NAMIBIA’S UNTOUCHED NORTH

13 Night / 14 Day Guided Lodge Safari

safari-Button

This guided lodge safari is for Africa experts and culture enthusiasts, who are looking to explore the more unknown parts of northern Namibia. From Windhoek, your journey takes you to a living museum of the San, where you will get an interesting insight into the traditional way of life and culture of one of the oldest inhabitants of Namibia. You will explore the fascinating animal kingdom in Etosha National Park, before heading to the Kunene River located deep in northern Namibia. Gaze upon the Epupa Falls and enjoy the beautiful scenery of this oasis-like place. You will head off to a Himba village to learn more about the culture and habits of this semi-nomadic tribe. Via Opuwo, the district capital of the Kunene Region, you will reach Sesfontein. On your quest to find desert elephants you will travel on the rough terrain of the Hoanib Valley in the Kaokoland. To round off your tour you will visit the unique Damaraland with its peculiar sights, before ending your extraordinary journey in Windhoek.

Highlights

Day 1-7 | Namibia

  • Windhoek: City tour
  • Grootfontein: Hoba meteorite, day trip to the Living Museum of the Ju/‘Hoansi-San
  • Etosha National Park: Game drives, night game drive (optional)
  • Kunene River: Sunset boat cruise

Day 8-14 | Namibia

  • Epupa Falls: Epupa Waterfalls, visit to a Himba village, walking tour along the Kunene River
  • Sesfontein: Fort Sesfontein
  • Hoanib Valley: Desert elephants, breathtaking landscapes
  • Damaraland: Ugab Terraces, visit to the Vingerklip
  • Okahandja: Souvenir market, private wildlife reserve

Facts

Lodge Safari: Namibias untouched north
Tourcode: ET13NAMNOR
From: Windhoek
To: Windhoek
Min number to guarantee tour: 2
Max number of participants:
6 per vehicle (window seat guaranteed)
Departure day:
every four weeks on Thursday
Price: 55,500 NAD
Single Supplement: 7,500 NAD

Itinerary

Day 1 | Windhoek, Namibia

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

Upon your arrival at Hosea Kutako Airport you will be met by your transfer driver and taken to the Elegant Guesthouse in Windhoek, where you will have some time to rest and freshen up after your long flight. In the afternoon, you will meet up with your guide for a tour of the city. You will visit the Alte Feste (Old Fort) and museum, the Christ Church, the Tintenpalast (House of Parliament) and the former Kaiserstraße, now called the Independence Avenue. In the evening, you can join your fellow travellers for dinner at the well-known Joe’s Beerhouse.

Day 2 | Windhoek, Namibia – Grootfontein Area, Namibia

Distance approx. 550 km; driving time approx. 7 h

After breakfast it is time to head north! Along the way you will pass vast farmlands and the historic Waterberg Plateau, towering majestically over the surrounding flat plains. As you reach Grootfontein, you will take a detour to the Hoba meteorite. It impacted the ground roughly 80,000 years ago and is the largest known meteorite on earth. In the afternoon, you will reach your accommodation for the night, the rustic Roy’s Rest Camp.

Breakfast | Dinner

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

Distance approx. 170 km; driving time approx. 2 h

Today you will visit the Living Museum of the Ju/‘Hoansi-San and embark on a journey through the ages. The reconstructed traditional village gives an authentic insight into the past and present lives of the San, one of the earliest indigenous people of Namibia. The San, dressed in traditional garb, bring home their hunter-gatherer culture, their traditions and their way of life in a very interesting way. Try your hand at setting traps, starting a campfire, searching for water and food or archery. After this unique experience, you will return to Roy’s Rest Camp, where you will stay another night.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 4 | Grootfontein Area, Namibia – Etosha National Park, Namibia

Distance approx. 230 km; driving time approx. 2-3 h

After breakfast you will continue through Tsumeb and along the deep blue Lake Otjikoto, a place where many stories and myths have originated, on your way to Etosha National Park. Your accommodation for the night is situated just outside the park gates. You have some time to relax before your first game drive in the national park in the afternoon. 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! Sitting around the campfire in the evening you have time to reflect on the events of the day, before enjoying a delicious meal. You will stay the night at Mushara Bush Camp.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 5-6 | Etosha National Park, Namibia

Distance depending on choice of route

The next two days are set aside for game viewing in the Etosha National Park. You will spend most of your time close to the waterholes, where you can observe the animals and birds as they come to quench their thirst. In the dry months, these places are especially good for seeing elephant herds, zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, oryx, impalas, springboks and with a little bit of luck also lions, rhinos and leopards. You will stay one night at the Okaukuejo Camp. In the evening, you should take some time to visit the camp’s illuminated waterhole as park residents can be quite active here at night. The following day you will head to the western part of the national park, where you will overnight at the Dolomite Camp, beautifully nestled on an outcrop of dolomite rocks. At both camps you can take part in night game drives in search of nocturnal animals accompanied by a park ranger (optional).

Breakfast

The camps in Etosha National Park are owned by the government. Although they are for the most part clean, you cannot call them luxurious. In the high season these camps are often booked out and then alternative accommodation outside the park will be booked.

