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.  It has been given many names: the land of contrasts, the land God made in anger, the ageless land, but it adopted the name Namibia, after the Namib Desert, one of the oldest in the world. Visit Etosha National Park’s sprawling salt pan waterholes and watch the drama of the bush unfold right in front of your eyes. Search for desert elephant in Damaraland and marvel at the rock paintings in Twyfelfontein. Find out the latest from the Cheetah Conservation Fund about their quest to protect this endangered cat.  Bushwalking and drives in 4x4 vehicles reward you with the wildlife treasures that inhabit this sometimes rough and harsh terrain. Charming lodges make almost dream-like havens for relaxing under the starry skies. 

Days 1/2

USA/JOHANNESBURG

Board your overnight flight, arriving Johannesburg the next day, where you’re escorted to your exquisite hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight.  D’OREALE GRANDE HOTEL. (Meals Aloft, D)

 

Day 3

JOHANNESBURG/WINDHOEK

Fly to Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, and transfer to your boutique guesthouse which combines stylish architecture, simple but carefully selected decoration and personal service. Olive Grove Guesthouse. (B,D)

 

Days 4/5

WINDHOEK/OTJIWARONGO/CHEETAH COSERVATION FUND

Enjoy a tour of this most German city, and then board your vehicle to discover the unique landscapes of Namibia. First stop is Otjiwarongo to spend a day and 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 Daily)

 

Days 6/7

ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK/MUSHARA

Head to Etosha National Park, famous for its vast amount of wildlife and unique landscapes. Spend two nights at Mushara Lodge, located on the eastern boundary of Etosha. The name Mushara is derived from the Purple Pod Terminalia tree which grows abundantly on the lodge grounds and in the surroundings. This is your base to explore Etosha on early morning and afternoon game drives with the lodge open vehicles. Namibia’s premier reserve, Etosha is dominated by a massive mineral pan of flat saline desert surrounded by mopani woodland and savannah grassland, and 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. MUSHARA LODGE.  (B,L,D Daily)

 

Days 8/9

ETOSHA NATIONAL PARK/ONGAVA

Today you explore the park and cross the pan on an all-day game run. The 1,826 square-mile salt pan, the largest of its kind in Africa, is the center piece of the park. The pan’s shimmering white crust of salt crystals extends as far as the eye can see. In previous times this was a lake the size of Holland fed by several rivers. When the rivers gradually changed their course the water in the lake started to evaporate until only the huge dry depression remained. The park is home to four of the Big Five - elephant, lion, leopard and rhino. Game viewing is focused around the waterholes, ideal places to sit and watch over 114 different game species, or for an avid birder, in excess of 340 bird species. Check in at Ongava Lodge, one of the finest private game reserves in the region, enjoying global recognition for exceptional conservation, ground breaking research and exciting safari experiences. Next day is devoted to game runs – in the morning in Etosha, and in the afternoon at Ongava Game Reserve. The different vegetation, an undulating landscape, and a reddish-brown soil may lead you to believe you have entered an entirely new park. ONGAVA LODGE. (All Meals Daily)

 

Days 10/11

Damaraland

Travel towards Damaraland to visit the Petrified Forest, a national monument.  Discover the culture at The Living Museum of the Damara, the first traditional Damara project in Namibia and the only one of its kind.  Learn how they lived in the past, their beliefs, traditions and customs. Next day, enjoy an early morning game drive in search of elusive desert elephants, hike in the ancient surroundings of the Aba Huab River and travel back in time at Twyfelfontein, Namibia’s first World Heritage Site, where Bushman communities engraved and painted over 2500 pictures some 6000 years ago. The reddish sandstone boulders seem to glow in the fierce heat, yet ancient Bushman and Damara sheltered from enemy and spied on game from these surreal rock formations. Huddled in the rocks, with sweeping views, your eco-friendly home lies in a most spectacular setting.  CAMP KIPWE.  (B,L,D Daily)

 

Days 12/13

CAPE CROSS SEAL RESERVE/SWAKOPMUND

Head towards Swakopmund, but first visit the Cape Cross Seal Reserve, a small headland in the South Atlantic in the famed Skeleton Coast.  The reserve is the home of one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals in the world. Continue to charming Swakopmund and the elegant décor of your hotel which was completely rebuilt in 2015 and enjoys the best views of the ocean.  Often fondly referred to as the “playground of Namibia”, Swakopund has numerous activities ranging from adventure to exploring the fascinating features of the Namib Desert and the animals and plants that occur and survive here. You will be taking part in one of these adrenaline excursions – the Marine Dune Day, allowing you to experience the full contrast of the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert. During the marine cruise, look for inquisitive seals that swim up to your boat. 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, see cormorants and pelicans, 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 4X4 guide will be waiting for you as soon as you are back to take you to Sandwich Harbour, the Saltpans, the Kuiseb River Delta and – if weather and tides allow for it – the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon. Enjoy the unique scenery of one of the most spectacular areas in Namibia. The roaring dunes and lookout spots are a highlight of every tour.  End your day with a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.  STRAND HOTEL. (B,L,D Daily)

 

Days 14/15

WALVIS BAY/JOHANNESBURG/USA

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

 

POST-EXTENSION TO SOSSUSVLEI

 

A scenic flight takes you over the dunes and the infamous Skeleton Coast inland to experience the spectacular scenery of the Namib Desert.  For over 80 million years it 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. 

Prices starting at $8,995. 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.