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Namibia Safari

Desert Dune Safari

Remote Namibia in private concessions - 9 nights / 10 days

Return to Value Safari Packages
Red dunes of Sossusvlei Diverse Namibia safari - Damaraland Ongava and Etosha National Park

This Exploration takes you through some of the most remote areas of this fascinating land; areas which have been rarely explored by others, making this a journey of discovery.

Departs: Windhoek, Namibia.
Ends: Windhoek, Namibia.
Group size: Guaranteed from 2 guests; 7 guests maximum.

The dunes of Sossusvlei are not to be missed and therefore we begin our journey here. This Exploration also takes in the amazing marine life just off Swakopmund, the secluded and dramatic coastline of the Skeleton Coast littered with historic remnants of shipwrecks and the rugged and rocky landscape of Palmwag where the last free-roaming black rhino rove. Aside from wildlife and activities, meet the native people of Namibia, from those who work at our camps to many others, such as local fishermen and vendors.

Namibia is a land of stunning landscapes, endless skies, barren deserts, rugged mountains and spectacular wildlife. This Exploration explores some of the most remote areas of this fascinating land; areas that have been rarely explored by others, making this a true journey of discovery. Like any trip to Namibia, the dunes of Sossusvlei are not to be missed and we therefore begin our journey here. We continue to Swakopmund to take in the amazing marine life just offshore, then on to the secluded and dramatic coastline of the Skeleton Coast littered with historic remnants of shipwrecks and the rugged and rocky landscape of Palmwag where the last free-roaming black rhino rove. The activities provide a wide range of differing experiences, from a dolphin cruise with private beach lunch, to tracking rhino and climbinb the Namib’s great dunes. Most of the journey is by road which can be lengthy and bumpy (due to Namibia’s roads being mainly gravel). But well-timed stops at local highlights, refreshments, snacks and lunches (where appropriate) all help to ensure optimal comfort. A highlight is meeting the native people of Namibia, many of whom work in the camps, while others you will have a chance to meet along the road, such as local fishermen and vendors. The scenic flight between Sossusvlei and Swakopmund and the flight out of Doro Nawas are by light aircraft, affording sensational views of the Namib Desert, the starkly scenic North West region and the dramatic, desolate coastline

Guides: Explorations are led by highly skilled and qualified professional guides with an incredible passion for the natural regions they work in. Sharing the adventure and guiding you on this journey of discovery combined with their vast knowledge of the natural world, history and culture are their professions and personal hobby. Many of our guides are also skilled photographers and can assist you in taking away amazing wildlife photographs. Your guide will host you for the duration of safari, providing you with a consistent, detailed interpretation that is shaped to your specific interests.

Highlights:
• Exceptionally diverse variety of activities, including day and night nature drives, sea- and land-based wildlife viewing, flying, driving, and boating.
• Other unique activities include climbing some of the world’s tallest dunes, rhino tracking, a motorboat lagoon trip at Walvis Bay and viewing shipwreck remains along the dramatic coastline.
• Endless landscapes and places of interest are seen along the way, with a scenic flight from Sossusvlei to Swakopmund (weather permitting) being a highlight.

CLICK TO SEE DEPARTURE DATES

 

Desert Dune Namibia map

2017
SA
FARI COST:
01-Jan to 31-May:   ZAR 68,673 per person sharing - (Low Season)
01-Jun to 31-Oct:   ZAR 79,153 per person sharing - (High Season)
01-Nov to 31-Dec:   ZAR 68,673 per person sharing - (Low Season)

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: None.


DAYS 1 - 2; (2 Nights)
WINDHOEK - SOSSUSVLEI, Sossusvlei, Namibia   [Canvas Kulalas] 

Dead Vlei in NamibiaOn Day 1 you will be met by your Explorations guide and begin your journey by driving through the Khomas Hochland mountains and down into the dune-filled Sossusvlei region, a driving time of approximately five to six hours (330 kilometres / 205 miles). En route, we enjoy a lunch.

Explore the famous red dunes of Sossusvlei and our 37 000-hectare private reserve where you will discover life in one of the world’s oldest and most arid deserts.

Kulala Desert Lodge, Sossusvlei
As the perfect gateway to the impressive sights of Sossusvlei, Kulala Desert Lodge is a favourite among Wilderness travellers. Magnificent views of dunes, mountains and vast open plains will be the setting of your stay.

