Namibia Thirstland Self Drive Safari
Namibia Thirstland Self Drive Safari
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Highlights: Windhoek - Kalahari Namibia - Sossusvlei - Swakopmund - Damaraland - Kaokoveld - Ovamboland - Onguma Game Reserve - Ongava Private Game Reserve - Okonjima Nature Reserve


Other departures: Glasgow - £3319, Edinburgh - £3419, Birmingham - £3222, Manchester - £3415, Bristol - £3225, Norwich - £3222, Southampton - £3415, Newcastle - £3415


Alternate travel dates: 1 Jan 18 - 15 Mar 18 / 9 Apr 18 - 30 Jun 18


Itinerary:


Day 1: Flights from London to Windhoek Namibia


Day 2: Windhoek Country Club Resort & Casino, Windhoek
Windhoek is Namibia’s capital, home to an international airport and a plethora of restaurants, shops, entertainment venues and accommodation options. The city is clean, safe and well-organised, with a colonial legacy that is reflected in its many German eateries and shops, and the widespread use of the German language. Windhoek has an interesting mix of historical architecture and modern buildings, many of which are worth a look, including the Alte Feste (Old Fort), the 1896 Christuskirche (Christ Church), and the more contemporary Supreme Court.


Notes: Upon arrival in Windhoek, you will be met and a detailed travel digest will be handed over. You will be briefed on your routing and any questions you may have. You will also be assisted with your rental vehicle. Depart for Windhoek Country Club.


Overnight: Windhoek Country Club Resort & Casino
Developed as a resort within the city, the Windhoek Country Club Resort offers businessmen, conference delegates or families the best of both worlds. The resort’s unique combination of exceptional service, luxury accommodation and tranquil setting has ensured that it remains the final word in comfort and entertainment in Namibia. Enjoy a rendezvous with Lady Luck at the Desert Jewel Casino, play a round of golf on the superb 18-hole golf course, relax in the lazy river or take in any one of Windhoek’s cultural sites.


Included: Bed & Breakfast


Day 3: Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch, Kalahari Namibia
The Kalahari is an exceptionally beautiful living desert a large semi-arid sandy savannah draped over a gently rolling inland sea of sand covering most of Botswana and large parts of Namibia and South Africa. It is also the last bastion of the San people with the modern world having enveloped all the other areas they once roamed. Here in Namibia it is typically red sands covered in thin, wispy, mostly golden grass and dotted with acacia trees and wide ranging wildlife including gemsbok, impala, jackals and cheetah.


Notes: Depart after breakfast for the Kalahari. The lodge lies on the edge of the Southern Kalahari in the mixed tree and shrub Savanna.
The ranch is characterised by huge red sands dunes running parallel, and in a northern-westerly to south-easterly direction. This ‘Spirit of Africa’ atmosphere, coupled with service, delivered with graciousness and charm, in an unashamedly luxurious setting, will be the hallmarks of this establishment, providing excellent value and unforgettable memories for the discerning traveller. Bagatelle Kalahari Game Lodge lies on the edge of the southern Kalahari Bagatelle Game Ranch, and is only 50 minutes’ drive from Mariental. The ranch is located in a mixed tree and Shrub Savanna setting, broken by deep red parallel sand dunes running parallel in a northern-westerly to south-easterly direction. The valleys in between the parallel dunes are commonly known as 'dune streets'.


Overnight: Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch
The lodge lies on the edge of the Southern Kalahari in the mixed tree and shrub Savanna. The ranch is characterised by huge red sands dunes running parallel, and in a northern-westerly to south-easterly direction. This ‘Spirit of Africa’ atmosphere, coupled with service, delivered with graciousness and charm, in an unashamedly luxurious setting, will be the hallmarks of this establishment, providing excellent value and unforgettable memories for the discerning traveller.


Included: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast


Day 4-5: Le Mirage Resort & Spa, Sossusvlei
Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographers heaven. Aside from the attractions at Sossusvlei - Dune 45, Hiddenvlei, Big Daddy and Deadvlei - other attractions in the area include the Sesriem Canyon and Namib-Naukluft National Park, where the mountains of the Namib meet its plains.


