Namibia - Apricot Hued Dunes & Desert Adapted Wildlife

Discover the magnificent landscapes and unique wildlife of Namibia, where apricot-hued desert sands swirl into razor sharp towering dunes, some of the largest in the world. Put on your walking shoes and trek for black rhino in one of the most breathtaking spots on earth! Frequent the waterholes of Etosha National Park and watch the drama of the bush unfold right in front of your eyes. Bushwalking and drives in 4x4 vehicles reward you with the wildlife treasures that inhabit this sometimes rough and harsh terrain. Meet the Himba orphan children, and find out about the latest research and conservation efforts of the Cheetah Conservation Fund to protect this endangered cat, the Rhino Trust’s effort to ensure the survival of rhinos, and of Ongava’s efforts to preserve rhinos and desert-adapted elephants. Luxurious tented camps and charming lodges make almost dream-like havens for relaxing under the starry skies.

Degree of Difficulty - Three Paws

Moderately Active. May involve some moderate hikes in forests and nature reserves, getting in and out of vehicles and rocking boats, and walking in uneven pavement in archaeological sites, in some cases in extreme weather conditions, heat, high elevation and humidity.

Weather Reports - When To Go

With 300 sunny days per year, Namibia is definitely a sunny country and rainfall can be expected as heavy thunderstorms exclusively in the summer months (November to February) when it is also the hottest time of the year. The dry riverbeds then become rapid torrents for a short while and the burnt-out land turns green within a few days. From April to June the temperature during the day lies at about 80ºF and the sky is always blue, yet the nights are cool enough for a good sleep. The dry winter months (July to September) are a good time to travel the desert country. Daytime temperatures rarely sink below 70ºF. However, on the interior plateau and in the Namib Desert night frosts can certainly occur. The best wildlife viewing is generally between May and October with the bird watching season being best from November to March throughout Namibia.

Days 1/2 USA/JOHANNESBURG

Board your overnight flight, arriving Johannesburg the next day, where you’re escorted to your exquisite hotel conveniently located close to the airport in a complex of restaurants, shops, and beautiful gardens. D’OREALE GRANDE HOTEL. (Meals Aloft)

Days 3/4 JOHANNESBURG/WINDHOEK/OTJIWARONGO/CHEETAH COONSERVATION FUND

Fly to Windhoek and board your motor coach to discover the unique landscapes of Namibia. First stop is Otjiwarongo to learn about the efforts of the Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) to support this critically endangered cat. Duties permitting, meet the director of CCF, American conservationist Laurie Marker, who has devoted her life to the preservation of the cheetah. FRANS INDONGO LODGE. (B,L,D)

Days 5/6 ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK/OTJIKANDERO/ONGAVA

Head to the Ongava Reserve which is adjacent to Etosha National Park where you will spend the next three nights. Etosha is Namibia’s premier park and one of Southern Africa’s most important wildlife reserves. Dominated by a massive mineral pan of flat saline desert surrounded by Mopani woodland and savannah grassland, Etosha has the highest concentration of wildlife on a salt pan in the world. Elephant, giraffe, blue wildebeest, Burchell’s and Hartmann’s zebra and the rare black rhino roam the forbidding terrain. Antelope, including the endemic black-faced impala, share the precious grasslands with ostrich and Kori Bustard, lion, leopard, and cheetah. For the brief periods that the pan holds water, flocks of flamingo and pelican can be found here. The resurrected farmstead which is your home, sits adjacent to a thriving waterhole, and the luxurious chalets are raised on decks for an enhanced view. ONGAVA LODGE. (All Meals Daily)

Day 7 OTJIKANDERO-HIMBA ORPHAN VILLAGE PROJECT/ONGAVA

Set out on a daytrip to visit the Himba Orphan Village Project, started in 1999 by Jaco Burger who moved to Kaokoland when he married Mukajo, the last queen in her blood line of the Ovahimba’s. While she had a great love for children, she could not have biological children and thus decided to help the orphan children of her tribe. The Himba is one of the last tribes in Africa (besides the rare bushman) living strictly within their tradition. On this enlightening tour, you’ll learn all about the Himba customs and meet Jaco’s family of orphaned children. Jaco now has three wives and over 30 children cared by Himba volunteer women who are sent from the chief in Kaokoland to assist with raising them. ONGAVA LODGE. (All Meals Daily)

