Days 1 - 3
As there is no accommodation at Sossusvlei, visitors to this desert wilderness are likely to end up staying at Sesriem, 65 kilometres away, where camps and lodges serve as a base from which to explore the dunes. Sesriem Canyon, a deep chasm carved through the rocks by water, is a striking natural feature of the area that is best explored on foot. Stony walls rise up sharply on both sides of the canyon, while birds roost in its crags and lizards dart along the ledges. The canyon’s name was coined when early settlers used it as a water source, using six lengths of leather (‘ses riem – six thongs) tied together to lower buckets into the water at the base of canyon.)
Days 3 - 5
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.
Days 5 - 6
The Brandberg (‘Fire Mountain’) Massif is Namibia’s highest peak, with its zenith, the Königstein (‘King’s Stone’), standing at a whopping 2573 metres above sea level. Named for the vivid shade of orange it sometimes turns at sunset, the Brandberg has been sacred to the San people for centuries, and the Tsisab Ravine at its base is permeated with over 45 000 ancient San rock paintings, including the famous ‘White Lady’.
Days 6 - 8
Sesfontein, meaning ‘six fountains’, is home to six natural springs creating a lush oasis rising up from a barren landscape. Set in the Hoanib Valley and surrounded by mountains, Sesfontein is a harshly beautiful town dotted with acacia and mopane trees interspersed with spiky-leafed fan palms. The town serves as a good base from which to launch an exploration of the surrounding Kaokoveld. An old fort, constructed at the end of the 19th century, has been refurbished and converted into a comfortable lodge rich with atmosphere, and makes a great base to explore the southern reaches of the Kaokoveld. Don’t miss a trip to a local Himba village to learn about local customs and traditions and observe how these communities live in peaceful coexistence with wildlife and the natural surrounds.
Days 8 - 9
Situated in the western part of Etosha National park, Etosha West is a new addition to this world-famous wildlife sanctuary. Formerly a restricted area the wilder western region accessed through Galton Gate, has previously had limited access, today it is open to all visitors who wish to discover the secluded reaches of this spectacular park. Visitors to Etosha West can look forward to exploring the magnificent scenery of this remote north Namibian landscape characterised by lush undulating terrain and a reddish brown soil, which is a stark contrast to the white dusty clay soil of Etosha East’s flat expansive plains. The area boasts numerous waterholes attracting elephant, rhino, leopard, lion, and a variety of buck. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the rare Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra and black-faced impala.
Days 9 - 11
Located just south of the boundary of Etosha National Park in north-western Namibia, Etosha South makes up the southern region of this wild paradise. The national park can be accessed via the southern entrance at Andersson’s Gate. Visitors can catch a glimpse of a variety of wildlife including lion, giraffe, elephant, white and black rhino, and a multitude of plains game. Popular activities include game drives, tracking rhinos on foot, guided nature walks, or watch the sunset over this magnificent landscape.
Okonjima Nature Reserve
Days 11 - 12
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.