The camp comprises 23 en-suite thatched and canvas ‘kulalas’ each with a veranda for you to enjoy the outstanding scenery. On balmy nights, sleep under the clear night skies on your rooftop and awaken to the rising sun. By day, enjoy our activities or spot desert-adapted wildlife from our lounge and dining area overlooking a waterhole. To escape the midday heat a cooling plunge pool provides the ideal sanctuary.

• Kulala Desert Lodge is in the private Kulala Wilderness Reserve, the result of a rehabilitation project by Wilderness Safaris that aimed to return this land, previously used for farming, to its former natural aspect.
• Sossusvlei is situated within the Namib Desert, the oldest desert in the world, characterised by huge dunes and flat valley floors.
• To showcase this vast and impressive landscape, we offer nature drives, walking, quad biking, horse riding and ballooning (last three at extra cost).
• You can witness sparsely distributed desert-adapted wildlife such as ostrich, springbok, oryx, spotted and brown hyaena, and bat-eared fox.
• One of the many fascinating bird species, the dune lark, has its entire global distribution limited to the area
.


Details: Kulala Desert Lodge - includes all meals, daily activities, laundry and drinks (excluding premium import brands).


DAYS 3 - 4; (2 Nights)
SWAKOPMUND – Namibia
   [Hotel] 

Swakopmund, NamibiaOur light aircraft transfer to Swakopmund Airport is in fact a spectacular scenic flight (weather permitting) that flies over the only well-preserved shipwreck in Namibia, endless dune fields and even an old diamond mining settlement. Discover the town of Swakopmund and bed down in the historic Hansa Hotel that forms part of city’s architectural culture.

Boat Cruise
On Day 4, we explore the ice-blue Atlantic coast on a boat cruise (weather permitting) as well as the imposing Sandwich Harbour dune fields by 4x4. The adventure is rounded off with a private seafood lunch before driving back to Walvis Bay.

Hansa Hotel, Swakopmund
Namibia’s oldest hotel, and consistently one of the best, the Hansa has retained its 100-year-old charm while providing present-day service and comfort. Our bedrooms are spacious and tastefully appointed, with a blend of modern luxury and antique décor. Interesting photographs from the past adorn the walls along the carpeted passages. Although we are located in the centre of town giving you access to most of the local amenities, even our street facing bedrooms are surprisingly quiet. A short walk will bring you to the heated Olympic-sized indoor public swimming pool, the museum, lighthouse and Kristall Galerie, as well as several good restaurants if you wish to try an alternative to the Hansa’s tasty fare.

• The hotel has 48 twin/double rooms, 6 family units and 3 luxury suites and an executive suite, each with an en-suite bathroom with separate bath and shower, tea and coffee facilities, bottled mineral water, a 15-channel television, under-floor heating, a safe, bathrobes, a telephone and internet connection.
• All suites and some rooms have air-conditioning.
• Breakfast and an a la carte dinner are served in the dining room.
• You can have lunch al fresco on our terrace overlooking the inner garden.


Details: Hansa Hotel, Swakopmund - includes bed, breakfast and one dinner (excludes dinner on the second night).


DAY 4;
MARINE DESERT ADVENTURE - Swakopmund / Walvis Bay

Dolphins in Walvis Bay, NamibiaThe day starts at 09h00 with a marine cruise, exploring Walvis Bay Harbour, old boat wrecks, and the chance of spotting life such as pelicans, dolphins and seals, and even whales and turtles in season.

At around 11h30, your skipper will drop you off on a deserted beach at the jetty of Pelican Point, where your Sandwich Harbour 4x4 guide will meet you with a Land Rover. You will be taken on an excursion to see the Kuiseb River Delta, the saltpans and the wetlands just north of the Sandwich Harbour Lagoon with the possibility of seeing their famed flamingos in one of southern Africa’s richest and unique wetlands. If vehicles cannot make it there due to tides, there is time to walk the four or five kilometres. Alternatively, you will get a chance to see the Lagoon area from one of the many beautiful lookout spots. En route, a light meal with snacks and salads, as well as oysters – some of the best in the world – and sparkling wine, are dished up.

On the return drive, more giant dunes are crossed, including the big roaring dunes. You will arrive in Walvis Bay at approximately 16h30 after a fantastic day out.

