Jet across Namibia, from one distant destination to the next, while enjoying the most lavish of accommodations.
Guests are met and welcomed upon arrival at O R Tambo International in Johannesburg where they are assisted in transferring to a flight bound for Windhoek in Namibia. Guests will be met on arrival in Windhoek and then transferred to their hotel with a short tour of the city of Windhoek included en route.
The safari makes its way west as we travel via Okahandja, Karibib and Usakos to Swakopmund. En route a stop is made in the Erongo Mountains to view an ancient rock art site known as 'the White Elephant'. The road then leads through the dramatic Spitzkoppe, which reach a height of 1 728m before descending to sea level in Swakopmund. The late afternoon is devoted to exploring this town, which was established in 1892 under German colonial rule. Much of the German character has been preserved in the town's old buildings. Guests are then assisted with check-in at their hotel.
Our first stop today is at ' Bird Rock', a guano island inhabited by some 200 000 birds and one of the first examples of man's efforts to utilize the rich natural resources of the area. The safari then makes its way to the lagoon at Walvis Bay and then on to Sandwich Harbor, both areas having been designated as 'wetlands of international importance'.
En route to Sandwich Harbor, we witness the towering, wind-sculpted dunes of the Namib Desert as they reach right up to edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Some 40 000 birds - 34 different species in total - were recorded in this area during recent surveys. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the lagoon (an official marine sanctuary) and you may also spot seals, dolphins and even whales. The Namibia safari then makes its way back to Swakopmund, arriving at the hotel in the late afternoon.
The safari travels northwards, hugging the shoreline of the Skeleton Coast. En route you will see lichen fields on the gravel plains, flamingos and pelicans on the salt pans, the bizarre seaside settlement of Wlotzkasbaken and Namibia's most northerly coastal town - Henties Bay. After visiting the seal colony at Cape Cross (one of the largest in the world), we head inland towards Damaraland, with the scenery changing dramatically as we travel from desert to rugged mountains and semi-arid sparsely vegetated desert. At the Messum Crater (a massive impact crater of geological significance) you will see some of the best examples of Welwitschia to be found in Namibia. The safari then makes its way back to Swakopmund.
Guests are transferred to a local air strip for a charter flight to Sossusvlei. Sossusvlei is a mud pan which originated because of a river flowing through the Namib Desert every 5 to 10 years. Even in very wet years, the river does not reach the Atlantic Ocean, but drains away into the dunes at Sossusvlei. ‘Sossus’ means ‘place of no return’. Only after rare heavy rainfall does the pan fill with water.
Guests spend three nights at Sossusvlei. The activities revolve around early morning guided nature drives to the spectacular dunes of Sossusvlei through the private gate on the Tsauchab River. Sossusvlei is an enormous clay pan, flanked by towering red sand dunes that stand out starkly against a blue sky. These dunes have developed over millions of years, with the wind continuously transforming the contours of this red sand sea. The 'vlei' itself only fills after rare and heavy rainfall when, in a complete turn-around, it becomes a spectacular turquoise lake.
A last morning nature activity at Sossusvlei is followed by a charter flight to Windhoek and from there an onward connection to Ongava, which is located alongside Etosha National Park. The park is one of Africa's premier wildlife refuges and covers an area of 22 207 square kilometers. Ongava Private Reserve is one of Namibia's largest and is home to the rare black rhino.
Guests spend three nights at Ongava. Two game drives are conducted daily by experienced rangers and trackers. This part of Namibia is known for its large concentration of both plains game animals and predators that inhabit the region.
Breakfast follows a last morning game drive at Ongava after which guests fly by charter plane to the Caprivi. The Caprivi is a remote area and quite unlike any other region in Namibia. This area is intersected by two major rivers, the Okavango and Kwando, while the Chobe and Zambezi form the northeast and southeast boundaries respectively. This is the only area in Namibia that is lush, green and well-watered by rivers.
Guests spend three nights at Kaza Safari Lodge where two game activities are conducted daily by resident rangers and trackers.
A last morning game activity in the Caprivi is followed by breakfast after which guests fly to Windhoek and from there take an onward connection to Johannesburg. Guests will be met on arrival at O R Tambo International Airport and then transferred to any location of their choice in either Johannesburg or Pretoria after a memorable Namibian safari.
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