Notes: Depart for Sossusvlei early this morning. The Namib is the world’s oldest desert, and although it stretches along the entire length of Namibia’s coastline, the Namib commonly refers to the vast sea of sand from Luderitz to Swakopmund. For a big sandy desert the scenery is remarkably varied, with the giant red dunes of Sossusvlei being the most famous part.
Because of how old it is the Namib is home to numerous species that don’t occur elsewhere and although no humans live in the desert an amazing array of flora and fauna manages to survive here. Famous species include the Welwitschia – a living fossil plant, endemic chameleons, fur seals along the coast, brown hyenas, jackals and remarkably one of Africa’s largest antelope the Gemsbok. The name Namib is of Nama origin and means "vast place" and vast it certainly is.


Overnight: Le Mirage Resort & Spa
Le Mirage Resort & Spa, a unique construction in the Namib desert, is situated at 21 km from the Sesriem gate to Sossusvlei. This makes it one of the lodges closets to the Sossusvlei and the ideal place to stay when you want to visit the highest dunes in the world! Guests are accommodated in 8 Camelthorn rooms and 19 Oasis rooms with en-suite facilities, air-conditioning, safe, mini bar and coffee & tea facilities. The lodge is accommodated in a large castle sheltering guests against the harsh desert climate. The spacious restaurant serves a fusion cuisine of European and Namibian dishes. A highlight at the resort is the Mystique Spa, wellness centre which specializes in massages, pedicures, manicures, aroma massages and de-stress treatments. In the large courtyard guests can retreat to the swimming pool sheltered from the desert in an oasis of palm trees. On offer are quad bike tours, nature drives on the private domain and nature drives to Sossusvlei, scenic flights and hot air ballooning. The lodge offers guests a luxury home after a day in the desert.


Included: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast


Day 6-7: Swakopmund Beach Lodge, Swakopmund
Founded in 1892 as the main harbour for German South West Africa, Swakopmund is often described as being more German than Germany. Now a seaside resort, Swakopmund is the capital of the Skeleton Coast tourism area and has plenty to keep visitors happy. The quirky mix of German and Namibian influences, colonial-era buildings and the cool sea breeze make it very popular.


Notes: Depart for Swakopmund for some rest and relaxation this morning.


Overnight: Swakopmund Beach Lodge
The only Hotel Pension directly on the beach! Enjoy the magnificent view of the sea from each room, listen to the waves and smell the fresh sea breeze. We are situated about 5km from the town centre. Beach Lodge offers 15 rooms in different configurations and is the ideal home away from home for the individual traveler, families and corporate travelers alike. The location, architecture, ambience and service will impress you and makes it the perfect hideaway for Honeymooners.


Included: Bed & Breakfast


Day 8: Camp Kipwe, Damaraland
Huge, untamed and ruggedly beautiful Damaraland is an exceptionally scenic landscape of open plains and spectacular rock formations. The major attractions are Spitzkoppe, the Brandberg, Twyfelfontein, Vingerklip and the Petrified Forest.


Notes: Depart for Damaraland after a delightful breakfast this morning. Huge, untamed and ruggedly beautiful Damaraland is an exceptionally scenic landscape of open plains and spectacular rock formations. The major attractions are Spitzkoppe, the Brandberg, Twyfelfontein, Vingerklip and the Petrified Forest.


Overnight: Camp Kipwe
Camp Kipwe is an intimate and remote bush lodge located in Namibia's arid yet starkly beautiful Twyfelfontein region, home to many ancient Bushman etchings. The 9 specially-designed rooms are unique and private, with an outdoor bathroom, thatched roofs and spectacular views over the surrounding area. A luxury thatched suite with a lounge equipped with air-conditioning, a satellite television, a double room with en-suite bathroom, laundry service and a mini-bar. Special offers available for longer stays! Camp Kipwe offers guided nature walks around the Twyfelfontein Conservancy, as well as trips to see the Bushman etchings, the mysterious Organ Pipes and Burnt Mountain. For a very special experience, an Elephant Nature Drive is a must-do; explore the terrain in search of these elusive desert-dwelling elephants who have adapted to the dry and sandy conditions of northern Namibia.


