Experience the Best of Namibia on this family-friendly safari, staying in affordable lodge accommodation across this beautiful African country.
Travel from Windhoek through the scenic Khomas Hochland Mountains, passing over Gamsberg Pass en route to the Namib Desert.
Explore the striking Namib Naukluft Park, walking among the towering red-orange dunes of Sossusvlei and into the narrow geological wonder of Sesriem Canyon. Be delighted by the birdlife of Walvis Bay lagoon and discover the charming town of Swakopmund, Namibia's adventure capital on the coast.
Hear the crashing waves of the rugged Skeleton Coast and gaze at Namibia's tallest peak, the Brandberg Mountain in Damaraland. Travel back in time with Twyfelfontein's famous rock art, before continuing north to the famous Etosha National Park.
Enjoy superb game viewing in Etosha National Park, visiting Okaukeujo and staying at Halali Camp inside the national park. Take in the endless expanse of Etosha Pan, watching wildlife at floodlit waterholes after dark. Then, visit the remote and wild Waterberg Plateau Park, home to rare and endangered animals and many birds.
This Namibia Family Safari is a real wildlife, scenic and cultural adventure for the whole family, visiting the best of Namibia's highlights!
This Namibia's Best Family Safari begins when we collect you from the International Airport in Windhoek and transfer you to our first well-selected guesthouse located in central Windhoek.
The family-friendly guesthouse is conveniently situated within walking distance of the city centre and its shops, banks, restaurants and attractions. If time allows you can set off into the city on foot to explore, participate in optional activities or simply relax at the guesthouse. Head to one of Windhoek's excellent restaurants for dinner (own account) and enjoy what the capital city of Namibia has to offer.
The first night's accommodation is in family rooms with en-suite bathrooms, fans and tea/coffee making facilities. The guesthouse and backpackers feature a solar heated swimming pool, braai (barbecue) area, bar, self catering kitchen and wi-fi Internet.
On day two of this affordable lodge safari you will be collected from the guesthouse in Windhoek at about 8:30am, for our journey southwest into Namibia. Your guide will tell you a bit more about the safari and what to expect over the next ten days.
We travel through rugged landscapes via the Khomas Hochland mountains, making our way down to the Namib Desert floor. Our drive takes us over the scenic Gamsberg Pass, one of the highest places in Namibia. We stop for lunch on the pass, taking in the splendid views from this impressive mountaintop.
After descending from the lofty mountains we pause in the quaint, little town of Solitaire, before continuing to our next overnight lodge. The Desert Camp is the ideal place to experience and photograph the stark open landscapes of the Namib, offering 360° views of the desert surroundings and distant mountains. The lodge is set among ancient thorn trees, only 5 km's from the entrance gate to the Sossusvlei Dunes and Sesriem Canyon in the Namib Nauklauft Park. Stay in canvas and adobe suites, consisting of spacious twin share rooms with sleeper couches and en-suite bathrooms.
Spend the afternoon unwinding at the refreshing pool or explore the nature trail in this fascinating desert terrain, tucking into a tasty dinner prepared by your guide in the evening.
Day three kicks off bright and early with a pre-dawn departure for the nearby Namib Naukluft Park.
Entering the national park at the Sesriem gate we make our way towards the famous Sossusvlei Dunes. This 65km drive through the desert brings us to the iconic Sossusvlei dune fields as the first light bathes the towering sand dunes in warm hues, casting shifting shadows on the sands as the sun rises. Here we soak up the quiet and watch the changing colours on the rolling sea of dunes in this unique desert landscape.
Then we climb to the top of one of these dramatic dunes near Sossusvlei and take a walk into the stark Dead Vlei area. The open expanse of Dead Vlei is a land of contrasts with stark camel thorn trees silhouetted against vivid ochre dunes and deep blue skies. We head out onto the bleached and cracked clay ground on foot, to experience the solitude of this photogenic place.
After our walk among some of the tallest sand dunes in the world we enjoy a hearty brunch in this striking Namib Desert setting. Next we head to the equally famous Sesriem Canyon to explore this geological wonder. The canyon walls reveal ancient sedimentary layers carved by years of erosion, while the floor is dotted with pools of water in this otherwise arid region.
Returning to the desert lodge as the sun sets over the red-orange dunes, we are again treated to a beautiful scene. We spend a second night at the desert camp near Sesriem, with dinner prepared by your guide.
Today we get an early morning start, departing from the desert lodge for our journey to Swakopmund.
