MAGNIFICANT NAMIBIA

21 Night / 22 Day Guided Lodge Safari

safari-Button

On this small group tour, you will get to know the fascinating desert country in all its facets. Explore the picturesque dune landscapes of the Kalahari and the extraordinary quiver tree forest, the impressive Fish River Canyon and the vast sea of dunes of the Namib Desert. You experience endless horizons, fascinating landscapes and bizarre rock formations in the Erongo Mountains as well as the Damaraland. In Etosha National Park, we focus on wildlife sightings while panoramic views await you at the Waterberg Plateau. On top of it all, the cities of Windhoek, Lüderitz, and Swakopmund invite you for days of discovery. We not only show you the highlights of Namibia. We take you to hidden gems in nature, show you our favourite places and share our passion for Namibia.

featured-Elephants-at-waterhole

Highlights

Day 1-22 | Namibia

  • Windhoek: city tour
  • Kalahari: red dunes
  • Keetmanshoop: fossils, ancient quiver trees
  • Fish River Canyon: unique views across the canyon
  • Aus: wild horses, day trip to Lüderitz and Kolmanskop
  • Tiras Mountains: breath-taking scenery
  • NamibRand Nature Reserve: remote desert landscapes
  • Namib Naukluft Park: Sesriem Canyon, Sossusvlei, Dead Vlei
  • Swakopmund: Welwitschia Drive, Moon Landscape, city tour, optional activities
  • Erongo Mountains: ancient rock art at Spitzkoppe, visit to the mineral miners at the Hohenstein
  • Damaraland: Brandberg, Ugab Valley, Vingerklip, Petrified Forest, Twyfelfontein
  • Grootberg: desert elephant tracking
  • Etosha National Park: game drives, night game drive (optional)
  • Waterberg Plateau: incredible views, hiking
  • Okahandja: visit to the souvenir market, farmstead stay

Facts

Lodge Safari: Magnificent Namibia
Tourcode: ET22NAEXVI
From: Windhoek
To: Windhoek
Min number to guarantee tour: 2
Max number of participants:
10 (window seat guaranteed)
Departure day: Saturday
Price: from 57,200 NAD
Single Supplement: 8,800 NAD

Itinerary

Day 1 | Windhoek

Distance approx. 50 km; driving time approx. 1 hour

Upon arrival at Windhoek International Airport, your transfer driver welcomes you to Namibia and takes you to your guesthouse. Here, you can relax and slowly arrive in the country where you will spend the next three weeks. In the afternoon, you meet your guide and together go on a city tour around Windhoek: visit the Christ Church, the parliament known as ink palace and Independence Avenue. End the day with dinner at Joe’s Beerhouse (own expense) together with your fellow travellers. You spend the night at Vondelhof Guesthouse.

Day 2 | Windhoek – Kalahari

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

After breakfast, you head out to explore Namibia. Leaving Windhoek to the south, you drive to the Kalahari. This crossing-border desert forms the largest continuous sand surface on earth. The dunes of the Kalahari are covered in different vegetation such as grass, bushes and leafy trees. Along the way, you stop at the small village of Hoachanas to see one of the oldest churches in Namibia. Here live the people of the Nama, once nomadic cattle breeders in the south-west of Africa. It is now time to drive to your accommodation for the night, beautifully situated amongst the red dunes. Enjoy the play of colours at sunset across the Kalahari. You overnight at Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 3 | Kalahari – Keetmanshoop

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

In the morning, you can join a Bushmen walk (optional). Afterwards, you continue to Keetmanshoop. Take a rest at the guesthouse, before you visit the Mesosaurus Fossil Site as well as the Quiver Tree Dolerite Park in the afternoon. The more than 3,000 prehistoric quiver trees with their golden bark and yellow blossoms shimmer in the setting sun. For dinner, visit a restaurant in Keetmanshoop (own expense). You overnight at Quiver Inn Guesthouse.

