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Namibia Scheduled Group Safari

Etosha, Sossusvlei & Skeleton Coast

10 days, 9 nights | Safari from $6,798 per person
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Overview

Explore Earth’s Oldest Desert

Vast even by African standards, Namibia is an ageless land. Here you can trace ancient history in Stone Age petroglyphs and fossilized tree trunks, stargaze in the world’s second-darkest night sky, or set off in hot pursuit of the cheetah, leopard, lion, elephant, and endangered black rhino who live amidst the country’s magnificent semidesert scenery.

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Nature in Namibia is always grand and close at hand, from Etosha National Park’s immense ancient lakebed to the seemingly infinite, multihued dunes of the Skeleton Coast. Each day here is active and experiential. Open space and silence absorb you as you follow the path of the nomadic Himba and learn about their tribal ways of life; discover the secrets of animal tracking on foot with your expert local bush-master; pick your way through a petrified forest and rock formations; and thrill to the sound of big cats roaring. One of the world’s unique adventure destinations, this is Namibia.

Safari Style: Scheduled Group Safari
Activities: Cheetah, leopard, and rhino tracking, game drives, stargazing
Accommodation: Bush camps, safari lodge, boutique hotel
Getting Around: 4x4 safari vehicles (window seats guaranteed), foot, light aircraft
When to Visit: For: birding Nov–Apr; botany Dec–May; mammals Jul–Oct; diversity May–Jun Read More
Meeting & Departure Point: Windhoek, Namibia

Tour Highlights:

  • Explore the rock paintings, outcrops, and petrified forests of Twyfelfontein
  • Watch great mammals come to drink by the waterhole at your bush camp in Etosha National Park
  • Delve deep into the ecology of Africa’s great cats at the AfriCat Foundation
  • Track leopards, cheetahs, rhinos, and desert-adapted elephants through Namibia’s awe-inspiringly vast and arid landscapes
  • Contemplate Namibia’s dazzling night sky from the comfort of your remote bush camp in the dunes
  • Experienced, friendly, and knowledgeable guides and the service of a local representative
  • All meals included; local wine and beer included with dinners
  • Boutique hotels, safari lodge, and camps (with private baths) while on tour
  • Airport meet-and-greet service
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Internal flight(s)
  • All park fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the CW Safaris staff
  • Guest Rating:

    The trip of a lifetime!
    S. Barry, Virginia, June 2014

  • Guest Rating:

    A highlight was the visit to] the Himba village - I feared this would be a voyeuristic experience but it was not like that - it was very well organized and managed.
    J. Surrige & S. Bentin, Singapore, June 2014

Dates & Prices

Scheduled Group Safari 2015 Pricing

2015 Dates
Per Person Single Supplement
May 2 - May 11 $6,798 $1,095
Jul 12 - Jul 21 $6,798 $1,095
Sep 13 - Sep 22 $6,798 $1,095

*Pricing based on double occupancy. Reserve early for best pricing; prices and dates are subject to change.

Itinerary & Accommodations
Day 1 Windhoek

Arriving at Hosea Kutako International Airport, you are welcomed by your CW Safaris naturalist guide and accompanied to Galton House. A short city tour en route orients you to Windhoek, Namibia’s capital city. Nestled among rolling hills, Windhoek is a meeting place between Africa and Europe, the modern and the old, where well-preserved German colonial buildings contrast with modern architecture, and Herero women in traditional Victorian dress mingle with sophisticates in the latest fashions. Settle into your charming accommodation and spend a relaxing afternoon exploring Windhoek’s shops and craft market. This evening, enjoy a festive tasting of fine South African wines, presented by a local expert, followed by a congenial dinner at the guest house with your guide.

Included: Airport arrival transfer, city tour, and welcome dinner

Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour

Day 2 Okonjima & AfriCat Foundation

After a leisurely breakfast, journey north towards Okonjima. Along the way, you’ll enjoy fascinating stops at the local craft market in Okahandja, where you can look for Mbangura woodcarvers at the local craft market, and at REST, a conservation organization dedicated to saving vultures on the brink of extinction; here you may even have the unique opportunity of feeding these incredible birds.

Arrive at Okonjima Bush Camp and settle in to your superb accommodation. After lunch, head out on a guided leopard-tracking excursion by 4×4 safari vehicle and visit the AfriCat Foundation, a community-supported wildlife sanctuary dedicated to conservation awareness, habitat preservation, and animal welfare. Close encounters with leopard and cheetah are an unforgettable highlight here.

The excitement continues this evening with an after-dinner visit to a night hide where nocturnal animals such as porcupine, caracal, honey badger, and leopard may be seen.