We travel via the hamlet of Solitaire, crossing the wide gravel plains of the desert on our way to the coastal town of Walvis Bay. Here we stop at the Walvis Bay lagoon, to enjoy some excellent bird watching. The lagoon is a protected RAMSAR wetland site for birds, home to flamingos, pelicans, avocets, plovers, endemic damara terns and many other species of birds. Leaving the birding haven of the lagoon we make a quick stop at the local salt farm, before continuing north to Swakopmund.
Swakopmund is Namibia's premier beach getaway, offering plenty of sights and activities for the whole family. The town of Swakopmund is a unique blend of African and colonial German influences, where historical buildings stand side by side with lively marketplaces. Explore the town on foot, visit the aquarium, go to the beach or sit at a sidewalk cafe in the afternoon.
Adventure and outdoor activities abound in Swakopmund and your guide will gladly help you to make bookings for this afternoon and tomorrow. Activities in Swakopmund are an optional extra (own account) with choices including sand boarding, quad biking, scenic desert flights, skydiving and dolphin boat cruises on the icy Atlantic.
We spend the night at a comfortable hotel near the Swakopmund beach, the Lighthouse Restaurant, a heated swimming pool, the local museum, and other attractions in the town. Stay in spacious family rooms with en-suite bathrooms.
This evening we enjoy dinner at one of Swakopmund's great restaurants (own expense).
The whole of day five is free for you to spend as you please, with the group or on your own steam.
This is your chance to try out some of the numerous optional adventure activities on offer and stroll by the sea. Or you can go sightseeing in charming Swakopmund, visiting the aquarium, museums, art galleries and coffee shops of this seaside town.
We overnight at the same peaceful guesthouse, which is within walking distance of the town centre and beach, making it ideal for exploring on foot. Facilities include a laundromat, wireless Internet and in-room coffee making facilities. To allow for ample flexibility in your plans for the day both lunch and dinner are not pre-planned. You are free to sample the local cuisine (own expense) of your choice when it suits you.
After an early breakfast at the guesthouse we depart from Swakopmund continuing our travels northwards along the Namibian coastline.
We follow the Skeleton Coast, so-called for its rocky shores dotted with old shipwrecks that sank in the rough seas here. Moving north to the the Cape Cross seal colony the landscape opens up into arid desert plains, along the rugged coast. We pause briefly at Cape Cross for the sensory overload of the large, noisy and smelly colony of resident Cape Fur Seals, before heading inland.
Next up, the highest point in Namibia - Brandberg Mountain. We drive past the foot of this impressive massif jutting out of the surrounding plains of the strange Damaraland, stopping for lunch as we go.
Our overnight accommodation for tonight is set in the heart of the Twyfelfontein Uibasen Conservancy in the Kunene region of Namibia. The lodge lies in the Huab valley within a fragile and unique ecosystem. Twyfelfontein is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, best known for its ancient rock art, including significant paintings and engravings. This area also features fascinating rock formations such as the Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain, two of the most prominent geographical sites.
The Twyfelfontein Uibasen Conservancy is a successful example of sustainable community based conservation, where local people live and farm side by side with the natural environment. The conservancy is home to some captivating animals, so keep your eyes open for desert adapted elephants, rhinos, giraffes, springbok, ostriches and other antelopes. Damaraland is also home to some interesting plants, including Welwitschia, Moringa and a various Commiphora species.
We stay in double rooms with inter-leading doors and en suite bathrooms at this natural stone and thatch lodge that blends in with its environment. The lodge was built to have a low impact on nature and features a reception area, lounge, gift shop, open-sided dining room, bar and swimming pool. In the afternoon we visit some of the renowned rock art of Twyfelfontein with a local guide who explains the value of these sites, as well as the history. Enjoy dinner at the lodge restaurant, relax at the bar and marvel at the stars tonight.
We hit the road early, driving northeast on day seven of this Best of Namibia Family Safari. We pass through some of the open landscapes Namibia is famous for and look out for the unique desert adapted elephants roaming northern Namibia.
Our next stop is the famous Etosha National Park, Namibia's 22 000 km² wilderness area, named after the salt pan which dominates it. Our game drives will take us through this vast, open park, named Etosha after the Ovambo word for ‘Great White Place of Dry Water’. In addition to its unique geography, Etosha Park is considered one of Southern Africa's best game parks in terms of the variety and number of game species.
We enter Etosha via the Andersson Gate and make our way towards Okaukuejo, the main rest camp in the national park. Our drive takes us to some of the watering holes that dot the untamed bush. Along the way we keep our eyes open for wildlife and birds, especially at the watering holes where these creatures gather to drink and bathe.
