The 7 Day Big Cats, Etosha & Desert Namibia Safari starts off with an overnight stay at N/a’an ku sê Lodge where you will have the opportunity to take an Ancient San Skills tour and hear of the traditional methods these people have developed to survive in their arid environment. The lodge is undertaking exceptional conservation work and your stay will contribute directly to the conservation of the wildlife being cared for there.
From there you will head out to Etosha National Park where you will get so see Africa's wildlife including vast herds of antelope and predators including lion, leopard and cheetah. You will also get to visit the Etosha Salt Pan with its wide shimmering horizons.
Then this Budget Namibian Safari heads to coastal Swakopmund for an overnight stop and some free time to enjoy optional activities and explore the charming town.
Next we make our way into the Namib Desert to the Sossusvlei Dunes area where you will stay in accommodation with views of the desert and mountains. Experience the vast "emptiness" of the Namibian Desert and marvel at some of the highest sand dunes in the world including renowned Dune 45. Visit the stark Dead Vlei and Sesriem Canyon in the ancient Namib Desert of the Namib Naukluft Park.
A fantastic and affordable interactive wildlife and desert experience in Namibia!
This Big Cats, Etosha & Desert Namibia Safari starts in Windhoek, Namibia's capital city. We pick you up from the airport or bus terminal and transfer you to our selected lodge just outside the city.
This afternoon we visit the N/a’anku sê Wildlife Sanctuary where excellent conservation work is being practised and support is given to the local San. We join the San in a traditional village, where they demonstrate their ancient skills and cultural heritage. They show us their fire making techniques, how they set traps and the plants they use for medicinal purposes. The San will entertain you with descriptive stories, song & dance and reveal their hunting methods. The elders of this tribe teach the younger members these skills and help to keep their history alive with stories so that their traditions and culture lives on and instils cultural pride in the youth. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet and experience this ancient culture and their traditions.
Accommodation is at the wildlife sanctuary, contributing to the research, wildlife rehabilitation and social outreach work being done here. We stay in twin-share, thatched chalets with en-suite bathrooms. The lodge is an ecologically responsible and award-winning establishment set in a 10 000 hectare reserve.
Early this morning we depart from the lodge in Windhoek, taking a packed breakfast with us for the road. We travel north to the top game viewing destination in Namibia - Etosha National Park. Along the way we pause in the old city of Otjiwarongo and have a light packed lunch, before continuing to Etosha. We make our way into Etosha in the afternoon, game viewing en route to our overnight camp inside the national park. We drive to some of the waterholes to see wildlife and birds looking out for big game species.
We stay at Halali Camp, arriving before the sun sets over the bush. This evening we enjoy a dinner prepared by our guide and relax in the wilderness, watching for wildlife at the spotlit waterhole of the camp.
On day three we explore Etosha, one of Africa's finest wildlife reserves. We venture into the bush before the sun rises, going in search of wildlife and birds beginning to stir. Etosha National Park is home to four of Africa's Big Five animals - lion, rhino, leopard and elephant, along with a variety of other herbivores and predators.
Our game drive takes us to watering holes on our way up to the southern fringes of the Etosha Pan, where we stop to take in the enormous flat landscape. The sparse vegetation of this dry expanse make for striking landscape photographs and easy wildlife sightings. We take a walk out onto the salt pan, once a vast inland lake, and have a late breakfast, watching the shimmering mirages and looking out for roaming animals. Then we make our way back through the game-rich wilderness to Halali Camp, where we have a picnic, prepared by the guide. Then there is free time to rest and swim in the pool, as we wait for the heat of midday to subside.
Later we drive west to the oldest camp in Etosha Park, Okaukuejo Camp. Arriving at the rest camp we head to the renowned waterhole to watch wildlife at dusk. Then we set off for our overnight accommodation, just outside of Etosha. We have dinner and share stories around the campfire at the lodge.
Today starts with a relaxed breakfast before we hit the road. We travel to the west coast through the Kunene region of northern Namibia. Along the way we stop at the Ugab River in Damaraland to browse the local crafts produced by Herero women. Then we pause for lunch and browse crafts produced by the Himba, enjoying the scenic setting at the base of the Brandberg Mountains, the tallest peaks in Namibia.
Reaching the coast we turn south tracing the rugged Skeleton Coast to Swakopmund. This afternoon we arrive in Swakopmund, taking a walk and doing some sightseeing in this charming town where German colonial influences linger. Tonight dinner is not included, so that you can choose a local eatery in town.
We stay in twin share rooms with en-suite bathrooms, enjoying a night out on the town.
Spend some time walking around the seaside town, visiting highlights of Swakopmund and relaxing at a quaint cafe. Alternatively you can head off on an optional activity in the area, including dolphin cruises, sand boarding and skydiving.
