On this classic Namibia tour you can combine the best of both worlds: start your tour by driving to the various destinations yourself and end it with a fly-in safari. For the first 11 days, you will drive from Windhoek to Okonjima, to the Etosha National Park as well as Twyfelfontein and Swakopmund. Here you return the rental car at the depot and your safari continues with a flight (air taxi) from Swakopmund to Sossusvlei, where you will spend the last 2 nights. You will then fly back to the Windhoek International Airport, where you can check in for your flight back home.
Arrival at the International Airport of Windhoek (Hosea Kutako International Airport), where you will receive your rental vehicle. Once you have sorted out all the formalities for your vehicle, drive to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital. After check-in at the accommodation establishment, you can explore the city of Windhoek on your own account.
Windhoek is a city of many contrasts. Modern skyscrapers blend with historic buildings dating from the turn of the century. Several buildings from the German colonial era have been preserved and restored to fulfil useful functions in the community today.
Nestled among the “Omboroko Mountains” lies Okonjima, your destination today.
Okonjima – a Herero name meaning “Place of the baboons” – is so much more than just a luxury lodge. It is also home to the AfriCat Foundation, which is committed to researching and rehabilitating Namibia’s threatened leopard and hyena population.
We recommend a visit to the AfriCat foundation carnivore care and information centre. The AfriCat Foundation was founded in the early 90’s and formally registered as a non-profit organisation in August 1993. The Foundation has since grown significantly and what started out primarily as a welfare organisation, has over the years, identified the need to focus on education and research, as being essential to accomplishing our mission – the long-term conservation of Namibia’s large carnivores.
Continue your journey towards the eastern side of the Etosha National Park. You will overnight at Onguma Tented Camp.
In 1991, several families invested in the future by turning four unproductive cattle ranches in Northern Namibia into a prolific 30,000-hectare private game reserve that is now a haven to large concentrations of wildlife. Sharing a common boundary with Etosha National Park, Ongava is considered one of the finest private game reserves in the region, enjoying global recognition for exceptional conservation, ground breaking research and exciting safari experiences. Ongava takes great pride in keeping the experience ‘small and personal’.
Etosha is Namibia’s flagship national park, we can recommend self-drive game drives to the different waterholes.
After the rains have dried up any surface water, the only source of water for birds and mammals are at the waterholes. The park’s main characteristic is a salt pan so large it can be seen from space. Yet there is abundant wildlife that congregates around the waterholes, giving you almost guaranteed game sightings. At the same time Etosha National Park is one of the most accessible game reserves in Namibia and Southern Africa.
Travel through the National Park today to reach your next destination located on the Ongava Reserve.
Situated outside the south-side of the National Park, Anderson’s at Ongava takes its name from Charles Andersson, the Swedish explorer who first ‘discovered’ the Etosha Pan with Sir Francis Galton in 1851.
Participate in the lodge activities on offer or take some time to enjoy a self-drive game drive through the National Park.
You drive to Camp Kipwe. ‘Kipwe’, meaning blessed in Swahili, is built creatively into the large granite boulders, facing out onto breathtaking scenery. It appears as if rocks have tumbled down the hill to reveal this gem of a camp. The setting is one of intimacy and space.
Recommended today: a self-drive excursion to Twyfelfontein, the Organ Pipes as well as the Burnt Mountain (alternatively, ask your lodge for possible lodge activities).
Twyfelfontein (“Doubtful Spring”) has one of the most extensive galleries of rock engravings in the world. They aren’t real paintings, but have been done by cutting through the hard surface layer of sandstone. More than 2000 petroglyphes have been counted here, and in 1952 the valley of Twyfelfontein was proclaimed a National Monument. The rock engravings are found on a number of smooth rock surfaces and most of them depict animals and their tracks. Scientists have estimated their ages to vary between 1000 and 10 000 years. The majority agrees on an age of about 6 000 years.
In 2007, Twyfelfontein was declared an UNESCO World Heritage site.
The Organ Pipes are a fascinating geological formation located near Twyfelfontein. Strikingly rich rusty colours are portrayed in long columns resembling those of a church organ, some rising up to 5m high. Thought to be the result of the Gondwanaland breakup, fractures and cracks were formed as the dolomite columns cooled through the process of columnar jointing approximately 120 million years ago.