Breakfast

Day 4 | Keetmanshoop – Naute Dam – Fish River Canyon

Distance approx. 230 km; driving time approx. 3-4 hours

After breakfast, you drive to Naute Dam and stop at Naute Kristall Distillery for a light lunch snack. Here, you learn about the distillery and can join a gin or brandy tasting (optional). In the early afternoon, you make your way to Fish River Canyon – at 160 kilometres long and 27 kilometres wide, it is the second largest canyon in the world. Your home for the night is Fish River Lodge, nestled up to the rim of the Canyon. Be enchanted by the magnificent views and enjoy this impressive natural scenery.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 5-6 | Fish River Canyon – Aus

Distance on day 5: approx. 260 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours
Distance on day 6: approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

Enjoy once more the unique views across the canyon, before you make your way on rough roads towards Aus. With a little luck, you may be able to spot wild horses at Garub in the afternoon – until this day, no one is certain about their origin. You spend the next two nights at Desert Horse Inn on the farm Klein Aus Vista. On a day trip, learn about the colonial history and visit the coastal town of Lüderitz with its monolithic church and Goerke House. Another excursion takes you to Kolmanskop, former home and place of work to about 400 people during the diamond rush. Today, it is an open-air museum with a mystique flair, slowly being covered by desert sand.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 7 | Aus – NamibRand Nature Reserve

Distance approx. 280 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

Today takes you across the picturesque region of the Tiras Mountains along the road D707, known as one of the most beautiful roads in the country. The fascinating desert landscapes invite for multiple photo stops. On your way towards the NamibRand Nature Reserve, you take a quick detour to Duwisib Castle. The castle built of red sandstone and formerly owned by a German colonialist is now a museum and national monument. Find out about the curious story of this desert castle! In the course of the afternoon, you will reach the Greenfire Desert Lodge. Enjoy the peaceful and secluded ambience.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 8 | NamibRand Nature Reserve – Sesriem

Distance approx. 170 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

Your journey today takes you north to Sesriem where you will explore the Sesriem Canyon in the Namib Naukluft Park. This roughly one kilometre long and 30-metre wide canyon was formed millions of years ago by the Tsauchab River. During the dry season, you can take a walk through the canyon, watching the sunlight reflect between the steep canyon walls. Later on, you leave the Namib Naukluft Park to end the day at the Elegant Desert Lodge.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 9 | Namib Desert – Naukluft Area

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 4 hours

Look forward to visiting the Namib, the oldest desert in the world. It’s an early start to the day, returning to the Namib Naukluft Park, where you can hike up one of the great dunes. The somewhat tough ascend on soft sand is rewarded with magnificent views across a sea of dunes. You now visit Sossusvlei, a clay pan circled by dunes as well as the Dead Vlei. The contrast between the white clay ground, dark camel thorn trees, rust-red dunes, and the clear blue sky is impressive. Welcome to photographers’ paradise. You head north to the unique Namib Dune Star Camp –  the perfect place to take a break from the rest of the world. At night move your star bed out onto the terrace and spend the night under the vast starry night sky of Namibia.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10 – 11 | Naukluft Area – Swakopmund

Distance on day 10: approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4 hours

Today takes you north-west across the rugged landscapes of the Gaub Pass and Kuiseb Pass. Take a turn off the main road and onto a lesser frequented road across the remote northern part of the Namib Naukluft Park. You reach the Welwitschia Drive, lined by ancient plants of the same name. Take in the bizarre looking Moon Landscape with its rugged rocks, before you stop for a break at the Goanikontes Oasis at the Swakop River. In the afternoon, you reach Swakopmund. On a city tour, you get to know this charming coastal town. You can spend the following day at your leisure: stroll through town or participate in one of the many activities (optional), such as boat tours or desert safaris tracking the Little Five. There are many restaurants in town you can choose from and give a try over dinner together with your fellow travellers (own expense). You spend two nights at the Organic Square Guesthouse.

