Namibia Classic: Etosha, Sossusvlei & Skeleton Coast

Safari, Namibia Classic: Etosha, Sossusvlei & Skeleton CoastSafari, Namibia Classic: Etosha, Sossusvlei & Skeleton Coast

Namibia Classic

Etosha, Sossusvlei & Skeleton Coast

overview

Follow the path of the nomadic Himba and learn about their tribal ways. Discover the secrets of animal tracking with your expert local guide. Climb some of the world’s largest and most intensely colored sand dunes and savor views from atop. Pick your way through a petrified forest in eerie silence, and thrill to the sound of big cats roaring.

Vast even by African standards, Namibia is an ageless land. You’ll witness its ancient history in the relics of stone-age artists, and fossilized tree trunks 280 million years old. The open space and silence immerse you in a world of antiquity, solitude, and wilderness. In Etosha National Park, you will be on the trail of cheetah, leopard, lion, elephant, rare black rhino, and other creatures that populate this magnificent semidesert. As you move from camp to camp, with every need attended to, you’ll be free to focus on this land of wonders…and enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

Namibia Virtual Tour

Capture the beauty of Namibia through Safaris Director, Sonya Bradley's photo journal

Activity Level
Easy to moderate
with limited walking
on game-drive days
Meet
Windhoek, Namibia
Depart
Windhoek, Namibia
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
Safaris 
10 days, 9 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Experienced, friendly, and knowledgeable guides and service of local representative
  • All meals included, local wine, and beer included with dinners
  • Premium safari camps and guest house (with private baths) while on tour
  • Airport “meet and greet” service
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • All park fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $1,095
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

*7+ traveler pricing available on request. Please contact us for accurate pricing.

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

gallery

Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Windhoek
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2
Okonjima & AfriCat Foundation
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3
Eastern Etosha National Park
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4
Etosha National Park
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5
Southern Etosha National Park
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6
Damaraland
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7
Damaraland
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8
Sossusvlei and NamibRand Nature Reserve
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9
NamibRand Nature Reserve
View on map
10
Departure to Windhoek
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Day 1

Windhoek

Arriving at International Hosea Kutako Airport, you are welcomed by your CW Safari naturalist guide and accompanied to Galton House. A short city tour en route orients you to Windhoek. Namibia’s capital city nestles among rolling hills, bounded by the Eros Mountains in the east, the Auas Mountains to the south and the Khomas Hochland in the west. It is a meeting place between Africa and Europe, the modern and the old, where well-preserved German colonial buildings contrast with modern architecture, and Herero women in traditional Victorian dress mingle with sophisticates in the latest fashions. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon as you settle into your charming accommodation and perhaps explore Windhoek city shops and craft market. The evening celebrates your official welcome and briefs you on the adventure ahead. A festive tasting of fine South African wines, presented by a local expert, is followed by a congenial dinner at the guesthouse with your guide.

Accommodation: Taking its name from a famous explorer, charming Galton House is Windhoek’s newest accommodation. Just ten minutes from the center of town, it perches tranquilly on the edge of Eros, an affluent suburb. Its seven rooms are equipped with Internet connectivity, satellite television, coffee/tea station and other welcoming amenities. The communal areas include lounge, dining room, swimming pool, garden and a delightful al fresco dining area. Shops, restaurants and supermarkets are within easy walking distance.

Included: Airport arrival transfer, city tour, and welcome dinner
Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour

Galton House

Windhoek, Namibia

Taking its name from a famous explorer, charming Galton House is Windhoek’s newest accommodation. Just ten minutes from the center of town, it perches tranquilly on the edge of Eros, an affluent suburb. Its seven rooms are equipped with Internet connectivity, satellite television, coffee/tea station and other welcoming amenities. The communal areas include lounge, dining room, swimming pool, garden and a delightful al fresco dining area. Shops, restaurants and supermarkets are within easy walking distance.