Just a short walk from the Organ Pipes is a small inselberg named the Burnt Mountain, proclaimed a national monument on 15 September 1956. The reason for its name is best evident in the early mornings and late evenings when the rays of the sun seem to set the mountain ablaze. Rich red colours mixed with shades of black and purple are quite strikingly caused by Manganese coated clay molecules.
You proceed to Swakopmund, a resort located between the Atlantic Ocean and Namib Dunes, where you can spend your afternoon at leisure.
Please either drop off your rental vehicle today or tomorrow.
Swakopmund has plenty of activities on offer. Ask our dedicated team for more information and they will be happy to assist you.
We can recommend a dolphin cruise (not included in the travel price):
You will be picked up at your accommodation and driven to the nearby town of Walvis Bay, from where your boat cruise with Laramon Tours departs. Please ensure that you have had breakfast and are ready to leave Swakopmund by approx. 08h00, as you are requested to be at the check-in at the Walvis Bay Waterfront by approx. 08h45.
The scenic drive from Swakopmund to Walvis Bay takes about 45 minutes. Don’t forget to take a hat, sunscreen and a warm jacket along. After 3 exciting hours the catamaran will dock and your guide will return you to the Guesthouse.
Your cruise today departs the Walvis Bay Yacht club at approx. 09h00 and takes you through the harbour, passing moored Russian trawlers en route and on to Pelican Point, where inquisitive seals will swim up to the boats looking for something to eat, all whilst pods of Heaviside and Bottlenose Dolphins swim alongside the boat. For bird lovers, apart from seeing flamingos, cormorants and pelicans, there are common sightings of the White Chinned Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Black Oystercatcher and even the Jackass Penguin. With a bit of luck you might see a Sunfish (Mola Mola) and the Leatherback Turtles. In season, the larger mammals like the Southern Right Whale and the Humpback Whales may be spotted and occasionally the Killer Whales (Orcas).
To round the trip off you will be spoilt with fresh Walvis Bay oysters, snacks and cold sparkling wine on board as you make your way back to the docking station.
A transfer company will drive you to the Swakopmund Airport, where a small aircraft will fly you to Sossusvlei.
Your journey today takes you into the heart of the oldest desert in the world, the Namib in the vicinity of the legendary Sossusvlei. Desert Homestead Outpost is situated southeast of Sesriem and is surrounded by the Nubib, Tsaris and Naukluft mountains, with views of the dunes to the west.
Recommended today (not included in the price): a visit to Sossusvlei and the Sesriem Canyon.
The best time to visit Sossusvlei is in the early morning. The park gates open at dawn and the golden light just after sunrise is perfect. Take along enough drinking water, sunscreen and a hat.
Situated in the largest conservation area in Africa (the Namib-Naukluft National Park), Sossusvlei is possibly Namibia’s most spectacular and best-known attraction. Characterised by the large red dunes that surround it, Sossusvlei is a large, white, salt and clay pan and is a great destination all year round. The dunes in this area are some of the highest in the world and provide photographic enthusiasts with wonderful images in the beautiful morning and evening light. Sossusvlei literally translates to “dead-end marsh”, as it is the place where the dunes come together preventing the Tsauchab River to flow any further, some 60km east of the Atlantic Ocean. However, due to the dry conditions in the Namib Desert the River seldom flows this far and the pan remains bone-dry most years.
Close to Sossusvlei, Deadvlei is a clay pan characterized by dark, dead camel thorn trees contrasted against the white pan floor. The pan was formed when the Tsauchab River flooded and the abundance of water allowed camel thorn trees to grow. However, the climate changed and the sand dunes encroached on the pan, blocking the river from reaching the area. The trees are estimated to be approximately 900 years old, however they have not decomposed due to the dry climate. Deadvlei is at least 1km walk from the parking lot so be sure to take drinking water with you.
Sesriem Canyon is located approximately 4.5km from the entrance gate of the Namib-Naukluft National Park. The Tsauchab River has shaped the Canyon over millions of years and it is one of the few places in the area that holds water all year round. The early Afrikaans explorers in the region named the canyon after the fact that they had to use six (“ses”) leather straps (“riem”) tied together to create a rope long enough to lower buckets into the canyon below, in order to fetch water.
The Air Taxi will fly you back to the International Airport of Windhoek, where you check in for your flight home.
We wish you a safe journey.
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