Namibia, a land of compelling beauty, abundant sunshine, wide horizons, endless stretches of golden sands and seas of red dunes, rocky plains, beaches, nature parks and modern towns… Discover our amazing country with us on one of our exciting glamping safaris.
This self-drive tour will allow you to experience all the must-see highlights of Namibia, while still giving you the freedom to structure your day as you see fit. Accommodations will be in form of tented camps; ideal for guests seeking a great new adventure, without sacrificing luxury.
Arrival at Hosea Kutako (Windhoek International) airport, where you will receive your rental vehicle. Once you have sorted out all the formalities for your vehicle, you drive to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital. After check-in at the accommodation establishment, you can explore the city of Windhoek.
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.
Depart from Windhoek after breakfast in a southerly direction through the mountains of the Khomas Hochland into the low plains of the Namib Desert to a lodge in the Sossusvlei area, from where you will have excellent opportunities to explore the area.
The Namib Desert is commonly referred to as the world’s oldest desert as it has been around for about 43 million years. Part of the desert, towards the centre, incorporates the Namib Naukluft Park, which is the largest park in Namibia and also the third largest in Africa. The park these days, is a combination of the Namib Desert Park and the Naukluft Mountain Zebra Park as well as sections of the Diamond Area. The combination of all these areas adds up to about 50 000 square kilometres. The Naukluft Mountain area was initially created as a sanctuary for the Hartmann’s mountain zebra. In 2013, a large part of the desert became a Unesco World Heritage site under the name of “Namib Sand Sea”.
Today we recommend an early morning rise for a visit to the Sossusvlei dunes. The park gates open at dawn and the golden light just after sunrise is perfect for photographs.
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.
After exploring all that Sossusvlei and Deadvlei have to offer, drive to the Sesriem Canyon, 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 route today takes you north via the Kuiseb Canyon to Swakopmund. Highlights en route include a drive to the “Moon Landscape” and the ancient desert plant, “Welwitschia mirabilis”.
Where the desert dunes sweep down to the ocean on Namibia’s western flank, lies this charming seaside village. Swakopmund, deriving its name from the fact that it lies at the mouth of the Swakop River, is an oasis, neatly nestled between the wild Atlantic Ocean and the world’s most ancient sea of sand, the Namib Desert. With its old world charm, temperate climate and German background, Swakopmund is indeed the tourist mecca of Namibia, offering not only scenic beauty, but all the modern amenities and facilities to cater for tourists, both local and international.
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.
Another activity we suggest for today is a Living Desert Tour (not included in the travel price):
You will be collected from your accommodation at approx. 08h00.
This desert tour is a unique 4×4 adventure, which specializes in bringing the desert to life while sharing the awesome beauty of the Namib Desert.
Don’t forget to take a jacket, hat and sunscreen along.
Come see the Dancing White Lady Spider (Carparachne aureoflava) cartwheel 44 turns per second down a dune to escape the enemy. Admire the transparent Namib Dune Gecko (Pachydactylus rangei) with webbed feet that are used to walk and dig in soft dune sand and are the equivalent to snow shoes in colder areas. Learn about the different beetles and insects and how they survive in the dune desert. Follow in the tracks of a legless Lizard (Fitsimmon’s Burrowing Skink), observe Sand Diving Lizards (Meroles Anchieta) dancing on the hot sand, Sidewinder Snakes (Perinquey’s Adder), Desert Chameleons and many more fascinating creatures.
Learn about the geology, structure and formation of the desert, and admire the vast and beautiful landscapes while enjoying a scenic dune drive combined with fun and adrenaline. The photographic opportunities are endless too: make sure those batteries are charged before you leave.
Depart from Swakopmund and drive along the Atlantic Coast towards the North. Visit the lichen fields near Wlotzka’s Baken before continuing to Henties Bay, a small holiday resort. Onwards via Uis to the Twyfelfontein area.
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.
Today you head via Kamanjab to the Southern side of the Etosha National Park. You will spend the next 2 nights at the beautiful Safarihoek Lodge, situated on impressive 60 000 hectares of classic Etosha landscape, which is dominated by vast flat savannah, interspersed by Mopani woodland, riverine forest and scattered salt pans.
As the lodge is situated approx. 2 hours from the Etosha National Park, but still has the exact same animal and plant population available as well, we suggest rather participating in lodge activities, rather than driving to the park for game drives.
Today you travel east through Etosha National Park and leave the Park through the von Lindequist Gate, the eastern gate of Etosha to Mushara Bush Camp.
En route, you can stop at the numerous perennial springs found along the edge of the salt pan in search of lion, leopard, elephant and black rhino.
You have today to explore the eastern side of the National Park or partake in one of the game drives from Mushara. Alternatively, relax at the lodge and spend the day at your leisure.
The Namibian Adventure is slowly coming to an end. Return today towards Windhoek, you will spend your last night in Namibia in Okahandja.
Take some time to stroll through the famous Okahandja Woodcarvers Market next to the main road. This is a good place to pick out a last souvenir.
Drive to the International Airport of Windhoek for check-in on your outbound flight. Please remember to be at the airport 2 hours before your departure time!
Bid farewell to Namibia; we wish you a safe journey home.
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