Jet across Namibia on a luxury safari to both its most remote and most enrapturing destinations.
Guests are met and welcomed at any location of their choice in either Johannesburg or Pretoria, from where they are transferred to O R Tambo International Airport for a flight to Windhoek. Guests are met on arrival at Windhoek airport and enjoy a short city tour on the way to the hotel. The late afternoon of the first day of your Highlights of Namibia safari is spent at leisure.
After breakfast, guests are transferred to Eros Airport for a charter flight to Sossusvlei. Experience the haunting beauty of the Namib Desert at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge, situated in the foothills of the private NamibRand Nature Reserve. The Namib, known as ‘The Living Desert’, is a world of vast space, endless horizons, dramatic desert landscapes and jagged mountain heights. Led by Sossusvlei’s expert rangers and naturalists, the afternoon is devoted to exploring the desert landscape in open 4x4 vehicles.
The morning is devoted to an excursion into the famous Sossusvlei sand dunes - among the highest dunes in the world - and Sesriem Canyon. The name 'Sossusvlei' applies to an area that encompasses the great plain of the Tsauchab River, along with the red dunes that appear to be marching along like giant sentinels to the south and north of the plain. After experiencing the dunes on foot, the safari travels on to Sesriem Canyon. The canyon begins as an almost imperceptible, but nevertheless deep cleft in the level, stony ground and then widens until it finally flattens out onto the plain. Because it is so deep and sheltered, it often holds water well into the dry season - an invigorating sight in such a barren and stark environment. During the afternoon, we return to the lodge and enjoy leisure time.
Guests are transferred to the local airstrip for a flight to Swakopmund. Swakopmund is a quaint, picturesque seaside town, established in 1892 with a rich history. The late afternoon is devoted to a quad biking (four wheeler) experience in the desert not far from Swakopmund. On arrival at the official departure point, you will view a short introductory video on quad biking. Following this you will receive your safety equipment and your guide will brief you about the terrain you will be riding on, as well as providing you with clear instructions on the hand signals to be used. Your guide will also explain the controls of the quad bike you will use for your trip. Both manual and automatic quads are available. The four-wheeler desert experience is followed by a transfer to the hotel in Swakopmund.
Our first stop 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 tour then makes its way to the lagoon at Walvis Bay and then on to Sandwich Harbor. Both have been designated as 'wetlands of international Importance'. From Walvis Bay, the safari travels south to the towering, wind-sculpted dunes at the edge of Sandwich Harbor. Some 40 000 birds - 34 different species - have been recorded in this area during recent surveys. Take a leisurely walk around the lagoon (an official marine sanctuary) where you may also see seals, dolphins and even whales. The safari then makes its way back to Swakopmund, arriving during the late afternoon.
Guests are transferred to a local airstrip for a flight to Ongava. Ongava is a private concession just outside the Etosha National Park. Etosha is Namibia's premier game viewing destination. It is one of Africa's finest game reserves and is nearly the size of Switzerland. Large herds of plains game may be sighted around the waterholes during the dry season. A late afternoon game drive is conducted in open 4x4 vehicles accompanied by a local ranger and tracker.
The morning is devoted to a game drive in the Okaukuejo area of Etosha where lion, elephant (seasonal), gemsbok, springbok, black rhino, greater kudu and red hartebeest can be seen at numerous waterholes and fringing habitats. Apex predators like leopard, cheetah and spotted hyena also occur in this area. The afternoon is devoted to exploring Ongava, which is home to both black and white rhinos. These prehistoric-looking beasts are rarely found in the same area and the potential of sighting both on the afternoon safari is sure to be a highlight of the day.
The day is once again spent exploring the area's unique ecology from the back of open 4x4 vehicles and on a bush walk accompanied by an armed ranger. Etosha, meaning "Great White Place", is dominated by a massive mineral pan. The pan is part of the Kalahari Basin, the floor of which was formed some 1 billion years ago. The Etosha Pan covers around 25% of the national park and was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River. However, the course of the river changed thousands of years ago and the lake dried up. The pan is now a large, dusty depression of salt and clay which fills only in the event of heavy rains and even then only holds water for a short time. This temporary water in the Etosha Pan attracts thousands of wading birds, including impressive flocks of flamingo. The perennial springs along the edges of the Etosha Pan draw large concentrations of wildlife and birds.
A last morning game drive is followed by a flight to Windhoek, from where guests connect to Johannesburg. Guests are met on arrival at O R Tambo International, from where they will be transferred to any location of their choice in either Johannesburg or Pretoria or assisted with checking in to a connecting flight. Your Highlights of Namibia Safari is sure to be painted in your memories forever.
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