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Namibia holidays and Namibia safaris - Sossusvlei dunes

Escorted Grand Namibia Tour


NYA14W
13 NIGHTS
FROM £2,295
International flights quoted separately
The Fish River Canyon and the Kalahari Desert are highlights of this fully escorted tour. Travel via Aus to Luderitz & the ghost town of Kolmanskop, the Namib Desert & Damaraland. Finish your holiday with a thrilling safari in Etosha. Regular departures - some English only & some dual language. Group size 2-20, with upgrade option to a smaller group (2-6). All game viewing included.
Namibia Safari Tour Fish River Canyon Etosha Namib Desert
• 
Windhoek
• 
Kalahari Desert
• 
Fish River Canyon
• 
Kolmanskop Ghost Town
• 
Sossusvlei
• 
Swakopmund
• 
Marine Cruise
• 
Twyfelfontein Rock Art
• 
Etosha National Park
• 
Game Drives
• 
Windhoek
• 
Kalahari Desert
• 
Fish River Canyon
• 
Kolmanskop Ghost Town
• 
Sossusvlei
• 
Swakopmund
• 
Marine Cruise
• 
Twyfelfontein Rock Art
• 
Etosha National Park
• 
Game Drives
Day 1
You will be met at Windhoek Airport and transferred 1-hour to your hotel.
 
Check in and relax under warm blue Namibian skies.
Day 2
This morning you will be collected from your Windhoek hotel around 08h00 for your escorted group tour of Namibia as we travel southwards for 5-hours into the largest sand mass on earth - the vast Kalahari.
 
The Bushmen refer to it as the “Soul of the World”, an emotive description for this area. With its endless grass plains interspersed with Acacia’s and shrubs, it is the only form of survival for a vast amount of wildlife and migrating bushman communities.
 
Enjoy the opportunity to experience the fauna and flora that have survived in this desert environment for thousands of years.
 
Most small group tours are dual language with a bilingual guide, but as Namibia was a former German colony there are normally more German-speakers than English-speakers on tour. On escorted group tours please note that for operational reasons it is sometimes necessary to substitute one hotel with another of similar quality. Porterage of one suitcase is included.
Day 3
Today we travel 5-hours to the great Fish River Canyon, the second largest on earth.
 
We travel south through these expansive rocky plains and visit the unique Quiver Tree Forest that bloom in June and July. Nestled among huge dolerite boulders, some of which are stacked in such mysterious ways that it seems impossible they were formed by nature, this area is aptly called the "Giants Playground".
 
We continue to our lodge situated close to the Fish River Canyon. Explore the area on foot or enjoy an optional guided nature drive in the late afternoon.
Day 4
Our morning starts on the edge of the Fish River Canyon, where we gaze down 550 meters into this magnificent canyon. The Nama Karoo desert has dramatic geological formations, which take on stupendous proportions in this canyon, the second largest on earth. The vegetation is characterized by dwarf shrubs & scattered grasslands and the slopes of the plateau mountains and vast plains are home to Hartmann’s mountain zebra, springbok, gemsbok, kudu & ostrich.
 
We continue our journey along the scenic mountain range following the Orange River which forms the natural border to South Africa, through the Ai Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park towards Luderitz.
 
On the way, we stop at Garub, a watering point where the  legendary Wild Desert Horses of the  Namib Desert can be observed as they come to drink, before checking into our hotel for overnight.
 
 
Day 5
Our morning starts with a visit to the ghost town of Kolmanskop, where the first diamond was found in 1908.  Now standing barren to the harsh wind and heat of the unforgiving desert, it reminds us of the opulence and decadence of the diamond rush days.
 
We continue to  Diaz Cross where daring Portuguese sailors erected a stone pillar in the 1480’s before exploring the small diamond town of Luderitz on the Atlantic Coast.
Day 6
After an early breakfast we travel north through the pre-Namib, the gateway to Sesriem Canyon and Sossusvlei, with some of the hightest sand dunes on Earth towering over the white desert plains.
 
We check in to our lodge, with the rest of the afternoon to relax by the pool or take part in optional lodge activities.
Day 7
Set out early this morning on a 4x4 tour into the famous sand dunes at Sossusvlei, as this is the coolest part of the day and the best for photography
 
This clay pan is surrounded by some of the highest dunes in the world – an endless sea of reddish sand stretching all the way to the distant horizon. These monumental star shaped dunes, some as high as 1,000 ft (325 m), were formed by strong multi-directional winds. The warm tints of sand range in colour from apricot to orange, red and maroon - and contrast vividly with the stark white clay pans at their base. You will be astonished by surreal Deadvlei, surrounded by some of the highest dunes and Sossusvlei, where the mostly dry Tsauchab River abruptly ends.
 
