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NAMIBIA
Namibia Experience
15 Days / 14 Nights

INTRODUCTION
Namibia derives its name from the Namib Desert, a unique geological feature renowned for the unusual and haunting quality of its landscape. Far from being lifeless and barren, this narrow strip of moist coastal desert features an unusual variety of desert-adapted flora and fauna.}

Visitors return again and again due to its friendliness and cultural diversity of its people, and above all, the pristine quality and extraordinary beauty of its landscape.


Day 1: Hosea Kutako Airport – Windhoek
A representative from SafariWise will meet you at Hosea Kutako Airport. We transfer to our overnight accommodation at Safari Court Hotel. The four star Safari Court Hotel is situated on 13 hectares on the outskirts of Windhoek. The hotel offers the largest local selection of first class accommodation and catering with a difference.

Accommodation: Safari Court Hotel
Meal arrangements: Dinner
Day 2: Windhoek – Namib Naukluft Park
Situated on the edge of the Namib Desert, the Naukluft complex takes its name from the spectacular, narrow kloof on the eastern side of the massif. Its rugged mountains, deep ravines and crystal-clear pools come as a complete surprise to the unsuspecting visitor.Namib-Naukluft National Park is an ecological preserve in the Namib Desert, thought to be Earth’s oldest desert. The park is the largest game park in Africa, and a surprising collection of creatures survives in the hyper-arid region, including snakes, geckos, unusual insects, hyenas, gemsboks and jackals.

Ancient dunes near Sossusvlei, is the relatively frequently visited center of the national park. The winds that bring in the fog are also responsible for creating the park’s towering sand dunes, whose burnt orange colour is a sign of their age. The orange colour develops over time as iron in the sand is oxidized, like rusty metal; the older the dune, the brighter the colour. The twenty thatched chalets ensure the guests a more comfortable stay, and needless to say, the little touches on their traditional wide farm veranda, with lanterns and stars adding to the ambience.

The Desert Homestead offers simple but stylish accommodation in thatched chalets which were designed with the fragile beauty of this remarkable environment in mind. The lodge is situated approximately 32 kilometers from Sesriem, the gateway to Sossusvlei.The Desert Homestead offers respite from the extreme temperatures of the Namib Desert. Set in tranquil surroundings, alfresco dining, delectably fresh farm cuisine, refreshing dips in the pool, stunning sunsets and sunrises are the basic pleasures of the lodge.

The Lodge offers extra optional activities:
• Horse back rides: The Desert Homestead has excellent riding horses, all docile and easy to handle.
• We can choose between several outrider options. Most popular are their sunrise and sunset rides.
• They also offer a sundowner drive in the evenings which includes a leisurely nature drive, slowly winding up a mountain, and culminating in gin and tonics and snacks, before venturing home again.

Accommodation: Desert Homestead
Meal Arrangements: Breakfast / picnic lunch / Dinner


Day 3: Desert Homestead
A very early start before sunrise. We drive to Sossusvlei in time to see the beautiful Namib sunrise.The Sossusvlei, Namibia's famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan, enclosed by giant sand dunes. Some of the spectacular hills of sand are, at a height of 300 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.

After lunch you visit the Sesriem Canyon, one of the amazing features of the Namib. Here the Tsauchab River has carved a gorge - up to 30 meters deep and about 1 km long - into the conglomerate gravels deposited some 15 - 18 million years ago during a wetter phase in the history of the Namib. From the parking area a track leads to the canyon floor and a walk into Sesriem is like descending through the layers of time.

Accommodation: Desert Homestead
Meal arrangements: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


Day 4: Desert Homestead – Swakopmund
After breakfast we drive northwest to the coastal town of Swakopmund.

As we travel towards the Atlantic Coast we see the scenery change from sand dunes to dark craggy canyons and then to flat gravel plains. The Walvis Bay lagoon takes pride of place as regards scenic attractions in the area. A tranquil stretch of water, its natural beauty is accentuated by thousand of flamingos, which gather at these rich feeding grounds. Altogether some 80,000 wading birds can be seen on the lagoon.

