Etosha National Park – Windhoek – Kalahari Namibia – Fish River Canyon – Luderitz – Sossusvlei
10 Days / 9 Nights
Ref: 10day G&DSSchAccwd2017
This safari is designed to offer a quick “snapshot” of Namibia’s world renowned Etosha National Park. The South is nothing short of a magical experience. Here you will experience the true heart of Namibia and see unique landscapes that will colour the rest of your life. The seven-day Southern Swing has been designed to give you a short but comprehensive safari around the main highlights of Southern Namibia. First night of the tour is spent in the Kalahari area of Namibia before we continue to the mighty Fish River Canyon. Visit the small town of Aus where you will have the opportunity to visit the Ghost Town of Kolmanskop and Luderitz before ending with 2 nights in the world’s oldest desert, where you will stroll among the world’s highest sand dunes.
This safari departs on selected Wednesdays with a minimum of two people.
|Namutoni Rest Camp||Etosha National Park||1||L & D||En-suite twin|
|Okaukuejo Rest Camp||Etosha National Park||1||FB||En-suite twin|
|Galton House||Windhoek||1||B & L||En-suite twin|
|Bagatelle Kalahari Game Ranch||Kalahari Namibia||1||FB||En-suite twin|
|Canyon Roadhouse, Gondwana Collection Namibia||Fish River Canyon||1||FB||En-suite twin|
|Luderitz Nest Hotel||Luderitz||1
B & B
|Sossusvlei Lodge||Sossusvlei||2||FB||En-suite twin|
B & B: Bed & Breakfast
For your detailed itinerary, please click the download button below.
Windhoek – Okaukuejo camp, Etosha National Park (450 km) (LD) (en-suite standard room)
You will be collected at your Windhoek accommodation between 08:00 & 08:30 Travelling north, you pass through some of the country’s best established commercial farmland and stop at quaint towns along the way, arriving at Anderson Gate by mid-afternoon. After entering Etosha we game drive our way through to Okaukuejo, Etosha’s main rest camp and resort where we will check in and set up camp. Originally the site of a German fort built in 1901, Okaukuejo now houses the Etosha Ecological Institute, founded in 1974; the round watchtower is a remnant of the fort. After your evening meal there are still more chances to see Etosha’s big game at a floodlit waterhole, situated on the boundary of our camp and easily reachable within a minute or two on foot. The waterhole has been described as one of the “best game viewing opportunities in Southern Africa” and the ideal venue to witness peculiar animal politics. Black rhino, Africa’s tallest elephants, lion and numerous species of antelope are regular visitors during the cool, dry season.
Okaukuejo – East Etosha, Namutoni region (FB) (en-suite standard room)
A full day’s worth of game driving awaits and we leave early to enjoy the cool morning air, making our way to Halali camp, situated in the middle of the park. Along the way we visit several waterholes and are afforded splendid views of the massive Etosha Pan, a shallow depression that is dry for the greater part of the year, but fed by moisture from perennial springs on the fringes. The pan covers about 25 percent of the park. The game viewing is excellent throughout the year and we have the chance to spot a few new species that are not normally seen on the Okaukuejo side of the park. We stop at Halali camp for a rest and a leisurely lunch and there is time to visit the waterhole and to make use of the swimming pool and bar facilities before continuing to the eastern side of the park and our camp next to Fort Namutoni.
East Etosha – Windhoek (500km) (BL)
Be prepared for the long, scenic transit back to Windhoek. We pass through towns and rural areas, stopping in the small town of Okahandja, the home of Namibia’s largest wood carving market. The stalls operate on a local co-operative basis and offer a vast array of truly Namibian souvenirs. We are due back in Windhoek late afternoon/ early evening and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on our return.
Windhoek – Kalahari (270 km) (LD)
You will be collected at your Windhoek accommodation between 07:30 & 08:00 We start our journey south on the main highway, traveling through the thin strip of Kalahari Desert that protrudes onto the eastern side of Namibia. Stopping at small towns along the way including Rehoboth, traditional home of the Baster people and on to Kalkrand where you bid the main road farewell and head off into the Kalahari. The Kalahari Desert often surprises people when they first see it. It is very different from the Namib. First of all, remember that the Kalahari is not a desert. It receives more rain than a true desert should. The Kalahari is a fossil desert. Don’t expect to find tall Sossusvlei-style dunes devoid of greenery here. The Kalahari’s dunes are very different. They are often equally beautiful, but usually greener and less stark – and with this vegetation comes its ability to support more flora and fauna than a true desert.Late this afternoon we hop onto an open vehicle for a late afternoon sunset drive.
Kalahari – Fish River Canyon area (400 km) (BLD)
An early morning departure to the town of Mariental and south to Keetmanshoop. Just outside the town you have the opportunity of visiting the Mesosaurus Fossil Site. We travel via the town of Keetmanshoop for overnight camping on the Fish River area. Here you have the opportunity of seeing the Quivertree. Quiver trees are not in fact trees, they are a type of aloe, (Aloe Dichotoma), so called because the branches fork “dictomously”. These weird looking plants dot the landscape in this part of the world and are locally common, however they are one of the world’s rarest flora species.