At around midday (exact time depending on the season) we depart, travelling further south towards the Namib-Naukluft National Park. Crossing the Kuiseb River and passing through the small hamlet of Solitaire we are soon surrounded by the vast and ancient Namib Desert. In the late afternoon we arrive at our safari camp near Sesriem and have some time to relax and enjoy the scenic setting. After settling in, we take a short walk to the Naukluft mountain range in time to catch a spectacular African sunset over the Namib Desert.
We overnight in twin-share rooms or permanent tented-suites with en-suite bathrooms, at a camp close to Sesriem, a small town near the national park. At the end of the day we enjoy a peaceful sunset in the desert environment and tuck into dinner, cooked by the guide.
Day six starts super early, seeing us arrive at the Namib-Naukluft National Park as day breaks.
Entering the park we get to witness the desert landscape lighting up under the warm morning glow of the rising sun. We drive through one of the most ancient deserts in the world, switching to a 4x4 shuttle about 5 km's from Sossusvlei. Some of the tallest sand dunes in the world are found in the Sossusvlei area of Namibia. We walk around the salt pan, soaking up the silence and space this barren place offers. The white earth of the pan contrasts sharply with the red-orange dunes around it, making for stunning photographs. Then we stop at the nearby Dead Vlei, another top attraction in the Namib-Naukluft National Park. This pan is also surrounded by flaming ochre-coloured dunes that stand out against the bleached, dry floor of the desolate pan. This surreal spot is much photographed because of the silhouetted dead trees scattered across the Deadvlei pan. After witnessing Dead Vlei you can take the shuttle or walk through the desert, back to our vehicle.
From Dead Vlei we drive to Dune 45, the best-known landmark in the Sossusvlei area. Climb this postcard perfect dune for sweeping views or unwind at the foot of the dune. Leaving Sossusvlei Dunes we drive to the narrow fissure of Sesriem Canyon, where ancient layers of sedimentary rock are revealed. After a walk in the deep gorge we head back to the desert camp for a beautiful sunset and sundowners.
Up for breakfast in the semi-arid setting of camp, then it's off to the Na'ankuse Namib Conservation Centre near Solitaire. At the wildlife sanctuary we get to view predators, especially cheetahs, and other wildlife up close, accompanied by the resident conservationist.
After our wild encounters we make our way up into the Naukluft Mountains traversing mountain passes on our way back to the capital of Namibia.
Arriving in Windhoek this afternoon we transfer you to the airport, bus station or your post-safari accommodation.
Only book flights or bus trips departing after 17h00 in case of unexpected delays on the road.
Our preferred Etosha Lodge is located 2 km's outside of Etosha National Park. We stay in twin share permanent tents with air-conditioning, private shower and toilets, and a patio area.
Each safari tent is fitted with lights, twin beds, top-quality linen and additional blankets. Small sleeper couches are available for children under 12, but booking an extra bungalow for children is advised. There are outdoor swimming pools, a bar, dstv, and a shop and restaurant. The lodge at Etosha Park is the equivalent of 3 star establishment. Our other Etosha lodge options are all within 25km's of the Anderson gate of Etosha and are of the same standard.
In Swakopmund our lodge is centrally located enabling guests to walk to the beachfront, shops, restaurants and market. The rooms have a double bed or twin beds and private shower and toilets. Rooms feature bedside lights and cupboards. The lodge has a friendly and laid-back atmosphere.
Our camp near Sesriem lies 3 km's from the Namib-Naukluft Park. Each tented chalet has twin beds and a sleeper couch for children under 12, as well as a porch and braai (barbecue) area. The adobe and canvas permanent tents have en-suite bathroom facilities, with linen and extra blankets in winter. Facilities include a pool, bar, dstv, self-catering kitchen and open-air dining areas. The camp is the equivalent of 3 star lodge accommodation. The desert camp offers sweeping views over the surrounding landscapes in a tranquil setting.
Alternate accommodation establishments of similar standards, may also be used.
Please note that the type of tour vehicle used for specific departures will be determined by the size of the safari group at the time of departure.
Etosha National Park, offers some of the best game viewing in Africa and lies in the Kunene Region of northwestern Namibia.
The park covers 22,270 km² of wilderness and the massive Etosha Pan. The arid Etosha Pan dominates Etosha, which means 'the place of dry water' or 'great white place'. The shimmering salt pan covers a huge, flat expanse, mostly devoid of vegetation. Etosha Park supports rare and diverse wildlife and birds given its unique setting, including 114 mammal species, 340 bird species, 110 reptile species, 16 amphibian species and a species of fish.
Etosha hosts four of the Big Five of Africa - white rhinos and threatened black rhinos, lions, leopards and plenty of elephants. Giraffe, cheetah, zebra and numerous antelope species, from black-faced impala to tssesebe and gemsbok, roam the plains and pans of this wilderness area.
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