This small group safari takes up to 12 guests on a unique journey to famous and fascinating destinations in Namibia, from the ancient Namib Desert to the remote Kunene Region and game-rich Etosha National Park. Experience a hand-picked selection of authentic and exciting activities as you travel overland in style.
Drive across Namibia in a custom built 4x4 vehicle offering added comfort and luxuries on the road. Sit back in your reclining seat and enjoy the extra space and onboard amenities, including a water purification system, an onboard toilet and individual air-conditioning, USB ports, reading lights and safes at each seat.
Stay in twin-share, en-suite rooms at carefully-selected lodges and guesthouses, breakfasts and dinners included.
On the morning of day one we meet up at the selected pre-tour hotel in Cape Town, departing at about 07h00. Leaving the city, we stop at the far side of Table Bay to take in the sweeping views of Table Mountain and capture the famous scene on camera.
Then we proceed into the Cape Winelands where we linger for a wine tasting at one of the celebrated local wine estates. Whilst in the Winelands we pause at Spice Route, a quaint wine farm featuring a host of artisanal local goodies, including a beer garden, coffee house, arts shop and chocolatier.
After enjoying the delights of the Cape Wine Route, we continue through lush valleys and hills into the Cedarberg Mountains. This scenic area is known for its vineyards, citrus orchards and rooibos tea plantations. Our first overnight stay is in the town of Citrusdal, set in Olifants River Valley, at the foot of the mountains. This evening we are treated to warm South African hospitality and have dinner together at our lodge.
This safari comes with an optional Activity Package at an additional cost. The itinerary includes these highly-recommended activities. Contact African Budget Safaris for a detailed breakdown of what is included in the Activity Package and see the Full Pricing Information above for the cost of the Activity Package.
On day two we continue north into the Namaqualand region of South Africa. Travelling into this sparsely-populated area the landscapes become drier and more open around us. In springtime, we may see the beautiful wildflowers of Namaqualand. The region is famous for this profusion of colourful, indigenous flowers that carpet the gentle hills and open fields around about September most years.
Proceeding further into the remote northwestern region, we reach the banks of the Gariep River, forming the natural border between South Africa and Namibia. We cross into Namibia and head to our overnight lodge along the Gariep, formerly called the Orange River.
This morning you have the option (extra cost) of going canoeing on the Orange River, the longest river in South Africa. This meandering section of the Orange River is ideal for canoeing, offering stunning scenery and a combination of gentle paddling and exciting rapids. Soak up the rugged, desert setting and quiet of nature as you canoe along the famous Orange, looking out for small animals and birds.
In the afternoon we travel on to the Fish River Canyon, one of the biggest canyons in the world. Visiting the canyon we get to appreciate the massive size of this natural phenomenon formed over ages of erosion. After looking out over the immense fissure and surrounding moon-like landscapes we drive to the nearby hot springs of Ais-Ais. This evening you can enjoy a soothing soak in the mineral-rich hot waters, under a canopy of bright stars.
Today we have a long drive ahead as we travel into the Namib Desert along quiet roads, through deserted, dry lands. Wide horizons and big skies surround us as we make the dusty journey to Namib-Naukluft Park.
Become immersed in the open landscapes of southern Namibia, experiencing the vastness, silence and emptiness of the harsh desert environment. Signs of human activity become scarcer as we travel deeper into the true desert habitat, where red-orange sands stretch out endlessly in every direction.
End the day with a nice hot shower at our lodge near the Namib-Naukluft Park and a peaceful evening under the starry desert skies.
Day five is dedicated to exploring the ancient Namib Desert, one of the oldest deserts in the world. We venture into the Namib-Naukluft National Park, which encompasses about 49 770 km² of the Namib Desert and the Naukluft Mountains. Our exploration is done in an open 4x4 safari vehicle, ideal for navigating rough terrain and experiencing the desert fully.
Visiting the surreal Sossusvlei and Deadvlei pans, two of the most iconic sights of Namibia, is a mesmerising experience, offering superb photographic opportunities. Explore the pans on foot, taking in the strange desert scenes of gnarled dead trees juxtaposed against the cracked white-clay earth encircled by tall orange-red dunes.
From the stark Sossusvlei pan, we proceed to Dune 45. One of the highest dunes in the region, Dune 45 is an iconic landmark as the picture-perfect dune. You have the option of climbing up the dune for panoramic views over the vast desert, a worthwhile mission.
Then we exit the captivating Namib-Naukluft National Park, stopping to view Sesriem Canyon on the way back to our lodge.
On day six we venture out into the ancient Namib Desert again, this time with a local guide who tells us more about the fascinating local fauna and flora.
Then we make our way out of the dusty desert to the dramatic coast of Namibia. Next up: Swakopmund, the most popular seaside destination in the country. Our drive takes us via Walvis Bay lagoon, an important Ramsar site hosting prolific birdlife, including huge flamingo flocks at times.
This afternoon, when we arrive in Swakopmund your guide can help you to book activities for tomorrow. Swakopmund is the unofficial adventure capital of Namibia, offering a wide variety of exciting activities. Options range from scenic flights over the Namib Desert to dolphin cruises and skydiving, as well as sightseeing and cultural activities. Tonight we eat out (own expense) at one of the excellent restaurants in Swakopmund, known for its fresh seafood.