Take the opportunity to climb one of these dunes, which afford endless vistas across the desert landscape and the sea of sand.
 
Also visit the narrow gorge of the impressive Sesriem Canyon, with its rock pools fed by the Tsauchab River during the rainy season. The name is derived from the six “rieme” (leather thongs) that early pioneers used to draw water from these pools. Then return to your lodge, with afternoon at leisure.
Day 8
Today we drive for 6-hours through the starkly beautiful Kuiseb Moon Valley to the harbour town of Walvis Bay. This shallow lagoon is home to hundreds of thousands of African flamingos and is one of the most important wetlands in Namibia. It is a RAMSAR World Heritage birding site.
 
We continue to the beach resort of Swakopmund with its old lighthouse. Swakopmund is situated on the Atlantic Coast where the cold Benguela Current sweeps up from Antarctica, releasing no moisture into the prevailingly onshore winds – hence the very low rainfall and desert conditions. Fog is common along the coast in the early mornings and late afternoons and this is what gives life to the desert-adapted flora and fauna of the region. The cold current is also highly oxygenated, causing it to teem with marine life.
 
Check into your hotel and relax on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.
Day 9
Heading north, we travel 5-hours today from Swakopmund to timeless Damaraland - home of the Brandberg Mountain, the highest in Namibia.
 
Damaraland is one of the least populated and most geologically diverse areas in Africa. This harsh, rocky environment is home to the rare desert elephant, the endangered black rhino and free-roaming antelope. There are many fascinating rock formations on these vast uninhabited plains, where magnificent semi-desert flowers can grow after good rains.
 
We visit the World Heritage site at Twyfelfontein, which means "Doubtful Spring". Over 6,000 years ago, San communities engraved and painted over 2,500 pictures here. These ancient Bushman Paintings have been well preserved in this dry environment and the hills are strewn with rock art - making this an open-air museum.
 
Close by we can explore the Burnt Mountain, Organ Pipes and Petrified Forest. We can also see the desert-adapted Welwitschia Mirabilis plant - the oldest living desert plant on earth - and visit a traditional Damara Village.
Day 10
Today we travel to our lodge situated near the southern gate of the world famous Etosha National Park.
 
Etosha owes its unique landscape to a vast shallow depression – the Etosha Pan – with its open pans offering magnificent game viewing. Etosha is home to over a hundred different species of mammals, including cheetah, leopard, lion, elephant, rhino, giraffe, zebra and wildebeest.
 
In the afternoon there is an optional game drive into Etosha, travelling in an open top vehicle with a lodge ranger.
Day 11
Today is devoted to the abundant wildlife of the famous Etosha National Park, one of the largest wildlife conservation in Africa surrounding an enormous salt pan that is the size of the Netherlands.
 
During drier seasons it becomes an expanse of white cracked mud, shimmering with mirages and spiralling dust devils.  Waterholes along the southern edge frequently offer a rewarding game viewing experience, including several rare species such as black and white rhino.
 
This park is home to four of the Big 5, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino (as the terrain does not support buffalo) and its waterholes support a rich diversity of other mammals and birds, including species such as the black-faced impala, roan, cheetah and Namibia’s smallest antelope, the Damara dik-dik.
 
We enter the reserve at the southern gate and travel across Etosha National Park all day, exiting in the late afternoon at the eastern gate where we check into our lodge.
Day 12
Enjoy another superb day of game viewing in Etosha National Park, as we explore the eastern sector of this great wildlife reserve.
 
Etosha is home to over 100 different species of mammals and over 350 different birds, so superb game viewing and birding is assured. Your guide will explain some of the complexities of managing such an enormous reserve, as you view wildife in its natural surroundings.
Day 13
Today we drive 5-hours southwards through central Nambia to Windhoek, travelling via Otjiwarongo and stopping at the local handicraft market at Okahanja.
 
Afterwards transfer 1-hour to your lodge situated in the direction of the airport.
 
Here you can visit N/a'an ku se Wildlife Sanctuary that provides a safe home to animals orphaned or injured in the wild, watch the carnivore feeding and have a close-up encounter with a cheetah (pay locally).
Day 14
Transfer to Windhoek Airport for your flight home.
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