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Namibia holidays and Namibia safaris - Sossusvlei dunes

Namibia Highlights: Sossusvlei + Swakop + Etosha


1PN12W
12 NIGHTS
FROM £3,995
International flights quoted separately
Namibia offers a diverse array of wildlife & spectacular scenery, from the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei, the arid stony plains of Etosha & the rolling mists of the Atlantic shores. Experience the highlights of this wilderness, including the Bushman Paintings at Twyfelfontein, desert-adapted wildlife on safari & tracking leopard at Africat. English speaking guide, accessible transfers & all game activities included.
Wheelchair Safari Namibia Etosha Namib Desert Disabled Accessible
• 
Windhoek
• 
Namb Desert
• 
Sossusvlei
• 
Swakopmund
• 
Damaraland
• 
Twyfelfontein
• 
Bushman Paintings
• 
Etosha National Park
• 
Wildlife
• 
Birding
• 
Windhoek
• 
Namb Desert
• 
Sossusvlei
• 
Swakopmund
• 
Damaraland
• 
Twyfelfontein
• 
Bushman Paintings
• 
Etosha National Park
• 
Wildlife
• 
Birding
Day 1
You will be met at Windhoek Airport and transferred to your hotel in Windhoek.
 
Check in and relax under warm blue Namibian skies.
Day 2
Today we travel 5-hours from Windhoek through ever-changing landscapes and dramatically beautiful desert scenery to the great Namib Desert.
 
The terrain becomes more arid as we travel towards Sossusvlei, whose great mountains of sand are a monument to the extreme forces of nature.
 
We explore Gondwana Namib Park and Namib Naukluft Park before checking into our lodge. The petrified dunes of the dry riverbed of the Dieprivier are a special attraction, as these are fossilised remnants of an ancient desert that is now overlaid with the sands of the younger Namib.
 
After the unpredictable desert rains (mid November/mid December), we may be fortunate enough to see the colourful desert flowers that burst forth here and provide a delightful display.
Day 3
Set out early this morning on a shared 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. These dunes 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. Afterwards return to your lodge, with afternoon at leisure.
 
Note: You will be lifted into the front seat of the large 4x4 vehicle, so you must have upper body strength to participate in this activity.
Day 4
Today we drive for 6-hours through the starkly beautiful Gaub and Kuiseb Canyons of the Namib Desert 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 5
At leisure to relax at the beach resort of Swakopmund, with your host providing any transport you may require.
Day 6
A full day on the road today as we travel 5.5-hours from Swakopmund across the barren Skeleton Coast, renowned for its many shipwrecks and inhospitable coastline. There is small lichen reserve here, where a relatively large variety of these slow growing organisms are protected.
 
We stop to see the thriving population of seals at Cape Cross Seal Reserve and the many gannets and other sea birds in this area, before continuing to timeless Damaraland - home of the Spitzkoppe and Brandberg Mountains, the highest in Namibia.
 
Damaraland is one of the least populated and most geologically diverse areas in Africa and home to the rare desert elephant and rhino. Take time to enjoy some of the fascinating rock formations in these vast uninhabited open spaces, where magnificent semi-desert flowers can grow after good rains.
Day 7
This morning we explore 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.
 
In the afternoon you can join an optional 4x4 game drive along the dry river beds in search of rare Desert Elephants. In the evening enjoy the incredible night skies.
Day 8
Today we travel 4-hours through Damaraland to Etosha National Park, one of the largest and greatest game parks in Africa (picnic lunch included).
 
Etosha owes its unique landscape to a vast shallow depression – the Etosha Pan.  During the dry season it becomes an expanse of white cracked mud, shimmering with mirages and spiralling dust devils, 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.
 
Check into your rest camp near the southern entrance to the park.
Days 9 To 10
Today is devoted to game viewing in the famous Etosha National Park, one of the largest wildlife conservation areas in Africa surrounding an enormous salt pan that is the size of the Netherlands.
 
As you will have your own driver/guide throughout your safari, you will have the flexibility of discussing preferred routings and travelling times with him each day. However we recommend setting off early each morning as the camp gates open (05h30 to 06h00 depending on the season), to take advantage of the best game viewing conditions of the day, with all game drives in his vehicle.
  
Explore the vast Etosha Pan, which offer magnificent game viewing opportunities including springbok, oryx, black-faced impala and the small Damara dik-dik. A series of waterholes throughout the park guarantees rewarding game viewing, with Etosha being renowned for its vast arrays of plains game and its “great cats” which are more easily seen on the open pans - including cheetah and leopard.
  
The rest of the morning is free to relax by the rest camp waterhole. Enjoy a picnic lunch (included) before setting out again at the time of your choice (usually the late afternoon) for another game drive. With over 100 different species of mammals and reptiles in Etosha National Park, you can hope to see giraffe, hyena, kudu, springbok, warthogs, baboons and many other interesting animals. Etosha is also a bird watchers paradise, with hundreds of recorded bird species and many migrants during the summer months.
 
After a beautiful African sunset, enjoy the balmy evening and pristine stars of the Milky Way as you have never seen them before – as well as the spectacular Southern Cross.
 
Note: Vehicles are not allowed to drive off-road in any national park in Namibia.
Day 11
Today we depart from Etosha National Park and transfer southwards for 3-hours to Okonjima.
 
This is the home of the Africat Foundation dedicated to the preservation of Namibia’s large carnivores, but especially leopard and cheetah. Namibia accounts for 25% of the world’s population of the endangered cheetah, which can roam freely in the rehabilitation area, where they and catch their own prey. Leopards can be radio-tracked from a game viewing vehicle.
 
Check in to your lodge and settle in, before enjoying an afternoon game activity in the reserve.
 
Note: Your carer will need to lift you into the front seat of the game viewing vehicle.
Day 12
After an early morning game activity in the Africat Reserve, we travel 3-hours to Windhoek.
 
Check into your hotel and relax under warm blue Namibian skies.
Day 13
Transfer to Windhoek Airport for your flight home.
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