Day 2

Okonjima & AfriCat Foundation

After a leisurely breakfast, journey through Okahandja to Okonjima, home of the AfriCat Foundation. Okahandja, a town of great significance to the Herero people, means “small widening,” the place where rivers meet. A perfect rest stop half way to today’s destination, a point of interest includes the Okahandja Craft Market (look for the Mbangura woodcarvers). Just prior to reaching your first camp, enjoy a planned stop at the REST vulture center, saving species of these birds on the brink of extinction. You may even have the unique opportunity of feeding these incredible birds. Arrive at Okonjima Bush Camp for lunch and settle in to your superb accommodation before heading out on a guided afternoon excursion, tracking leopard by safari jeep. Okonjima is home to the AfriCat Foundation, a wildlife sanctuary dedicated to conservation awareness, preserving habitat and supporting animal welfare. With luck, you’ll visit during an annual check-up of the animals and be witness to the incredible work being done. Close encounters with leopard and cheetah are an unforgettable highlight. Evening continues the excitement with a visit to the night hide after dinner. Nocturnal animals such as porcupine, caracal, honey badger and leopard may be seen. The AfriCat Foundation is a superb example of conservation and community working together.

Included: Land transfer, market visit, REST vulture center visit, cheetah tracking, and night game drive/all meals included. Meals: BLD
Approximate Travel Time: 3 hours

Okonjima Bush Camp

Okonjima, Namibia

The Okonjima Bush Camp is situated at the edge of pristine wilderness—ideal for the activities that await. Individual African-thatch style chalets exude luxury and feature 180 degrees of canvas paneling which may be rolled up for a breathtaking bush-veltd view. Each room includes a mini bar, safe, telephone, two queen beds, an inviting veranda, and the promise of total privacy.

Day 3

Eastern Etosha National Park

Do something exciting this morning—like tracking cheetah on foot— before returning to camp for brunch. Any activity you choose at Okonjima ensures the active and experiential, you are by no means a bystander. Then safari on to the eastern boundary of Etosha National Park, stopping for lunch en route. Take in Lake Otjikoto, mythically bottomless, with its rare, mouth-breeding species of fish on, your way to Onguma Tree Tops Camp. After an afternoon drive through their private game reserve, enjoy dinner at camp and a memorable evening viewing game at the floodlit waterhole.

Included: Cheetah tracking on foot, land transfer, and game drive. All meals included
Approximate Travel Time: 3 hours

Onguma Tree Tops

Onguma Private Game Reserve, Namibia

Unique Onguma Tree Top Camp sits on Onguma Game Reserve, adjacent to eastern Etosha National Park. Small and intimate, it delights travellers who wish to truly experience the raw splendour of the bush. Built on wooden stilts, it affords bird’s eye views of the Reserve’s most spectacular watering hole. Camp consists of 4 thatched wooden rooms and a main complex with pleasant lounge; ideal for a small group of guests or private getaway. Rooms open on all sides to view the animals, or sit on your private terrace to survey the scene. Amenities wrap you in the luxury of crisp linen and down, private facilities and delightful private outside shower. The kitchen is open plan and the chef enjoys tempting guests with wonderful dishes. Tree Top is a place to savour, where you can sit peacefully for hours watching the animals and birds.

Day 4

Etosha National Park

After an early breakfast, Etosha National Park beckons with phenomenal game viewing. The Park covers 8,598 square miles and boasts some 114 mammal and 340 bird species. Until three million years ago, the Etosha Pan formed part of a huge, shallow lake which today would be the third largest lake in the world. Now, it is filled with grassland, woodland and savannah supporting elephant, lion, giraffe, blue wildebeest, eland, kudu, oryx, zebra, rhino, cheetah, leopard, hyena, honey badger, warthog and black faced impala.

Return to camp for lunch and a siesta, then spend the afternoon enjoying an interactive activity in the company of a local researcher whose specialty is the Reserve’s endangered black rhino. During the last century, the black rhino has suffered the most drastic decline in total numbers of all rhino species. Today, you are part of this unique effort to find out more about these elusive creatures. Gain insights into the biology, tracking and conservation work being accomplished to protect these truly magnificent animals. Help collect data from camera traps, stimulate your senses by sampling preferred rhino vegetation, feel the trees they rub against, and interpret their messages. Return to camp after sunset for another glorious evening at Tree Top.