Fish River area – Luderitz (430 km) (BL) (Accommodation)
The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is (allegedly) the 2nd largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. The immensity of this magnificent landscape is truly breath taking. The towering rock faces and deep ravines were formed by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth’s crust over 500 million years ago. Today the canyon measures 160km long up to 27km wide and almost 550m at its deepest. It is fair to say that when you arrive at the canyon though, its exact location is a bit of a mystery as the 500m vertical drop from the flat dry plateau is completely out of view. Early-morning we head to the main view point where we can see how impressive this canyon actually is. This is an ideal opportunity for photos and to spend some time experiencing this amazing sight. Viewing from the top we can see the river sparkling in the sunlight far below us, and can barely imagine how many millennia it took for the forces of erosion to carve such a magnificent vista. Time to pack up and move on to our next destination, the coastal town of Lüderitz where its colonial-style buildings cling to the rocks overlooking the bay, on some days a deep iridescent blue, on others grey and stormy, the crisp fresh climate, fishing boats bobbing up and down on the Atlantic horizon, penguins and seals diving beneath the waves, give the town a curious other-worldly allure.We aim to arrive at our guest house during the late afternoon. Dinner will be at client’s own expense tonight.
There is time to join an optional extra excursion, a marine trip, take a cruise around Luderitz bay and, weather permitting, to Halifax Island to see the Jackass Penguins. N.B: The boat cruise is subject to availability and, if undertaken, will be for the clients own risk and expense. Time to explore Luderitz Town with its traditional German architecture and later we will take a drive out to Diaz Point to see the bird life, hopefully a few seals and the stone cross replica, originally erected by the Portuguese mariner Bartholomew Diaz. Straight after the marine trip we drive out to Kolmanskop, a desert ghost town about 20 km out of Luderitz. It was built in the 1920’s during the diamond rush and was abandoned when bigger and better diamonds were found further along the coast. The area is still abandoned and the desert has encroached over the entire town, giving an eerie feeling and real meaning to the word “ghost”.
Luderitz – Sesriem area (125 km) (FB) (accommodation)
Turning north, we once again head deep into the ancient southern Namib, travelling on small gravel roads and passing some tiny rural communities along the way. The scenery is harsh, and sometimes forbidding. The process of erosion in these areas is well advanced and we pass time rounded “koppies” arid terrain and outcrops of tortured rock. Traversing this bleak yet beautiful landscape, the terrain begins to change and we cross some open grass savannah and farmlands before the terrain begins to give way to the immense red sand dune desert of the Namib. We aim to arrive at our camp during the late afternoon and watch the colours glow and change on distant mountains to the east.
Sossusvlei is where you will find the iconic red sand dunes of the Namib. The clear blue skies contrast with the giant red sand dunes to make this one of the natural wonders of Africa and a photographers heaven.
Aside from the attractions at Sossusvlei – Dune 45, Hidden Vlei, Big Daddy and Dead Vlei – other attractions in the area include the Sesriem Canyon and Namib-Naukluft National Park, where the mountains of the Namib meet its plains.
A pre-dawn start is essential the followng morning as we want to catch the soft light of the sunrise on the desert. After passing through Sesriem, the gateway to the dunes, we head into the heart of the dune field, reaching Sossusvlei on foot, trekking the last 5 km through the dunes. Landscape photo opportunities abound in the cool of the morning, with dawn’s soft light first illuminating the dunes from crest down the back slope, then blazing orange everywhere, creating a powerful contrasting vista across the whole desert. Ancient mineral pans, stunted camel thorn trees and the chance of seeing a gemsbok or ostrich makes it essential to remember your camera!
Sesriem – Windhoek (370 km) (BL)
After breakfast we begin our journey, over the mountains and along scenic roads, back to Windhoek. We will travel over the Naukluft Mountains and also the Khomas Hochland Range, through beautiful mountain passes on our way back to civilization. We are due back into the city after 16:00 and you will be dropped off at your accommodation on our return. Tour Ends
01 April 2017 – 30 June 2017:
N$32 200.00 per person sharing
N$3 300.00 single room supplement
01 July – 31 October 2017:
N$35 400.00 per person sharing
N$4 400.00 single room supplement
Departs on the following Wednesdays: 2017
5 & 19 April; 3,17 & 31 May; 14 & 28 June; 12 & 26 July; 9 & 23 August; 6 & 20 September;
4 & 18 October; 1, 15 & 29 November; 13 & 27 December
10 & 24 January; 7 & 21 February 7 & 21 March
Minimum: 2 people Maximum: 10 people
Transport for up to 5 people will be in a minibus and for 6 people and more in a specialised vehicle.
Unless otherwise specified, all safaris will be conducted in English.
When selecting your clothing please be aware that Namibian summer temperatures (December – March) can reach 45*C and winter temperatures (June – September) can be as low as -5*C. The rainy season is between December and April.