Capture the breathtaking views of Walvis Bay from the ocean and look out for the Atlantic’s magnificent sea creatures.
• Explore the awe-inspiring Sandwich Harbour area of the Namib-Naukluft Park in a 4x4.
• Enjoy sumptuous oysters of the region while picnicking on a deserted beach or in the desert
.


DAY 5; (1 Night)
SKELETON COAST NATIONAL PARK   [Lodge / En-suite Rooms] 

Terrace Bay fish barbeque in NamibiaWe continue our journey by road for approximately 380 kilometres / 236 miles up the legendary Skeleton Coast (named for the numerous ships the treacherous shores have claimed over the years). You can expect to see the fascinating lichen plains at Wlotskasbaken, remains of the Zelia shipwreck near Henties Bay and the SW Seal shipwreck near Ugabmund. We also take in the ghostly remains of mining operations near Toscanini. Driving time is about five hours, excluding any stops.

Terrace Bay Lodge, Skeleton Coast National Park
Terrace Bay Lodge is situated in the Skeleton Coast National Park in north-west Namibia. As the only accommodation in the Park itself, Terrace Bay is a popular destination in a remote location.

This rustic rest camp has 20 comfortable en-suite rooms and a family chalet, while the bar and restaurant are convivial areas in which to meet fellow guests and discuss the exciting day’s happenings. This is also a destination for the angling crowd as the chances of catching a variety of fish here are amongst the best on Namibia’s coastline. Please note that whilst accommodation is clean, functional and comfortable, it is not a luxury lodge comparable to Wilderness Safaris camps.

• Terrace Bay is a fantastic point from which to explore the Uniab River Delta.
• Walking along the beach to view the dramatic coastline is very popular activity.


Details: Terrace Bay Lodge - includes Dinner, bed and breakfast.


DAYS 6 - 7; (2 Nights)
PALMWAG & SKELETON COAST   [Tented Camp] 

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp, NamibiaWe continue through Skeleton Coast National Park to the Möwe Bay Museum and then stop to admire the remains of the Suiderkus shipwreck. Other attractions are the Klein Oase and Auses Springs hidden in the dunes, an intriguing “roaring” dune and spectacular desert scenery combined with whatever desert-adapted wildlife presents itself. The distance to camp is only 140 kilometres / 86 miles, however, given the gravel roads the driving time is approximately 5 hours.

A land of rugged scenery, this remote part of Namibia is inhabited by plant and animal life that has adapted superbly to the harsh environment of mountains, vast plains, dunes and dry riverbeds.

Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp – Palmwag Concession (north)
Set in the starkly beautiful Palmwag Concession on the border of the legendary Skeleton Coast National Park, Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp offers a unique experience of one of the most remote places on Earth.

Eight stylish, well-insulated en-suite tents with shaded outdoor lounges are laid out against a rugged backdrop of hills and overlook a broad valley at the confluence of two tributaries, providing breathtaking vistas over the highly photogenic landscape. A small plunge pool awaits you after summer activities, while a winter lounge provides a cosy respite from the icy Atlantic fog when it settles over the coastal plain.

• Kaokoveld is a land of rugged scenery, a historic coastline, vast plains, and dry riverbeds inhabited by a surprising amount of life.
• Activities on offer include game drives and nature walks.
• Rewarding sightings of desert-adapted elephant, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, oryx, giraffe and springbok may be expected on game drives while coastal wildlife sightings might include the elusive brown hyaena and black-backed jackal.
• Birdlife is equally exciting including endemics like bokmakierie.
• The concession is a joint venture with the neighbouring Community-based Conservancies of Anabeb, Torra and Sesfontein.


Details: Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp - includes all meals, daily activities, laundry and drinks (excluding premium import brands).


DAYS 8 - 9; (2 Nights)
KUNENE & PALMWAG   [Tented Camp] 

Black rhinos at Palmwag Desert Rhino Camp, NamibiaAnother exciting day on the road to Desert Rhino Camp through the rugged, rocky and mountainous Palmwag Concession brings with it the opportunity of seeing giraffe, oryx and springbok.

The speciality of the area is its stable population of the endangered desert-adapted black rhino (the largest concentration in the world outside a national park), which are monitored and protected by the Save the Rhino Trust.

Desert Rhino Camp – Kunene – Palmwag Concession (south)
At Desert Rhino Camp, you can take part in a thrilling and exclusive conservation success story. Tracking Africa’s unique and endangered desert-adapted black rhino is an unforgettable experience.

