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11 Days Namibia Self Drive Safari

Introduction

Day 1 Arrival In Windhoek And Elegant Guesthouse

Upon arrival at the Hosea Kutako International Airport you will pick up your rental vehicle and drive the +-40km to Windhoek. Check in at the Elegant Guesthouse and the rest of the day is at your own leisure. You have time to explore Windhoek and visit the famous landmarks of Windhoek or shop in the vibrant Independence Avenue.

Windhoek

Namibia's capital Windhoek is often described as a city with a continental atmosphere. This can be ascribed to its architecture, cuisine, culture, dress codes and educational institutions. Windhoek combines the modern city architectural style with that of the German colonial era. Historic sites to visit in the town centre are the 'Christuskirche', 'Alte Feste' (Old Ford), 'Tintenpalast' (Parliament Buildings), Zoo Park, 'Reiterdenkmal', Museum and the Craft Centre.

With 280 000 inhabitants, Windhoek is the biggest city in the country and also the commercial centre of the country.

Day 2 Desert Homestead And Horse Trails

After breakfast you will start your trip in southern direction. You will pass the Spreetshoogte Pass, where you have the opportunity to stop at the view point from which you will have an amazing view over the Namib Desert. Leaving the pass behind you, the landscape becomes more barren and you can see farther into the distance. After check-in at the lodge the rest of the day can be spent at your own leisure. It can be used to participate in one of the activities offered by the lodge (at own expense) or simply to relax and enjoy the view of the surrounding areas.

Day 3 Sesriem Canyon And Desert Homestead And Horse Trails

An early morning rise will be rewarded by the sight of an amazing play of colours over the spectacular dunes at Sossusvlei. At the 2x4 parking you will be transferred with a shuttle (not included, cost +-N$120.00 per person) to the vlei. Here you will have the opportunity to explore the area and then maybe climb the "Big Daddy" dune for an overwhelming sight of the dynamic and living desert. On your way back to the lodge you can stop over at the Sesriem Canyon, a 30m deep gorge dug into the rock formations.

Sossusvlei

The Sossusvlei is a huge clay pan, enclosed by giant sand dunes. Some of the spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 325 metres, the highest in the world. Only after a heavy rainfall, which is a rare event in this area, does the vlei fill with water. As the clay layers hardly allow any water infiltration, a turquoise lake will remain for quite some time. The Dead Pan is a large ghostly expanse of dried white Clay, punctuated by Skeletons of ancient camelthorn trees, about 600 years old. The dunes of the Namib Desert have developed over a period of many millions of years. It is thought that the vast quantities of sand were deposited into the Atlantic Ocean by the Orange River. This material was subsequently moved northwards by the Benguela current to be dumped back onto the land by the surf. The coastal dunes developed as a result of this and were shifted further and further inland by the wind. Wind continuously reshapes the patterns of the huge dunes of the Namib Desert.

The last 5 km are only negotiable with 4x4 vehicles. Should you not have one, there are 4x4 Shuttles available if you don't want to hike there.

Day 4 Swakopmund Guesthouse

Depart after breakfast and drive via Solitaire, Ghaub Pass and Walvis Bay to Swakopmund. You will arrive in Swakopmund in the afternoon and check in at the Swakopmund Guesthouse, situated near the Swakopmund city centre and walking distance from the beach. The rest of the day can be spent relaxing at the beach or exploring this small coastal holiday town.

Swakopmund

Swakopmund was of major importance as a harbour during the German colonial era even though the water at the coast is actually too shallow and the bay is unprotected. But Luderitz was too far away and the seaport of Walvis Bay was in British possession in those days. On 4 August 1892 the crew of a gunboat named Hyena erected two beacons on a large dune, probably in the vicinity of the present lighthouse. This is regarded as the founding date of Swakopmund. The first settlers were 120 Shutztruppe with equipment and 40 settlers who offloaded from the Marie Woermann using four landing boats. The settlers had to build caves on the beach to protect themselves against hostile weather. Before a breakwater was built in 1898, which later became known as the Mole, all offloading was done with special boats The 325 metre long wooden jetty was only completed in 1905 and it was in 1914 replaced by a more solid iron construction. Swakopmund became the gate to South-West Africa and the entire supply for the colony was wound up through this little town. The narrow-rail train to Windhoek started operations in 1902 while at the same time, the station was built. It was completely restored some years ago and has become an entertainment centre, a casino and a luxury hotel. It is one of the best preserved examples of German colonial architecture in the world.

The appearance of the town, with its 35 000 inhabitants, is characterised by numerous colonial buildings with the Woermann House from 1905 as its landmark. The former trading house in Bismarck Street with its 25 metre high Tower and its courtyard bordered by arcades today houses the city library and an art gallery. Swakopmund is a popular seaside resort with a slightly nostalgic atmosphere, many tourist attractions and a pleasant climate in summer.