Breakfast

Day 12 | Swakopmund – Erongo Mountains

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

Along the coast, you make your way to the Zeila wreck this morning – one of the many shipwrecks at this stretch of Atlantic coast. After a photo stop, you leave the ocean behind, continuing inland. Your next destination: Spitzkoppe. Explore and experience these impressive and gigantic formations of granite rocks, covered in ancient rock art. Your journey now takes you to the foot of Hohenstein, the highest elevation in the Erongo Mountains. Here, you will spend the next two nights at Hohenstein Lodge. After your arrival at the lodge, you can explore the area on foot along one of the hiking trails or simply relax.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 13 | Erongo Mountains

Today, you visit the mineral miners at Hohenstein. You get an authentic insight in the life and work of the people who mine for aquamarine, tourmaline and other gemstones at the steep slopes, hoping for a precious find – often in vain. The beautiful landscapes of the area should not be forgotten; the first leg is driven by car before you get out of the vehicle and continue on foot through the so-called Boulder Forest with its giant granite rocks and rich vegetation until you reach the base camp of the ‘small miners’. The descend offers spectacular photo opportunities across the vast plains. If you’re not up for the hike, you can relax at the pool terrace. You spend another night at Hohenstein Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 14 | Erongo Mountains – Ugab Valley

Distance approx. 380 km; driving time approx. 5-6 hours

Rise and shine; today starts early. Your guide takes you to the mighty Brandberg, at 2,580 metres the highest mountain range in the country. Your journey continues north-east, stopping at the Herero Craft Market along the way. Having excellent sewing skills, the women make pretty souvenirs. You are welcome to have a look around. Finally, you reach the picturesque Ugab Valley with its high terraces in the late afternoon. Visit Vingerklip, a curious rock formation resembling a finger, before you arrive at Vingerklip Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 15 | Ugab Valley – Twyfelfontein – Grootberg

Distance approx. 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

After an early departure, you drive west to explore the Petrified Forest with its mineralised tree trunks, millions of years old. You also visit the UNESCO world heritage site Twyfelfontein with its numerous rock engravings and make a stop at the organ pipes, ancient basalt columns. Around lunchtime, you reach the Damara Living Museum. The Damara people are among the indigenous population of Namibia, who used to live as hunter-gatherers as well as off breeding cattle, sheep and goats. Today, much of their culture is unfortunately no longer part of the public’s memory. Look forward to learning about their ancient traditions and the culture of the Damara. Afterwards, you travel to the Grootberg Lodge, spectacularly situated on top of a high plateau. Enjoy the incredible views across the Klip River Valley.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 16 | Grootberg, Elephant Tracking

Accompanied by an experienced tracker, you search for the rare desert elephants. Experience an exciting safari through unique landscapes and find out more about flora and fauna of the Damaraland. With a little luck and patience, your tracker will find the comparably smaller desert elephants. Afterwards, you return to your lodge where you can spend the afternoon at your leisure. You spend another night at Grootberg Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 17 | Grootberg – Hobatere

Distance approx. 180 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

In the early morning, the rising sun colours your surroundings in its magical golden light. After breakfast, it’s time to head on. You make a quick shopping stop at Kamanjab before heading towards the more than 8,000 hectare-large Hobatere concession and lodge. Bordering the western part of Etosha National Park, Hobatere is home to many wild animals. On a game drive in an open safari vehicle, look out for elephants, lions, zebras, giraffes, and different antelopes. You have dinner and spend the night at Hobatere Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 18 | Etosha National Park

Your morning starts early as you enter the famous Etosha National Park today. It’s all about ‘safari’ in the coming days in one of Southern Africa’s most popular national parks. Slowly you make your way east. Along the way, stop to look for elephants, rhinos, giraffes, antelopes, lions, and leopards. Your guide will share their in-depth knowledge about the fascinating world of wildlife with you. You reach Okaukuejo Camp in the afternoon. Tonight, you enjoy a traditional braai – a BBQ – together with your guide. At the floodlit waterhole, you can watch wildlife throughout the night. If you’d like to observe nocturnal animals in the park, we recommend a guided night game drive (optional).