Day 7 | Etosha National Park, Namibia – Kunene River, Namibia

Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

On your way out of the park you will enjoy some more game viewing. Be on the lookout for any animals you might have missed during the previous days. You will leave the Etosha National Park through the Galton Gate and continue in a northerly direction. You will pass Opuwo, the district capital of the Kunene Region and the gateway to the Kaokoland. A combination of tradition and modernity shapes this town and you will see many traditionally clothed Himba people as well as Herero women in their colourful garbs walking along the roads. You will then travel further through Epembe to the Kunene River Lodge, situated directly on the Kunene River, which forms the border between Namibia and Angola. This lodge is like an oasis after spending so much time in the aridness. In the late afternoon, you will take part in a boat cruise on the Kunene River, where you can search for more animals and birds. As the sun sets behind the mountains, watch as this idyllic landscape changes colour before disappearing into darkness. You will stay the night at Kunene River Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 8 | Kunene River, Namibia – Epupa Falls, Namibia

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

After a leisurely breakfast with a beautiful view over the river, it is time to continue your journey. Your destination for the day is the Omarunga Lodge, also situated on the banks of the Kunene, but a bit more to the north and only a stone’s throw away from the Epupa Falls. Here, against a breathtaking backdrop, the Kunene River cascades down into a 60-meter-deep gorge – a spectacular sight to behold. Once you are at the lodge you have time to relax and enjoy your surroundings. If you would like to stretch your legs, you can always go for a stroll to the Epupa Falls. In the late afternoon, you will be taken to a nearby viewpoint, where you can enjoy the picturesque sunset and scenic landscape dotted with Makalani palms and Baobab trees. You will stay the night at Omarunga Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 9 | Epupa Falls, Namibia

In the morning, you will visit a Himba village, where you will not only learn more about the culture and traditions of these proud people, but also get an insight into their everyday lives. Most striking is the intense red colour of the women’s bodies. By using a paste of butter fat, ochre powder and wood ash, they dye their hair and protect their skin from the sun. You also cannot help but to admire their intricately braided hair and their gorgeous jewellery, made from iron, copper and shells. In the afternoon, you will join a walk along the Kunene River accompanied by a Himba guide. He will explain the different vegetation found in the region and you might even see a crocodile lounging in the sun. After about 2-3 hours you will head back to your lodge. You will stay another night at Omarunga Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 10 | Epupa Falls, Namibia – Sesfontein, Namibia

Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

Let yourself be awakened by the gentle sounds of the Kunene… After a leisurely breakfast your journey takes you back to Opuwo and continues south along the Joubert Mountains and over the steep Joubert Pass. Your destination is the Fort Sestfontein. This old fortress was built in 1896 as an outpost to guard against poaching and weapons smuggling. It has now been converted to a comfortable lodge, where you will spend the night.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 11 | Sesfontein, Namibia – Hoanib Valley, Namibia

Distance depending on choice of route; day trip

Today calls for an early start as you embark on a journey through the Kaokoland. Enjoy the awe-inspiring and diverse landscape as you cross the sandy Hoanib River Valley and drive through shallow grassland and gravel desert. Always keep an eye out for wildlife as here you can find desert elephants, giraffes, lone oryx and zebras. Even lions can be seen from time to time in this inhospitable wilderness. A well-deserved shower awaits you back at the lodge to wash away the dust of the day. You will stay another night at Fort Sesfontein.

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Day 12 | Sesfontein, Namibia – Vingerklip, Namibia

Distance approx. 350 km; driving time approx. 5-6 h

You will leave early in the morning and make your way past Palmwag to the heart of the Damaraland. You will stop along the way to more closely inspect the Welwitschia plants, which grow here in abundance. Driving through Khorixas you will finally reach the Vingerklip Lodge. Sit back and enjoy the last rays of sunshine as your eyes glide over the picturesque valley with its flat top hills, known as the Ugab Terraces. You will have your evening meal and overnight stay at the Vingerklip Lodge.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 13 | Vingerklip, Namibia – Okahandja, Namibia

Distance approx. 400 km; driving time approx. 5 h

If you have not yet had the opportunity, you will visit the Vingerklip together with your guide in the morning. This remarkable 35-meter-high rock needle resembles a finger, hence the name ‘Finger Rock’. Hiking trails will take you up to the Vingerklip, offering great photo opportunities of the valley below. You will then continue to Okahandja. Take some time to browse through the well-known souvenir market, where you can find wood carvings, textiles and jewellery to name but a few. Just a short drive further and you will reach the Elegant Farmstead, situated in a private game reserve. Take a sunset drive (optional) or just relax and reflect on everything you have seen and experienced over the past days. In the evening, you will be treated to a typical Namibian farmer’s meal.

Breakfast | Dinner

Day 14 | Okahandja, Namibia – Windhoek, Namibia

Distance approx. 150 km; driving time approx. 2 h

After breakfast, you will head back to Windhoek. Depending on the rest of your travel plans, you will be taken directly to the airport or to a hotel of your choice. You will say farewell to your guide – totsiens – until next time.

Breakfast

Note | Our guided safaris depart with a minimum of two and a maximum of six guests. A window seat for each guest is guaranteed. In order to design your own tailor-made safari through Namibia, please contact the Namibia-Experience team .

Includes

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

Excludes

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

Gallery

Lodge Gallery

Elegant Guesthouse

Roy’s Rest Camp

Mushara Bush Camp

Okaukeujo Rest Camp

Dolomite Camp

Kunene River Lodge

Omarunga Lodge

Fort Sesfontein

Vingerklip Lodge

Elegant Farmstead

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.