Included: Rhino tracking and game drives. Meals: BLD
 

Onguma Tree Tops

Onguma Private Game Reserve, Namibia

Unique Onguma Tree Top Camp sits on Onguma Game Reserve, adjacent to eastern Etosha National Park. Small and intimate, it delights travellers who wish to truly experience the raw splendour of the bush. Built on wooden stilts, it affords bird’s eye views of the Reserve’s most spectacular watering hole. Camp consists of 4 thatched wooden rooms and a main complex with pleasant lounge; ideal for a small group of guests or private getaway. Rooms open on all sides to view the animals, or sit on your private terrace to survey the scene. Amenities wrap you in the luxury of crisp linen and down, private facilities and delightful private outside shower. The kitchen is open plan and the chef enjoys tempting guests with wonderful dishes. Tree Top is a place to savour, where you can sit peacefully for hours watching the animals and birds.

Day 5

Southern Etosha National Park

Today’s extended game drive immerses you in Etosha National Park as you travel from the east to the southern boundary. Enjoy a picnicstyle lunch en route, and visit the famous Okaukuejo waterhole before exiting through Andersson’s Gate onto the Ongava Game Reserve. The leisurely drive lets you spend unhurried time game viewing a variety of species at various waterholes along the way. Late afternoon brings you to camp, and another mesmerizing night observing game at the waterhole.

Andersson’s Camp

Ongava Game Reserve, Namibia

Andersson’s Camp takes its name from Charles Andersson, the Swedish explorer who first ‘discovered’ the Etosha Pan with Sir Francis Galton in 1851. Set against a backdrop of the low Ondundozonanandana Mountains, camp is within the private Ongava Game Reserve bordering Etosha. The rocky, scrub-covered plains support a rich variety of game such as giraffe, lion, rhino and antelope species – many of which interact at the camp’s waterhole, day and night. A former farmstead, Andersson’s Camp has been tastefully rebuilt to modern-day standards, guided by principles of environmental sustainability. The old farmhouse now forms the main dining, bar and swimming pool area, with guest tents radiating outwards into the secluded Mopane woodlands. Tents are constructed of stone cladding, canvas and wood, with double-door entrances, open-air en-suite bathrooms and verandahs on the elevated wooden decks.

Day 6

Damaraland

Today travel west to the market town of Kamanjab before heading south into the heart of Damaraland. Extraordinary displays of natural color, magnificent tabletop mountains, rock formations and bizarrelooking vegetation await. Formed by ages of wind, water and geological forces, the landscape fills the eye with rolling hills, dunes, gravel plains and ancient river terraces. The astounding variety, loneliness and visual splendour convey an authentic wilderness experience. En route to camp, your guide will track ancient pathways to bring you into a local Himba settlement. These nomadic and deeply traditional people have little time for conventional practices. Tall and slender, the proud yet friendly Himba are noted for their unusual sculptural beauty, enhanced by intricate hairstyles and adornments. They rub their bodies with red ochre and fat, a treatment that protects their skin against the harsh desert climate. Their homes are simple, coneshaped structures of saplings, bound together with palm leaves, mud and dung. During your interactive visit, learn about the customs and belief that drive their way of life. Lunch at a scenic location is another highlight of today’s safari after which you reach your home for the next two nights, Camp Kipwe.

Included: Full day game drive including Himba village visit. Meals: BLD

Camp Kipwe

Twyfelfontein, Namibia

Camp Kipwe is ideally located a short drive from the area’s most compelling attractions. Nestled in an outcrop of giant granite boulders, it is but a stone’s throw away from the ephemeral Aba Huab riverbed where desert-adapted elephants roam. Each comfortable, thatched bungalow is simply but tastefully furnished, with en-suite openair bathroom. A large alfresco dining area, bar and lounge with an inviting fireplace provide relaxing amenities. A refreshing swimming pool and sunset lookout with lovely views complement the Camp. Spend the evening with your guide learning about the southern hemisphere constellations, admiring one of the best night skies in the world.

