / Damaraland
An early start and another long, but spectacular drive, this time from the Atlantic coast into the Damaraland region. Heading north from Swakopmund, we'll make a photo stop south of Henties Bay to see the Zeila shipwreck, before turning inland and passing the dramatic Erongo Mountains. Time for a lunch stop near Uis, an old mining town, before we continue to Khorixas and onward to our next destination, the Damara Mopane Lodge. The lodge is constructed in a semi-circle of interlinking pathways leading to a lavish swimming pool at its centre. Innovatively designed, each cottage has its own small garden planted with vegetables, which are used in the lodge restaurant. We stay two-nights at Damara Mopane Lodge, with breakfasts and dinners included.
Accommodation: Damara Mopane Lodge
Day 8 – Damaraland
The Damaraland region is famous for its magnificent scenery and you may wish to join our optional (no extra cost) tour to see some of the Ugab Terraces, home of a dramatic rock formation called Vingerklip or ‘finger of stone’. We plan a relatively short excursion so you can also enjoy the optional self-guided walks at the lodge, or simply relax by the wonderful swimming pool. During our stay we'll definitely arrange a sundowner get-together at the lodge's viewpoint. And the night sky here is usually magnificent!
Day 9 – Damaraland / Etosha
A leisurely start today, as we leave the Damara Mopane Lodge and drive towards Etosha National Park. On route we'll stop in the town of Outjo to give time for a lunch snack. The family-owned and long-established Outjo Bakery and Café is well worth visiting. After lunch we drive north for about one hour to arrive at our next accommodation, the stylish Etosha Safari Lodge, which overlooks a vast expanse of Mopane woodland. We stay 2-nights in spacious bungalows, each with a private veranda. Breakfasts and dinners are included at the lodge's restaurant.
Accommodation: Etosha Safari Lodge
Day 10 – Etosha Central
An early breakfast and a ten-minute drive takes us to the main Andersson's Gate of Etosha National Park. Once inside we'll immediately start exploring the famous waterholes so be on the lookout for flora and fauna, big and small. We'll travel in our private coach, which has sliding windows to ensure great views and super photography. Our expect naturalist guide will accompany us throughout. We plan a morning and afternoon game drive, plus some free time to spend at the famous Okaukuejo Waterhole. Our game drives are great but if you wish to explore the park in smaller game-viewing vehicles we can make arrangements at extra cost. We will circulate further details to all guests well in advance.
Day 11 - Etosha National Park
Departing the Etosha Safari Lodge after another early breakfast, we again enter Etosha Park through the Andersson's Gate, and we plan to spend the whole day game viewing in our private coach with our expert guide as we head through the park to the eastern gate. Time permitting we'll stop at the Etosha Pan, and of course we'll be watching for wildlife throughout the day. The potential is good with big cats, rhino, elephant, giraffe, zebra, eland, kudu, and wildebeest all possible. We'll include time for a lunch stop, probably at Halali Camp inside Etosha, and then proceed to our accommodation at Etosha Mokuti Lodge, which is situated just beyond the Von Lindquist Gate on the eastern side of the park. We stay at Etosha Mokuti Lodge for 2-nights, with breakfasts and dinners included.
Accommodation: Mokuti Etosha Lodge
Day 12 - Namutoni, Etosha
Yet another early breakfast since it's good practice to start game viewing early! We'll depart our Etosha Mokuti Lodge in our private coach and enter Etosha National Park to explore more of the eastern side. There are some attractive waterholes nearby and we'll no doubt visit Fischer’s Pan, which generally holds water throughout the year. We plan to offer both a morning and afternoon game drive with our expert guide, with lunch time either at the nearby Namutoni Camp or back at Etosha Mokuti Lodge. We'll decide timings on the day so we can take into account any recently reported wildlife sightings. We've often seen lions and hyena on the eastern region of the park. The Etosha Mokuti Lodge staff also offer Etosha game drives in smaller game-viewing vehicles, and this may be an extra-cost option, if you are interested. We will circulate details to all guests well in advance.
Day 13 – Central Highlands
Leaving Etosha Mokuti Lodge this morning, we drive south via Tsumeb and Otavi. After so many gravel and dusty roads, we'll be pleased to travel along one of Namibia's best-maintained tarmac roads today. Around lunchtime we'll stop in the town of Otjiwarongo at our favourite supermarket, to provision and perhaps buy a lunch snack. From here it's a relatively short drive onward to our final destination, Okonjima. Our approach to Okonjima Plains Camp is through the Okonjima Reserve, so we'll be wildlife watching even as we arrive. We are very confident you'll enjoy your three-night stay at Okonjima.
Accommodation: Okonjima Plains Camp
Day 14 - Okonjima / Africat Foundation
Privately owned by the Hanssen family, Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a charitable organisation set up to conserve and protect threatened cheetah, leopard and other wild cats. Today we’ll observe some of the programme at work and learn more about these beautiful animals.
Day 15 - Okonjima
Activities during our Okonjima stay may include game-viewing in purpose built vehicles, leopard tracking, an off-the-beaten-track guided walk and an introduction to the AfriCat programme. There are also bird watching and nature trails.
Day 16 - Departing Okonjima
After a hearty breakfast we depart Okonjima and drive south to Windhoek for our mid-afternoon flight to Johannesburg, where we connect to our overnight flight home to the UK.
Day 17 – Arrive UK
We arrive in Heathrow early this morning.