Day 1: Windhoek – Kalahari
Guests are picked up from their accommodation in Windhoek for the first leg of the journey. Just before Mariental, we veer eastwards into the Kalahari Desert to overnight at Kalahari Anib Lodge. The stylish, spacious and refreshing lodge is imbued with the spirit of the Kalahari with its burnished sand, ostrich eggshell light fittings and camelthorn trees.
Day 2: Kalahari – Namib Desert
After a good night’s sleep and a full breakfast, it’s time for a taste of the ancient Namib Desert. The route takes you past the majestic Namib Naukluft Mountains near Büllsport before reaching the Namib with its combination of spectacular desert scenery and majestic mountains. Namib Desert Lodge is set below an impressive ridge of fossilised sand dunes, formed 20-million years ago.
The highlight of the afternoon is a drive to the crest of the fossilised dunes for a view of some of the best scenery on the planet.
Day 3: Namib Desert: Sossusvlei & Sesriem Canyon
It’s an early start today for the drive southwards to Sesriem and Sossusvlei for some of the highest sand dunes in the world and the magnificent otherworldly landscape. The vlei – or seasonal pan – fills with water in years of good rainfall when the Tsauchab River rushes through the Sesriem Canyon into the desert. The river’s flow is curtailed by the belt of apricot-coloured dunes at Sossusvlei where it eventually sinks sleepily into the sand. For most of the year, Sossusvlei is a dry pan, encircled by mighty sand dunes. The best view is from a height and it is worth a short climb up the adjacent Big Daddy dune to marvel at the desert vista.
Day 4: Namib Desert – Swakopmund
Enjoy a buffet breakfast at Namib Desert Lodge before the journey through the fascinating desert landscape to Swakopmund. The first stop is the desert outpost of Solitaire, famous for its apple pie. The route crosses the Tropic of Capricorn, marking the sun’s turning point at 23˚ south on its annual journey through the heavens, before meandering through the Gaub and Kuiseb canyons. The cool and often misty town of Swakopmund, which lies between the crashing Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert, balances the day’s journey perfectly. Old German architecture, wide streets and a plethora of restaurants, coffee and curio shops make this coastal town a joy to explore. The Delight hotel is a fresh breeze in the desert, providing a delightful home for your stay in Swakopmund.
A highlight of a stay at The Delight is its scrumptious breakfast spread. Pour yourself a glass of champagne and freshly-squeezed orange juice and savour Walvis Bay oysters before heading off to explore the town. Or, choose an activity or excursion. Swakopmund is the adventure capital of Namibia and excursions range from Living Desert tours, kayaking in the Walvis Bay lagoon and dolphin cruises to sandboarding, quad-biking and skydiving. Take your pick, or just relax – ending the day in one of Swakopmund’s popular restaurants.
Day 6: Swakopmund – Damaraland
After your day of fun and exploration, we continue northwards to Henties Bay along the coast before veering inland towards Uis and the Brandberg massif. Rock art is on the agenda today with a visit to Twyfelfontein, home to a treasure-trove of ancient rock engravings. The area was once visited by groups of hunters and gatherers, who congregated at the rock pools in the dry season. Their shamans beseeched the gods for rain, healing for their people and luck for the hunt, hammering their prayers into the sandstone rock. The dry desert environment has preserved these engravings for thousands of years. Other stops include the Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain and Petrified Forest, testament to the Earth’s intriguing geological history. In the afternoon, it’s a pleasure to arrive at Damara Mopane lodge set in a mopane woodland, where each chalet charmingly sports its own vegetable garden.
Enjoy this leisurely day at Damara Mopane Lodge. Cool off in the large turquoise pool, rest and put your feet up with a favourite book. Don’t miss the afternoon walk to the sunset deck for a sundowner drink and an exceptional view of the landscape.
Day 8: Damaraland - Etosha National Park
Today we travel into the heart of the country, Etosha National Park, via Outjo, making it in time for an afternoon game drive in the park. Experience the bounty of this wildlife haven before returning to Etosha Safari Camp for supper. This relaxed and down-to-earth camp has a quirky restaurant based on the shebeens (taverns) of old. Musicians strum guitars in the courtyard and sing local tunes while the guests relish the good fare. Tap toes and sing along at this lively, fun venue before returning by starlight to your comfortable room and the peace of an Etosha night.
Day 9: Etosha National Park
Explore Etosha and its many waterholes where the wildlife gathers to slake its thirst. Every season has its own beauty in this special conservation area. The full day drive gives you the chance to view the array of sleek African wildlife in its natural surroundings. Return in the afternoon to the friendliness of Etosha Safari Camp for your final night of the tour.
Day 10: Etosha National Park – Windhoek
Breakfast is enjoyed at the camp before the drive southwards back to Windhoek, via Okahandja’s popular woodcarver’s market. Your guide will drop you off at your chosen accommodation in the capital city or at Hosea Kutako International Airport to catch your scheduled flight.