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 19 | Etosha National Park

Today starts with a hearty breakfast, followed by another game drive. No day on safari is the same so you can look forward to unique moments in nature. Herds of impalas, wildebeest, oryx, and zebras cross the salt pan, which stretches east for kilometres on end. Make a stop at some of the waterholes to watch animals drinking from up close. In the late afternoon, you leave Etosha National Park and after only a short drive, you reach Mushara Bush Camp, your home for the night.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 20 | Etosha Area – Waterberg Plateau

Distance 300 km; driving time approx. 4-5 hours

Many magical safari moments on your mind, you continue your journey south. On your way to the Waterberg Plateau, you stop at the Lake Otjikoto and also at the Hoba Meteorite. You can spot the Waterberg and its steep, red cliffs from afar. On a high plateau, at the slopes of this gigantic table mountain, is Waterberg Plateau Lodge. Enjoy incredible views across the seemingly endless bush savannah. In the afternoon, you can go on a hike, exploring the beautiful surroundings, or join a Rhino Drive (optional). You spend the night at Waterberg Plateau Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 21 | Waterberg Plateau – Okahandja

Distance approx. 250 km; driving time approx. 3 hours

After breakfast, you can hike up the plateau (optional) – your efforts will be rewarded with breathtakingly beautiful views! Your next destination is Okahandja. Here, you can stroll across the large souvenir market, browsing through hand-made wood carvings, basketwork or jewellery. In the course of the afternoon, you arrive at the charming Elegant Farmstead. Enjoy a delicious dinner, before your last night under the Namibian sky sets in.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 22 | Okahandja – Windhoek

Distance 150 km; driving time approx. 2 hours

Today, you drive back to Windhoek, where your journey of discovery comes to an end. Your guide takes you either to the airport or an accommodation of your choice. It is time to say our goodbyes. Totsiens – until next time!

Breakfast

 

Includes

  • Guided lodge safari as per the itinerary
  • Transport in a 4×4 safari vehicle
  • Professional, English-speaking guide
  • 21 nights’ stay in lodges, rest camps and guesthouses (depending on availability, accommodation of a similar standard will be booked)
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Activities as per itinerary
  • All national park fees

Excludes

  • Flights (international & domestic)
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  • Alcoholic and soft drinks
  • Optional activities
  • Visa fees, tips, personal expenses, travel insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

A lodge safari is a journey along a well-planned route, through the wide expanses of Namibia on tar and gravel roads. You will get to see impressive landscapes, experience game viewing and gain an insight into the different cultures. In order to experience Namibia in all its facets, long driving distances are inevitable. On a lodge safari, all accommodations offer rooms with en-suite bathrooms as well as a comfortable atmosphere and personal service.

A guided lodge safari is suitable for individuals who want to feel Africa and experience its splendid nature and wildlife while travelling in comfort and ease. The groups consist of a minimum of two and a maximum of six people. Not only couples and friends, but also solo travellers join our guided lodge safaris. Clocks tick differently in Africa and unexpected hurdles can arise on the way. Flexibility, patience, an open mind as well as a good sense of humour are the key to an enjoyable trip and an unforgettable experience.

Your qualified and registered guide is also your driver. Our guides know the fauna, flora, people and roads of Namibia like the back of their hand and have many years of driving experience on gravel roads. Our guides have a passion for Namibia and love nothing more than sharing interesting facts and stories about the country.

Namibian food is a combination of African and European styles. The latter is often German cuisine – pork dishes, potatoes, breads and pastries. Dishes with game meat, beef and lamb are very popular. Seafood is also regularly on the menu. Biltong (cured, dried meat) and droëwors (dried sausage) are typical Namibian snacks. All lodges serve a full breakfast, most include a 3-course dinner as well. In some towns there is the option to have supper at a restaurant (own account).

