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Explore the north of Namibia staying in luxury camps and cozy desert lodges. Admire the wildlife at Etosha National Park, get close to the traditions of the Himba people, and relax at the seaside towns of the Skeleton Coast.
We will travel north, stopping at small towns along the way including Okahandja, where we have time to visit Namibia’s largest wood carving market. The market is operated on a local co-operative basis and is one of the best places to shop for truly Namibian souvenirs.
Continuing north, passing through farmland, we aim to arrive at Mount Etjo Safari Lodge during the middle afternoon.
'Etjo' means a place of refuge. Since 1975 Mount Etjo Safari Lodge has been the heart of the Okonjati wildlife sanctuary, offering African wildlife and guests from around the world more than just a place to stay, but a safe haven, tranquil surroundings and the opportunity to engage in the pristine beauty of African wilderness. At Mount Etjo Safari Lodge, the African traveller will leave with his heart and mind enriched and his soul set at ease by having found peace and harmony in the African natural world.
Overnight at the lodge.
|Windhoek → Mount Etjo||300 km|
After breakfast, we will make an early start and continuing north we pass through some small towns, making short stops for fresh supplies and fuel. Continuing on to our East Etosha, Namutoni region camp we again aim to arrive in time for lunch, giving us time to relax before heading into the park during the cool of the late afternoon for our first game drive.
The Etosha National Park is Namibia's premiere game viewing experience, situated in the northwest of Namibia and is an area well known for its wildlife. Vegetation ranges from dense bush to open plains attracting a diversity of wildlife. In the heart of the Park is the Etosha Pan - a shallow depression that covers an area of 5000sq kilometres. Dry and shimmering for most of the year, the pans fill up with water after good rains to a depth which is seldom deeper than 1m. In the dry season wildlife is attracted to perennial springs and waterholes that makes for excellent game viewing.
Overnight at the camp.
|Mount Etjo → East Etosha||300 km|
Breakfast at the camp, them a full day’s game driving. We again leave early to enjoy the cool morning air as we game drive our way through Etosha to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park. Along the way we visit several waterholes and are afforded splendid views of the massive Etosha Pan. The game viewing is usually excellent and we have the chance to tick off a few new species that are not normally seen on the Namutoni side of the park.
We stop at Halali for a rest and a leisurely lunch. There is time to visit the Halali waterhole and to make use of the swimming pool and bar facilities before continuing on our way and game driving down to Okaukuejo, Etosha’s main rest camp and resort where we will check in and set up camp. Originally the site of a German fort built in 1901, Okaukuejo now houses the Etosha Ecological Institute, founded in 1974; the round watchtower is a remnant of the fort.
After your evening meal there are still more chances to see Etosha’s big game at a floodlit waterhole, situated on the boundary of our camp and easily reachable within a minute or two on foot. The waterhole has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa” and the ideal venue to witness peculiar animal politics. Black rhino, Africa’s tallest elephants, lion and numerous species of antelope are regular visitors during the cool, dry season.
Overnight at the camp.
|East Etosha → Okaukuejo|
After breakfast, we will travel through the previously restricted area of Western Etosha National Park, exiting via the Otjovasandu Gate towards 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.
We will spend the night at Hobatere Lodge, located 80 km north of Kamanjab on the western border of the Etosha National park, situated in a concession area of 32 000 ha, which is home to a wide selection of game including lion, leopard, oryx, eland, cheetah, giraffe, Hartmann’s mountain zebra and elephant.
Our activities centre around day or night game drives, bird watching and guided walks, affording guests ample opportunity to view the abundance of wildlife and endemic species in the area. We also have a hide overlooking a nearby waterhole and a sundeck with panoramic views, which is floodlit for part of the night.
Overnight at the lodge.
|Etosha → Hobatere Lodge||210 km|
Breakfast at the lodge. Our journey today takes us into one of the most beautiful desert regions in Namibia, Damaraland. We drive west via
the Grootberg Pass and then take a detour to visit the ancient Bushman rock engravings at Twyfelfontein. At this
location we will have a local guide to conduct us on a short guided tour before heading to our overnight stop.
Within this area you have the opportunity of visiting a Himba village – the only traditionally functioning Himba community outside the far north Kaokoland region of Namibia. These tribes-people have migrated here, lifestyle and customs intact, and are following their traditional way-of-life in their village on a farm, the exact location of the site varies as the Himba occasionally roam to a new location. We will learn about marriage customs, traditional food and the mysteries of the “Holy Fire” religion.
Overnight at the lodge.
|Hobatere Lodge → Twyfelfontein||340 km|
Breakfast at the lodge. From here we head deeper into the desert and pass Namibia’s highest mountain, the Brandberg, (2573 m) and more beautiful Damaraland scenery.
We make a stop in the small town of Uis, an old mining town, and one of the best places to buy semi-precious stones, for which Namibia is famous. Here, rough amethyst, tourmaline etc., can be found at bargain prices.
From here we turn directly west and cross the gravel plains on our way to the Atlantic Ocean and the Skeleton Coast. Meeting the ocean at Henties Bay, we first head north along the coast to visit the seal colony at Cape Cross. At certain times of the year as many as 100,000 Cape Fur seals congregate.
The next destination is Swakopmund, following the Skeleton Coast into Namibia’s premier seaside town. We aim to arrive in the late afternoon giving us time to explore the town on foot before sunset.
Tonight we take the chance to sample one of the excellent restaurants. The seafood in Swakopmund is superb. Your guide will offer to organise a group meal in a local restaurant for this evening. Participation is recommended but by no means required.
Overnight at the hotel.
|Twyfelfontein → Swakopmund||420 km|
Breakfast at the hotel. The drive back to Windhoek today will take about 4 and a half hours. We will depart around lunch-time, giving us time to spend the morning relaxing in Swakopmund.
It has many superb shops, a good stretch of beach (although the Atlantic here is quite cold) and an open-air curios market. There is also a very good museum and the Namibian National Marine Aquarium is located in Swakopmund. Alternatively, there are various optional activities that can be arranged. These include aeroplane and microlight flights over the desert, scenic drives, fishing trips (both from the beach or in a boat), four-wheel motorcycle (quad bike) trips into the desert and over the sand dunes around Swakopmund, sand boarding trips (also in the dunes), skydiving, surfing, bird-watching and many other activities are available.
This is the last day of our trip and after lunch we will transfer back to the capital city where you will be dropped off at your accommodation in the late afternoon / early evening.
|Swakopmund → Windhoek||350 km|