In the early afternoon we stop at Okaukuejo and have lunch in the shade, before driving northwest to Halali. Keep a look out for lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, hyena, giraffe, antelope and birds as we drive. The camp is located under shady Mopane trees at the foot of a dolomite hill, more or less in the middle of Etosha National Park. Halali has a floodlit, active waterhole that draws diverse species of game, including black rhino, elephant and the elusive leopard.
We arrive in time to admire a peaceful sunset over the watering hole and African bush before tucking into an open-fire cooked dinner. After dinner you can sit beside the floodlit watering hole and wait for the various nocturnal animals and birds that frequently visit this popular spot. Overnight in a family chalet with an en-suite bathroom.
We spend a full day exploring Namibia's best known national park, Etosha. Our game drive begins at sunrise as early mornings are one of the best times for game viewing. This is a good time to spot predators settling down after a night of hunting and other animals that start moving around in the bush. After our game viewing drive we have breakfast back at camp and unwind at Halali, enjoying the swimming pool and other facilities.
Then it's time to explore the mesmerising Etosha Pan to witness its wide-open expanse where mirages play tricks on the eye. The arid salt pan spreads out before us in silence, stretching as far as the eye can see under calm skies. In the rainy season the salt pan attracts numerous birds, especially flamingos and pelicans, and in the dry season animals congregate at the permanent watering holes.
Leaving the mirages of the pans behind we return to camp for lunch and a rest, escaping the heat of the day. Spend some time shopping, take a dip in the pool, watch for game at the watering hole or have a snooze.
Later we venture back out into the bush in search of the wild, weird and wonderful inhabitants of Etosha. Etosha National Park is home to over 300 species of birds and some 144 mammal species that we go in search of at waterholes. Wildlife sightings include lion, elephant, rhino, zebra, giraffe and numerous antelopes.
Back at camp we tuck into a scrumptious fire-cooked dinner prepared by your guide. Then there is free time for relaxing beside the watering hole again, looking out for nighttime visitors.
On day nine we have breakfast at camp and check out, setting off on our game drive as the plains game begin to stir. The early morning drive also gives us a chance to catch nocturnal animals and predators before they retreat from the heat.
Our game drive across Etosha Park takes us via waterholes which attract thirsty animals and birds. We pause at Okaukuejo giving you time to climb up the old tower and admire the open bush from this vantage point. Then we return to the Andersson Gate and exit Etosha, heading south to Otjiwarongo town. Here we pop in at a German bakery for lunch and get a feel for the lively town.
We arrive at our next destination, the Waterberg Plateau Park, in the middle of the afternoon and head up the sandstone massif to take in the beautiful views over the rocky scrub lands and savannas.
There are a number of natural springs in the Waterberg Park, with the name Waterberg meaning 'water mountain'. Located in the Omaheke Region, Waterberg is known for the diversity of rare and threatened species it hosts, including sable and roan antelopes. Another rare species living in the park is the Damara Dik Dik, Africa's smallest antelope and a rare sighting indeed. There are also plenty of birds to be spotted in the Waterberg, among them the black eagle and rare Ruppell's parrot.
After the little sunset hike we sit back and delight our taste buds with a barbecue (braai) spread, prepared by the guide. We overnight in family chalets with en suite bathrooms.
Take a short meander along one of the walking trails with your knowledgeable guide, learning interesting facts about the area and its past. There is a natural pool of clean mineral water for a refreshing splash or you can simply enjoy the outdoors.
Continuing south you get the chance to shop at the popular Craft Markets in Okahandja, before travelling to the outskirts of Windhoek. The last night on this Best of Namibia Family Safari is spent in a private house-style lodge. The lodge house is set in rural Namibia, not far from the airport, where you part ways with your guide.
This evening the lodge transfers you to a local restaurant and back, for a lovely dinner with your travel companions.
On the last day you can enjoy breakfast at a leisurely pace, before visiting a farm in the area for an encounter with the local San (bushman) people. On this guided cultural excursion you gain insight into the traditional customs and survival skills of this ancient hunter-gatherer tribe. The San are renowned for their in depth understanding of how to live in the harsh desert and semi-desert regions of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The San show you some of their ancient hunting and plant-gathering techniques, explaining which plants have medicinal value.
Then it's time for a quick lunch, before we drive south to Windhoek, where our journey into Namibia started. Arriving in Windhoek this afternoon we drop you off at your post-tour accommodation or at the international airport, bringing this Namibia's Best Safari to a close.
We will be updating the tour itinerary for 2015 early next year. If you plan on travelling after the 01/04/2015, please contact African Budget Safaris for the new itinerary.
For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.
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