Swakopmund is situated on the coast and surrounded by desert. It offers a wide variety of attractions in an atmosphere unique in its appeal. The influence of German architecture, dating back to the turn of the last century, can be seen. Occupying a quiet corner of Swakopmund’s old town near the marine museum and the old brewery, Cornerstone Guesthouse offers the charm and intimacy of a family-run B&B combined with the modern amenities of a luxury hotel. Within a few minutes from the guest house you can walk to beaches, cafés, restaurants, lively pubs, Swakopmund tourist attractions and a variety of interesting shops and markets in the town.

Extra optional activities: Quadbiking, sand boarding, Boat fishing, Ballooning, the Living Desert Tour, Dolphin & Seal Cruise & Scenic flights over the Skeleton Coast.

Accommodation: Cornerstone Guest House
Meal arrangements: Breakfast / picnic lunch

Day 5: Swakopmund area
Take part in the extra optional activities in Swakopmund or explore the surrounding area with our guide.

Dolphin Cruise: The ski boats depart from the Tanker Jetty at the Walvis Bay Harbour. We go along the coast to the bird island and foreign boats, and then cross to Pelican Point. Friendly seals come join us on the boat to be fed, while dolphins swim around enjoying the fun. Fresh oysters, snacks, champagne, beer and soft drinks are served at the seal colony before we return to Walvis Bay via the Lagoon.

Accommodation: Cornerstone Guest House
Meal arrangements: Breakfast / light lunch on the boat


Day 6: Cornerstone Guesthouse - Swakopmund area
Take part in the extra optional activities in Swakopmund or explore the surrounding area with our guide.

Extra optional activity: The Living Desert Tour, originally developed by Tommy himself, is a unique 4x4 adventure drive through the dunes outside Swakopmund, Namibia. Just the drive in the dunes is an amazing experience, but Tommy will show us a lot more than sand. The tour takes us from the vegetated, life-rich eastern side of the dunes, right through the dunes to the Atlantic Ocean on the western side of the dune belt. Tommy introduces us to some of the fascinating, hidden life in this apparently barren landscape that is part of the Namib Desert. Here we can find creatures endemic to the Namib: the sidewinder (Peringuey's Adder), the Palmato Gecko with its transparent skin and beautiful colours - we dig into the dune side to find this nocturnal desert-dweller. We track the large Namaqua Chameleon, and watch it enjoy brunch. Then it's a dash to catch the swift sand-diving lizard. We find out how the area's plants and small animals survive the harsh climate, and how they obtain water for life. We also track a FitzSimon's Burrowing Skink across the dune face, in hopes of catching this legless lizard. Along the way Tommy will explain the variety of dune colours. At the end of the tour, weather permitting, we will experience a 'roaring' dune. Other characters to be found in the dune belt are the 'dancing' White Lady Spider; the Parabuthus Villosus black scorpion; the occasional horned adder or sand-snake; desert wasps, fish-moths, crickets and several beetle species, and many more. A Living Desert Tour with the enthusiastic Tommy is educational, fun and an unforgettable experience. We will see the desert and dunes with new eyes. The photographic opportunities are endless too: make sure those batteries are charged before we leave!

This half-day tour leaves at 8am in the morning, and returns at approximately 1pm.
Accommodation: Cornerstone Guest House
Meal arrangements: Breakfast


Day 7: Swakopmund – Damaraland
The Twyfelfontein area, being a very vulnerable and delicate ecosystem, is renowned for some of the best examples of Bushman paintings and rock engravings in Southern Africa and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Interesting rock formations and the remainder of prehistoric volcanic action can be seen among the most prominent geographic features including the Organ Pipes, Burnt Mountain, Doros Crater and the Petrified Forest.

The fauna and flora of Damaraland is typical of the Pro-Namib region and plant species include the magnificent Welwitschia, Moringa and a variety of the Commiphora species. The Desert adapted Elephant, Rhinoceros, Giraffe, Springbok, Zebra, Oryx, and Ostrich include some of the wildlife which can be found living in total harmony with the community.