Days 8/9/10 DAMARALAND/PALMWAG REGION

Resume your drive to the Desert Rhino Camp in the private Palmwag area of the rugged northern Damaraland. The area presents endless vistas across stark plains, ancient valleys, and soaring peaks. Run in conjunction with the Save the Rhino Trust, the camp offers insight into the ecology and conservation of this incredible area and contributes directly to the Trust. During your stay you will participate in rhino tracking on foot, in addition to night drives and full-day outings. In addition to rhino, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe, gemsbok, springbok, kudu, as well as lion, cheetah, leopard, brown and spotted hyenas, live here. Birdlife is prolific and diverse with most of Namibia’s endemics present. Your intimate camp allows for a maximum of 16 guests to have the rare pleasure of exploring this wild and remote area in the company of the dedicated conservationists hosting them, together with local trackers. DESERT RHINO CAMP. (All Meals Daily)

Day 11/12 SWAKOPMUND

Travel to charming Swakopmund and the elegant décor of your hotel which was completely rebuilt in 2015 and enjoys the best views of the ocean. Next day, enjoy a morning dolphin boat cruise in Walvis Bay and look for flamingos that frequent the Lagoon. Inquisitive seals will swim up to your boat looking for something to eat. At Pelican Point entertainment is provided by a large seal colony and pods of Heavyside and Bottlenose Dolphins swimming alongside the boats. For bird lovers, apart from seeing flamingos, cormorants and pelicans, there are common sightings of White Chinned Petrel, Wilson’s Storm Petrel black Oystercatcher and even the African Penguin. Round off your adventure with fresh Walvis Bay oysters, snacks and cold sparkling wine served on board the boat. Your afternoon is at leisure to explore quaint Swakopmund. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. STRAND HOTEL. (B,L; B,D)

Days 13/14 WALVIS BAY/JOHANNESBURG/USA

Your incredible journey to Namibia has come to an end as you embark on your flights home. (B, Meals Aloft)

OPTIONAL POST EXTENSION TO SOSSUSVLEI

A stunning scenic flight awaits you as you fly over the dunes and the infamous Skeleton Coast then inland to experience the stunning scenery of the Namib Desert. For over 80 million years the Namib Desert has endured, its endless orange dunes blown into razor sharp ridges by the sand-shifting wind. Geologists say that this supreme desert covering most of the Namib Naukluft Park could be the oldest in the world – the older the dune, the brighter the color from slow iron oxidization and minute fragments of garnets. Animals have adapted to live in this unforgiving landscape with little else to rely on for water but the advancing sea mist. Your home for two nights, the KULALA DESERT LODGE, is situated on the 51,891- acre Kulala Wilderness Reserve featuring wonderful desert scenery, and offering privacy and exclusivity.

OPTIONAL PRE EXTENSION TO CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

Discover one of the loveliest cities in the world, Cape Town, with prime accommodations at the TAJ CAPE TOWN in the heart of the city. Ascend Cable Mountain, take the coastal route to the Cape of Good Hope, tour the brilliant Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and explore the famed vineyards of Boland Valley. Visit Cape Flats with a township guide, take a ferry to Robben Island where former President Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for his beliefs, and watch the comical penguins at Boulders Beach. It’s a cornucopia of natural beauty, wildlife, political history and more!

YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:

  • Flight between Cape Town/Johannesburg on pre-extension.
  • Flights via light aircraft between Swakopmund/Sossusvlei/Windhoek on the post-extension.
  • Superior accommodations throughout.
  • All meals on safari. Other meals as specified.
  • Specialist guide will accompany the group with 10 travelers.
  • All transfers between parks by deluxe, airconditioned motor coach.
  • All wildlife viewing by 4x4 vehicles, driven by specialist driver/guides.
  • Complimentary bottled water in vehicles.
  • All applicable hotel/lodge taxes and gratuities for baggage handling.
  • All park entry fees.
  • Complimentary baggage tags and passport wallet.
Prices starting at $2,595. For further booking, date, and pricing info please contact info@classicescapes.

Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.