Day 7

Damaraland

After an early breakfast, an exciting 4x4 excursion follows the ephemeral Aba Huab and Huab River valleys to explore this remarkable region and search for game. Keep an eye out for the elusive desert adapted elephant and other adaptive wildlife at home in Damaraland. Return to camp for lunch and an afternoon visit to the Damara Living Museum, which preserves the once traditional way of life, demonstrating skills from tanning and blacksmithing to dancing and Holy fire making. Twyfelfontein (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) takes you on a walk through archeological time, with some 2,500 prehistoric engravings depicting wildlife, animal spoor and abstract motifs. It is perhaps the largest and finest collection of petroglyphs in Africa. Stone tools found here suggest that hunter-gatherers occupied the site over a period of 7,000 years.

End the day visiting Burnt Mountain with its fantastic range of colors (from a molten lava reaction 132 million years), and Organ Pipes, a mass of perpendicular dolerite columns.

Included: Game drive, nature walk, and exploration of Twyfelfontein. Meals: BLD

Camp Kipwe

Twyfelfontein, Namibia

Camp Kipwe is ideally located a short drive from the area’s most compelling attractions. Nestled in an outcrop of giant granite boulders, it is but a stone’s throw away from the ephemeral Aba Huab riverbed where desert-adapted elephants roam. Each comfortable, thatched bungalow is simply but tastefully furnished, with en-suite openair bathroom. A large alfresco dining area, bar and lounge with an inviting fireplace provide relaxing amenities. A refreshing swimming pool and sunset lookout with lovely views complement the Camp. Spend the evening with your guide learning about the southern hemisphere constellations, admiring one of the best night skies in the world.

Day 8

Sossusvlei and NamibRand Nature Reserve

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airstrip for a light aircraft flight south. Say goodbye to your guide, and enjoy your flight along the Skeleton Coast – a hallucinogenic vision of shipwrecks, seal colonies and old diamond mining camps. Flying above the great sand sea, stop to refuel in Swakopmund before passing into Sossusvlei and landing at Sesriem. Here you will be met by a new local guide who will whisk you off on a fascinating adventure in Namib Naukluft National Park, home to some of the highest sand dunes in the world. Among these towering apricot colored sands, you’ll discover intriguing creatures and plants adapted to survive the harsh environment. A relaxing picnic lunch in the shade of a camel thorn tree is a highlight of this interlude, and provides an opportunity to observe how the color nuances of the landscape change continuously as the day progress.

Return to the airstrip for a short flight to the Wolwedans airstrip, assisted by your local guide, arriving in time for a magnificent sunset enjoyed from the comfort of your lodge.

Included: Scenic flight and visit to Sossusvlei. Meals: BLD
Travel Time: 4 hours

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge

Sossusvlei, Namibia

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge is ideally situated, perched on top of a dune plateau and overlooking panoramic vistas in all directions. The lodge combines the adventure of a tented camp with the comfort of a permanent building. Each of the nine spacious chalets with bathrooms en suite sports a private veranda that opens to vast stretches of untouched sand. At night, leave your canvas blinds open to sleep under the stars. The main complex includes two lounges, several sundowner decks, fireplace, tea deck, library, wine cellar, and two dining rooms. A swimming pool is dramatically suspended above the sand. All communal areas of the lodge open out onto decks with superb views.

Day 9

NamibRand Nature Reserve

Today, immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of NamibRand Nature Reserve, one of the largest private nature reserves in Southern Africa. Begun as a conservation initiative in 1984, it now extends over 180,000 hectares of pristine Namib Desert. To the west lies Namib- Naukluft National Park; to the east, the imposing Nubib mountain range. NamibRand is renowned for its diversity of landscapes, representing all facets of Namib Desert life. Expansive sand and gravel plains and endless stretches of grass savannah alternate with majestic mountain ranges and vegetated dune belts of deep red sand. Before NamibRand became a private nature reserve, it had been divided into sheep farms. Today it is restored to its original state, with indigenous animals and plants flourishing. Take in the best of it at sundown as you raise your glass out on the dunes with zebra and antelope feeding below. Celebrate this final night of your safari with an optional wine tasting in a truly unique location…a wine cellar situated in a dune at the lodge!

