SPIRIT OF NAMIBIA SAFARI
Days 1 & 2: Andersson's Camp, Etosha Region
Transfer by comfortable charter flight to Namibia's big game country: Etosha and its environs. Here, the diverse flora and fauna is experienced in a variety of activities, from game walks to game drives and visits to hides both on the property and in the famous Etosha National Park.
Andersson's Camp is surrounded by plains teeming with wildlife and situated close to Etosha (the vast expanse of savannah and salt pan, the largest in Africa, 'discovered' by Sir Francis Galton and Charles Andersson in 1851), the Discoverer atmosphere of the camp makes for a much more comfortable modern-day exploration of this landscape. The resurrected farmstead now forms the anchor fronting onto a thriving waterhole and the 20 tented guest units, each with en-suite bathroom, are raised on decks for an enhanced view. This model of eco-sensitive lodging provides an authentic, safe and down-to-earth experience for small groups, families and independent travellers to Etosha. Within Etosha on game drive we'll visit numerous springs and pans, in search of lion, leopard, elephant and black rhino, as well as plains game.
Day 3: Palmwag Lodge, Palmwag Concession
After an early breakfast, we travel to the Palmwag concession. Here, on the concession and in the surrounding areas the desert-adapted elephant and elusive black rhino can be found. The camp consists of 5 Meru-style tents, built on individual, wooden platforms and offering a great scenic view of the surroundings and also the desert-adapted elephants when they visit the area. Situated about 600 metres away from the restaurant and secluded from the rest of Palmwag Lodge. The tents are tastefully furnished, with en-suite facilities, solar power and a wonderful atmosphere.
Over the course of the next four nights in the enormous wilderness areas of Damaraland and Palmwag our guides expose the sheer magnificence of nature's survival strategies in this arid environment, through walks, tracking and game drives concentrating on a variety of topics from birds to insects, medicinal uses of plants and viewing wildlife. In addition, we travel through regions with an exciting array of exposed geological sequences, ranging in age from "young" 130 million-year-old igneous shale through to 850 million-year-old schist formations.
Days 4 & 5: Hoanib Camp, Kaokoland
With an early start, our journey continues by road towards the ephemeral river of the Hoanib Valley. Please note that this is a long nature transfer, giving guests a unique opportunity to see some of the most rugged and "hard to get to" areas within Namibia's remote North West. Here, in an area seemingly parched and desolate, we enter one of Namibia's richest desert wildlife areas.
The rugged mountains and canyons of the Hoanib River provide a last refuge for some of the continent's most unique wildlife; this is the home of the legendary desert-adapted elephant and the last free-roaming black rhino population on Earth. While here, we have the opportunity to explore this area on game drives and walks. Possibly, we can visit one of the nomadic Himba villages if they are in the region at the time.
Our Discoverer-styled tented camp close to the Hoanib River is a relaxed haven from which we explore this wild land on foot, or from the comfort of one of our safari vehicles. The camp is powered by solar-powered inverter systems and there are no generators or pumps running whilst guests are in camp. There are 5 guest walk-in hexagonal Meru-style tents with en-suite and flush toilet and bucket shower bathrooms in a separate portion of the tent. Each tent is furnished with necessary comforts and styled with burnt orange interiors, wood and brass, effectively recreating a sense of the early explorers.
Day 6: Damaraland Camp, Damaraland
Departing early, we travel east to Sesfontein and we end this road journey at the award-winning Damaraland Camp.
Damaraland Camp is situated on the northern face of the Huab River valley and looking south toward the imposing Brandberg Mountain. The camp accommodates guests in 10 comfortable tented rooms (with en-suite facilities including flush toilets and showers) with endless vistas as views. The dining room and pub are combined under canvas, and an open fire is enjoyed on calm evenings.
Early morning mists generated by the clash between the icy Atlantic Ocean and the warm desert air of the Skeleton Coast, drift inland along the river sand canyon, providing sustenance to the flora and fauna of the region. Although wildlife is not concentrated, we are situated where the rare desert-adapted elephant roams, alongside gemsbok (oryx), springbok, Ostrich and other hardy desert animals. Rare succulent plants eke out an existence in this harsh countryside.
Day 7: The Stiltz Lodge, Swakopmund
After an early breakfast, we travel to Twyfelfontein where we take a guided walk with local Damara guides to view the San petroglyphs - prehistoric rock etchings, strewn over the rock face.
After lunch we continue our journey travelling south via Uis en route to Swakopmund. Closer to the coast there are lichen fields strewn over the gravel plains, one of the most fragile ecosystems on Earth.
After a packed lunch en route, we make for The Stiltz Lodge in the quaint, charming town of Swakopmund, arriving in the late afternoon. Swakopmund, with its unique urban atmosphere that is a vibrant combination of Africa and Europe, is a wonderful town in which to end a safari after the experiences of the northern Namibian bush.
The Stiltz, as its name implies, is built on stilts, providing breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, the red iron-rich beach dunes and also the Swakopmund River mouth. Each of the 8 minimalist yet elegantly furnished thatched bungalows is linked by wooden walkways to the main restaurant. The lodge is sited close to the central part of town, allowing for easy access to enjoy the special hospitality, history and cuisine.
Days 8 & 9: Kulala Wilderness Camp, Kulala Desert Lodge or Little Kulala, Sossusvlei
After an early breakfast, we drive southwards to Walvis Bay Lagoon. Here in a protected bay, many flamingos, pelicans and other waterbirds amass. On the calm waters of the bay, we experience sea kayaking, a spectacular activity that allows us to approach seals, dolphins and birds at a respectable distance and in their habitat, allowing for some unique photographic opportunities.
Afterwards, we drive inland to our private Sossusvlei concession. Here we enjoy access to the Sossusvlei dunes, for walks in the immense moving sands of the Namib, game drives on our concession and stargazing. Photography in the early morning of the dunes is particularly stunning with rich reds and dark shadows completing the extraordinary vista that is the enormity of the Namib Desert.
Please note: In Sossusvlei guests stay at one of the three Kulala camps depending on availability.
Day 10: Transfer to Windhoek
After breakfast we transfer by road, including lunch overlooking the view of the plains nearby, to Windhoek and bid farewell to the adventure.
Safari Cost per person sharing
16-Jan-10 to 14-Jun-10 US$4,081 15-Jun-10 to 15-Nov-10 US$4,288 16-Nov-10 to 8-Jan-11 US$4,081