Included: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast


Day 9 - 10: Opuwo Country Lodge, Kaokoveld
The Kaokoveld is a dry, mountainous and relatively undeveloped region that takes in the harsh beauty of the Skeleton Coast and the coppery sands of the northern Namib Desert. The area is inhabited by three main ethnic groups – the Damara, Herero and Himba people – each with their unique customs, traditions and rituals.


Notes: This morning is a very early departure as you have quite a long distance to cover. 
The Kaokoveld is a dry, mountainous and relatively undeveloped region that takes in the harsh beauty of the Skeleton Coast and the coppery sands of the northern Namib Desert. The area is inhabited by three main ethnic groups – the Damara, Herero and Himba people – each with their unique customs, traditions and rituals.


Overnight: Opuwo Country Lodge
Opuwo Country Lodge is situated on a northwest facing hilltop just outside the town of Opuwo. An awe-inspiring 360º view of the surrounding area gives visitors a spectacular vantage point of the surrounding area. With luxury and standard accommodation, air conditioning, as well as well-appointed camping sites — the Lodge is the ideal base from which to explore the Kaokoland. Deck chairs and umbrellas set the scene for a relaxed day around the pool or a welcome respite from the heat after a hard day's drive. Next to the pool is the Bar and Restaurant where guests can enjoy ice cold refreshments and mouth-watering meals. The lodge is within easy reach of Kaoko-Otavi, Epupa Falls and Swartbooisdrift, popular destinations for visitors to the area. Road conditions between Kamanjab and Opuwo are in excellent condition (tarmac). The 85 km to Ruacana is also a tarmac road and in excellent driving condition. Fly-in guests are welcome. Please be sure to arrange for pickup before your arrival. The lodge is unfortunately not suitable for guests in wheel chairs.


Included: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast


Day 11: Ongula Village Homestead Lodge, Ovamboland
Ovamboland is very different from the rest of Namibia with and environment which allows for crop farming and hence has a significantly higher population, indeed more than half of the country’s population lives in this unique part of Namibia. The landscape is mostly flat and monotonous with scattered small settlements and when the rains are good Owamboland is covered with large pans. Most of the Ovambo are small-scale farmers working the poor soils by hand. Oshakati is the biggest town in the region and to the south is the Etosha National Park which is accessible via the King Nehale Gate. Aside from agriculture people earn income selling their local art ware – intricately weaved baskets, pottery, beautiful jewellery and animal wood carvings.


Notes: Communal tourism is still in the fledgling stages. However, an increasing number of indigenous people are starting to take fate into their own hands by getting actively involved in the tourism industry. One such example is the Ongula Traditional Homestead Lodge near Ohangwena. Built alongside an active homestead, Ongula is the first lodge in Namibia to introduce visitors to the authentic, traditional lifestyle of the Ovambo, the largest cultural group in the country. Stopping over at Ongula is a definite “must” when travelling the area north of Etosha National Park.


Participate in the preparation and making of local traditional drinks and meals and learn of other duties in and around the rondavel. Clay pots are made in an underground studio called an onzimbogo (pottery making cave) and are stored for around 2 weeks. They are then placed in a pit and covered in cow dung and tree bark. Once lit the pit is covered in sand until the baked pots are removed the following day. Using mahangu stalks as the main ingredient, an attractive range of handmade paper products can be produced from combining craft with the remnants of the mahangu harvest. Bookmarks, cards, notebooks and magnetized fridge notepads can be purchased.


Overnight: Ongula Village Homestead Lodge
Communal tourism is still in the fledgling stages. However, an increasing number of indigenous people are starting to take fate into their own hands by getting actively involved in the tourism industry. One such example is the Ongula Traditional Homestead Lodge near Ohangwena. Built within the boundaries of an active homestead, Ongula is the first lodge in Namibia to introduce visitors to the authentic, traditional lifestyle of the Ovambo, the largest cultural group in the country. Stopping over at Ongula is a definite “must” when travelling the area north of Etosha National Park.