When booking with us, please notify us of any dietary requirements and/or allergies you might have.

A normal day will start with breakfast at around 8am and end with supper at around 8pm. It might happen that you have an early morning activity planned, so breakfast might be slightly later or a packed breakfast will be provided. In general, departure times are quite flexible and can be arranged in consultation with the guide and the rest of the group. As your guide knows his or her way around and is familiar with the driving times and distances, he or she will decide what time to leave. You will either travel to your next destination or explore the surroundings on excursions. You arrive at the overnight accommodation in the afternoon, with some time to relax and freshen up before supper. After supper, you might want to chat and enjoy a night cap before you go to bed.

We use specially designed and customised Toyota Land Cruisers with large sliding windows and pop-up roofs for great game viewing and vistas. The passenger compartment comprises six individual and comfortable seats which provide great comfort while travelling. A window seat is guaranteed for each guest.

You will overnight in guesthouses, guestfarms, lodges or permanent tented camps. While guesthouses, guestfarms and lodges consist of permanent buildings, tented camps provide accommodation in large walk-in tents with en-suite bathrooms, including washbasin, shower and toilet. The standard is 3-star to 4-star. Most accommodations are nestled in beautiful scenery and offer spectacular views.

Passport:

You need a passport, which must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Namibia and have at least three blank pages.

Visa:

Most nationalities travelling to Namibia for holiday purposes do not require a visa for up to 90 days. Nevertheless, visa requirements are constantly changing – please contact Namibia’s embassy in your home country. Namibia-Experience cannot be held responsible if you are refused entry and cannot begin your trip. All costs incurred due to a delay in travelling are for the traveller’s account.

If you travel with children via South Africa to Namibia: From 1 June 2015, all passengers under 18 years old, arriving in and departing from South Africa, will be required by law to travel with an unabridged birth certificate.

Other:

You must have a valid return flight ticket or other onward travel documents which allow you to leave the country when your trip ends. Otherwise you must provide proof that you have sufficient funds (i.e. credit card) to purchase a return ticket.

Since you will be staying outside your home country, you are not covered by your personal health insurance. You will be treated as a private patient and must be adequately insured for. Also check whether your personal liability covers damage when travelling outside of your country.

Although the tour price includes most meals, entry fees to national parks and accommodation, you still need to plan for other expenses. Plan for optional activities (game drives, boat trips, cultural visits etc), tipping, souvenirs, extra meals and drinks.

Tipping in Namibia is a reward for good service and is at the guest’s discretion. Normally you can add 10% to a restaurant bill. For lodge staff, there is generally a communal tip box. If you want to tip your Namibia-Experience guide, we recommend 150 – 220 N$ per group per day.

 

The currency in Namibia is the Namibian Dollar (N$) and is traded at 1:1 to the South African Rand. South African Rands can also be used as payment in Namibia.

You can draw cash at a local ATM with your credit card or Maestro card (PIN required). Transaction fees depend on your bank and the establishment which you are using it at.

In many big shops/shopping malls you can pay with credit card. At smaller shops and at some fuel stations you can only pay cash. Furthermore, we recommend having cash for emergencies and small purchases such as curios or at markets as well as for tips. Also have cash for tipping as some accommodations will not add the tips onto your service bill.

Traveller’s cheques are not recommended. They are rarely accepted because of fraud, high fees and long waiting times at the exchange.

 

The travel destination and season will determine what to pack. Bear in mind that Namibia is in the southern hemisphere with opposite seasons to the USA and Europe. Namibia’s summer (with intermittent thunder showers) is from December to February and the dry winter months are from June to September.

Bring warm clothes if you travel between April to September, which you will need especially in the evening, at night and in the early morning. Even in summer include long trousers, closed shoes and a long sleeve shirt – these will help against mosquitos, which are mainly found in the north of Namibia and in the Zambezi Region (Caprivi Strip).