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge

Sossusvlei, Namibia

Wolwedans Dunes Lodge is ideally situated, perched on top of a dune plateau and overlooking panoramic vistas in all directions. The lodge combines the adventure of a tented camp with the comfort of a permanent building. Each of the nine spacious chalets with bathrooms en suite sports a private veranda that opens to vast stretches of untouched sand. At night, leave your canvas blinds open to sleep under the stars. The main complex includes two lounges, several sundowner decks, fireplace, tea deck, library, wine cellar, and two dining rooms. A swimming pool is dramatically suspended above the sand. All communal areas of the lodge open out onto decks with superb views.

Day 10

Departure to Windhoek

This morning arise to your final day in this otherworldly location. With morning light, take time to soak in the immersive experience you have just had. Following a full breakfast, transfer to the local airstrip for your light aircraft flight to Windhoek International Airport—taking in the land you have just explored from above. Upon landing, you will be met by a CW Safaris concierge who will facilitate your check-in and bid you bon voyage as you board your flight home.

Included: Transfers to Windhoek. Meals: B
Travel Time: 1½ hours

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Elvis Nghimutina

Elvis is a very articulate and intelligent guide who comes from the north central region (former Ovamboland) although his immediate family is based in Swakopmund. He is very interested in world affairs and local politics (knowing many of the local politicians who come from his area) so is an interesting companion with whom to discuss such issues and often from whom to gain unusual insights. Elvis is also extremely well informed on a wide variety of naturalist subjects and is particularly well versed in the ways of the desert having spent several years as a guide based on the Namib Rand Nature Reserve, first at Sossusvlei Desert Lodge and then at Wolwedans Dune Lodge. Elvis is a great guide and traveling companion who rates excellent consistently from the guests he has accompanied around the region. Guests fully appreciate the insights he offers in order to ‘bring the country alive’.

Orlando Haraseb

Orlando is one of the most knowledgeable and experienced guides in Namibia, as well as having a wide spectrum of experience from previous jobs. He is the former captain of the Namibian national football team whose full time job at the time was as a policeman. Early in his guiding careen, he moved on to work at Hobatere Lodge in northern Damaraland to be near his family, and spend the next three years learning about birds and birding from Steve Brain – one of the best specialist birding guides in Southern Africa. Since 2005 he has been the senior guide as well as guide ‘trainer’ with our local partners. In addition to his work as a safari guide, he is also the deputy chairman of NATH (Namibian Academy for Tourism and Hospitality) and is a regular lecturer on guide training courses there. Orlando has completed all of the formal Namibian National guide training courses and has the highest non specialist guiding qualification possible, as well as being a specialist birding guide. He is very popular with those that travel with him, and he more often than not, rates a 10 out of 10, as well as being named as one of the highlights of the safari. He has strong beliefs, strict professionalism, and great depth of character. As a result, he is interesting and informative company on safari with a great sense of humour.

Perez Kamukuenjandje

Perez comes from a large family of Herero speakers in the north east of the country. He started his career as a guide by attending a number of guiding / ranger courses in the Namib, and in South Africa. Since then, he has completed the formal Namibian National guide training courses that will give him the highest non specialist guiding qualification possible. He is a natural entertainer and is in great demand as many of those that have travelled with him return for a second (or third) safari – but only on the condition that he can be their guide again. Perez has great knowledge of the natural world and his lively intelligence and wit makes him a fascinating guide and travelling companion. Perez is a great enthusiast and an ‘all-rounder’ – he receives unequivocal top ratings from former guests for his guiding skills and his company when travelling around the region.

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