Included: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast


Day 12 - 13: Onguma Tented Camp, Onguma Game Reserve
Situated on the eastern side of Etosha, bordering Fisher's Pan, Onguma Game Reserve is one of Namibia's best kept secrets! Here you will be afforded the opportunity of experiencing Africa in all her beauty and diversity. Onguma Game Reserve has more than 34,000 hectares of protected land and wildlife. Our nature reserve boasts over thirty different animal species consisting of plains game including kudu, giraffe, eland, oryx, hartebeest, zebra, impala and many more roam freely as well as predators such as lion, cheetah, leopard, being common residents of the area. The latest addition to the already abundant wildlife at Onguma Game Reserve is a family of black rhinos! More than 300 bird species can also be viewed at Onguma Game Reserve. During the Namibian summer months the nature reserve becomes a bird-watcher's paradise with thousands of species migrating to the wetlands created by the seasonal rains and ephemeral river systems.


Notes: Bid farewell to Ongula and depart for Etosha. In the local Herero language, Onguma means, "the place you don't want to leave." With a stunning main building and seven tents providing private, exclusive accommodation, Onguma Tented Camp, certainly lives up to its name.


Overnight: Onguma Tented Camp
In the local Herero language, Onguma means, "the place you don't want to leave." With a stunning main building and seven tents providing private, exclusive accommodation, Onguma Tented Camp, certainly lives up to its name. Like the bush where soft air blows against sharp thorns, Onguma Tented Camp is a study in contrasts. Textures such as stone, suede, linen and steel create a setting that is sleek and modern but also inherently of the earth. Inspired by a photograph of an Oryx on Etosha's Fisher's Pan, the interior echoes the colours of its natural surrounds. Grey, charcoal, black, white, and creams, together with a touch of muted or unexpectedly bright green, adds sophistication and earthiness to the atmosphere of this seven tent camp. The new water-level hide will provide hours of game viewing opportunities for guests. Onguma Game Reserve now offers guests an opportunity to start their safari from the moment they touch down at the private airstrip!


Included: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast


Day 14: Okonjima Plains Camp, Okonjima Nature Reserve
Halfway between Windhoek and Etosha lies the well-known Okonjima Nature Reserve. The 22 000 ha Nature Reserve is surrounded by 96 km of fence and was finally completed in 2010. Okonjima is home to AFRICAT, a Carnivore Conservation, which gives the captive carnivores a second chance to be released back into the wild and to take the time it needs, to become a completely independent hunter - in a protected area right in the middle of commercial farmland! Also in the Reserve is a 2000 ha 'safe' zone around Plains Camp, Bush Camp, Bush Suite, the Omboroko Campsite as well as the PAWS Environmental Education Centre.


Notes: Depart for your journey back to Windhoek this morning via Okonjima.


Overnight: Okonjima Plains Camp
Not only is Okonjima a luxury lodge, but it is also home to The AfriCat Foundation, a non-profit organisation, committed to long-term conservation of Namibia's large carnivores, especially cheetahs and leopards. A visit to Okonjima will give you an opportunity to witness some of AfriCat's work. The NEW, Plains Camp design honours the Okonjima cattle-farming history. In the early 1920’s, Okonjima became a cattle farm and was bought by Val (VJ) & Rose Hanssen in 1970. They were well-established Brahman breeders and continued to farm cattle until the need for solutions to increasing livestock losses became pertinent and post-independence interest in Namibia as a tourist destination, escalated. In 1993, the herds of Brahman and Jersey cattle were sold, changing the face of Okonjima as well as that of Carnivore Conservation!


Standard Rooms: Each of the 14 Standard Rooms enjoy a view across the Okonjima grass plains!


View Rooms: The 10 exclusive and spacious View Rooms, all have a view across the Okonjima grass plains! The Okonjima activities include tracking rehabilitated carnivores on foot; visiting the AfriCat Carnivore Care & Information Centre; tracking leopards from a game–viewing vehicle. Okonjima also offers a guided Bushman Trail. Birding and Game drives are offered on request and if guests stay longer than 2 days.


Included: Dinner, Bed and Breakfast


Day 15: Departure
Depart for Windhoek this morning in time for your departure flight to Johannesburg.



Offer Includes

  • Flights from London with Ethiopian Airlines
  • Airports taxes
  • Accommodation as per the itinerary
  • Car Hire of a Mitsubishi ASX or similar

Meal Plans

  • As per Itinerary