Included: Land transfer, market visit, REST vulture center visit, cheetah tracking, and night game drive / all meals included

Approximate Travel Time: 3 hours

Day 3 Eastern Etosha National Park

Do something exciting this morning—like tracking cheetah on foot— before returning to camp for brunch. Any activity you choose at Okonjima ensures the active and experiential; here you are never a bystander. Next, safari on to the eastern boundary of Etosha National Park, stopping for lunch en route. Take in Lake Otjikoto, mythically bottomless, with its rare mouth-breeding species of fish, on your way to Onguma Tree Top Camp. After an afternoon drive through their private game reserve, enjoy dinner at camp and a memorable evening viewing game at the floodlit waterhole.

Included: Cheetah tracking on foot, land transfer, and game drive / all meals included

Approximate Travel Time: 3-4 hours

Day 4 Etosha National Park

After an early breakfast, Etosha National Park beckons with phenomenal game viewing. The park covers 8,598 square miles and boasts some 114 mammal and 340 bird species. Until three million years ago, the Etosha Pan formed part of a huge, shallow lake that today would be the world’s third-largest. Now, it is filled with grassland, woodland, and savannah supporting elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, kudu, oryx, zebra, rhino, cheetah, leopard, hyena, honey badger, warthog, and black-faced impala.

Return to camp for lunch and a siesta, then spend the afternoon in the company of a local researcher whose specialty is the reserve’s endangered black rhino. During the last century, the black rhino has suffered the most drastic decline in total numbers of all rhino species. Today, you’ll participate in an interactive activity that provides insights into rhino biology, tracking, and conservation work designed to protect these magnificent, elusive creatures. Help collect data from camera traps, stimulate your senses by sampling preferred rhino vegetation, feel the trees they rub against, and interpret their messages. Return to camp after sunset for another glorious evening at Tree Top.

Included: Rhino tracking and game drives / all meals included

Day 5 Southern Etosha National Park

Today’s extended game drive immerses you in Etosha National Park as you travel from the east to the southern boundary. Enjoy a picnic-style lunch en route, and visit the famous Okaukuejo water hole before exiting through Andersson’s Gate onto the Ongava Game Reserve. The leisurely drive lets you spend unhurried time viewing game species at various water holes along the way. Late afternoon brings you to camp, and another mesmerizing night observing wildlife at the water hole or from the hide.

Included: Full-day game viewing through Etosha / all meals included

Day 6 Damaraland

Today, travel southwest through the market town of Kamanjab into the heart of Damaraland. Shaped by ages of wind, water, and geological forces, the landscape here is marked by extraordinary displays of natural color, magnificent tabletop mountains, rock formations, dunes, gravel plains, ancient river terraces, and bizarre-looking vegetation. The astounding variety, loneliness, and visual splendor convey an authentic wilderness experience.

En route to Camp Kipwe, your home for the next two nights, travel with your guide along ancient pathways into a local Himba settlement. Tall and slender, the proud and friendly Himba are a nomadic and deeply traditional people noted for their sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and adornments. They rub their bodies with red ochre and fat, a treatment that protects their skin against the harsh desert climate. The Himba’s homes are simple, cone-shaped structures of saplings, bound together with palm leaves, mud and dung. During your interactive visit, learn about the customs and beliefs that drive their way of life.

Included: Full-day transfer (6-7 hours) including Himba village visit / all meals Included

Day 7 Damaraland

After an early breakfast, embark on an exciting 4×4 excursion along the Aba Huab and Huab River valleys, keeping an eye out for the elusive desert-adapted elephant and other adaptive wildlife at home in Damaraland. Return to camp for lunch and an afternoon visit to the Damara Living Museum, which preserves the residents’ once-traditional way of life, demonstrating skills from tanning and blacksmithing to dancing and holy fire making. Nearby Twyfelfontein (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is perhaps the largest and finest collection of petroglyphs in Africa. Stone tools found here suggest that hunter-gatherers occupied the site over a period of 7,000 years. Here you can take a walk through archeological time, with some 2,500 prehistoric engravings depicting wildlife, animal spoor, and abstract motifs.

End the day visiting Burnt Mountain with its fantastic range of colors (from a molten lava reaction 132 million years), and Organ Pipes, a mass of perpendicular dolerite columns.

Included: Game drive, nature walk, and exploration of Twyfelfontein / all meals included

Day 8 Sossusvlei and NamibRand Nature Reserve

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airstrip for a light-aircraft flight south along the Skeleton Coast—a hallucinogenic vision of shipwrecks, seal colonies, and old diamond-mining camps scattered about a great sea of sand. Upon landing at Sesriem, a local guide will whisk you off on a fascinating adventure in Namib-Naukluft National Park, home to some of the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei. Among these towering apricot-colored sands, you’ll discover intriguing creatures and plants adapted to survive the harsh environment. A relaxing picnic lunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree provides opportunities to observe the continuously changing color nuances of this spectacular landscape.