Due to limited space in our safari vehicles, please restrict your luggage to no more than 15 kg and one small hand luggage. The best bags to bring with you on safari are definitely soft shell bags. NO SUITCASES PLEASE! Hard shell bags are often too big and bulky.

 

Here is a rough checklist for clothing:

  • Warm jacket, warm pullover
  • Wind jacket or rain jacket
  • 2 long-sleeved shirts
  • 1 pair of long trousers
  • 1 spare pair of trousers (comfortable and durable)
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 4-6 T-shirts
  • Sufficient underwear and socks
  • Swimwear
  • Sturdy walking shoes
  • Sandals or flip flops
  • Base cap, sun hat

Very colourful textiles are not necessarily an advantage if you want to observe wild animals. Military style clothing is also not advisable, as it can be a problem for government officials.

Other equipment:

  • Sun glasses
  • Torch, preferably headtorch
  • Neck pouch, money belt or hip bag for money, documents, passport, vaccination card
  • Photo equipment
  • Adapter
  • Alarm clock
  • Binoculars
  • Toiletry bag
  • Sunscreen with high sun protection factor
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Malaria prophylaxis (after consultation with your doctor)
  • First-aid kit
  • Water bottle

It is recommended that you have your regular vaccinations updated – tetanus, hepatitis A and B and polio. Malaria is a concern in some areas and we therefore recommend that some precautionary measures are taken. For more detailed information on prophylaxis and the effects as well as possible side effects, please contact your doctor, travel clinic or tropical institute.

Namibian custom officials require proof of yellow fever vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever.

Namibia’s climate can be extreme. In summer (November to February) it can be scorching in the interior and Namib Desert with temperatures of up to 50°C. This is also the rainy season and afternoon thunder showers can bring relief. In the northeast of the country, the summers are more humid. In winter (from May to September) the central plateau can be very cold at night with pleasant day time temperatures.

No smoking is allowed in the safari vehicle or in the rooms. While on the road, there will be frequent stops for smoking and bathroom breaks.

For most people it goes without saying that one has to comply with the laws and regulations of the country visited. Guests who do not comply, are responsible themselves for any consequences that might result. If any non-compliance has negative effects on the tour itinerary, continuous travel arrangements would be at one’s own account. Please accept that in such cases, refunds are not possible.

Please also comply with unwritten rules such as patience and courtesy towards government representatives and Namibians in general. Please always ask first before taking pictures of local people and respect their privacy.

When travelling anywhere, basic safety measures apply. Do not carry large sums of cash, be careful of your cameras, cell phones and jewellery and never leave valuables lying open in the safari vehicle. Carry cash and travel documents in a pouch on your body or leave in a lodge safe. Do not walk alone at night and be especially cautious when drawing money at an ATM. When in doubt, ask your guide.

Different safety measures apply when on a game drive in the bush. Always stay in the vehicle and only get out at designated picnic stops. Our safari vehicles have pop-up roofs to allow for safe photography – never get out of the vehicle to get closer to animals for a better photo. Wild animals can be dangerous, even if it does not look like it. Please do not feed the animals or remove plants, flowers, seeds or stones.

During a bush walk, do not approach the animals too closely just for the sake of a good photo and do not be loud as animals respond immediately to noise.

Always remember that your tour guide is a trained professional and knows the area well. For your safety (and that of the animals), follow the guide’s instructions at all times.

Voltage is 220 Volt and the South African plug with three round pins in a triangular pattern is used. The common two-pin plugs are not compatible and you will need an adapter. Our safari vehicles are equipped with 220 Volts electric sockets to charge cell phone and batteries while driving.

Should – against expectation – any problems arise while travelling, please speak to your guide right away. Only once your guide knows about problems of any kind, can these be rectified.

Speaking frankly will be to your advantage. If your objections are not met by immediate redress, please contact our office in Windhoek directly. We will do everything we can to rectify the situation immediately.

Magnificent Namibia Map