San bushmen

Northern Namibia Lodge Safari

Tour Length14 days
Priced from pps $3529 R44000 £2820 3273 A$4628 C$4713 NZ$5021 Full pricing info
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Summary of this Lodge Safari

Quick Itinerary Overview

Explore Namibia in the comfort of a 4x4 Land Cruiser on this guided small group tour to the unknown gems of northern Namibia. 

On this Northern Namibia Lodge Safari we experience spectacular scenery and the fascinating cultures of Namibia, encountering ancient San, traditional Himba and pastoral Herero tribes. Visit Grootfontein and the Living Museum of the Ju/‘Hoansi-San, before exploring game-rich Etosha National Park. After game viewing in the less-visited western part of Etosha we head to the Kunene River, Epupa Falls and an authentic Himba village. Next we stay at Fort Sesfontein and spend a day in the rugged Hoanib Valley where free-roaming wildlife is often spotted. Then we drive from remote Kaokoland to strange Damaraland admiring more of the spectacular landscapes of northern Namibia, before returning to Windhoek.

An affordable guided safari through unique Namibia, staying at a well-curated selection of lodges, rest camps and guesthouses. 

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Itinerary for this Tour

Day 1: Windhoek – Namibia

Start this unusual journey in Windhoek, the charming and modern capital of Namibia. You are collected from the Hosea Kutako Airport and driven to our first overnight guesthouse in Windhoek.

Arriving at The Elegant Guesthouse you are free to take it easy, swim in the pool and freshen up after your travels. Later we set off on a guided tour of Namibia's historic capital. Your guide takes you to the oldest building in Windhoek - the German colonial Old Fort (Alte Feste) and National Musuem. You also visit the House of Parliament, called Tintenpalast (the Ink Palace), hosting the National Assembly and National Council. We also go to the landmark Christ Church and Independence Avenue with its monuments, clock tower and old German architecture.

Tonight you have the option of enjoying dinner (own expense) with the rest of your group, at Joe's Beerhouse, one of the most famous restaurants in Windhoek. We spend our first night in comfortable en-suite rooms at the modern guesthouse located in an upmarket neighbourhood of Windhoek.

  • Travel: about 50 km (1 hour)
  • Accommodation: Elegant Guesthouse (or similar)

Day 2: Windhoek to Grootfontein Area – Namibia

On day two we have breakfast at the guesthouse before leaving Windhoek in our 4x4 vehicle. Travelling north we make our way through the open landscapes of rural Namibia towards the Waterberg Plateau.

Just before reaching Grootfontein we stop at the world-famous geological site of Hoba Meteorite, the largest meteorite on the planet. We visit this massive chunk of iron that fell to the ground about 80 000 years ago.

Then we continue to our accommodation just north of Grootfontein, situated on the elevated plateau. We spend the next two nights at Roy’s Rest Camp located on a large, old farm called Elandslaagte.

  • Travel: about 550 km (7 hours)
  • Accommodation: Roy’s Rest Camp (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3: Grootfontein Area to Living Museum of the Ju/‘Hoansi-San – Namibia

Today we gain insight into the unique San culture of Namibia, visiting the Living Museum of the Ju/‘Hoansi-San.

This open-air museum offers an interactive cultural experience with the San people. Find out about the ancient traditions and survival techniques of Southern Africa's first inhabitants from the San bushmen at the museum. A guide translates all that the Ju/'Hoansi share with us at this reconstructed San village. The San can show you how their ancestors hunted and gathered food, as well as telling you about the medicinal uses of plants.

After an intriguing cultural journey at the Living Museum we head back to our rustic camp.

  • Travel: about 170 km (2 hours)
  • Accommodation: Roy’s Rest Camp (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 4: Grootfontein Area to Etosha National Park – Namibia

Day four starts with breakfast before we travel on to Etosha National Park, via Tsumeb city. Along the way we skirt the shores of Lake Otjikoto, the source of numerous old tales and myths. Arriving at our camp near Etosha Park you have time to rest, dip in the pool and unwind.

Later we make our way into Etosha National Park, Namibia's most famous game park, in our 4x4 Land Cruiser. Driving through the dramatic landscapes of this rugged wilderness area, we scan the bush for wildlife and admire the wild scenery. Elephants, lions and rhinos are frequently sighted in Etosha, which also hosts numerous predators; including leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals and spotted genets. Etosha is also home to a wide diversity of game - oryx, giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, springbok, kudu, black-faced impala, gemsbok, eland and more.

Etosha (‘Great White Place’) is one of the biggest national parks in Africa and with its diverse wildlife and landscape – from Acacia trees on the wide-open plains to the large salt pan, stretching as far as the eye can see – it is definitely one of the most interesting. Keep an eye out for elephants, giraffes, lions, many antelope species and much much more!

After our first game drive in Etosha Park we retrace our steps to Mushara Bush Camp. Spend the evening reliving the wildlife adventures of the day, enjoying a tasty dinner and sitting beside the campfire under the stars.