Day 5 Swakopmund And Surrounding Area

Today you have the opportunity to explore Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and the surrounding area. We suggest that you visit the Moonlandscape, Welwitscha Plains (please note that you need a permit for this, which is available at Namib i in Swakopmund) or take part in one of the many alternative activities (at own expense) such as:

  • Tandem Sky diving
  • Quad Biking
  • Sand Boarding
  • Ballooning
  • Paragliding
  • Seal & Dolphin Boat Cruise in Walvis Bay
  • Scenic flights
  • (Prices on request!)

Day 6 Ai-Aiba - The Rockpainting Lodge

Drive via Spitzkoppe to the beautiful set Ai-Aiba Lodge situated in the Erongo Mountains. Here you can enjoy an overwhelming panoramic view while relaxing at the pool. Alternatively you can take part in one of the activities offered by the lodge (at own expense), such as:

Unguided hiking trails or nature walks

A sundowner drive to the famous rock paintings of which some are more than 2000 years old

Overnight: Ai-Aiba The Rockpainting Lodge including breakfast

Day 7 Skeleton Coast

Via Outjo you drive to the southern gate of the Etosha National Park. The park measuring approx. 22 270 sq. km is home to most species of typical African wildlife. Lions, Elephants, Rhinos and various sorts of antelope which freely roam the plains around the vast salt pans, saline desert, savannah and woodlands. This you will be able to discover in the afternoon, as you enter the Etosha National Park in your rental vehicle.

Etosha National Park

Etosha was declared a game reserve by the German colonial administration back in 1907 and covers an area of more than 22 000 km2. At a stage it covered a vast area of 93 240 km2 and was the largest game reserve in the world. For various political reasons, the park was progressively diminished in size until by 1975 it had been reduced to its current size. In its centre lies a vast saltpan surrounded by grass and thorn savannah, Mopane bushland in the west and dry forest in the north-east. About two million years ago, this area was an enormous lake, fed by the Kunene River. However the lake slowly dried up because over time, the river changed its course. Today the pan is a shallow depression and has an approximate size of 5000 km2.

Of the 114 mammals species found in the park, several are rare and endangered, such as the black Rhino and cheetah. Etosha's current population of +- 600 Black Rhinos represents one of the few growing populations in the world.

The National Park has three Rest camps Okaukuejo, Halali and Namutoni. These all have restaurants, stores and swimming pools. The main entrance to the park is called the Andersson Gate at Okaukuejo in the south and the Von Lindequist Gate in the east near Namutoni.

Day 8 Etosha National Park

This day you spend game viewing (in your rental vehicle) in the Etosha National Park. Of the mammal species found in the park, several are rare and endangered, such as black rhino and black-faced impala. Etosha's elephants are reputed to be the largest in Africa, the tallest one measuring up to 4 meters at the shoulder. Their tusks, on the other hand, are relatively small. For the greater part of the year the Etosha Pan is a bleak expanse of white cracked mud which shimmers with mirages on most days. Seeing vast herds of game against this eerie backdrop makes the Etosha game viewing experience unique.

Day 9 Frans Indongo Lodge

Travel via Rundu, Grootfontein into the Otjiwarongo direction. Arrival at the lodge at around noon, where after check in you have the opportunity to relax at the pool and enjoy the stunning view. Nearby attractions are the Waterberg and a Crocodile farm, which can be visited at own expense.

Day 10 Elegant Guesthouse

Today you depart the lodge and drive, via Okahandja, to Windhoek. In Okahandja you can stop over at the Kavango woodcarvers market and have a look around or buy some last souvenirs. Arrival in Windhoek at around noon and after check in you have some time to do some shopping in the city centre or simply relax at the guesthouse.

Day 11 Departure

After breakfast you will still have time to do some last minute shopping before heading to the Hosea Kutako International Airport, where you check in for the onward or homeward flight.

ACCOMMODATIONS

REVIEWS

INCLUDES

  • Pickup and drop off
  • All park and entrance fees
  • Car rental, Hilux Toyota double cabin/Toyota fortuner.
  • Binoculars for game viewing
  • Full board (breakfast, lunch & dinner) accommodation while on safari
  • Route maps and GPS
  • Current Government taxes and levies
  • 24-Hour support during the safari from our office
  • Complimentary T-shirt

EXCLUDES:

  • International flight
  • Entry Visa
  • Travel and health insurance
  • Gratuities to your guide and Chef
  • Meals, drinks, and excursions not described in the itinerary
  • Any other items of a personal nature, laundry, telephone and postage
  • Item of personal Nature.
  • Child seat (booster seat) but welcome to bring yours

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