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 first morning of this Small Group Adventure Safari, we set off from the city of Cape Town, known as the 'Mother City' of South Africa. Heading north we pause to admire the views of Table Mountain, Cape Town's most famous landmark. After taking some photos of the iconic Table Mountain, one of the natural wonders of the world, we drive to the Cederberg Region in our state-of-the-art adventure vehicle.
The Cederberg Mountain area of the Western Cape is famous for its rugged hiking trails and citrus farms, as well as the indigenous rooibos plants grown here. The endemic rooibos plants only grow wild on the mountain slopes here and are used to make a hugely popular, health tea. Arriving in the Cederberg we visit a rooibos tea farm to see these indigenous tea plants as well as buchu plants, also used to make herbal tea.
After visiting the rooibos farm we head to our first overnight guesthouse in the scenic Golden Valley of the Olifant's River. This evening we enjoy warm South African hospitality and our first dinner together at the lodge in Clanwilliam. After dinner, your guides will give you a full tour briefing.
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.
Today we continue north, journeying into ever-drier and more deserted landscapes. Our drive takes us via Namaqualand, an arid and sparsely-populated region of gentle hills and plains covered with low indigenous vegetation. This open area along the West Coast of South Africa is famous for its indigenous wildflower blooms in spring (around August and September). If it is springtime we may catch the spectacular multi-coloured flower show.
Later in the day, we reach the Gariep River, which forms the border between South Africa and Namibia. Crossing into Namibia we proceed to our overnight camp on the banks of the former Orange River, now called the Gariep.
This morning you can set off along the Orange River in a canoe. Paddling along the river is a relaxing way to take in the rugged, desert scenery and spot birds. It is an easy paddle with only a few rapids.
After our morning at the Orange River, we drive up towards the Fish River Canyon in our 4x4 vehicle. We make our way to the Ai-Ais Hot Springs and our overnight accommodation close to the Fish River Canyon. At our resort in Ai-Ais, you can take a soothing soak in the hot springs, swim in the pool and relax at the bar.
On day four we get up early to visit the Fish River Canyon. We stroll along the rim of this massive canyon admiring the spectacular views in the glowing morning light. After capturing photos of the incredible canyon and soaking up the dramatic scenery we proceed west to Keetmanshoop.
This afternoon we visit the Quiver Tree Forest and Giants Playground near Keetmanshoop. Some 250 quiver trees constitute this forest, declared a national monument in 1995. The quiver tree forest includes specimens between 200 and 300 years old making it an important ecological site. Giants playground is a bizarre landscape strewn with unusual stacks of large dolerite boulders about 160 to 180 million years old.
This morning we set off on our long drive north into the ancient Namib Desert of Namibia. Today's drive takes us through the changing landscapes of seemingly-deserted plains, farmlands and deserts revealing the sheer scale of Namibia's vast open spaces. The following day we will be visiting the Namib-Naukluft National Park, Namibia’s most famous desert destination and natural treasure. The captivating Namib Desert is best known for the massive sand dunes of the Sossusvlei Dune area, with its iconic landscapes.
On day five we stay at a desert lodge just outside the national park, experiencing the vast star-studded skies and deep silences of the Namib Desert, punctuated by jackal calls and the barking of geckos.
A full day of desert adventures awaits. We hop onto a 4x4 safari vehicle and mission into the Namib-Naukluft Park, one of Africa's largest national parks. The national park incorporates large swathes of the Namib Desert - the world's oldest desert.
First, we transfer to Dune 45 where you have the chance to climb up the iconic dune for amazing views over the stark desert and great photo opportunities. Back at the foot of the dune, we enjoy a hearty breakfast before heading deeper into the desert. We then take a 4x4 transfer to Sossusvlei and Deadvlei, in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Explore the dry pans on foot, absorbing the dramatic scenes of skeletal trees on the pale pan floors, surrounded by orange-hued dunes.
After surveying the sea of red-orange dunes we leave the Namib-Naukluft Park, stopping at Sesriem Canyon to see the ancient sedimentary rock layers of the narrow gorge before continuing back to the lodge. Tonight we soak up the stars and stillness at our desert lodge after a full day of admiring the stark landscapes of the Namib.
On day seven we head into the Namib Desert on a guided walk with an expert from the area. Walking through the seemingly barren desert landscapes, we discover the rich variety of rare and unusual flora and fauna found here. As we walk, our local guide will share his detailed knowledge of the ancient Namib Desert with us, sharing the secrets of how the San (Bushmen) have long survived here.