  • Travel: about 230 km (2-3 hours)
  • Accommodation: Mushara Bush Camp (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 5 & 6: Etosha National Park – Namibia

Time for some serious game viewing in one of Africa's finest reserves - Etosha National Park. We spend day five and six searching out the wildlife of Etosha and taking in the captivating landscapes from the comfort of our 4x4 safari vehicle with a pop-up roof. The national park is named after the vast, flat Etosha Pan that dominates much of the territory. Etosha means 'Great White Place' - a name that aptly describes this arid expanse of often dry salt flats.

Our explorations lead us to the various waterholes scattered across the hills and plains fringing Etosha Pan. These watering holes attract an abundance of animals and birds making for excellent sightings, particularly in the dry season when water is scarce.

We spend a night at Okaukuejo Camp and then Dolomite Camp, both of which offer night game drives (optional extra) with the national park's game rangers. The floodlit waterhole at Okaukuejo Camp is well-known for its frequent and interesting wildlife sightings. Black rhinos are often spotted here, along with lions and elephants. On day six we make our way west to Dolomite Camp, located amid rocky outcrops in a more out-of-the-way part of Etosha where the animals are less accustomed to people. In this area highlights include endangered black rhino, black-faced impala and rich birdlife, as well as leopard, lion, elephant, gemsbok and red hartebeest.

  • Distance depends on the routes selected
  • Accommodation: Dolomite Camp (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast

Please note: The rest camps in Etosha National Park are state-owned and mostly well-maintained and clean, but not luxurious. During high season these established camps are often fully booked, in which case we make use of alternative accommodation outside of Etosha.

Day 7: Etosha National Park to Kunene River – Namibia

On day seven we leave the game-rich bush behind, watching for wildlife action as we head south through Etosha National Park. We exit the reserve at Galton Gate and travel northwest through the barren Kunene Region. Along the way we pass through the rural town of Opuwo, capital of this remote region on the doorstep of Kaokoland. Here we see a mix of Namibian cultures and a blend of old and new lifestyles. We may see Himba women in traditional clothes and Herero women in brightly-coloured dresses with impressive headgear.

We keep going, passing through Epembe en route to our next overnight stop - Kunene River Lodge. The lodge is located on the banks of the Kunene River, which serves as the natural border between Namibia and Angola to the north. Later in the afternoon we take a leisurely cruise along the river looking out for animals and birds in the green vegetation on the riverbanks, in this otherwise arid region. Enjoy a scenic sunset on the boat cruise, watching the glowing colours change as the day fades into night.

  • Travel: about 350 km (5-6 hours)
  • Accommodation: Kunene River Lodge (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 8: Kunene River to Epupa Falls – Namibia

Begin the day with breakfast at the lodge, enjoying the lovely views over the Kunene River. Then we journey further north to Omarunga Lodge, also located along the Kunene River.

Arriving at our next lodge you are free to rest and explore the area, taking a walk to the nearby Epupa Falls if you want to. Epupa Falls is a beautiful waterfall, crashing some 60 metres into the narrow gorge below.

Later this afternoon we visit a lookout point in the area to admire the scenery as the sun sets. After witnessing a beautiful sunset over the palms and baobab trees of the Kaokoland area we return to our lodge along the Kunene River.

  • Travel: about 170 km (3 hours)
  • Accommodation: Omarunga Lodge (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 9: Epupa Falls – Namibia

This morning we set off on a cultural excursion to a nearby village. Here we encounter the distinctive Himba, one of Namibia's indigenous tribes.

Visiting the Himba village gives you a chance to experience both traditional and modern influences on the local culture as it is today. The Himba are best known for their striking ornamentation and unique appearance, especially amongst the women. The bare chested Himba women rub a mixture of butter, red ochre and ash into their hair and skin, giving their bodies a vivid red glow and protecting them from sunburn. The women traditionally wear elaborate beaded, iron and copper jewellery, as well as leather headpieces when they reach puberty.

A local Himba guide takes us on a two to three hour walk along the Kunene River this afternoon. As we walk the guide tells us more about the natural vegetation of this part of northern Namibia. Keep your eyes open for the possible sighting of a crocodile basking in the sunshine.

We spend another night at Omarunga Lodge, beside the Kunene River.

  • Accommodation: Omarunga Lodge (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 10: Epupa Falls to Sesfontein – Namibia

Start the day with a laid-back breakfast next the Kunene River. Then we return to Opuwo and drive further south, following the Joubert Mountains and crossing over the short, yet steep Joubert Pass in our powerful Land Cruiser. Our long drive brings us to Fort Sestfontein where we spend the next two nights.

Fort Sestfontein was built by the German colonial government in 1896, to guard against the spread of cattle disease, illegal hunting and weapon smuggling. The ruins of the old fortress have been rebuilt and restored to create the unique lodge where we stay. This comfortable lodge offers an oasis-like setting, with an interesting history.

