Departure from Swakopmund via Cape Cross and the southern Sceleton Coast Park to the world famous rock engravings at Twyfelfontein.
Encounter Namibias desert adapted elephants in central Damaraland and enjoy the breathtaking landscape. Explore the northern part of the Sceleton Coast Park with its historical places, following the course of the Kunene River into the Marien-River Valley with its spectacular views. Discover the isolated part of the North West by 4x4 vehicle and boat, visit a number of Ovahimba villages and families in the Kaokoland before you enter the world-famous Etosha National Park through the western gate. Enjoy exciting game drives within the National Park and within the Ongava Private Game Reserve at the southern boundary of the Park before returning via Okahandja to Windhoek.
(Alternative B ends after 10 days with an air transfer from Serra Cafema to Windhoek)
Departure from Swakopmund along the Atlantic Coast towards the North. Visit the lichen fields near Wlotzka's Baken before continuing to Henties Bay, a small holiday town. Onwards to the seal colony at Cape Cross, where after visiting the seals, the journey continues via Ugabmund to the southern Skeleton Coast Park to inspect a shipwreck. We leave the Skeleton Coast Park in the early afternoon via Springbokwasser and will experience the harsh transition from the Namib Desert to the Damaraland highlands, with its impressive landscape and rugged valleys. Here, one can perhaps sight the first springbok, zebra and Oryx and, with some luck, the desert elephant. Tonight, we will stay in bungalows at Twyfelfontein on a fully inclusive basis and after enjoying a drink and a delicious supper, you can luxuriate in the Lodge's cosy atmosphere and let the day's impressions sink in.
After breakfast, we visit the world famous rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, Burnt mountain and Organ pipes. Our journey then continues through central Damaraland and the Khowarib Gorge via Sesfontein in to the Hoanib River. We follow the course of the river as a game drive where we have a good chance of encountering the desert elephants living in this harsh environment. Abundant tree growth offers the desert elephant a healthy diet and provides shade to a variety of game against the intense Namibia sun. Arrival at our luxury tented camp situated in one of the side valleys of the main river. Here we will enjoy an ice-cold drink while the camp team prepares dinner and we revel in an intense Namibian bush experience. It is not unusual for the elephants to pass by the camp during the night.
Today we depart early, travelling in a northerly direction following the course of the Tsuxub River along the eastern Skeleton coast boundary into the Hoarusib River. This area offers a good opportunity to encounter plains game and desert elephant. After a delightful picnic lunch, we will arrive at Okahirongo Elephant Camp, which is located on the slopes of the massive Hoarusib river valley. Enjoy a relaxing sundowner from the deck of the lodge, where we overnight on a fully inclusive basis.
After breakfast we head in a north westerly direction and enter the Skeleton Coast Park. Here we will meet the Skeleton coast concession guide and continue towards Angra Fria, via an old track that leads to the Angra Fria Radio Station and airstrip. After crossing a big salt pan, we will reach the Atlantic Ocean. Camp will be set up by the back up team while we explore the area around Cape Fria. Camping in bow tents which have a bucket shower and short drop bush toilets.
From here, the route turns northwards where we drive on the beach to reach the wreck site of the Dunedin Star, a freighter that ran aground during WW2. Explore the historical little camp where the survivors lived while waiting for a rescue convoy from Kamanjab. After a great lunch on the beach, our safari continues along a track on either the high or low tide mark, depending on the tides. We arrive at the Kunene river mouth in the late afternoon, and spend some time exploring the area with its fresh water lagoon and abundant birdlife. Return along the beach for a nights camping at Bosluis Bay or surrounds. This evening we will be camping in bow tents which have a bucket shower and short drop bush toilets.
After an early breakfast our group prepares for an intensive dune drive through the dune fields of the northern Skeleton Coast Park. This is an area that very few people have the privilege of travelling through! The trail leads our safari to an area directly across from Foz de Cunene police station, which is located on the Angolan side of the Kunene River. From there onwards, we follow the course of the river through the dune and boulder fields, reaching the western border of the Hartmann's valley in the late afternoon. Weather and time permitting, we enjoy a cool dip in the numerous rock pools along this stretch of river. Camp is set up in a ravine, close to a small waterfall on the banks of the Kunene River.
After breakfast, we negotiate the last few dunes until we reach the Hartmann valley, where we bid farewell to our Skeleton coast guide. Our onward trail leads into a neighbouring valley with one of the most awe-inspiring and spectacular views this area has to offer - the Marienfluss river valley. Here, man can only feel dwarfed and helpless in comparison. After a short picnic, our journey continues on to the bottom of the mighty Kunene River in time to check-in at Okahirongo River Camp, situated on a natural granite platform overlooking the river. Okahirongo River Camp is our base for the next two days where we get to explore the scenic gorges, valleys and desert like dune fields of this isolated part of the North West by 4 x 4 vehicle and boat.
Today we bid farewell to the Kunene River and continue our journey to Hobatere Lodge via the Sanitatas and Kaoko Otavi regions. We will meet various Ovahimba herdsmen who remain with their stock and are continually on the move in search for better grazing areas. Again our guests experience the primitive but interesting lifestyle and traditions while visiting the traditional villages en route. The usual reception from the Ovahimba is friendly and most of them are willing to engage in conversation. Our journey continues further across a scenic mountain pass, into an area densely populated with overgrown palm trees and continuous flowing water in the Hoarusib river valley. Yet another perfect region to visit a number of Ovahimba villages and families who have settled in this vegetation rich grazing area. The desert elephant often return to this section of the Hoarusib River as it forms part of its natural breeding region. Camping in this part of the Kaokoland offers a good opportunity to encounter these animals feeding on the nutritious acacia pods close to the camp. Camping tonight is in the river bed, on a fully inclusive basis.
This morning we depart early and drive further east past the historical site of Kaoko Otavi, which served as a transition and logistical stopover point for the Boers in the early days of the dorsland trek. After a visit to the last ruins of the dorsland church, we continue via the small town of Opuwo on to Hobatere Lodge where we overnight.
Today, we enter the western side of Etosha National Park at Galton Gate, past the research station of Otijivazandu. We will enjoy full day game viewing while driving through the park towards Okaukuejo rest camp in the centre of the park. We leave the park at Andersons gate to check-in to Ongava Lodge in the late afternoon. Overnight at Ongava Lodge on a fully inclusive basis.
Up early for a morning game drive into Etosha National Park where we explore the area around Okaukuejo and the edges of the massive salt pan. We will return to the lodge in the early afternoon to freshen up before heading out on our final game drive within Ongava's own private reserve.
We bid farewell to Ongava and return to Windhoek via Okahandja - Okahandja is an important centre for woodcarvers from the north. They practice their ancient skills at the Woodcarvers Market next to the main road. This is a great place to stop for those wishing to pick up their last souvenir. On arrival in Windhoek, you will be transferred either to Hosea Kutako Airport for check-in for your outbound flight or to your accommodation establishment. End of services.
SCELETON COAST KAOKOLAND ENCOUNTER / BOOKING CODE: PTS 12 b
10 days / 9 nights - Fully serviced mobile guided combination camping accommodated safari with fly out (see inclusions & exclusions below).
Days 1- 9 :
same as for PTS 012 a.
Today you will be transferred to the lodge private airstrip with a flight back to your next planned destination. End of service.
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