After our desert walk, we drive to the Atlantic Ocean coastline, crossing the Tropic of Capricorn and pausing to take snapshots. Next, we break our drive at the Walvis Bay lagoon, stopping to watch the abundant birdlife drawn to this wetland system. The lagoon is an important birding site, sometimes attracting huge flocks of flamingoes. Then we proceed north to the coastal town of Swakopmund, known as the adventure capital of Namibia. Your guide helps you to select and book optional activities for the following day in and around Swakopmund.
The premier seaside destination in the country, Swakopmund has plenty to offer visitors, in addition to adventure activities.
The town is infused with German culture, given its colonial past and large resident German population. Walking around the charming African town you can see examples of German architecture and visit cafes selling German-style pastries and cuisine. Historical buildings include the German Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bahnhof (Railway Station), Woermannhaus, Hohenzollern Haus, Alte Gefängnis (Old Prison) and Kaiserliches Bezirksgericht (State House). Go to the museum, the aquarium, the jetty and the lighthouse, strolling along the boardwalk next to the sea. Visit the local markets and take a township tour to meet some local people and gain insight into life in Swakopmund today.
For adrenalin seekers activities range from quad biking and sandboarding on the desert dunes to skydiving and scenic flights by plane, helicopter or hot air balloon. Other exciting options include sea kayaking, dolphin and seal spotting boat cruises, whale watching, fishing trips and a variety of 4x4 trails along the coast and into the desert.
Tonight you are free to eat out (own account) at one of Swakopmund's excellent restaurants.
After breakfast, we leave Swakopmund, driving inland towards Brandberg Mountain, Namibia's tallest mountain. Later we take a short hike to the famous White Lady rock painting of Brandberg. Our walk takes us through rugged terrain, along the typically dry Tsisab River gorge. After walking for about an hour we reach the well-known rock painting created by the San around 2000 years ago. This is one of over 45000 rock paintings scattered across the Brandberg area.
After our short hike, we leave Brandberg which translates as 'burning mountain', so-named for the way its granite face sometimes glows brightly at sunset. Driving north we make our way to Kamanjab in the remote and sparsely-populated Kunene Region.
On day 10 we visit the famous rock art of Twyfelfontein in the former Damaraland area of southern Kunene. The first UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in Namibia, Twyfelfontein hosts one of the highest concentrations of rock engravings (petroglyphs) in Africa. About 2500 rock engravings and paintings are found here. Most of the rock engravings and paintings were created by the Khoi San hunter-gatherers who lived here about 6000 years ago. The valley was later inhabited by Khoikhoi herders who added to the collection of rock art between 2000 and 2500 years ago.
After viewing the ancient rock art at Twyfelfontein we proceed to our overnight lodge near Etosha National Park.
We get up early on day 11 and head to our first wildlife destination - Etosha National Park!
Etosha is Namibia's leading game park and one of Africa's finest. We spend the next two days exploring this rugged wild region, hosting an amazing array and abundance of large mammals, birds and other creatures.
On our game drives, we explore the open plains scattered with acacia woodlands, visiting waterholes and the dusty fringes of the Etosha Pan. The salt pan was once a massive inland lake, but today the flat expanse stands almost entirely dry, except for the shallow waters that sometimes collect during rainy seasons. When shallow pools form in the pans large flocks of birds can be seen and when short grasses sprout after the rains grazers make an appearance.
At the watering holes, wildlife watching is often particularly rewarding, given the congregation of herbivores and predators drawn to the precious water sources. Etosha is known for its dramatic wildlife sightings, not only because of the stark landscapes but also due to the intense competition that unfolds in its harsh environment, especially at the waterholes. With some luck, we are likely to encounter lions, rhinos and leopards. Chances of sighting elephants, zebras, giraffes, gemsbok, springbok and other antelopes are excellent, even all together at a watering hole.
Our evenings are spent relaxing at the rest camp in Etosha National Park, reliving the wildlife adventures of the day. The rest camps in Etosha feature floodlit watering holes where you can watch wildlife at close range after dark.
On day 13, we are up early again, for one last game drive in Etosha National Park. Last chance to spot the wild animals of Etosha and absorb the wide open landscapes. Leaving Etosha we drive south to Windhoek, the capital and largest city in Namibia.
Arriving in Windhoek, we take a walk around the bustling, yet orderly, city surrounded by hills. Windhoek is located in the middle of Namibia and serves as the economic, cultural and political centre of the country. Our short tour gives you a feel for the German-influenced capital, taking in some of the highlights and historic buildings.
After our short tour of Windhoek, this beautiful journey through Namibia comes to an end. 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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