To set the scene, you will be shown into one of the eight en-suite Meru-style tents elevated off the ground. You can absorb the panoramic views over the rolling, rocky hills beyond from the privacy of your veranda. Full-day excursions are on offer; otherwise, between activities, relax in our tented living area. Evening meals are taken around the fire pit. As a wonderland of unusual plant life, fascinating wildlife and sparse wilderness, Desert Rhino Camp is begging to be explored.

• We work closely with Save the Rhino Trust (SRT) which is almost singlehandedly responsible for the preservation of desert-adapted rhino in the area. A portion of guest revenue goes to SRT.
• The impressive flat-topped Etendeka Mountains dominate the scenery. Dry river-courses like the Uniab River cut through the rocky landscape below, dotted with odd-shaped bottle tree, ancient leadwoods and unique welwitschias.
• Tracking desert-adapted black rhino is the primary activity here, complemented by game drives, walks and relaxing in camp.
• Other wildlife to be seen includes desert-adapted elephant, Hartmann’s mountain zebra, giraffe, gemsbok and kudu as well as cheetah, leopard and spotted hyaena.
• Birdlife is varied with endemics such as bokmakierie and Ruppell’s korhaan.


Details: Desert Rhino Camp - includes all meals, daily activities, laundry and drinks (excluding premium import brands).


DAY 10;
FLY TO WINDHOEK    [End of Tour] 

We bid farewell to our adventure as we transfer to the Doro Nawas Airstrip to return to Windhoek (cost of flight is included).

Recommended Add-ons: At extra cost, continue onwards to Serra Cafema, a luxury desert retreat on the Kunene River, or to Ongava Game Reserve and explore Etosha National Park.

NOTE:  THIS ITINERARY IS AVAILABLE ON FLEXIBLE DATES AND ITINERARIES, FOR TAILOR-MADE SAFARIS FOR SMALL GROUPS UP TO EIGHT GUESTS.

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CLICK TO SEE DEPARTURE DATES


SAFARI NOTES
Group Size
This camping safari is guaranteed on a scheduled departure basis with a maximum group size of eight guests and a minimum number of two guests.

Tailored Explorations
Private and flexible tailor-made safaris are possible, allowing for flexibility on dates, accommodation and itineraries. Suitable for small groups of between four and eight guests, these are also ideal for families.

Exclusivity
Some of the areas in which we travel are private concessions, whilst at the lodges and hotels en route, as well as on Wilderness Air light aircraft transfers, we have the chance to meet other guests.

Itineraries
The route we follow will be flexible, changing with the seasons to maximize each guest’s experience. Please ensure that you have the correct information. Wilderness Explorations also reserves the right to change itineraries due to unusual game concentrations or reason beyond our control. If there is a change to itinerary, this will be advised as timeously as is possible.

Transfers
To maximize guests’ travel time, a variety of travel modes are used to bring out the best in each area: flying in light aircraft and travelling overland by vehicle provide both a bird’s-eye view and an in-depth experience of the contrasting landscapes of Namibia.

Dietary Requirements & Special Occasions
Please ensure that full dietary requirements and special occasions are advised at the time of your booking confirmation.

Travelling Companions
Whilst travelling on this safari you will be with other guests doing the same itinerary and some of the camps included on the itinerary are not exclusive to the Exploration hence you will be with other guests who are from different parts of the world and who are of various ages. To get the most out of your safari experience, co-operation and harmony between you and your fellow guests is essential.

Age Limit
Children from the age of 12 years are welcome on all scheduled departures, with the prerequisite that all children between the ages of 12 and 17 years share the same tent with a related adult as a safety precaution. For guests with children under 12 years, we can create a private tailor-made safari which is subject to an additional cost.

Vehicles
Our enclosed vehicles are specially designed and extended Land Rovers, seating 8 guests in comfort. They have good forward visibility and 7 window seats - all guests are requested to change seats from one day to the next to ensure equal photographic opportunities for everyone. The roof is a “pop top” which is opened when game viewing and there are 6 sliding windows which can be opened for photography or closed in dusty or seasonally rainy conditions. Each vehicle is custom-built to our own standards and includes a fridge, 12V (cigarette lighter) charging points, seat pockets and a small library with reference books and field guides. Still water and juice are provided in the vehicle for the duration of the safari.