Dietary: We cater for vegetarians, but please notify us prior to departure. Please also advise of any other requirements
Travel: Namibia is an incredible country to visit but please remember that we are in Africa and that not all standards are the same as you would get in Europe or other first world countries. To the majority of our clients, that is part of the appeal of travelling to destinations such as ours. If you are not comfortable with new challenges then you may wish to consider other companies or destinations. Please also note that due to the location of destinations, long days are inevitable and you will travel on gravel roads and dust tends to get everywhere so it’s worth ensuring you protect your equipment
Visas: The onus is on the client to organize all visas required for clients prior to departure. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your scheduled departure date country of travel. If this is not the case, there is a danger of being turned away by the Immigration Service on arrival at the airport – assuming your airline has agreed to bring you and risk a fine in the first place. The Company cannot be held liable for any necessary visas or other travel documents not held by the clients. Please also note that if your passport requires a visa for the countries you visit and multiple entries if necessary, you will need to carry your passport with you during the trip
Weather: Please note that in winter evenings and nights in particular can be very cold we recommend layered clothing – day time temps can be 25°C so t-shirts and shorts is great for then but thermals are very useful for evenings/night. Summer temperatures can exceed 40°C but also bring our rainy season so a lightweight rain jacket is handy, as with most places layering is the most recommended way of clothing – please ensure you pack your clothes in plastic bags and ensure cameras/electrical equipment is suitably protected
Climate: The African sun is very strong. Please use a factor 30 sunscreen and wear a hat. You should drink at least 3 litres of water per day to avoid dehydration. It can also get very cold during winter months on this route
Money: The Namibian dollar is tied permanently against the South African rand on a 1/1 basis so you are able to check the current exchange rate against your local currency but please note that Namibian dollars are not regarded as an international currency and cannot be purchased outside of the country, therefore if bringing money into the country then you’ll receive SA rand. Both Namibian dollars and South African rand are legal currencies in Namibia. Generally, credit card facilities are accepted in the lodges and ATM’s are available in towns, however, we recommend you carry some cash with you in case a machine is out of order. Travellers’ cheques can only be exchanged in major towns and it is often a time consuming and costly process so we do not recommend carrying them with you. We recommend you bring South African rand with you or exchange at the airports prior to landing in Windhoek to avoid any unnecessary delays upon arrival or needing to carry large sums of money and passports around the city. It is customary to tip in Namibia, usually, around 10% at restaurants. Your guide can be tipped at your discretion if you feel he/she has done a superb job – we recommend N$40-50/person/day
Safety: As with every destination safety tips needs to be adhered to; we strongly recommend you use a safe in a hotel/lodge or lock up your valuables when you are not in the room; when in a vehicle do not leave valuables on display but tucked away and out of sight. It is also better to have copies of passports, money; cards etc split between travellers so if anything unexpected happens and a bag is lost or stolen then other funds/cards are available, you may also wish to consider using a money belt/neck wallet. We suggest you leave valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. A padlock for your luggage is also recommended
Insurance: It is essential that you purchase comprehensive personal travel insurance before you embark on your holiday, medical insurance is insufficient. Travel insurance is for your own protection and should include evacuation; we also recommend full cover for baggage loss etc and consider it to be an essential part of modern international travel. We recommend www.worldnomads.com as an insurance option. If you have credit card insurance – please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country. If you are uncertain whether this is enough please contact us when you book to ensure you have adequate cover.
Health: Namibia is a low risk malarial destination but we recommend that seek professional medical advice to enable you to make decisions on personal malaria protection. Note that Etosha is considered a malaria region (low risk) particularly during rainy season. No vaccinations are required by law for the countries being visited on this tour though we recommend you are current with TB, tetanus, polio etc.
Water: All tap water in Namibia has been purified or comes directly from boreholes and is safe to drink. Tap water is generally safe to drink but bottled mineral water is easily available at shops and rest camps should you prefer to drink this, and is also provided at lodges.
Electrical: Plugs are 220V and are 3 pin (round pin as opposed to square pin). Adaptors can be purchased in Windhoek; they are the same as South Africa if you are shopping in your home country or at airport. It is possible to re-charge batteries at lodges but clients must be responsible for security of their possessions and Chameleon cannot be held responsible for clients’ personal possessions. Wi-Fi is available at most lodges though they may charge and only be in central areas, or be slow! It may not be available at campsites
Booking & payment: When you have decided on a trip a booking form will need to be completed, signed and returned to us and we will enquire regarding availability and advise you. Once we have taken deposit, a confirmation is sent to you, advising you of the services agreed and booked. Payment is due approximately 6 weeks (sometimes 8 weeks depending on the supplier) prior to departure. Exchange 4 free, bank transfers and MasterCard/Visa are all accepted forms of payment but please ensure there are sufficient funds and your bank is aware of the transaction about to take place (if you are paying via credit card), in this day and age many banks will withhold money as a safeguard against fraud and this delay can be critical particularly if you are booking at short notice. Please also allow for payment to process and if paying via bank transfer to include all bank fees, note we are unable to confirm bookings/trip until funds have cleared into our account, any delay may see a cancellation in your trip and booking released.
Pre and Post Tour Accommodation: If you require accommodation before or after your tour we can arrange this for you
Once you have booked your safari pre-departure information and a safari confirmation will be sent to you. The pre-departure information will assist you with what to bring, weather conditions and most other common questions we get asked.