Assisted by your local guide, hop another short flight to the Wolwedans airstrip, arriving in time for a magnificent sunset enjoyed from the comfort of your lodge.

Included: Scenic flight and visit to Sossusvlei / all meals included

Approximate Travel Time: 4 hours

Day 9 NamibRand Nature Reserve

Today, immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of NamibRand Nature Reserve, one of southern Africa’s largest private reserves. Founded in 1984, it now protects over 180,000 hectares of pristine Namib Desert. To the west lies Namib-Naukluft National Park; to the east, the imposing Nubib Mountain range. NamibRand is renowned for its remarkable diversity of landscapes, including expansive sand and gravel plains, endless stretches of grass savannah, majestic mountain ranges, and vegetated dune belts of deep red sand. Dedicated conservation efforts in recent decades have restored this sheep-farming area to its original state, with indigenous animals and plants flourishing. Take in the best of it at sundown as you raise your glass out on the dunes with zebra and antelope feeding below. Celebrate this final night of your safari with an optional wine tasting in a truly unique location…a wine cellar situated in a dune at the lodge!

Included: Full-day exploration of the dunes / all meals included

Day 10 Windhoek, Departure

Arise with the morning light on your final day, taking one more opportunity to appreciate Namibia’s otherworldly beauty. Following a full breakfast, transfer by light aircraft to Windhoek International Airport—enjoying spectacular aerial perspectives on the land you have just explored. Upon landing, a CW Safaris concierge will facilitate your check-in and bid you bon voyage for your flight home.

 

Included: Transfers to Windhoek / breakfast

Approximate Travel Time: 1½ hours

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Guides

Our Guides

Guests who travel frequently with CW Safaris know that our guides truly set us apart from other adventure-travel companies. All CW Safaris guides are locally based and fluent in English, with exceptional knowledge of the region where you’ll be traveling. Their expertise in wildlife and natural history and their keen, deeply rooted understanding of life in the African bush will ensure your safety, well-being, and enjoyment throughout every safari. You could not be in better hands!

Here is a sampling of our extraordinary guides in Namibia:

Perez Kamukuenjandje

Perez Kamukuenjandje

Perez comes from a large family of Herero speakers in the northeast of the country. He started his career as a guide by attending a number of guiding and ranger courses in the Namib and in South Africa. Since then, he has completed the formal Namibian national guide-training courses that will give him the highest nonspecialist guiding qualification possible. He is a natural entertainer and is in great demand, as many of those who have traveled with him return for a second (or third) safari – but only on the condition that Perez be their guide again.

Perez has great knowledge of the natural world, and his lively intelligence and wit make him a fascinating guide and traveling companion. Perez is a great enthusiast and an “all-rounder” – he receives unequivocal top ratings from former guests for his guiding skills and his company when traveling around the region.

Orlando Haraseb

Orlando Haraseb

Orlando is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced guides in Namibia, as well as a man with a wide spectrum of experience from previous jobs. He is the former captain of the Namibian national football team, whose full-time job at the time was as a policeman. Early in his guiding career, he moved on to work at Hobatere Lodge in northern Damaraland to be near his family, and spent the next three years learning about birds and birding from Steve Brain – one of the best specialist birding guides in Southern Africa.

Since 2005, he has been the senior guide as well as guide “trainer” with our local partners. In addition to his work as a safari guide, he is also the deputy chairman of NATH (Namibian Academy for Tourism and Hospitality) and is a regular lecturer on guide-training courses there. Orlando has completed all of the formal Namibian national guide-training courses and has the highest nonspecialist guiding qualification possible, as well as being a specialist birding guide.

Orlando is very popular with those who travel with him, and he more often than not rates a 10 out of 10, as well as being named one of the highlights of the safari. He has strong beliefs, strict professionalism, and great depth of character. As a result, he is interesting and informative company on safari – and with a great sense of humor.

Elvis Nghimutina

Elvis is a very articulate and intelligent guide who comes from the north-central region (former Ovamboland), although his immediate family is based in Swakopmund. He is very interested in world affairs and local politics (knowing many of the local politicians who come from his area), so is an interesting companion with whom to discuss such issues and often from whom to gain unusual insights.

Elvis is also extremely well informed on a wide variety of naturalist subjects and is particularly well versed in the ways of the desert, having spent several years as a guide based on the Namib Rand Nature Reserve, first at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge and then at Wolwedans Dune Lodge. Elvis is a great guide and traveling companion who receives consistently excellent ratings from the guests he has accompanied around the region. Guests fully appreciate the insights he offers in order to “bring the country alive,”

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