  • Travel about 350 km (5-6 hours)
  • Accommodation: Fort Sestfontein (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 11: Sesfontein to Hoanib Valley – Namibia

We are up early on day 11, for our day trip to Hoanib River Valley. Travelling through the breathtaking landscapes of Kaokoland, we take in the strange scenes of this diverse and remote region.

We drive across the sandy floor of the Hoanib Valley in our 4x4 vehicle, travelling through low grasslands and across arid gravel plains, looking out for wildlife as we go. This secluded area is home to desert-adapted elephants, oryx, zebras and giraffes, and even lions are occasionally seen roaming freely here.

After exploring the rugged Hoanib area we return to Fort Sesfontein, where we freshen up and have dinner.

  • Distance depends on the route of the day trip
  • Accommodation: Fort Sestfontein (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 12: Sesfontein to Vingerklip – Namibia

Today we get an early start again for the long drive southeast to Khorixas, the former capital of Damaraland.

Our drive takes us via the Palmwag area where we pause to take a closer look at the peculiar-looking Welwitschia plants. Also called tree tumbo, these hardy plants are endemic to the Namib Desert. After marvelling at the unique Welwitschias we proceed through southern Kunene to Khorixas, passing through the town en route to Vingerklip Lodge.

At the end of the day we catch a splendid sunset from the veranda of the lodge, which looks out over the wide valley featuring Vingerklip (Finger of Stone). This 35 metre tall rock formation is the eroded remnant of one of the flat-topped hills of Ugab Terraces.

We have dinner at Vingerklip Lodge and spend a relaxing evening under the stars.

  • Travel: about 350 km (5-6 hours)
  • Accommodation: Vingerklip Lodge (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 13: Vingerklip to Okahandja – Namibia

In the morning your guide accompanies you on a walk to the Vingerklip pinnacle. Standing at the base of the vertical rock formation you can clearly see the sedimentary layers revealed over ages of erosion. The Vingerklip hill is also an excellent vantage point for taking photos of Ugab Terraces with its sandstone hills and valleys.

After our walk to the impressive Vingerklip we drive on to the town of Okahandja, best known for its large arts and crafts market. We stop off at the market to look at the wood carvings and local creations, ranging from jewellery to textiles. This is a good place to get gifts and souvenirs. Then we continue to the Elegant Farmstead, located on a private game farm nearby.

Reaching the reserve in the late afternoon you have the option of setting off on a sunset game drive (extra cost) or you can sit back on the deck and relax at the lodge. The game drive takes you into the 2500 hectare reserve encompassing scenic hills, open plains and arid riverbeds. Wildlife sightings include giraffe, warthog, ostrich, jackal and numerous antelope species such as springbok, eland, waterbuck, kudu, steenbok and hartebeest.

Tonight we celebrate our unique journey together, tucking into a farm-style Namibian dinner at the lodge.

  • Travel: about 400 km (5 hours)
  • Accommodation: Elegant Farmstead (or similar)
  • Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 14: Okahandja to Windhoek – Namibia

On the last day of our Northern Namibia Safari we have breakfast before hitting the road in our comfortable vehicle. Arriving back in Windhoek where our adventures began you will be dropped off at the Hosea Kutako Airport or your post-tour accommodation.

  • Travel: about 150 km (2 hours)
  • Breakfast

Tour Transport

This small group safari is conducted in a 4x4 Land Cruiser, built to navigate the rough roads of Africa. On each tour, a maximum of six clients get to experience Namibia from the luxury of a 4x4 vehicle, guaranteeing each guest a window seat. The Toyota Land Cruisers feature pop-up roofs which are ideal for viewing game and the open landscapes of Namibia, providing excellent photographic opportunities. Exploring the long, wide-open roads of remote Namibia in the comfort of a well-equipped 4x4 vehicle makes all the difference!

Please note:

  • If the lodges and guesthouses specified in the itinerary are fully booked then we make use of similar accommodation of the same standard.

Optional Extras and Excursions

For up-to-date and confirmed pricing info for optional items, please drop us an enquiry.

  • Night game drives in Etosha
  • Sunset game drive at Elegant Farmstead
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+Where does the tour go to?
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Namibia
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Windhoek
Etosha National Park
+Optional Activities & Day Trips
For confirmed pricing on these optional items, please drop us an enquiry
  • Night game drives in Etosha
  • Sunset game drive at Elegant Farmstead
+Included in the Tour Price
  • Transport in a 4x4 safari vehicle
  • Professional English speaking guide
  • 13 nights of accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Meals as per the itinerary
  • All national park fees
+Not Included in the Tour Price
  • Flights (international & domestic)
  • Meals not included on the itinerary 
  • Beverages (alcoholic & soft drinks)
  • Optional activities
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  • Tips & personal expenses
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