Accommodation: Twyfelfontein Country Lodge
Meals arrangements: Breakfast / Picnic lunch / Dinner


Day 8: Damaraland
Explore Damaraland. The slopes above Twyfelfontein are littered with large rock slabs, with the largest concentration of rock engravings in Africa. The engravings are mostly of animals, but there are also human footprints, animal spoor and some abstract motifs. We also visit the Organ Pipes, which are exposes in a gorge; roughly 100m long and reach a maximum height of 5m. We go in search for the Desert adapted Elephant.

Accommodation: Twyfelfontein Country Lodge
Meal arrangements: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


Day 9: Damaraland – Etosha National Park
When it was originally proclaimed at the turn of the century the Etosha Park consisted of an area of 100,000 square kilometers. This was the largest reserve on earth but in the 1960's political pressure resulted in the Park being reduced to its current size Etosha, meaning "Great White Place", is dominated by a massive mineral pan. The pan is part of the Kalahari Basin, the floor of which was formed around 1000 million years ago. The Etosha Pan covers around 25% of the National Park. The pan was originally a lake fed by the Kunene River. However the course of the river changed thousands of years ago and the lake dried up. The pan now is a large dusty depression of salt and dusty clay which fills only if the rains are heavy and even then only holds water for a short time. This temporary water in the Etosha Pan attracts thousands of wading birds including impressive flocks of flamingos. The perennial springs along the edges of the Etosha Pan draw large concentrations of wildlife and birds.

Etosha Pan is surrounded by sweetveld Savanna plains, which sustain extraordinary numbers of wildlife. Etosha is home to 114 mammals and some 340 bird species. It houses large numbers of globally endangered or threatened species, most notably black rhinoceros and African elephant. Because of its size, the park serves as a genetic reserve for various species of animals and plants. Okaukuejo, located 17 km from the Southern entrance of the park, was the first tourist camp to open in Etosha. Okaukuejo is famous for its flood-lit waterhole, where visitors can observe at close quarters a spectacle of wildlife congregating and interacting.

Okaukuejo is the main administrative centre and headquarters of the Etosha Ecological Institute, where research and nature conservation management in Etosha are conducted.

Accommodation: Okaukuejo Resort - Meal arrangements: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 10: Okaukuejo Resort
Game drives in Etosha.

Accommodation: Okaukuejo Resort - Meal arrangements: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner

Day 11: Okaukuejo Resort – Halali Resort
Strategically located halfway between Okaukuejo and Namutoni, Halali is situated at the base of a dolomite hill, amongst shady Mopane trees, and provides an ambiance of tranquillity and space. It is surrounded by some popular waterholes in the park. A floodlit waterhole which is viewed from an elevated vantage point within the camp provides exceptional wildlife viewing throughout the day and into the night.

Accommodation: Halali Resort
Meal arrangements: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


Day 12: Halali Resort
Game drives in Etosha

Accommodation: Halali Resort
Meal arrangements: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner


Day 13: Halali Resort – Okonjima Bush Camp
West of the Waterberg Plateau, the vast plains are occasionally broken by the remnants of the Etjo sandstone, which once covered large areas of northern Namibia. Nestled amongst one of these relics – the Omboroko Mountains – lies Okonjima, a Herero name meaning “place of the baboons”. Okonjima is a family run guest lodge and the home of the Africat Foundation. We will be able to see leopard and cheetah during their feeding times and join highly informative Bushmen and/or Bantu trails. At Okonjima we see the Africat Foundation at work, learn more about leopard and cheetah, and have excellent photographic opportunities.

Accommodation: Okonjima Bush Camp
Meal arrangements: Full Board


Day 14: Okonjima Bush Camp
We take part in the activities on the farm. Activities on the farm include Cheetah tracking on foot and the Cheetah Project, Leopard tracking, Birding, Photography and the Bushman Trail.

Accommodation: Okonjima Bush Camp
Meal arrangements: Full board


Day 15: Okonjima Bush Camp- Windhoek
We transfer you to the airport for your flight back home. We visit the Okahandja craft market on our way to Windhoek. Safari ends.

Meal arrangements: Breakfast