Accommodation & Camping Equipment
Please refer to the detailed itinerary for the specific camps used on this safari.

Language
As a norm, our safaris are conducted in English. It is a requirement that all participants on the safari have a basic knowledge of English and are able to communicate in that language, primarily due to safety factors. Our Bilingual Hosted Departures do aim to facilitate a greater level of experience for guests that do not speak English fluently. These safaris are led by a guide; however in addition, there may be a translator to assist the guide. Please note on all bilingual safari dates that the guide or translator’s home language is English / Afrikaans. This additional free service does not guarantee the level of fluency and depending on group dynamics a varying amount of the foreign language will be spoken.

Joining and/or Leaving the Scheduled Safaris
This Namibia Exploration starts and ends in Windhoek. The safari and services of the guide start on our Day 1 as per the brochure and detailed itinerary, so all scheduled commercial flights booked must coincide with the start and end point of the particular Exploration that you have booked.

It is advisable to enjoy a night in Windhoek before the trip begins. Should you arrive on the day of departure, and in order to join the safari, you will need to land at Hosea Kutako International Airport (Windhoek) before 10:00. If you do overnight in Windhoek on the night prior to the safari, you will be collected by your guide in the Explorations’ vehicle from the hotel on the morning of departure. If you arrive by flight on the day the safari commences, you will be collected from the airport.

We return to Windhoek at approximately 16:00 on the last day of the safari. Please ensure that your departure flight is booked for after 16h00 from Windhoek. For earlier international departure flights, an additional transfer will be required to arrive for this connection, subject to extra cost.

Spending Money
Please ensure you have a sufficient amount of US Dollars/Euro in cash of small denominations, as it can be difficult to get any US$ or Euros outside of major centres. We suggest that you allow for US$ 25.00 per day to cover the cost of basic souvenirs (within reason), and more for high valued souvenirs.

Torches/Flashlights
It is essential that you bring a good torch - we recommend bringing a two D-cell torch/flashlight and/or a head lamp. You should also bring a spare globe and batteries as they are often unobtainable locally. A good flashlight is not a mini-Maglight or a small penlight flashlight. Wilderness Safaris Explorations does not supply flashlights.

Photographic & Video Tips
Note that a 12V cigarette lighter adaptor (compatible with your camera) will be required on this safari for charging batteries while on game drives or transfer drives. 110/220V outlets are only available at some properties. Spare batteries are essential (we recommend that you bring three spare batteries) and an image storage device of some sort is recommended. Make certain you have enough card storage – most people take more photographs than expected. Charging facilities for video cameras are very limited when on safari, so please bring enough batteries to last you at least three days of video filming.

Tipping/Gratuities
Tipping is not compulsory. If, however, you would like to tip because you have received good service, we have enclosed a brief guideline to assist you. You may wish to add a nominal amount ranging between US$ 10.00 to US$ 30.00 per day for incidentals (subject to personal budget choice) – i.e. if additional activities are booked once on your journey, if travel arrangements change for any reason, in acknowledgement of good service received in another area, etc.

• Guides: US$ 10.00 – US$ 12.00 per guest per day
• Safari Assistants & Camp Staff: US$ 5.00 per guest per day

We would like to emphasise that tipping is definitely not a requirement and should be undertaken only by choice, dependent on the service received.

WHAT IS INCLUDED
• All accommodation on a sharing basis
• A limited selection of drinks whilst at Kulala Desert Lodge, Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp & Desert Rhino Camp
• All meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 10, however, excluding dinner on the second night in Swakopmund
• All activities as per the detailed itinerary
• Seat-in-plane light aircraft transfers (including departure taxes where applicable) as specified in the detailed information
• National Park Fees
• Laundry (except Hansa Hotel & Terrace Bay Lodge)

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
• Visas
• All relevant entry and departure government taxes and unexpected increases thereto
• All personal purchases, including curios, drinks not specified above, telephone calls, compulsory comprehensive travel insurance, gratuities, etc.
• Any pre- and/or -post tour arrangements
• Optional extra activities/services, not included in the detailed itinerary
• All flights (other than specified)
• Laundry and all drinks while at Hansa Hotel & Terrace bay Lodge
• Any new Government taxes, levies, fuel or industry increases which are beyond our control

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SCHEDULED SAFARI DATES

Please contact us for 2017 dates.



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