Namib Desert & Etosha Safari
Details & Itinerary
This tour is for those who want to experience two of Namibia’s main attractions in the shortest possible time – the Namib Desert and Etosha National Park. Immerse yourself in the stark beauty of the Namib, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. Visit Sossusvlei, home to some of the world’s highest dunes and spectacular vistas. Travel north to the incredible Etosha National Park for a true safari experience.
Day One: Windhoek to Sossusvlei
Collection time is between 08:00 and 08:30 from anywhere in Windhoek. Windhoek is surrounded by mountains and we have to pass over both the Eros Mountains and the Khomas Hochland Range. As we travel through this splendid landscape we drop down from the central plateau to grassy desert savannah. We stop at Solitaire for petrol and perhaps also afternoon tea before we continue to our lodge. We aim to arrive during the early afternoon so that we may explore the surroundings before sunset when the colours glow and change on the distant mountains to the east. Dinner will be served at the lodge.
Desert Hills Glamping Camp is a tented camp situated on a hillside with breathtaking views across the desert. Guests can enjoy the swimming pool, dining area and well-stocked bar. Spanning an area of 172,200 hectares and encompassing four distinct ecosystems, the Namib Rand Reserve is among the largest privately owned game parks in Southern Africa. The park’s mix of dunes, mountains, rocky outcrops, sandy flats and gravel plains provides habitats for a diversity of mammals including hyenas, jackals, foxes, antelopes and various wild cats – as well as a plethora of bird species, reptiles, insects, frogs and flora.
Day Two: Exploring Sossusvlei
We make an early start so as to catch the soft light of sunrise over the desert. After passing through Sesriem we continue towards Sossusvlei with sand dunes rising along both sides of the road. This iconic landscape is made up of white plains and red dunes which tower majestically against a deep blue sky and are among the highest in the world. We will stop at the famous Dune 45, a beautiful star dune which is over 170 metres high. Those who feel fit enough to climb the dune will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding Namibian desert.
After breakfast we will take a desert walk in the cool of the morning, with the chance of seeing gemsboks, springboks, black-backed jackals and ostriches. We will also visit the picturesque Dead Vlei. This white clay pan lies between towering orange dunes and is dotted with the skeletal remains of hundreds of dead camelthorn trees, making it a striking vista and photographers dream. As the day cools down we will enjoy a short excursion to Sesriem Canyon before heading back.
Day Three: Sossusvlei to Windhoek
We return to civilisation on scenic roads through the Khomas Hochland Mountain Range. We will arrive at around 15H00 and you will be dropped off at Villa Vista Guesthouse.
Day Four: Windhoek to Etosha National Park
Your adventure continues when your guide collects you between 08:00 and 08:30 am. We will depart the city via the B1 road heading north. A picnic lunch will be enjoyed along the way. We arrive in the afternoon and enter the south side of Etosha through the Andersson Gate before proceeding to Okaukuejo, our first destination. You will have time to explore your surroundings and enjoy the swimming pool before a late afternoon game drive. After dinner, a visit to the floodlit waterhole is strongly recommended as there is a good chance of seeing rhinos and lions come to drink.
The Etosha National Park is home to over 100 mammal species, 340 bird species and 110 reptile species. Larger mammals include lion, elephant, leopard, giraffe, cheetah, hyena, springbok, zebra and eland. Animals, particularly during the dry season, are dependent on the many waterholes found in the park, and these serve as great places for game viewing. Vegetation in the park is varied, but consists mostly of mopane woodland and grassy plains.
The park is dominated by a large, white depression (the Etosha Pan), which used to be a lake. It is now a dry, dusty, clay and salt pan, but occasionally fills with water after heavy rain. This temporary water attracts thousands of wading birds, including flamingos. Springs along the edge of the Etosha Pan also draw large concentrations of wildlife and birds.
Day Five: Exploring Etosha National Park
Today we will spend most of the day searching for animals, as we make our way through the game reserve towards Namutoni, our next rest camp. We will visit a number of waterholes and stop to view the Etosha Pan, also known as the “place of dry water”. This extensive, flat depression is about 5,000 km2 and a place of shimmering mirages. Seeing large herds of game in this setting is a unique experience. We may stop at Halali (the middle camp) to have lunch, before we continue on to Namutoni.
At Namutoni, we will be able to relax at the swimming pool or waterhole before a late afternoon game drive. The game viewing here is usually excellent, with close-up views of springboks, zebras, impalas, giraffes, gemsboks and plenty of birds. We may also see elephants and lions. In the evening we can enjoy a glass of wine and fabulous sunset from the tower of the old Namibian German fort before dinner.
Day Six: Etosha to Windhoek
After a morning game drive and the opportunity to take some more pictures of Etosha’s wildlife in the soft morning light, we head back to the city. We will pass through farmland and small towns. Just before reaching Windhoek we will stop over in the small town of Okahandja where we will visit Namibia’s largest wood-carving market. We are likely to arrive in the city at around 16:30 and you will be dropped off at your accommodation where are tour ends.