The day is set aside for sightseeing and optional adventure activities in and around Swakopmund.
Swakopmund is a charming town with German-influenced cuisine, culture and old colonial buildings. Spend some time walking around the town, stop in at a sidewalk cafe for coffee and pastries, and visit art galleries, the aquarium, museums and other attractions.
For the more active quad biking and sandboarding in the desert offer an adrenalin rush, as does skydiving over the dunes. Watersports include sea kayaking, fishing trips, and whale and dolphin watching cruises. Other options include horse riding, 4x4 day trips, township tours and more.
We spend another night at the guesthouse near the beach.
Time to leave urban comforts behind and return to isolated and wild, rural Namibia. In the morning we drive north along the Atlantic Ocean, experiencing a stretch of the Skeleton Coast. We pass through the town of Wlotskasbaken, pausing to photograph the multi-coloured lichen of the area.
Then we leave the dramatic coastline, littered with shipwrecks, travelling inland to Spitzkoppe. This is one of the most famous natural features of Namibia - a towering massif of red-orange rock rising up to 700 metres above the plains of the Namib. Joining a local guide we take a walk in the area, discovering more about these old granite rock formations and the san rock art found here.
From intriguing Spitzkoppe we continue into the Kunene Region to our overnight lodge just outside of Outjo.
Today we travel further north to Opuwo, capital of the remote Kunene Region.
In the morning we spend time with the Himba. This semi-nomadic tribe of pastoralists has shrunk and undergone rapid change due to western influences and pressures. Few Himba still live in the traditional way of the tribe, with many of these indigenous people having lost their land, livelihoods and heritage.
We visit a 'buffer zone' created for visitors to interact with the Himba and experience their culture, without impacting on the small traditional community living in the wilderness as their ancesters did. The educational village can be a controversial subject, but it helps to understand why we visit this community. The income generated by this constructed Himba community is used to educate orphaned children about their Himba roots and culture. Our visit with the Himba ends at a market where you can support the local women selling goods, or simply browse.
After the interesting cultural encounters of the day we move on to our lodge just outside of Etosha National Park.
On day 10 we get up early and head to Etosha National Park, Namibia's leading safari destination.
The remainder of the day is spent in Etosha which covers about 22 270 km² of wilderness, about 4730 km² of which consists of the Etosha Pan. Skirting the fringes of the salt pan we get a sense of the vastness of this stark, open expanse. Oryx, springbok, ostrich and various other hardy animals are easily spotted in this exposed environment. Our drive also takes us to some of the numerous watering holes scattered throughout the park. These waterholes are centres of activity, attracting all kinds of animals and birds.
Tonight we stay at a modern lodge just outside of the national park.
A full day for exploring Etosha National Park lies ahead. Our game drives take us in search of the big game Etosha is famous for hosting, revealing the rugged landscapes of northern Namibia in the process. Common wildlife sightings include elephants, zebras, giraffes, lions, hyenas and an array of antelope species. Antelopes often seen, include kudu, wildebeest, gemsbok, impala, red hartebeest and springbok. Leopards, caracals, jackals, foxes and African wildcats are also common in Etosha
We visit waterholes where we are likely to witness wildlife coming to drink and bathe. Etosha is known for its dramatic wildlife interactions as animals compete for food and water in this harsh, arid environment.
At the end of the day we return to our comfortable lodge near Etosha Park.
We rise early this morning and set off on a final game drive in Etosha Park. One last chance to spot African wildlife and birds in the rugged wilderness! After our short game drive we leave Etosha, travelling south to Windhoek.
Along the way we stop to take a look at the local crafts and wood carvings at the well-known market in Okahandja. Arriving in Windhoek, we embark on a short sightseeing tour, walking around the pleasant city together. Located in the middle of the country, Windhoek is the cultural, economic and official capital of Namibia.
Our journey through Namibia comes to an end in Windhoek this afternoon.
We recommend booking an extra night of accommodation after your tour, in order to have a celebratory dinner (own expense) with your travel companions at Windhoek’s most famous eatery, Joe’s Beer House.
Please note: This itinerary includes Activity Package items. Should you wish to participate in all of the activities listed above then you will need to purchase the Activity Package.
This Small Group Namibia Adventure is conducted in a state-of-the-art, custom-built 4x4 vehicle. The luxury overland vehicles comfortably accommodate a maximum of 12 guests, keeping the group size on safari small.
These vehicles are designed for overland travel in Africa, providing extra space and amenities, offering a more luxurious safari experience with all the adventure, but in added style and comfort.
Features include an onboard toilet and a water filtration system for purified drinking water throughout the journey. The vehicle has reclining leather seats that rotate 180 degrees, lock into your desired direction (windows, front etc). Each seat has overhead air-conditioning vents that can be independently operated for individual control of air flow and temperature.
Every seat also features a USB port panel for charging your electronic devices and there is a reading light above each seat. Each seat has a safety deposit unit with individual key code access, for storing your passports, phones and smaller valuables.
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