Explore Namibia's most interesting destinations, while enjoying the most lavish of accommodations.
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Guided by Resident Rangers
Once you’ve arrived in Johannesburg and have cleared customs and immigration, you’ll find a representative from African Sky waiting for you as you enter the arrivals hall. After taking care of a few formalities you’ll be escorted to the appropriate departure terminal where you’ll be assisted in boarding a regional flight to Windhoek in neighboring Namibia. There you’ll be met and transferred to your overnight accommodation in the capital city of Namibia.
After breakfast, you’ll be met by your transfer driver. Your tour departs Namibia’s only city and heads off in a southwesterly direction. While the major routes in the country are paved the majority are not, and it’s along these well-maintained gravel roads that we travel today en-route to the big red dunes at Sossusvlei. Our route traverses the Hakosberge range, a ridge of mountains following the plateau between the Kalahari and Namib deserts. Namibia is true big sky country and as we make stops en-route you’ll begin to understand why. The Remhoogte Pass particularly offers spectacular views eastwards across the vast Namib plain. During the mid-afternoon, you’ll arrive at your overnight accommodations where the remainder of the day is spent at leisure. After an exciting day of traveling, enjoy your first splendid Namibian sunset in one of the world’s most sparsely populated corners.
Your stay at Kulala is fully inclusive. Activities include a visit to Sossusvlei and Dead Vlei, Sesriem Canyon, walking trails, a sundowner tour, and nature drives in their 37,000-hectare conservancy. Their ‘star bed’ under the skies of the Namib is an experience not to be missed. A hot air balloon flight over the dunes or a horse riding safari (both at an additional cost) are also options you might consider.
Namibia is true big sky country, and while at Sossusvlei you’ll come to understand why. Literally translating as ‘dead-end marsh’, Sossusvlei is a series of white salt-and-clay pans surrounded by some of the world’s highest dunes. These few pans are all that remain of the non-perennial Tsauchab, a river which in very good rainfall years pushes its way into the desert in an effort to reach the Atlantic Ocean. Its waters never reach the ocean however and are instead completely engulfed by the desert as they disappear below its bone-dry surface. Fauna in the Sossusvlei region is surprisingly rich and is comprised mostly of small animals surviving on very little water. These include a number of arthropods, as well as small reptiles like the Palmato Gecko and Namaqua Chameleon, and mammalians such as rodents and jackals. Larger animals include oryx, springbok, and ostrich - able to survive for months at a time without drinking. During years of flood, several migrant bird species appear along any marshes that form. Much of the fauna is endemic and highly adapted to life in the Namib Desert.
Guests are met after breakfast by their transfer driver, for a journey to Swakopmund. The route leads westwards towards the coast via the Kuiseb Pass. En-route several stops are made where guests will have the opportunity to experience the sweeping views and the variety of geographical rocks and formations so typical of this region of Namibia. Closer to the coast the temperature cools and the landscape becomes barren, flat and featureless. During the middle afternoon, we reach the village of Swakopmund, an oasis in a never-ending desert. Swakopmund was established in 1892 and is a quaint and picturesque seaside town with a rich and vibrant history. Guests are assisted with check in at the overnight accommodation, where the late afternoon is spent at leisure.
Your excursion today is tide and weather dependent. You’ll be notified in due course of the pick-up time. From Swakopmund the activity makes its way to Walvis Bay, passing the salt production plant and then heading out into the vast Namib dune sea. Finally, the sandy 4x4 track reaches the coast as we continue southwards along the beach en-route to Sandwich Harbour, about 60km (37 miles) from Walvis Bay. Alternatively, if the swells are too high or if the weather is generally poor and the track along the coast is considered unsafe, we’ll view Sandwich Harbour from the top of the surrounding high dunes. Sandwich Harbour – a saltwater lagoon, is designated a 'Wetland of International Importance’ and some 40 000 birds - 34 different species in total, were recorded in the area during recent surveys. Take a leisurely walk around the lagoon, an official marine sanctuary, and you might also see seals, dolphins and even whales. A lunch stop is included before returning to Swakopmund where the remainder of your time may be spent at leisure.
Guests are free to either explore the town or to book one or more of a variety of activities on offer. Or simply relax at the beach.
After breakfast, you'll be transferred to the local airport for a charter flight to Etosha National Park in the northern part of the country. Etosha is a place of contrast, taking on a different complexion after heavy summer rains and attracting one of the most impressive flamingo migrations one is likely to see. The dry brittle vegetation turns a soft green, the animal calving season begins and for a few months the flat landscape that the Ovambo call the ‘place of great white spaces’, sheds its arid image. The late afternoon is devoted to a first open 4x4 safari in Etosha accompanied by an experienced ranger and tracker.
You’ll enjoy daily game drives for the duration of your stay at Ongava. Game drives take place during periods of increased activity, during the early morning and late afternoon. The remainder of your day may be spent enjoying the creature comforts of your luxurious accommodations.
Ongava is a private concession just outside the park, Namibia's top game viewing destination and one of Africa's premier game reserves. In 1907 when it became a protected area it was an incredible 9,952,600 hectares in size, the largest conservation area in the world. In 1967 it was reduced to a manageable 2,227,000 hectares and became known as Etosha National Park, one of the world’s most fascinating natural sanctuaries. Almost entirely devoid of vegetation, the park's centerpiece - the great pan, shimmers in the noonday sun, mirages inverting distant images. Wildlife congregates along its edges, where a string of waterholes create a stage attracting a constantly changing cast of players. The sheer numbers are astounding. Elephant, giraffe, black rhino, oryx, zebra, springbok, lion, wildebeest, eland, leopard, spotted hyena, kudu, and warthog – all eke out a living in this harsh landscape. Etosha’s lions are some of the largest in Africa. Secretive leopard are seen on occasion, effortlessly moving amongst the parks’ distinctive white rocks and stones. Spotted hyena find the environment particularly tough and a sighting is always special. Observing as many as eight species at a waterhole is not uncommon in this reserve. Waterholes are a hive of activity as endless columns of animals come and go on the dusty plains to quench their thirsts. Under cover of darkness these same waterholes, now floodlit, make for exceptional game viewing. Of particular note are black rhino as they prefer to drink after dark. You’ll enjoy daily game drives for the duration of your stay at Ongava. Game drives take place during periods of increased activity, during the early morning and late afternoon. The remainder of your day may be spent enjoying the creature comforts of your luxurious accommodations.
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 safari in Nambia.
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